Gun-related injuries decrease during NRA conventions, study finds

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The Harvard research team analyzed gun-related injuries that occurred between 2007 and 2015 during NRA conventions.

People are injured by firearms every day, but fewer gun-related injuries per capita happen during a certain yearly event: the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Meetings and Exhibits, according to a new study that looked at eight years' worth of data. Two-thirds of American voters support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, and more than 80 percent support a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases. And because such meetings tend to attract gun enthusiasts and business owners who are well trained in gun use and safety, the findings seem to counter the common belief that most unintentional gun injuries result from inexperience and lack of firearms training, the researchers said.

Since then, many brands have announced they are ending special discounts for NRA members.

"I'm not surprised by the findings", said Webster, who was not involved in the study.

"But, the drop in gun injuries during these large meetings, attended by thousands of well-trained gun owners, seems to refute the idea that gun injuries stem exclusively from lack of experience and training in gun use".

The researchers caution that their findings are based on an observational analysis and that the study was not created to tease out cause and effect between injury rates and meeting attendance. For one thing, about 85 percent of people who attend the conference are men, so that helps to explain why men have the greatest drop in firearm injuries during the conference, Jena said. In response, many large national brands have changed their business practices as they relate to the NRA or gun sales in general. They investigated the idea by comparing hospital records for firearm injuries during convention days to the same number of days three weeks before and after the convention. Because of the relative rarity of gun-related homicides, suicides and fatal accidents, the researchers could not measure whether convention dates also coincided with a decline in gun-related deaths.

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This isn't the first big event that Jena has studied that sheds light on human behavior and health.

That comes after its competitor, FedEx - itself fielding criticism from activists for standing by its NRA shipping discount - accused UPS of having a relationship with America's top gun lobby.

It is gun owners whose escalation of armaments has resulted in a militarized society where literally no one is safe from the murderous carnage, not even the police.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 65,000 intentional firearm injuries in the US and almost 16,000 unintentional firearm injuries in 2014, the latest year studied.

But that's simply not the case, according to Dr. Frederick Rivara, of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, in Seattle.