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Firearms and accidental deaths: Evidence from the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting

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Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1324-1328
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8179

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One cause of accidental deaths

The number of accidental deaths involving a firearm might be expected to correlate with the number of firearms, but claims that a causal relationship exists have not been persuasive (see the Policy Forum by Cook and Donohue). The 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in the eastern United States resulted in the deaths of 20 children. Levine and McKnight used the random timing of this event and the subsequent increase in gun purchases (as recorded by an increased number of background checks) to show that the increased exposure to guns resulted in ∼60 accidental deaths.

Science, this issue p. 1324 see also p. 1259