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gun control, gun safety, gun laws

Pardini GT9.

Everyone in America wants the country to be a place where they’re safe from violence. But there’s a big difference in how people think we should achieve that goal. Some Americans think that tougher gun laws make it more difficult for people to commit heinous acts of violence. While others believe that people are safer when they have easy access to firearms to protect themselves.

A new study released by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has found a very strong connection between a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths.

The analysis concludes that states with strong gun safety policies have lower rates of fatal shootings while states with weaker gun laws have higher rates of gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental killings. Everytown for Gun Safety makes a pretty clear point by ranking states from strongest gun laws to weakest.


California has the strongest gun laws and some of the lowest rates of gun deaths per 100,000 residents, at 8.5. The national average is 13.6. Conversely, Mississippi has the weakest gun laws and the highest rate of gun deaths per 100,000 residents, 28.6.

Mississippi

via Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund

“States with strong gun safety policies, such as background checks on all gun sales and extreme risk laws, have lower rates of gun violence while states with weaker gun laws, such as permitless gun carry and Stand Your Ground, have higher rates of gun violence,” Nick Suplina, senior vice president of law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, told Upworthy.

Here are the top eight states when it comes to the strength of gun laws.

Top 8 states with strong gun laws

via Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund

The 8 states with the weakest gun laws

via Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund

You can see the entire list of all 50 states at the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund’s website.

"Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings shows what we have been saying for years: gun laws save lives. There is a clear and direct tie between a state's gun laws and its rate of gun deaths,” Suplina told Upworthy.

The evidence for strong gun safety laws appears to be overwhelming based on Everytown’s graph. But as any statistician will tell you, correlation doesn’t imply causation. In other words, just because states with tougher gun laws are safer doesn’t necessarily mean that strong gun laws are the sole reason that gun violence is lower.

The rankings also get a bit blurrier when one takes into account the fact that guns can move from state to state. Therefore, strong gun laws in one state can be affected by weaker laws in a neighboring state.

There is a whole host of factors that can influence the rate of gun violence in a given state, including socioeconomics, access to mental healthcare, education, social mobility and its citizens’ trust in institutions.

However, states with weaker gun laws make it easier to access firearms, and studies show that access to a firearm triples the likelihood of suicide, and a gun in the home is associated with more gun homicide.

The debate over guns has been one of the most heated fights in America’s culture wars and it won’t be solved anytime soon. But we all want what’s best for the country and to come to some effective agreement on how to do so we have to start with the facts. Everytown for Gun Safety has made a very compelling argument for stronger gun control laws across the country; it’ll be interesting to see if its opponents can muster any counterarguments that come close.










Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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