The Harms from the Supreme Court’s Bruen Decision

MR Ulcrich. NEJM 2022; 387: 1245-1247. Public Carry versus Public Health — The Harms to Come from the Supreme Court’s Decision in Bruen

Some excerpts:

“The majority opinion in Bruen, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, will have a devastating impact on efforts to mitigate gun violence and address racial disparities, but the reasoning used in the decision could cause even more havoc moving forward.”

“Allowing more guns in public does nothing to address the real drivers of criminal behavior, which include social determinants such as poverty, neighborhood violence, poor education, and substandard housing.2 Instead, an increased presence of firearms in public is likely to escalate confrontations, with data suggesting either that people who act aggressively are more likely to arm themselves or that people who are armed are more likely to act aggressively — or perhaps both.1

“No right is absolute, and the government is able — if not obligated — to prevent harm to the broader public even in the exercise of constitutional rights. Such authority holds for the speech and religious practices covered by the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment should be no different. But the Court’s new theory of the Second Amendment compels lower courts to ignore public health research, empirical evidence, the current gun-violence epidemic, and other rights and liberties of the broader public.”

E Tobin-Tyler. NEJM 2022; 387: 1247-1249. A Grim New Reality — Intimate-Partner Violence after Dobbs and Bruen

“Pregnancy is associated with both the initiation of IPV [intimate partner violence] and an increase in IPV severity, making it a particularly dangerous time.3 Homicide is the leading cause of pregnancy-associated death in the United States; pregnant and postpartum women are more than twice as likely to die from homicide as from either hemorrhage or hypertensive disorders.3 …Studies show that abortion access plays an important role in reducing IPV.4 “

“In his dissent in Bruen, Justice Stephen Breyer noted that U.S. women are five times as likely to be killed by an intimate partner if the partner has access to a gun…In expanding the right to carry firearms, the Bruen decision exacerbates safety concerns for people actively trying to escape abusive relationships.”

NEJM Interactive: Gun Violence in the United States (last updated 6/30/22)

2022: 240 Mass Shootings in U.S as of 6/3022
Gun Deaths have been increasing with more than 45,00 in 2020.
Per capita deaths in 2020 -Wyoming and Mississippi have mortality rates

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How the U.S. Compares in Rate of Gun Violence Deaths

A recent political cartoon by Mike Lukovich had a caption/commentary on U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan: “Our times up here. We are being redeployed to a war zone.”

As it turns out, gun violence deaths are higher in the U.S. than in Afghanistan, according to a recent NPR article: Gun Violence Deaths: How The U.S. Compares With The Rest Of The World. In addition, there are more gun deaths in children 4 and younger than police (NY Times: How Do We Stop the Parade of Gun Deaths? April 3, 2021).

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Senseless Gun Homocides

Even “The Onion” sometimes has a serious article: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

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Another Day in the US: School Deaths Related to Firearms

Between 2001-2013, gun related deaths exceeded the total number of deaths from AIDS, terrorism, war, and illegal drug overdoses combined (according to Vox -see Firearm Mortality in U.S).  Here are some tweets in reaction to yesterday’s tragic events.

Link to The Onion commentary: ‘No Way To Prevent This’

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Firearm Mortality -Tragic Inertia

When it comes to gun violence, the U.S. is the leader among developed nations.  It is sad how that despite the magnitude of this problem there are not significant efforts to mitigate this tragedy.

We know from Australia’s experience that changes in gun laws can make a big difference: Link: Gun Law Reforms and Firearm Mortality, Australia 1979-2013

Politico report: The gun lobby: See how much your representative gets

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