National Rate of Gun Injuries Down During NRA Meetings

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The rate of gun injuries in the U.S. declines during the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, according to a study led by Harvard Medical School and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Guardian reports. Gun injuries nationally declined by 20 percent during the convention. The largest reductions were observed among men, in the south and west, in states with high gun-ownership rates, and among people who resided in the state hosting the convention. “Fewer people using guns means fewer gun injuries, which in some ways is not surprising,” said Anupam Jena, a Harvard Medical School professor who co-authored the study. “But the drop in gun injuries during these large meetings attended by thousands of well-trained gun owners seems to refute the idea that gun injuries stem solely from lack of experience and training in gun use.”

Some 84 percent of NRA members say they have taken a gun safety course, versus 67 percent of all gun owners, found a 2017 Pew Research study. Drawing on private insurance claims for the years 2007-2015, researchers compared the rate of injuries from guns during the convention with rates during identical days three weeks before and three weeks after the convention. Gun injuries on non-convention days occurred at a rate of 1.49 per 100,000 people, compared with 1.19 per 100,000 on convention dates. The declines were measurable despite the fact that convention attendees represent a very small proportion of gun owners. NRA members carry, handle and use their guns more frequently than others. The Pew study found that 53 percent of NRA members said they “have a gun that is loaded and easily accessible to them at all times,” versus 34 percent of non-members, while “NRA members are twice as likely to say they carry a gun with them outside of their home all or most of the time.”

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