I am not a health scholar, but I cannot help but think about the issue of guns in connection with various health outcomes. In particular I think alot about assessing risk in the decision to carry a gun, notably what I call gun culture’s version of Pascal’s Wager: “It’s better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it.”
I also think about the relative risks of living life in the world. For example, when a UCLA professor was killed by a disgruntled student last year, I thought about whether I should be afraid to go to work. After the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015, I thought about how safe I would be traveling to Washington, DC for a conference presentation the following week.
In the post about Paris and DC, I wrote about how I was more likely to die in a car crash driving to DC than to be a victim of a terrorist attack, more likely to die from the saturated fats I would consume while there, more likely to die from the work-related stress of preparing for my presentation, and more likely to die from the exercise I wouldn’t get because of the conference.
I put this personal perspective in the broader context of risk factors for death in the UK, because that was the best graphic I could find. I asserted the UK data on relative death risks were similar to the United States, but I am happy that I can now share a graphic based on data from the United States, which supports my earlier claim.
North Carolina is rich with gun-related “new media,” including Graphical Representation, which highlights the truth of the old saw that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Check it out for yourself.