Study links post-Sandy Hook gun sales to rise in accidental shooting deaths
By Christen Smith
Critics say a study purporting a link between gun sales and increased accidental gunshot deaths after Sandy Hook is “junk science.” (Photo: Getty Images)
A study published last week in the journal Science links a surge in gun sales post-Sandy Hook to a rise in accidental shooting deaths.
Economists Phillip Levine and Robin McKnight analyzed a five-month growth spurt in “gun exposure” following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting and congressional grandstanding about tightened gun restrictions, discovering a purported link many critics deem “junk science.”
“The talking point is going to be: If you have X more exposure to guns, you have Y more accidents,” said David Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute and an adjunct constitutional law professor at Denver University Sturm College of Law, during an interview with Science last week. “And that is true, at most, in this unusual period that is the focus of the study. But it is certainly not true in general.”
Indeed, Levine and McKnight noted a 27 percent increase in accidental shooting deaths overall between December 2012 and April 2013, according to data mined from the Centers for Disease Control. The rate among children spiked 64 percent, according to the study.
The authors tallied federal background check