Gun deaths are a very, very real thing in our society that we read about almost on a daily basis. It's almost impossible to open up social media, turn on the television or talk to a fellow mom pal without hearing about something devastating that happened. Because of this, people are speaking out more and their voices are being heard as local governments are starting to make some big changes.
And those big changes are leading to a lot of new studies looking at each situation to determine which might be the best path to take. According to a new study, children living in states with stricter gun laws have less deaths.
The study was published in Pediatrics, revealing the big statistic that researchers found that firearm-related deaths among young people are 35% lower in states where mandatory background checks have been required for at least five years. That's definitely something worth paying attention to.
Between 2011 and 2015, more than 21,000 young people under 21 died from firearm-related injuries. That number is staggering and translates roughly to seven funerals a day, said lead author Dr. Monika Goyal of Children’s National pediatric hospital in Washington, DC.
The information used to conduct the study was pulled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using fatal injury data they keep. They looked at the states where these tragedies happened and if there were mandatory background checks in place or not. They looked into this data for both children and adults.
Then, the team of researchers used scorecards from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a nonprofit that ranks the strictness of laws on a 100-point scale, to evaluate how strong the gun laws were in each state.
Their findings were very clear: the states that have the stricter law protect children. This was also true for states that had higher rates of gun ownership.
Furthermore, for every 10-point increase the researchers found in in a law’s safety score, firearm deaths among young people dropped 4%. These scores also included additions such as the child access prevention laws and extreme risk protection regulations. Most of deaths (60%) were due to assaults, followed by suicides. Young men also made up 87% of victims, and more than two-thirds were between 18 and 21, researchers said.
With gun violence being the second most prevalent cause of death among young people, it's really important to pay attention to studies like these.
Goyal told CNN in an email that a lot of this has to do with access there are states that require weapons to be locked up and unloaded at all time (part of a child access and prevention law), and some that don't. And then there are extreme risk protection laws that exist in some states that regulate and allow the state to remove weapons from homes as they see fit. She also feels like these help keep mortality rates lower.