A statistician who researched gun deaths for the data journalism website FiveThirtyEight on Tuesday said her study shattered her notion that "gun control was the answer."
"By the time we published our project, I didn't believe in many of the interventions I'd heard politicians tout," wrote Leah Libresco in a piece for The Washington Post following the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Over the weekend, a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino into a music festival crowd, killing 58 and injuring at least 515.
"I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don't want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can't endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them," she added.
The FiveThirtyEight piece relied on statistical analysis of the data behind gun crimes, both in the U.S. and abroad, and concluded that mass shootings "are a bad way to understand gun violence."
There is more hope, writes Libresco, in "narrowly tailored interventions."
"Older men, who make up the largest share of gun suicides, need better access to people who could care for them and get them help," she said. "Women endangered by specific men need to be prioritized by police, who can enforce restraining orders prohibiting these men from buying and owning guns. Younger men at risk of violence need to be identified before they take a life or lose theirs and to be connected to mentors who can help them de-escalate conflicts."
Some politicians in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting have demanded action to curb gun violence, including Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New York, Patty Murray of Washington State and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
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