A new study published in the journal Pediatrics looks at the correlation between tighter gun laws and the rate of child deaths. They found that essentially, the stricter the laws, the lower the overall risk is to children.
For context, firearms are the second leading cause of death for children in America, just behind auto accidents and ahead of cancer.
The research found that in states with strict gun laws, the number of pediatric deaths was 4% lower than in states with looser laws. And, even more compelling, was a comparison of states that had universal background checks.
In states that had the universal background checks in place for at least five years, the risk of pediatric deaths was 35% lower than states that didn’t have the checks.
The study’s lead author, the director of research in emergency medicine at Children’s National in Washington, Monika Goyal, explained to Bloomberg, “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I have personally cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence. Although there has been a recent uptick in firearm-injury prevention research, our country has not embraced this issue as it has other public health crises. An evidence-based and data-driven approach is the only way to combat this public health epidemic.”