Skip to main content

View Diary: White House task force reviewing gun violence options pushes to meet end of month deadline (235 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Don't lose sight of the fact... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fuzzyguy

    ...that about 61% of the firearm related deaths in the United States are self inflicted suicides and that only 52% of the suicides are committed via firearms in the United States.

    It's obviously open to debate how many of the suicides would occur w/o ready civilian access to firearms (much the situation in Japan), however it's unrealistic to believe that many of those will not occur via another method, either at that time or in the future. (Something, IMHO, should be completely legal and should be something that others can help you with once your intent is clear and it's not coerced -- but that's another issue).

    Note that 48% of the people reported having firearms on their property in 2012. The actual number may be higher due to unwillingness to report ownership of a firearm to a stranger calling on the phone (such as because ownership is restricted in some areas and/or people are not sure what the details of the laws are). It's intriguing that the percent of people who report having firearms in their home coincides closely with the percentage of suicide via firearms -- and, conversely, that the 53% that report there is no firearm on their property coincides closely with the percentage of suicides performed by means other than firearms.

    Note that Japan, with virtually no civilian access to guns (at least compared to the United States) has a suicide rate among the highest in the industrialized world (23.8 per 100,000 in 2011) and almost twice that of the United States (12.0 per 100,000 in 2009).

    Therefore, clearly suicide is a distinct problem (if one views it a such) which does not require firearms and, seems, not to be highly correlated to firearm access yet it accounts for the majority of firearms deaths in the United States.

    IMHO, lumping intentional self inflicted deaths via firearms, as is often done, with non-self inflicted deaths is disingenuous.

    •  Interesting...I see this often (0+ / 0-)
      It's obviously open to debate how many of the suicides would occur w/o ready civilian access to firearms (much the situation in Japan), however it's unrealistic to believe that many of those will not occur via another method, either at that time or in the future.
      This belief in the inevitability of suicide has been studied, and the data doesn't seem to back up this claim. Instead, it seems to show that more guns lead to more suicide.
      Our finding that the magnitude of association between household firearm ownership and suicide is particularly high for children is consistent with previous empirical work,10,19,23,53 and with the hypothesis that suicide acts by youth are more likely to be impulsive and therefore more likely to be affected by the means at hand.54,55
      I've also seen cases made by the military, trying to cut down on soldiers committing suicide -- they also seem to understand that the impulse to commit suicide paired with the particular effectiveness of guns results in more suicides. Unfortunately, gun enthusiasts like the NRA work to stop them from restricting the availability of guns.
      Consistent with our findings, a recent systematic review of all suicide prevention studies published between 1966 and 200559 concluded that restricting access to lethal means is one of only two suicide prevention strategies shown to prevent suicide. This conclusion, however, is at odds with the view held by many Americans—that restricting access to highly lethal means is unlikely to save many lives.60
      While looking for something like this, I also found a volume of citations involving a net installed on the Golden Gate Bridge to deter suicide. The conventional wisdom suggests they shouldn't have bothered, I suppose.
      Key points

          Consistent with previous cross sectional case control and ecologic studies, this time series analysis finds a significant relation between household firearm ownership and rates of suicide overall and by firearms.
          Changes in household firearm ownership over time are associated with significant changes in rates of suicide for men, women, and children.
          These findings suggest that reducing availability to firearms in the home may save lives, especially among youth.

      There is nothing so ridiculous that some philosopher has not said it. -- Cicero

      by tytalus on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:45:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site