From Michigan Today:
They’re young. They’ve been injured in an assault—so badly they went to the emergency room. And nearly one in four of them has a gun, probably an illegal one. What happens next?
A new study by the University of Michigan Injury Center provides data that could be important to breaking the cycle of gun violence, which kills more teens and young adults today than anything except auto accidents.
In the new issue of the journal Pediatrics, the team from the U-M Injury Center reports data from interviews with 689 teens and young adults who came to an emergency department in Flint, Mich., for treatment of injuries from an assault. Their study is titled “Firearm Possession Among Adolescents Presenting to an Urban Emergency Department for Assault.”
In all, 23 percent of the patients reported they owned or carried a gun in the last six months—and more than 80 percent of those guns were obtained illegally. Of those with guns, 22 percent said it was a highly lethal automatic or semiautomatic weapon. The study excluded guns used for recreational hunting and target practice.
Those with guns also were more likely than those without guns at their disposal to have been in a serious fight in recent months, to use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs, and to express approval for retaliation after an injury.