It’s been well-established by now that gun makers and vendors rely on fear of legislative action to sell their products. They tell gun owners that liberals are about to vote on a new law to take away their guns, driving those owners into buying yet more guns. The New York Times reports sales have actually dropped since Trump became president, because gun owners aren’t afraid the Republicans will do what they feared the Democrats would, which is pass any kind of sensible gun control laws.
Under this economic model, then, it makes sense that gun sales and stocks would rise after horrific mass shootings. It’s an incredibly backwards, dangerous economic model, so it makes sense that people would do deeply stupid, dangerous things while in its grip. But until now, there hadn’t been any definitive proof that these rises in gun sales resulted in any surge in gun deaths. The overall numbers, of course, obviously pointed out the fact that the country with the most guns in the entire world also had the most gun-related deaths, but there hadn’t been a study on this particular phenomenon until now.
The Washington Post
reports that a study conducted by the Science family of journals and magazines found that after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, more than 60 accidental gun deaths occurred that would not have happened otherwise. Essentially, in the months after the shooting, 3 million guns were bought by American consumers, much more than average, and the incidence of accidental gun deaths skyrocketed concurrently.
America already has a problem with accidental gun deaths, and 60 additional deaths on top of its normal total doesn’t help, especially when more than a third of those deaths were children.
That increase in accidental gun deaths represents a 27 percent increase overall for the nation in that time frame, and a 64 percent increase in accidental gun deaths involving children. Of course, as the WaPo article notes, these accidental deaths are a drop in the bucket compared to total of all firearm deaths in the country. The majority of all firearm deaths are suicides, and approximately 93 Americans are killed every day by guns.
It’s almost like having more guns leads to more people killed by guns. It’s almost like, no matter how many times that point gets definitively proven, Americans continue to buy guns with no regard for the consequences of this act.