Thursday, March 7, 2013

Study: More Gun Laws Result in Fewer Gun-Related Deaths

Posted By on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 at 9:13 AM


A new study carried out by Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health reveals that states with more gun laws have considerably fewer gun-related deaths than states with laxer rules.

The study, published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal, was conducted in all 50 states, and analyzed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics ranging from 2007 to 2010. Researchers created a so-called "legislative strength" score by looking at five categories of laws, then measured the score against the gun mortality rates. The highest possible score, a 28, was given to Massachusetts, while the lowest was a flat zero, doled out to Utah.

Idaho—which had a score of 1.5—came in a tie for 44th, fifth from the bottom.

The study concluded that legislation against firearms and lower rates of both firearm suicide and firearm homicides were linked to one another, indicating that states with the strongest laws saw 6.4 fewer deaths per 100,000 than those that restricted firearms less extensively.

The study's authors stressed that the findings did not constitute a cause and effect relationship, and added that "further studies are necessary to define the nature of this association."

"Our motivation was really to understand what are the interventions that can be done to reduce firearm mortality," said Dr. Eric Fleegler, the study's lead author, pediatrician and researcher at Boston Children's Hospital.

Fleegler said his study's conclusions took into account factors also linked with gun violence, including poverty, education levels and race, which vary among the states.

The average annual gun death rate ranged from almost 3 per 100,000 in Hawaii to 18 per 100,000 in Louisiana.

Idaho had 11.8 firearm fatalities per 100,000 per year between 2007 and 2010; the majority were suicides.

Boise Weekly recently reported that a number of Idaho lawmen aren't anxious to see any new gun restrictions in the Gem State.

"Have you seen this bill from Feen-steen (sic)," said Payette County Sheriff Chad Huff, butchering the last name of California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (pronounced FINE-stine), the lawmaker who wants to prohibit certain semi-automatic weapons and ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds. "That's absolutely crazy," he said.

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