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View Diary: Some Truth About Switzerland and Guns (121 comments)

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  •  The majority of Swiss gun deaths are suicides (5+ / 0-)

    3.84 total firearm deaths per 100,000

    3.15 firearm suicides per 100,000
    0.52 firearm homicides per 100,000
    0.10 unintentional firearm deaths per 100,000
    0.07 undetermined firearm deaths per 100,000


    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:34:23 PM PST

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    •  Yes, and so what? (3+ / 0-)

      Are you saying suicides don't really count as death-by-gun?

      I followed your link and the only two European countries that have a higher rate of gun deaths are Serbia and Montenegro.

      If you subtract out suicides and unintentional gun deaths and undetermined and just look at homicides, there are four European countries with a higher rate of homicide by gun -- Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, and Greece. (Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia were former parts of Yugoslavia, involved in a bloody civil war in the 1990s, so I suspect a lot of people still have guns there.)

      “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

      by Dbug on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:57:19 PM PST

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      •  I was responding to a gun crime post (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andalusi, JesseCW

        Suicide is not a crime. Of course they count as a firearm death; I included all firearm deaths in my numbers.

        "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

        by Texas Lefty on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:13:16 PM PST

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      •  Well, it can be argued that suicides by gun (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, Texas Lefty

        might have happened anyway even without the gun being present. Someone suffering from such depression would also be apt to use a rope or O.D., etc, if guns weren't around-- so you can't say that those deaths can be solely attributable to guns.

        The flipside is that methods such as poison, cutting wrists, hanging, etc take time so there is opportunity for someone to intervene and save the would-be suicide... but again, if they go on to kill themselves by other means then again the arguments become moot.

        Face it, with suicide, there are other, deeper problems that have taken root long before we start arguing over the means. Debating the means is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

        •  But even if you exclude suicides (0+ / 0-)

          The number of homicides by gun in Switzerland is higher than in most other European countries. A lot of Swiss citizens have guns and the murder-by-gun rate is higher than most other European countries. And the suicide rate by gun is higher than in most other European countries. People have guns there. So they have a higher murder rate and a higher suicide rate.

          Let me guess, you're going to tell me that gun control doesn't work because Switzerland makes people register their guns and the country keeps track of ammunition, right? So you will say, I'm guessing, that because they have some gun control, that means gun control doesn't work.

          Are you saying that it's good that lots of Swiss citizens have guns? Or are you saying it's bad that Switzerland has lot of laws controlling the ownership of guns and ammunition?

          "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

          by Dbug on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:12:08 PM PST

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          •  They do not have a higher murder rate or a (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catesby, notrouble, MGross

            higher suicide rate.

            People have guns there. So they have a higher murder rate and a higher suicide rate.
            Their murder rate is very, very low and their suicide rate is below average for Western Europe.

            You're leaping to the conclusion that having far more firearm homicides per capita than France or Great Britain means they have more homicides.

            It's doesn't.  They don't.

            Murder rates


            0.7 for Switzerland, 1.2 for the UK.

            Suicide rates


            11.1 Switzerland, 11.8 UK.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:56:39 AM PST

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          •  You know, telling me what I think about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Texas Lefty, noway2

            gun control is about as smart as me telling you what you think about guns and gun owners. Sure, I might believe I have a good guess on your point of view given your tone, but I'm containing my opinion until I know more.

            Actually, rudely assumptive person, my angle is that training makes a huge difference-- training and familiarity. A person should know what they're doing not only with the mechanics of the weapon, but also the legalities of its use. A registry is something that I wouldn't mind overall, except it is important to remember that a registry does nothing  to prevent crime, it just makes it easier for authorities to track criminal use of a weapon post facto; and also it would be hard to sell the notion of a national registry in the US because of associations with arbitrary confiscations in the past (state and city registries in the past, implemented "only for crime tracking", ended up being used for blanket confiscations even against non-criminal gun owners). So there's a trust gap.

            My opinions about firearms and associated laws are far, far more nuanced than your attempt to corral me into some category that is easily summed up and dismissed by an arrogant presumption. By all means you can look through comments here or in other gun diaries I have commented in, or even the gun diaries I myself have posted. Unless it is just easier for you to shorthand people into irrelevance for the sin of having another take on an issue than you.

        •  You could argue that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dbug, elfling

          But it would be wrong. Suicide is very (difficult to say "most") often an impulsive, desperate act. The failure of an initial suicide attempt is a tremendously important opportunity for intervention.

          In the US, suicide attempt by firearm is about 80% successful, while attempts by poisoning or cutting are only about 3% successful (other more rare methods fall in between). It is therefore clear that the method of attempt is a critical factor in reducing the rate of successful suicide.

          Suicide prevention is one of the primary benefits of strong gun control/firearms bans

          Miller, M; Azrael, D; Barber, C (2012 Apr). "Suicide mortality in the United States: the importance of attending to method in understanding population-level disparities in the burden of suicide.". Annual review of public health 33: 393–408. PMID 22224886.

          •  And no matter how many times you copy paste (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Texas Lefty

            the same argument, there is no link between international rates of firearm ownership and international rates of suicide.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:57:57 AM PST

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            •  And yet (0+ / 0-)

              There is a link between suicide attempts with firearms and successful suicide attempts, which was my point.

              Reduced access to firearms means reduced success rate in suicides, nationally and internationally.

          •  If you look carefully, you'll see (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Texas Lefty

            that I recognized that a gun is more likely to succeed, whereas other means are less likely to succeed. I admit that, of suicide means, firearms are pretty certain ways to end oneself.

            But I'm also saying that a suicide intervention can be meaningless if the person goes on to try it again... and again...

            In any case, the fact that a person is contemplating, and trying to carry out, suicide is the problem we should be rooting out. Because I know that no one here is trying to argue that only suicide with guns is "bad", but suicide by rope, car exhaust, pills, etc are "okay" and tolerable by society. 'Cause that would be crazy talk.

            •  The point is (0+ / 0-)

              Most people do not "go on to try it again... and again". Most people who make a suicide attempt try once. If that once is with a gun, there is much less chance to intervene.

              The way we "root out" the problem that a person is contemplating suicide is by identifying and intervening with the person at risk. Most often the identification only comes with a suicidal gesture. There is no denying the fact that if that gesture is made with a gun, intervention is vastly less likely to be possible than if that initial gesture is made with a toxin, cutting, car exhauset, etc.

              (As a physician I know I'd rather treat an overdose than a GSW.)

              Your argument is fine as far as it goes but it posits some kind of omniscience on the part of family, friends, and mental health professionals that simply doesn't exist.

              •  Suicide is a problem we have kept (0+ / 0-)

                hidden, or just beneath the surface, for some time. Only recently, with the rash of veteran's suicides, has it (finally) been getting any traction. My Army Reserve group is constantly saying the same things you are pointing out: ask, monitor, ask again... intervene when necessary. But even now we're just learning how to do these things, and only recently has it become sorta-kinda-partially OK to talk about all this out loud.

                Which is another reason why I'm not afraid of, and quietly looking forward to the results of, Obama's lifting of the stoppage on federal research at CDC into firearm deaths as a health issue-- because the stats are something like 2/3's or so of gun deaths are suicides. If the CDC investigates gun deaths, then they will de facto be investigating suicide, and it's about damn time.

                I'm not against gun control as long as it is smart, rational, respectfully implemented and relevant. But I also say that logic has to take into account millions of safe, law-abiding, non-criminal firearms owners, and logic also means that we have to look at gun deaths not in a bubble of ideology based on liking guns or not liking them, but we also need to look at root causes like gun deaths as a result of crime, and what is causing the crime? Gun deaths as a result of suicide, and what is causing the suicide?

        •  There is no "might". When Australia massively (0+ / 0-)

          restricted firearms ownership, suicides went up for the next three years. (I am not for a moment suggesting the restrictions caused this).

          When they created and funded a national program to reduce suicide, it started going back down.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:49:15 AM PST

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