By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — Citing fears over violence and chaos, greater than 100,000 Californians have purchased weapons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a brand new examine estimates.

Researchers stated the findings add to proof that the U.S. pandemic has sparked firearm “panic-buying.” Early on, federal figures confirmed a spike in background checks, whereas some on-line firearm retailers reported hovering gross sales, in response to Giffords, a gun violence prevention group.

The brand new examine went past numbers, asking gun consumers about their motivations, stated lead researcher Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, an assistant professor with the College of California, Davis, Violence Prevention Analysis Program.

And it discovered that concern of violence and societal breakdown was the primary driver.

The findings come from an ongoing California survey on firearm possession and publicity to violence. Amongst 2,870 adults statewide, about 2.5% stated they’d purchased a firearm as a result of pandemic.

That, in response to Kravitz-Wirtz, translated to an estimated 110,000 gun purchases for the entire state. And it included 47,000 by first-time consumers.

Most consumers pointed to fears over “lawlessness” (76%), jail releases (56%), the federal government “going too far” (49%), or the federal government “collapsing” (38%).

The rise in firearm entry is regarding, Kravitz-Wirtz stated, as a result of “intensive analysis” exhibits that having a gun within the house will increase the dangers of accidents, suicide and murder — notably the place a girl is the sufferer.

These dangers may very well be additional heightened now, at a time of widespread nervousness, unemployment and social isolation, in response to Kravitz-Wirtz.

For psychological well being specialists, the large concern is suicide, stated Debbie Plotnick, vp of state and federal advocacy for the nonprofit Psychological Well being America.

Two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, she stated. And entry to a firearm tremendously raises the chances {that a} suicide try will finish in loss of life.

With the pandemic taking a widespread psychological well being toll, specialists concern it’s going to all end in a rise in suicides, Plotnick stated.

Since January, she famous, the Psychological Well being America web site has seen a surge in visitors to its free screening instruments for circumstances like nervousness and depression. And lots of guests are younger individuals below age 24.


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