School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

District of Columbia v Heller: A Time Series Analysis on the Impact of Legislation on Gun Violence in Washington, D.C.

Poster Number

302

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

Guns, Aggravated Assault, Gun Violence, D.C, Heller

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

The purpose of this analysis was to investigate whether the 2008 landmark court case District of Columbia v Heller had an impact on gun violence. The case ruled in favor of Heller, and stated that Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and requirement that lawfully-owned rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock", violated the Second Amendment. Our preliminary analysis involved comparing the prevalence of firearm related encounters in D.C from 2002-2008 and 2008-2015. Our initial investigation used the CDC WONDER database, which provided the number of firearm related encounters that resulted in mortality. We were able to stratify by intent of firearm use, gender, year, and level of urbanization. However, the data excluded firearm related encounters that did not result in mortality. Given the incomplete data from the CDC, we used the FBI UCR database to track the number of aggravated assaults involving firearms instead. Using a time series analysis, we compared the aggravated assaults involving firearms in the District of Columbia with the aggravated assaults found in the state of Pennsylvania as a way to account for confounding variables. However, due to the rapidly changing political, economic and social environment in the District of Columbia from 2002-2015, we were unable to capture the true impact of the District of Columbia v Heller case on gun violence.

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Creative Commons License
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District of Columbia v Heller: A Time Series Analysis on the Impact of Legislation on Gun Violence in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of this analysis was to investigate whether the 2008 landmark court case District of Columbia v Heller had an impact on gun violence. The case ruled in favor of Heller, and stated that Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and requirement that lawfully-owned rifles and shotguns be kept "unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock", violated the Second Amendment. Our preliminary analysis involved comparing the prevalence of firearm related encounters in D.C from 2002-2008 and 2008-2015. Our initial investigation used the CDC WONDER database, which provided the number of firearm related encounters that resulted in mortality. We were able to stratify by intent of firearm use, gender, year, and level of urbanization. However, the data excluded firearm related encounters that did not result in mortality. Given the incomplete data from the CDC, we used the FBI UCR database to track the number of aggravated assaults involving firearms instead. Using a time series analysis, we compared the aggravated assaults involving firearms in the District of Columbia with the aggravated assaults found in the state of Pennsylvania as a way to account for confounding variables. However, due to the rapidly changing political, economic and social environment in the District of Columbia from 2002-2015, we were unable to capture the true impact of the District of Columbia v Heller case on gun violence.