Two economists from Wellesley College who had never done any research on gun violence were curious about what happened to gun sales in the aftermath of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass murder and also were interested in whether the people who bought those guns knew how to handle them safely.
So they got down to work, knowing that without a single database of gun sales and gun deaths, the going would be tough.
They found, for example, that the search phrase “buy a gun” was entered four times more often than usual as a Google search term during the four months after Sandy Hook.
And that searches for “clean gun” more than doubled.
In all, they found that about three million guns were sold in the four months after Sandy Hook.
They also concluded that based on past statistics on accidental gun deaths, the number of accidental gun deaths rose 27 percent. That translates into about 60 more accidental deaths.
They also found that the rate of accidental gun death victims who were children rose 64 percent – 20 kids – so that children constituted about one-third of the newly dead.
The gun people like to say that we need access to guns to protect ourselves in a dangerous world. Well, they got their wish: we’re now permanently protected from those 20 kids.
Well-done, NRA and followers!