Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The gun control dividend

A few months ago, I suggested that you didn't need to look much further than the disparity between US and European life expectancy to work out that the much-vaunted "choice" and "excellence" of the US health system simply doesn't deliver what is claimed of it. But there is also another all-too-familiar factor at play in the relatively low US life expectancy figures -

"The US remains far behind most other affluent countries in terms of life expectancy. One of the possible causes of this life expectancy gap is the widespread availability of firearms and the resulting high number of US firearm fatalities: 10,801 homicides in 2000. The European Union experienced 1,260 homicides, Japan only 22. Using multiple decrement techniques, we show that firearm violence shortens the life of an average American by 104 days (151 days for white males, 362 days for black males)."

So it seems we can reasonably conclude that male life expectancy in this country is boosted by several months as a result of our saner gun laws.

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