Eric Fleegler and his colleagues became interested in finding out if gun laws were correlated with gun deaths after doing a similar study looking at booster seat laws and child fatalities. He says as a pediatric emergency room physician, he’s interested in finding out anything that could reduce injuries and fatalities. He says the new research in JAMA Internal Medicine crunched numbers in all 50 states and found generally in states where there were more laws about guns, the rate of gun deaths were lower.
Oregon and Washington have six and eight gun laws, respectively. The mortality rates are similar as well: 9.9 per 100 thousand for Oregon and 8.4 for Washington. That compares to Fleeglers home state of Massachusetts, that has one of the highest number of gun laws (more than 20) and the second lowest rate of gun deaths (3.4 per 100 thousand).
What questions do you have about the way the study was done or about the correlation between gun laws and gun deaths? What other research related to guns do you think should be funded?
- Eric Fleegler: Pediatric emergency room physician at Boston Children’s Hospital; lead author of the JAMA study