Guns Now Take More Years Off Americans' Lives Than Car Accidents
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According to a new report, firearm deaths take more years from people's lives in America than car crashes.
The report - recently published in the Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open (TSACO) - analysed the years of potential life lost (YPLL) from firearm deaths, compared to motor vehicle crashes (MVC).
Authors of the study Joshua Klein, Kartik Prabhakaran, Rifat Latifi and Peter Rhee found that not only were firearm deaths increasing in the states, but that they were the leading cause of YPLL.
The study analysed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed that firearm deaths were increasing in the US.
Using this data, researchers then aimed to understand how this figure had increased 'on the basis of sex, race, and geographical location within the USA'.
They found that in 2017 and 2018 the YPLL was higher for firearms than car crashes. In particular, in 2018 the number of YPLL for firearms was 1.42 million years compared to 1.34 million years for MVC.
The study found that suicides were responsible for most deaths by firearms and researchers found that men compromised a majority of firearm deaths.
White males were found to have 'the most YPLL due to suicide, with 4.95 million', while Black males 'had the most YPLL due to homicide with 3.2 million'.
The researchers also found that firearm-related deaths were highest in the south, followed by the west, midwest and northeast.
Ultimately, the study concluded that firearm death is the 'leading cause of YPLL in trauma' and that this number had overtaken the YPLL for car crashes.
'Previous studies have shown that firearm ownership, mass shootings, injuries and death are more of a problem in the USA as compared with other developed countries', the researchers explained following the study.
'The demand for total freedom and the second amendment have resulted in high access to firearms in this country and this is undisputable'.
The researchers went on to add that while the main argument to own guns in the US centers on 'the right to bear arms to prevent injury or to defend against aggressors', the data from this study actually reveals the 'resulting access to firearms has equated to magnitudes of death due to firearm suicides in the same individuals demanding access to firearms'.
A study by non-profit Everytown for Gun Safety found a direct correlation between weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths, which includes homicides, suicides and accidental killings.
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