'Gun Control':
Aiming at the Wrong Targets?

(from blog.dataiku.com)

By 'MarkPA'. April 19, 2021

With all the numerous gun control laws and further proposals, it strikes me that there is no clear target, except guns. If epidemiologists want to characterize “gun violence” as an epidemic, then why are they not trying to capture the “genome” (underlying causes) of the “disease”? For every other public health challenge, this is the place to begin. But not for gun laws. We might wonder why.

First, the broad brush. Deaths and injuries by gunshot are broadly classified as:

1. suicides = 2/3
2. homicides = 1/3
3. accidents = negligible

These are the gross proportions, but there is not much detailed drill-down published. We can drill down on COVID-19 and for virtually every subject of public health inquiry. Except for guns.

We have a pretty good sense that gunshot suicides being mostly elderly males; females of any age rarely choose guns. Strangely, inner-city dwellers from minority races and ethnicities don’t tend to suicide by gun. We ought to have the detailed breakdowns of suicides by ZIP code, sex, age, occupation, marital status, military service, and importantly, method (gunshot, asphyxiation, over-dose, etc.) etc. In what ways do gunshot suicides resemble/differ from non-gunshot suicides?

If we understood such details we might craft more finely-tuned public policy. .....


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