A study released last week by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association): Internal Medicine shows a direct correlation between gun laws and gun-related fatalities. It confirms that generally speaking, stricter gun laws result in fewer deaths. Who knew?
This study flies in the face of everything NRA’s spokesman Wayne LaPierre says. LaPierre and other opponents of stricter gun laws, make claims that more lenient gun laws lead to a decrease in gun violence. They argue that if everyone packed an assault rifle and a couple revolvers with high capacity clips, no one will ever get shot except “bad guys.” The data to support those claims, however, is non-existent.
Stricter gun laws equal fewer gun deaths
The JAMA report was entitled “Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States.” This is the report’s conclusion:
“In conclusion, we found an association between the legislative strength of a state's firearm laws—as measured by a higher number of laws—and a lower rate of firearm fatalities. The association was significant for firearm fatalities overall and for firearm suicide and firearm homicide deaths, individually. As our study could not determine a cause-and-effect relationship, further studies are necessary to define the nature of this association.”
The study found that overall, firearm violence has been stable in the United States over the last decade but there is substantial variation in firearm fatality rates among states. The states that come in at the top of the list for strong gun laws-- Massachusetts, California, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York have the lowest average of firearms deaths per year, except for California which is near the median.
On the other hand, the states at the other end of the list—those with the most lenient gun laws—Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Utah, have among the highest percentage of deaths per year.
Correlation between rate of gun ownership and homicides, suicides
JAMA found q correlation between gun ownership and murder and suicide. In 2010, firearms killed 68% of the 16 259 victims of homicide. In the same year, there were 38 364 suicides, of which 51% were by firearms, the study found. Beyond the loss of life and nonfatal traumatic injuries, the financial cost of firearm injuries is enormous. In 2005, the medical costs associated with fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries were estimated at $112 million and $599 million, respectively, and work loss costs were estimated at $40.5 billion.
There is a strong connection between gun ownership and firearm suicide and firearm homicide,” says the report. “A cross-sectional study of all 50 states from 2001 to 2003 found that higher rates of household firearm ownership were associated with significantly higher rates of homicide.”
This pretty much debunks the NRA’s main talking points.
While Congress is deciding whether it will allow a vote on President Obama’s gun violence proposals, many states are acting. Colorado’s Democratic legislature has passed several gun violence laws over the weekend, and is still deliberating other laws today.
The public strongly supports stricter gun laws especially universal background checks, anti-trafficking laws, and limits on high capacity clips. The NRA opposes all of those even though NRA members support them.
The NRA is really a front organization for gun manufacturers and retailers who make billions a year off gun sales. They do not want to lose a single sale even if it is to a criminal or a psychopathic individual bent on murder. The NRA will invent any statistic and quote any non-existent study to support their cause.
The NRA is not so much about protecting constitutional rights as they are about protecting profits. The constitution does not guarantee a murderer or a psychopath the right to kill with a gun. That was never the intent of the Second Amendment. It is a disgrace to deliberately arm criminals for profit.
A new organization, Moms Demand Action is planning Moms Take the Hill day March 13th.Its spokesperson said that they would not quit until universal background checks, assault weapon bans, and other laws are enacted to protect our children. Maybe the JAMA report will help save lives.