Surge in gun sales led to surge in accidental gun deaths

The Washington Post reports: In the days after the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun enthusiasts rushed to buy millions of firearms, driven by fears that the massacre would spark new gun legislation. Those restrictions never became a reality, but a new study concludes that all the additional guns caused a significant jump in accidental firearm deaths.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, estimates that the 3 million guns sold in the several months after Sandy Hook caused about 60 more accidental gun deaths than would have occurred otherwise. Children were killed in a third of them — some 20 youngsters, the same number as died at Sandy Hook.

The work by two Wellesley College economists tackles one of the biggest questions in gun research: how to measure the relationship between gun prevalence and gun deaths. For decades, hamstrung by lack of funding and the politically charged landscape surrounding gun control, researchers have lacked data to try to answer that question. [Continue reading…]

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