MY MOST POPULAR TWEET TO DATE

I do not have a popular twitter account. The most RTs I've had for a tweet before was like... Two.
  1. It was about gun control.
  2. About a newly-published study in the South African Medical Journal titled "WHERE HAVE ALL THE GUN DEATHS GONE?"
  3. In 2000, South Africa (ZA) introduced the Firearms Control Act in an effort to reduce gun-related deaths.
    It provides for restrictions on types of firearms, and background checks on potential owners. It also allowed for amnesty if people handed in illegal firearms.
  4. This is what happened:
  5. Deaths from any kind of gunshots, regardless of intent, decreased by more than 60%.
    It's interesting because just a few days prior to reading this article, I was talking to my colleagues about how few gunshot injuries we saw. Stabbings? Loads. But very few gunshot injuries, really.
  6. The study points out an important matter about red tape and the classification of deaths by different bodies; and how that affects the results of similar studies.
  7. They suggest that the increase in 2012-13 was due to a forced fast-tracking of firearm license applications in that time.
    So I guess maybe some of the background checks fell by the wayside?
  8. The paper has some weaknesses...
  9. Weakness: one of the authors is on the board for Gun Free South Africa.
    He doesn't receive compensation but I think it makes his ideology clear.
  10. Weakness: emotional language
    Again: nobody has to guess which "side" the authors are on. They are emphatic, and their dislike for so-called "gun denialists" is palpable. I believe in gun control, but I like my academic papers to be academic.
  11. Not exactly a weakness but definitely room for more research: what about gun related injuries that did not result in death?
  12. Anyway. ZA definitely still has too much homicide. And illegal firearms.
  13. My aunt was killed in 2007 by men who had an unlicensed firearm. The FCA doesn't touch illegal firearms.
  14. But I do think we have evidence in favour of gun-control.
  15. I don't see what's so difficult about it really. Have gun control. If you prove with numbers and things that it really doesn't work after a few years, I guess you can always reverse it?
  16. I'm not so great at analysing research but I think it's a paper worth reading.
  17. Disclaimer: I'm not one of the authors, nor do I know any of the authors. I just subscribe to the journal. 🤓