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.
- •It was about gun control.
- •About a newly-published study in the South African Medical Journal titled "WHERE HAVE ALL THE GUN DEATHS GONE?"
- •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.
- •This is what happened:
- •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.
- •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.
- •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?
- •The paper has some weaknesses...
- •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.
- •Weakness: emotional languageAgain: 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.
- •Not exactly a weakness but definitely room for more research: what about gun related injuries that did not result in death?
- •Anyway. ZA definitely still has too much homicide. And illegal firearms.
- •My aunt was killed in 2007 by men who had an unlicensed firearm. The FCA doesn't touch illegal firearms.
- •But I do think we have evidence in favour of gun-control.
- •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?
- •I'm not so great at analysing research but I think it's a paper worth reading.
- •Disclaimer: I'm not one of the authors, nor do I know any of the authors. I just subscribe to the journal. 🤓