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December 2013

The Weapons Effect

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Communication and Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 2Department of Communication Science, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(12):1094-1095. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3824

On December 14, 2012, after shooting his mother, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. In the wake of the Newtown shootings, there has been considerable discussion about gun violence. What is conspicuously absent from these discussions, however, is the fact that just seeing guns can increase aggression.

Guns not only permit violence, they can stimulate it as well. The finger pulls the trigger, but the trigger may also be pulling the finger.

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