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Gun Violence Spreads Like Infectious Disease, says Yale Professor

A new Yale-Harvard study categorizes gun violence as a social contagion and a public health epidemic. If nothing changes, over 33,000 people will die at the end of a gun this year in the United States.

 

 

Close contact to guns through family or acquaintances puts you naturally closer to gun violence. (Photo: Getty Images)

A study published in JAMA claims gun violence spreads like an infectious disease. The research team – Yale Sociology professor Andrew Papachristos and Harvard students Ben Green and Thibault – looked at over 11,000 shootings in Chicago from 2006 – 2014. The researchers concluded that gun use spreads like a virus due to social affiliation with others, with Papachristos telling Gizmodo“You don’t catch a bullet like you catch a cold, [but] the power of this analogy is really thinking about the precision with which it moves through a population.”

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