April 8, 2016 – Controlling Guns


Anchor lead: Can three simple strategies reduce gun deaths?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Ninety percent of the deaths due to handgun violence in the US could be averted with three simple strategies, a recent study in the Lancet asserts, including background checks, monitoring of ammunition sales and registry of firearms.  Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says while these are good ideas, this study doesn’t prove their efficacy.

Klag: They seem very reasonable strategies to me, obviously there’s been a lot of concern for people who were gun owners and the NRA especially.  I think by analogy we do background checks for many things that are much less risky than owning a gun so I personally think that they make sense, but I can’t say from this article it provides evidence that we should do it. I think we should do it but you can’t say that from this article.   :23

Klag says this study only takes a single snapshot of legislation and gun deaths and what’s needed is a prospective approach over time, assessing the impact of new efforts in reducing gun deaths.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.