The staff here at NobodyisFlyingthePlane is, like most, fatigued by news of mass shootings. Going forward we are going to try to focus on solutions oriented posts.
Kristof’s piece, linked below, poses the conversation as one of public health not politics. Many of his points resonated in that context. He uses the auto as a way of looking at it. Much of what we have done to reduce harm from cars can be applied to guns.
only in the U.S. do we lose one person every 15 minutes to gun violence.
I suggest that we try a new approach to reducing gun violence – a public health strategy.
We don’t ban cars, but we work hard to regulate them – and limit access to them – so as to reduce the death toll they cause. This has been spectacularly successful, reducing the death rate per 100 million miles driven by 95 percent since 1921.
The evidence is overwhelming that overall more guns and more relaxed gun laws lead to more violent deaths and injuries.
As we often say here: people are terrible judges of risk. We fear terrorism and mass shootings, but we’re far more likely to be killed by having a gun in the home.
although it is mass shootings that get our attention, they are not the main cause of loss of life.
Much more typical is a friend who shoots another, a husband who kills his wife – or, most common of all, a man who kills himself.
For skeptics who think that gun laws don’t make a difference, consider what happened in two states, Missouri and Connecticut. In 1995, Connecticut tightened licensing laws, while in 2007 Missouri eased gun laws.
The upshot? After tightening gun laws, firearm homicide rates dropped 40 percent in Connecticut. And after Missouri eased gun laws, gun homicide rates rose 25 percent.
Yet our laws have often focused more on weapons themselves (such as the assault weapons ban) rather than on access. In many places, there is more rigorous screening of people who want to adopt dogs than of people who want to purchase firearms.
In these two states, the laws affected access, and although there’s some indication that other factors were also involved in Connecticut (and correlations don’t prove causation), the outcomes are worth pondering.
How to Reduce Shootings https://nyti.ms/2j3axxv