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More Child Gun Injuries in States With Self-Defense Laws
Date:1/31/2013

more likely to be hospitalized for a firearm injury than females, while black youths were four times more likely. Hispanic youth, people living in urban areas and teens over the age of 16 were also at heightened risk.

"Urban neighborhoods with poor income and certain racial groups -- African-American and Hispanics of male gender -- puts you at high risk irrespective of the law," said study lead author Dr. Justin Lee, a resident physician at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, Mass.

On the other hand, the authors found that states with Child-Access Protection (CAP) laws, which basically require gun owners to safely store their weapons, did not see any reduction in accidental injury or suicide. And overall assault injuries were higher with CAP laws.

It's not clear why this would be the case.

Lee suggested that perhaps CAP laws are a surrogate "marker" for a high-risk environment in terms of overall assault injuries.

According to Dr. John Petty, director of pediatric trauma at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the moderator on the panel that presented these findings, "the brushstroke [these authors] are painting may be too broad" to come to any definitive conclusions about the value or lack of value of gun laws.

The authors also relied on retrospective data -- looking back in time -- which can be unreliable.

"The tools they had to answer questions was an administrative database," he added. "[They only looked at children] who were admitted to a hospital. A non-clinical person reported the encounter," Petty said.

"The nice thing is that you can get big amounts of data across the country," Petty continued. "The downside is it's not at a micro level."

Study author Lee said that the picture involves much more than just gun control.

"Restriction laws have a limited impact. Instead of laws we need to tackle high-risk environments," Lee said.

"It's a complex problem. It
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