All the schoolgirls in'Upotte!!' are anthropomorphized guns, so they don't need to shop at Walmart (or Dicks)

While we're all arguing with Timmy Slow Loris about what "AR-15" really stands for, a couple of researchers at top universities have done some science at the problem of injuries caused by firearms. They found that when the NRA Annual Convention is going on, there are fewer firearms injuries nationwide, and states that host the convention experience an even sharper reduction in firearms-related injuries.

Here's the hypothesis, as published in theNew England Journal of Medicine by researchers Anupam B. Jena of Harvard University Medical School and Andrew R. Olenski of Columbia University: They wanted to find out how gun injuries might be affected each year by taking a huge number of firearms enthusiasts away from their usual stomping (and shooting) grounds and placing them in airplanes, hotels and convention centers, where they generally won't be handling any loaded weapons.

[We] hypothesized that firearm use would decline during the dates of NRA meetings -- which attract tens of thousands of members from across the United States, including firearm owners and owners of venues where firearms are used (e.g., firing ranges and hunting grounds) -- and that firearm injuries would also decline even among experienced users.

By golly, that's exactly what they found. The researchers examined reams of insurance records of visits to emergency rooms and hospitals and compared the rate of firearms injuries during the days of the NRA convention and compared those periods to the three weeks preceding and following the annual meeting. There was a significant difference, as Vox sums up in less math-y terms:

The gun injury rate actually fell by nearly 20 percent nationwide during NRA conventions. More precisely, on convention dates, the national gun injury rate was 1.2 per 100,000 — compared to 1.5 per 100,000 during the control dates. In the states hosting the conventions, the drop was even more dramatic — from 1.9 to 0.7 per 100,000.

Now, we suppose some Gunz-R-Best folks might say this is obviously because NRA conventions get lots of media attention, so it just stands to reason that bad guys, reminded that an armed citizenry will always defend itself, stop criming so much during the NRA convention. Ah, not so fast, pistol-puss! The numbers all point to a reduction in injuries among the 80,000 or so gun enthusiasts most likely to have left their shooting irons safe at home while at the convention:

Reductions in firearm injuries during convention dates were largest among men, in the South and West, in states in the highest third of gun-ownership rates, and among people who resided in the state hosting the convention. There was no difference in the proportion of crimes involving a firearm between convention and control dates.

The researchers say their findings tend to undercut the NRA's contention that firearms training, including training on safe handling of guns, is key to the safe use of guns. What really seems to sharply reduce gun injuries, even among the tens of thousands of presumably very adept firearms users who shut down their gun shops and shooting ranges to head off to the NRA meeting -- is just plain not having a gun in your hands.

We're sure the NRA will have a very interesting reply to this research. Probably a photo of a copy of the New England Journal of Medicine peppered with bullet holes. Hey, it worked for Erick Erickson when he disagreed with the New York Times:

We might want to do something about people with irrational rage, too.

Rage irrationally in this, your OPEN THREAD!

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[New England Journal of Medicine / Vox]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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