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Does Gun Accessibility Lead to Violence Related Injury?

Monday, October 22, 2012
Versailles Ballroom (Hilton Riverside)
Leslie Zun, MD, Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL and LaVonne Downey, PhD, Health Affairs, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL


Purpose: The purpose of the study is to compare the self reporting gun accessibility and attitudes towards violence for 10-24 year old ED patients who came to the ED with a violence related injury to those who did not have a violence related injury.

Methods: This study was a convenience sample in an inner city level one trauma center.  A 28-item questionnaire consisting validated surveys of a short gun questionnaire, NYC Youth Violence Survey, and the SAGE Baseline survey which was given to 100 victims of violence and 101 patients seen for non-violent relate problems.  The study was IRB approved.

 Results: Those with violence related injuries did not have a higher rate of gun accessibility.  They did show a difference in their attitudes towards guns.  The subjects who came into the ED with violence injuries felt that having a weapon is a way to avoid a fight (F=4.68, p=.032). They were more likely to have grabbed, or shoved someone in the last 6 months (F=5.18, p=.025), punched someone in the last 6 months (F=11.9, p=.011), and have been seen in the ED within the last six months for a injury related to being punched, attacked or shot (F= 117 p= .00), as compared to those with non violence related injuries.

Conclusions: There was no difference between the two groups in terms of their being victims of violence and the rate of gun accessibility.  There was a difference in relationship to their attitudes towards guns.