A NEJM study shows that gun injury rates are 20% lower on NRA convention days:
Jena points out the 20 percent injury drop on convention days corresponds to a seemingly small absolute reduction in the nationwide gun injury rate—one fewer gun injury for every 300,000 Americans. But this difference is not trivial, he says, considering only about 80,000 Americans out of a gun-owning population of tens of millions attend each meeting. In other words, a group only slightly larger than the population of Camden, N.J., appears to nudge gun injury statistics down for a few days every spring. NRA meetings, the researchers contend, may influence gun use even among people who don’t attend. Hunting and shooting ranges around the country may close on convention days so that employees can go, and group outings may be postponed during the confab even if only one group member plans to attend.
The design of this study only identifies associations, not precise cause-and-effect relationships, and so is unable to ascertain that the observed injury drop on convention days came about because NRA members are not using their weapons. But several study details support this explanation. First, injury rates on convention days dropped among men not women, consistent with the 85 percent of NRA meeting attendees who were male in 2017. The authors also found injury decreases were highest within the state hosting the convention, given that gun owners are more likely to attend meetings held close to home.
If the NRA wasn’t blocking more money to study guns we might learn more than we already have, but we seem to be learning enough to tell us that a tiny minority is endangering the rest of us because they can’t fucking handle their guns, no matter what they tell us.