August 17, 2022

LEGISLATIVE MAP: New study proves that gun laws can prevent child gun deaths

LEGISLATIVE MAP: New study proves that gun laws can prevent child gun deaths

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A recent study reveals a direct correlation between youth firearm mortality rates in states with weak — as opposed to strict – gun laws. Just four states have pivoted to a downward trajectory of firearm deaths among children by enacting tougher policies aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of kids.

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Published in The American Journal of Medicine Open, data analyzed over the decade between 2010-2019 show that the overall youth death rate increased by 30% – with the United States topping other developed countries in deaths of those under 15 by firearms. According to the AMJMO:

“In high-income countries, approximately 9 out of 10 youths <15 of age killed with firearms were found to be from the United States. In 2019, 3 of the top 10 leading causes of death for youths 1-11 years of age were unintentional injuries (#1), homicides (#4), and suicides (#7), and the leading method of death for these three were firearms.”

Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani of the Department of Public Health Sciences at New Mexico State University, the man who co-authored the article with Dr. James H. Price of the University of Toledo in Ohio, said:

“Our findings were a precursor to what was coming. The recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data report has shown that firearms are now the leading cause of death in children and adolescents. Our findings, published before this new CDC data come out, reflected the growing trends of such mortality in the past decade.”

California, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey were the only states that failed to see an increase in child firearm deaths, while seven states saw an over 70% uptick – Texas, Indiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, and Kansas.

Over half of these states don’t have laws preventing child access.

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“The message is clear: States with more guns have more gun homicides, suicides, and unintentional deaths. States with strong laws that limit access have fewer gun deaths,” said Dr. Price.

Suicide deaths have increased by 63%, with youth firearm deaths in Southern states increasing by over 50%. The rise in school shootings contributed to less than 5% of these deaths.

“More than 10 children die of firearms in communities every day, most taking place away from schools,” Dr. Khubchandani said.

“We must address the problem at a broader level, with a more comprehensive approach to policies, prevention practices, and clinical interventions, he added.

In the end, the study raises significant questions about why the 46 other states don’t enact the same policies that the four that have been successful in reducing children’s firearm deaths have put into place.

Statistics don’t lie.

Read the full study here.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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