3 specific laws – 80% reduction in deaths

Just when I think I can say “enough already” about guns, some pertinent, not always new, information comes to my attention. This evening I ran across this article from two years ago, based on research at Boston University.

Gun-related deaths in the U.S. could be reduced by more than 80 percent if three laws implemented in some states were extended nationally, an analysis led by Boston University researchers shows. In a study published in The Lancet, a research team analyzing state-level data from 2010 on gun-related deaths and 25 state-specific gun laws identified three laws that were most strongly associated with reductions in overall gun-related mortality. Laws requiring firearm identification through ballistic imprinting or microstamping were found to reduce the projected mortality risk by 84 percent; ammunition background checks, by 82 percent; and universal background checks for all gun purchases, by 61 percent.

Federal implementation of all three laws would be projected to reduce the national mortality rate — 10.1 per 100,000 people in 2010 — to 0.16 per 100,000, the study says.

“Very few of the existing state-specific firearms laws are associated with reduced mortality, and this evidence underscores the importance of focusing on relevant and effective firearms legislation,” said senior study author Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the School of Public Health at Boston University.

“Implementing universal background checks for the purchase of firearms or ammunition, and firearm identification nationally could substantially reduce mortality in the U.S.”

Lead author Bindu Kalesan, director of the Evans Center for Translational Epidemiology and Comparative Effectiveness Research at Boston University School of Medicine, said the study is the first to assess a broad array of gun laws and other relevant state-level data.

“The findings suggest that very few of the existing state gun-control laws actually reduce gun deaths, highlighting the importance of focusing on relevant and effective gun legislation,” she said. “Background checks for all people buying guns and ammunition, including private sales, are the most effective laws we have to reduce the number of gun deaths in the U.S.”

Read the rest of the article describing the study here.

While horrific mass shootings become more prevalent, they still account for a small number of gun-related deaths in the United States. In trying to navigate the complex territory of appropriate and effective gun legislation in the various states and in the USA, it’s important to look at the current situation, and determine what actually works from objective evidence, not wild speculation and fake news.

I, as a priest for fifty years, have some of my own personal gun-related stories, which I may be sharing in the next few days.

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