American suckers bought millions of guns immediately after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School because they believed the hype that President Obama was going to take their guns away.
That obviously never happened and, according to a new study, the run on guns contributed to dozens of self-inflicted gun deaths.
The study, published Thursday in the journal Science, estimates that the 3 million guns sold in the several months after Sandy Hook caused about 60 more accidental gun deaths than would have occurred otherwise. Children were killed in a third of them — some 20 youngsters, the same number as died at Sandy Hook.
The work by two Wellesley College economists tackles one of the biggest questions in gun research: how to measure the relationship between gun prevalence and gun deaths. [...]
Using the number of background checks as their proxy, they found an increase in gun sales in the four months afterward. They then compared that number to two databases of deaths nationwide, which showed a 27 percent increase in accidental gun deaths for all ages and a 64 percent increase among children during that period.
The year isn't quite over yet, but we know gun sales have plummeted because the gun industry's favorite boogeyman is no longer president. It remains to be seen if there were fewer accidental gun deaths this year and if the lower number of deaths could be attributed to lower sales. It seems reasonable to make that guess.