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Firearms per 100 people by country
The USA has 100 firearms per 100 people
Most of the 300 million firearms in the US start out in the hands of a law abiding gun owner. With ongoing daily shootings and recent mass murders galvanizing debate, many are asking themselves more urgently than ever before "How do so many guns find their way into homes and hands where injury and death result?"

Are you familiar with these three ways that guns change hands?

     • Straw purchaser
     • Lost or stolen firearms
     • Private party sales

The USA has 100 firearms per 100 residents, more than any other country in the world. But the burden of firearm injuries and firearm deaths is not spread evenly throughout the country. We look at death tolls simply because they are the easiest objective parameter to measure. It is a binary parameter; either the person died from the gunshot or they survived.

Regional variation deaths due to firearm injury - 2007
With 300 million firearms in circulation and more than 100,000 shootings per year we all need to understand who is NOT PERMITTED to own a firearm under current law.

The purpose of this diary is to provide a factual resource for gun safety advocates* who wish to understand the terms "straw buyer" and "background check" as they are defined under current federal law. The excerpts below list persons who cannot legally buy guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL). Please take a look. You might find yourself as surprised as I was that current law already goes far beyond "felon" and "mentally ill."

See also:
The Geography of Gun Violence by Richard Florida, July 20, 2012
The Geography of Gun Deaths by Richard Florida, January 13, 2011

*A gun safety advocate is defined herein as anyone who seeks to reduce the risk of injury and death by accidental or intentional discharge of firearms.

Shattered Lives

The long term toll of gunshot injury and death is born by those who survive. It's the person who loses a limb or a major life function, such as eyesight or the ability to sleep through the night. It's those who can no longer earn a living. It's the family and friends who care for the injured. It's the children who grow up without a parent. It's the newly single parent who must pick up the pieces and support the whole family on one income. It's those who will be haunted by the violence. It's the community health services. It's the employer(s) who must absorb the sudden loss of a key employee. It's the elder person who relied on the victim for occasional help so they can continue living independently in their own home. It impacts the shooter and their families too; the one who in the heat of the moment thought they had a right to pull the trigger, but who now faces prosecution because their judgment was compromised in some way, or their understanding of the law was incorrect.

It's such an important point that it bears repeating. Accidental and intentional shootings leave shattered lives. A tally of firearm injury and death does not even begin to account for the myriad forward costs born by all those who survive, which includes:

     • Those who witness a shooting
     • Those who survive the deceased
     • Those who survive an accidental or intentional shooting

Guns and Suicide - Suicide rate as a function of the number of adults with a gun in the home -  Each dot is one state - NYTimes
Always remember, correlation is not proof of causation. But correlations can suggest where we need to do more research to identify common factors, and points where we might intervene. We may disagree about the underlying causes that influence suicide rates but we cannot deny that the burden of firearm suicides is not uniform across the country. As shown in the NYTimes plot, in 2010 there was a weak correlation between suicide rates and the number of adults with a gun in the home. The highest suicide rates, in Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming (23 deaths per 100,000 people) are double the suicide rates in Mississippi and North Carolina, and triple the lowest suicide rates in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, (8 deaths per 100,000 people). Clearly there are many other confounding variables.

Let's get back to our original question: "How do so many guns find their way into homes and hands where injury and death result?" We can take a step toward understanding this complex problem by understanding a few basic terms, a background check, a straw buyer, and who is prohibited under current law from buying guns.

Federal Background Check 101:

What is a firearm transfer?

A firearm transfer is when a legal owner transfers possession of a firearm to another party. The gun owner might sell it, trade it, lend it, or give it away. A background check of a potential buyer can help to ensure that when the first legal owner of a firearm sells their firearm, trades their firearm, lends their firearm, or gives away their firearm, they will be transferring the firearm to a person who is legally permitted to own guns.

What is a private party transfer?

Under current law, most states allow firearm transfers between private parties without background checks. The intention behind the exemption was to allow individuals to transfer possession of a firearm from their personal collection to someone they know. In principle, lawful gun owners are trusted to be cautious about selling guns to people they don't know, and to avoid transfers to those who might not be permitted to own firearms.

The exemption for private party sales was not intended to enable unlicensed firearms dealers to buy and sell dozens, hundreds, or thousands of firearms without conducting any background checks. If the seller knows the buyer couldn't pass a background check a sale to that person is illegal for the buyer and the seller. If the seller doesn't know the buyer couldn't pass a background check then the sale is legal for the seller, but is still illegal for the buyer. In practice, many private party sales operate under a don't ask/don't tell policy. Under cover of personal ethics and a policy of "what I don't know won't hurt my bottom line" thousands of firearms are bought and sold at gun shows without background checks. All across the nation. Every weekend. Private party sales at gun shows are known as the "gun show loophole."

What is a straw buyer?

A straw buyer is a person who, knowing they can pass a background check, relies on information about themselves to buy a firearm for someone else. Straw purchases are illegal.

A background check for a potential firearm purchase:
• Screens the potential buyer.
• Form 4473—Firearms Transaction Record (information is supplied by buyer)
• Performed by a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL).
• Relies partly on accurate reporting by both buyer and dealer.
• Relies partly on matching information in the NICS database (National Instant Criminal Background Check System)

Many proposals intending to improve gun safety seek to decrease gun violence by expansion of background checks to private party transfers. Proposals for "Universal Background Checks" or "Comprehensive Background Checks" seek to simply require that firearms transfers be recorded through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) (aka a federally licensed firearms dealer) so that background checks can be conducted on every potential buyer (or new owner), every time a gun is transferred.

Do you know?
• Who is prohibited from purchasing a firearm? (under federal law)
• When is a Federal Firearms Licensee required to conduct a background check before transferring a firearm to someone? (some sales are exempt)
• What information is collected from the buyer? (Form 4473)

The links and excerpts below may help fill in some gaps so we can discuss existing and proposed regulations with other gun safety advocates. We all need to know what to ask for when we demand that our elected leaders allocate adequate funding to improve enforcement of existing law.

Federal Firearms Licensee Quick Reference and Best Practices Guide
(A few excerpts)

The Importance of Compliance with Federal Firearms Laws & Regulations

Ten Violations Having an Impact on Public Safety

1. Failure to Obtain a Form 4473—Firearms Transaction Record When Required.

2. Failure to Obtain a Complete and Correct Form 4473.

3. Failure to Conduct a Background Check When Required.

4. Sale or Transfer of a Firearm to Prohibited Person.

5. Improper Sale to a Non-Resident.

6. Failure to Obtain Appropriate Identification Documents.

7. Failure to Record Complete and Accurate Acquisition and Disposition Information.

8. Failure to Report the Sale of Multiple Handguns.

9. Failure to Report Lost or Stolen Firearms.

10. Providing False Information.

Background Checks

You must conduct a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check or appropriate State background check for each and every sale or other transfer of a firearm to a non-licensee. The NICS or State background check ensures that any person who purchases a firearm from you may lawfully possess firearms. A NICS or State background check MUST be conducted before:

1. The sale or trade of a firearm;

2. The return of a consigned firearm;

3. The redemption of a pawned firearm;

4. The loan or rental of a firearm for use off of your licensed premises; or

5. Any other non-exempt transfer of a firearm.

Failure to conduct a background check has a significant impact on public safety. You could be fined, have your license suspended or revoked, or be prosecuted.

Note: You may only deliver the firearm to the person on whom the NICS or State background check was conducted and NOT a spouse, relative, or other representative of that person.

Exceptions to the Background Check Requirement:

You are NOT required to conduct a NICS or State background check with respect to the following:

1. The sale or transfer of a firearm where the transferee presents a valid State permit/license from the State in which your licensed premises is located AND the State permit or license is recognized by ATF as a qualifying alternative to the background check
requirement;

2. The transfer of a firearm to another FFL (including collectors when transferring a Curio & Relic firearm);

3. The return of a repaired firearm to the person from whom it was received;

Prohibited Transfers

You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing or receiving a  firearm. Do not sell or otherwise transfer a firearm and do not contact NICS if you have reason to believe that a person seeking to obtain a firearm is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm.

Note: If a person answers “No” to Item 11.a or 12 of Form 4473, or answers “Yes” to one or more questions in Items 11.b through 11.l of Form 4473, that person has given you reason to believe he or she is prohibited and the transaction must be stopped.

You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any of the following prohibited persons or in the following circumstances:

1. Straw Purchaser: A “straw purchaser” is a person who is not the “actual buyer” of the firearm; that is, a person who obtains a firearm for another person. Straw purchases are a primary source of firearms used in crime. If you suspect that a transaction is a straw purchase or there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the potential sale—such as one person picking out the firearm, handling the firearm, and providing the payment for the firearm while another person completes the Form 4473—you should not sell the firearm. Similarly, if one person attempts to purchase a firearm, NICS denies or delays the attempted purchase, and another person with him or her attempts to buy the same firearm, you must not complete this sale.

2.  Person Under Indictment: A person “under indictment” includes any person who has been charged by indictment or information in any court with a crime for which he or she may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 1 year.

3.  Person Convicted of a Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for a Term Exceeding 1 Year: This prohibited person category includes any person who has been convicted of a felony or other crime for which the person could have been sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year—EVEN if the court actually placed the person on probation or sentenced the person to a term of imprisonment for 1 year or less.

4.  Fugitive from Justice: A fugitive from justice is a person who has fled from any State to avoid prosecution for a crime (felony or misdemeanor) or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding.

5.  Unlawful Drug User or Drug Addict: This prohibited person category includes any person who unlawfully uses—or is addicted to—marijuana, depressants, stimulants, narcotic drugs, or other controlled substances. Alcohol is NOT considered a controlled substance.

6.  Adjudicated Mental Defective or Person Involuntarily Committed to a Mental Institution: This prohibited person category includes any person who has EVER been adjudicated by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to be, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease, a danger to himself or herself or to others or to lack the mental capacity to contract or to manage his/or her own affairs. This category also includes any person who has been subject to a finding of insanity in a criminal case, including a finding that he or she is incompetent to stand trial. Also included is any person who has EVER been formally committed to a mental institution by a court or other lawful authority. This category does NOT include a person committed to a mental institution solely for observation or a person who was voluntarily admitted to a mental institution.

7.  Person Dishonorably Discharged from the Military: A person is considered dishonorably discharged only if he or she was separated from the Armed Forces of the United States as a result of a dishonorable discharge or a dismissal adjudged by a general court-martial. This prohibition does NOT include persons with a bad conduct discharge or any other less than honorable discharge.

8. Person Subject to a Restraining Order: This prohibited person category includes any person who is currently subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, child of the person, or child of the intimate partner OR engaging in other conduct that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the intimate partner or child. The court order must meet the specific requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) to be prohibiting.

9. Person Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: This prohibited person category includes any person who has EVER been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence regardless of the title of the offense. The offense must meet the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). Note: Unlike other prohibited person categories, law enforcement officers purchasing firearms for official use are NOT exempt from this prohibited person category.

10. Person who has Renounced U.S. Citizenship: A person has renounced his or her United States citizenship if he or she takes formal steps to renounce her/his citizenship before a diplomatic or consular officer or before an officer designated by the Attorney General during a time of war.

11. Aliens Illegally or Unlawfully in the United States: This prohibited person category includes any person who unlawfully entered the United States or who illegally remains in the United States after his or her authorized period of stay has expired.

11a. Nonimmigrant Aliens: A nonimmigrant alien is an alien who is lawfully in the United States on a temporary basis for purposes of travel, business, study, etc. The term does NOT include a permanent resident alien (someone who possesses a “green card.”) A nonimmigrant alien may only purchase or receive a firearm if he or she: (a) was admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or presents a valid hunting license or permit issued by a State; (b) qualifies as a foreign diplomat, official, or law enforcement officer as defined at 18 U.S.C. § 922(y)(2); or (c) has received a waiver of the prohibition from the Attorney General.

12. Sale of a Firearm or Ammunition to a Person Under Age 18: You may not sell or deliver a firearm or ammunition to a person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is less than 18 years old.

13. Sale of a Handgun or Handgun Ammunition to a Person Under Age 21: You may not sell or deliver a firearm other than a rifle or a shotgun—or ammunition other than rifle or shotgun ammunition—to a person who you know or have reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years old. A firearm frame or receiver is not a rifle or shotgun and may not be sold to a person under 21 years old.

14. Sale in Violation of State Law or Published Ordinance: You may not sell or deliver a firearm to any person in any State where the purchase or possession would be in violation of a State law or published ordinance.

We recommend that you refer to the most recent edition of ATF’s State Laws and Published Ordinances–Firearms.
Age Restrictions

As noted above, under Federal law, the minimum age to purchase firearms and ammunition from an FFL is 18. If the firearm is other than a rifle or a shotgun—or ammunition for other than a rifle or a shotgun—the minimum age is 21 [18 U.S.C. 922(b)(1)]. However:

1. You may sell ammunition that is interchangeable between rifles and handguns to a buyer who is at least 18 years of age if you are satisfied that he or she will use the ammunition in a rifle.

2. Regardless of less restrictive State and local age requirements for firearms and ammunition purchases, you must adhere to the above Federal mininum age
provisions.

Transfers Between Licensees

Generally, FFLs may transfer firearms to other FFLs, including interstate transfers, without completing Form 4473 for these transactions. In these instances, the following procedures must be followed:

1. Transactions between licensees must be recorded in the bound book (Acquisition and Disposition or A&D) records of both licensees.

2. The FFL who is buying the firearm must furnish a certified copy of their license to the selling FFL prior to the transfer of any firearm. This certified copy may be emailed or faxed.

Questions for the potential buyer of a firearm on Form 4473-Part I

In addition to their name, address, and other identity information a potential buyer is asked the following Yes/No questions.
11a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: you are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If yo?u are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you. (See instructions for questions 11.a) Exception: if you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a and in the proceed to question 11.b.

11b. Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year? (See instructions for questions 11.b)

11c. have you ever been convicted in any court of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence under probation? (See instructions for questions 11.c)

11d. Are you a fugitive from justice?

11e. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

11f. Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective ( which includes a determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others were incompetent to manage your affairs) OR  have you ever been committed to a mental institution? (See instructions for questions 11.f)

11g. Have you ever been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions?

11h. Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner? (See instructions for questions 11.h)

11i. Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?

11j. Have you ever renounced your United States citizenship? (If no, proceed to question 13.)

11k. Are you an alien illegally in the United States?

11l. Are you an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa? (See instructions for questions 11.l)

12. If you are an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, do you fall within any of the exceptions set forth in the instructions? (See instructions for questions 12)

13. What is your state of residence?

14. What is your country of citizenship?

15. If you are not a citizen of the United States what is your US-issued alien number or admission number

Originally posted to Shut Down the NRA on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

Poll

Amoung your closest friends, family, and colleagues' how easy/difficult is it to talk about firearm safety?

45%11 votes
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4%1 votes
29%7 votes
4%1 votes
0%0 votes
4%1 votes
8%2 votes
4%1 votes
0%0 votes
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| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:09:39 AM PST

  •  Thank you for your diary. Clearly we need to (11+ / 0-)

    educate ourselves and others about how the system works (or doesn't work for that matter).

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:16:41 AM PST

  •  Everybody has their own numbers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noway2, LilithGardener, Kentucky Kid
    the burden of firearm suicides is not uniform across the country. At 23 deaths per 100,000 people the suicide rates in Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming are double the suicide rates in Mississippi and North Carolina, and triple the suicide rates in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York.
    Suicide rates: (all types)
    AK: 16.4/100K suicide......gun murder rate: 2.24
    MT: 22.9..........................."      "        "      3.78
    WY: 23.2..........................."      "        "      2.01

    MS: 13.1..................................................7.46
    NC: 12.3..................................................3.87

    MD: 8.7....................................................4.7
    NJ:  8.2....................................................3.07
    NY: 8.0.....................................................4.12

    Looks like a case could be made that the kind of person attracted to unpopulated areas is more likely to commit suicide but less likely to commit gun crimes

    HI's suicide rate is double what NY's is and it has even more restrictive gun laws.

    if you look at the lowest 10 states in the Guardian article cited above, all with gun murder rates of 1.0 or less, you see that, wth the exception of HI, ALL the other 9 states have much more open gun laws than NY, NJ or CA.

    Take the state I live in, OR. gun murder rate 1.07
    Our gun murder rates are 1/4 of NY's 4.12, 1/3d of CA's 3.25
    You can walk into Walmart here, by any gun in the place and walk out with it,  the ammo too. You can't do that in NY or CA---whats the difference?

    there were 131 murders in Oakland CA(pop395K) in 2012 most of them by guns. There are NO gun stores in Oakland, the nearest one is in El Cerrito. There's a 10 day waiting period in CA

    there was 92 murders in Oregon in 2012, pop 3 million plus with gun stores everywhere.

    So go figure. You can draw any conclusion you want from these numbers

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:11:45 AM PST

    •  Have you looked at Mr. Florida's 2011 article? (4+ / 0-)

      It is a very complex problem with many variables that fluctuate from year to year.

      If you check out the links you'll see how much even the state map changed from 2007 to 2008.

      Mr. Florida maps a number of possible variables that have a range of strong positive to strong negative correlations. Some of the factors tossed around in the media, and in our discussions, don't show strong correlations.

      Mental health
      Unemployment
      Drug use

      These three don't show any correlation. But some other variables do show correlations. You might like it - he explains clearly that correlation does not equal correlation.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:43:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you have a link? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        It sounds interesting and I would like to read that.

        •  It's in the diary about the curly cue (2+ / 0-)

          There are two links and the nationwide maps from 2007 (in the 2011 article) and 2008 (in the 2012 article) show how much even a simple attempt to map can change in a single year.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:11:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  [above] the curly cue nt (2+ / 0-)

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:11:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The 2008 article had an interesting tid bit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener
              a deep "culture of honor" in which residents place an extraordinary value on personal reputation, family, and property. Threats to these things provoke aggressive reactions, leading to higher rates of murder and domestic violence.
              Intuitively, this seems to fit.  Take IL for example, which is dominated by the city of Chicago which I understand is also demographically and culturally different than most of the state.  IL is interesting because overall it scored fairly low in the deaths category, yet Chicago is reputed to be one of the biggest hot spots.  DC stood out as a hot spot also but is a city.  

              If the "honor" part is significant as Mr. Florida says, this very well could explain the urban phenomenon via the gang and ethnic neighborhood connection.

              •  Have you heard of Cease Fire - The Interrupters? (4+ / 0-)

                Chicago - Cease Fire - The Interrupters

                CeaseFire: A Public Health Approach to Reduce Shootings and Killings by Nancy Ritter 2009 - National Institute of Justice
                Editorial mention in the same issue of NIJ: http://www.nij.gov/...

                A documentary film was made about them in 2012
                The interrupters - A film by Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz with Tio Hardiman, Director of Cease Fire Illinois

                Started in 1995 by Dr. Gary Slutkin, an American epidemiologist who maintains that violence is a public health issue that can be prevented by changing behavioral norms.
                2012 Frontline / Criminal Justice / The Interrupters

                https://www.google.com/...

                https://en.wikipedia.org/...

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 10:51:27 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No I hadn't. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LilithGardener, Over the Edge

                  It looks like it in part focuses on ways to resolve community conflicts while allowing the parties to save face.  As one wise mentor of mine once put it, never underestimate the value of face.  

                  From the wiki link:

                  CeaseFire takes a three-pronged approach: detection/interruption of planned violent activity, behavior change of high-risk individuals, and changing community norms
                  Highlight mine.  I've been reading Liars and Outliers which talks about trust and security in society.  One of the key aspects of that book is community norms versus self interests and how we as individuals choose to cooperate (go with the norm) or defect (go against the norm).  Much of it directly relates to incidents such as the Newtown shooting.  

                  Here is a link to the same author's writeup on VT.  The article is interesting in that it describes many of the things we've seen come up in discussions here.

                  I've seen reports state that it is believed part of the problem with Chicago is that the gangs were broken up and in doing so, a lot of the societal pressures to act with the group norm were lost.  

      •  does not equal [causation] Arrgh! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:50:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes I did look at Florida's article (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        Back when it came out.
        I am in entire agreement with the "correlation does not equal causation" line. Probability is not certainty!
        I think that there's variation all over this country for a variety of reasons.
        But I have been in conversations where people were convulsed with "preschadenfreude" over my imminent demise from owning guns. When you factor out the more dangerous variables: No alcohol or alcohol use in my house,never go in bars, no suicidal thought ever, for me and my wife, a good, 12 year long relationship, live in statistticly low state in a statistically low county, some of thr restrictions people want---like background checks at gun shows---already exist in OR..

        I liked Florida's article but I can prove anything I want to stattiscally  and I know others can do the same.

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:17:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear you (0+ / 0-)

          I was taught to shoot straight at the age of 10 and growing up with a rifle was good for my siblings and me. We had toy guns, (rubber band) that we mostly made ourselves (with Dad's help), but we never played with the rifle.

          Don't own currently (I live in NYC) but can imagine some future chapter of my life where I might want different things.

          Yeah, and alcohol, I noticed that was one obvious factor Mr. Florida didn't include in his nice symmetric graph. Wanna' place a bet? I'll bet it's more positively correlated than even John McPain voters. Probably jumps off the page.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 05:26:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I edited what I wrote about the suicide plot (2+ / 0-)

      to make it more clear that I was a) simply describing the max, median, and min, and 2) that although the trend is clearly there, the correlation is weak.

      Thank you for posting some recent numbers and your critical analysis. I don't agree that you can draw any conclusion you want, but DO agree that people are doing exactly that.

      Numbers are compelling. Most readers / viewers don't think through the math the way you just did. It's easy to use selective numbers to "show" a relationship.

      There are clearly many confounding variables.

      Two fairly obvious possible reasons why firearm suicides are lower in New York is that there are other options, lots of tall buildings, and suicide by cop. New York also has a mental health parity law, which means that treatment for mental illness must be covered by the insurance policy the same way any other medical condition is covered by the policy.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:18:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great info. Thanks (7+ / 0-)

    That bright red Alaska is where I lived for 14 years. The public health issue was really frustrating. Obviously a lot of people hunted and would not part with their guns.

    They also would not secure them, even with children old enough to harm themselves and others.

    Then there were just idiots. One case was really sick. A few 18 -20 something guys decided to shoot at a car leaving the divided highway on an exit ramp. They apparently were feeling the other car had done something wrong. They killed at least one of the occupants and I think injured one.

    The road signs budget has to be gone in 6 months. Signs are targets ya know?

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:14:53 AM PST

    •  The casual handling of guns is something that (5+ / 0-)

      I'm fired up about.

      Have you seen one of the options for the AR-15? Custom colors, custom paint designs. One I saw comes in pink. Another had skulls scattered over it. They look like toys.

      According to the NLM children under the aged of 8 can't tell the difference between a toy gun and real one. I think publication education campaigns and allowing doctors to pass out trigger locks will help. The parent in the pediatrician's office might not be the gun owner, and then they can at least make the home a little safer.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:50:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh cool. The age is critical (3+ / 0-)

        Children cannot reliably determine the difference between fantasy or imagination and reality until 7. It varies with kids. This is what is idiotic about the kids 7 or under getting kicked out of school for pretending to throw grenades or making a clay gun.

        Doctors definitely need to be able to do safety education. We need a big public education campaign, simple stats, how critical securing the gun is, not letting others get access to it. Etc.

        Eventually I think buying a gun should include proof of attending a class in gun safety, being registered and completing a class in using the gun you are buying, and proof that you have some way to secure the weapon.

        I keep suggesting that gun shop owners should consider offering the service of storing guns for owners who need to get them out of their house for whatever reason. Major personal issue - divorce, job loss, or someone in the family becoming an issue with depression, anger management, etc. Could be used when the owner is going away on business or pleasure and won't be taking the weapon.

        The shop owners have safes, they probably wouldn't need to up their security, and the modest fee would provide a very limited labor income. The paper that is filled out for the shop and the owner when guns are left for sale on consignment would take minimal alteration to work for storage. Additionally, the owners coming in and out might become customers for accessories too.

        Handling guns comes down to one basic rule my grandfather taught us. Always handle it as though it IS loaded. Don't point it at anyone, don't pull the trigger unless it is pointed somewhere it is OK for a bullet to go. Have the safety on, the trigger lock. Don't pick it up unless you are prepared that it might go off. Children under 18 should never handle guns without an adult present.

        I think two of the deaths last week were when one brother picked up a gun while watching TV, it went off and killed the brother sitting nearby. The horrified shooter realized he had killed his brother and killed himself.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:56:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This ia a great idea (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ginny in CO, Glen The Plumber
          I keep suggesting that gun shop owners should consider offering the service of storing guns for owners who need to get them out of their house for whatever reason. Major personal issue - divorce, job loss, or someone in the family becoming an issue with depression, anger management, etc. Could be used when the owner is going away on business or pleasure and won't be taking the weapon.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:03:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great source of info! (7+ / 0-)

    Thanks for doing this.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:28:12 AM PST

  •  Sorry I wasn't around yesterday (5+ / 0-)

    I see I got some messages about this, but I reserve a little offline time over the weekend for chores and to stop this stuff from driving me bonkers. Seems like a fine piece of work. I'm no expert, anyway. I just know a lot more about gun violence than I used to.

    Also spent a couple hours playing Halo; hasn't resulted in a psychotic break, yet.

    We demanded a plan to reduce gun violence. Now it's time to demand a vote.

    by tytalus on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 06:42:45 AM PST

  •  thank you for gathering this info... (4+ / 0-)

    much food for thought.


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 07:05:26 AM PST

    •  The two links to Mr. Florida's articles (3+ / 0-)

      show how much the maps can change just from one year to the next.

      In the 2011 article he lists many variables that show or weak strong correlations, all the way from strongly positive to strongly negative.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/...

      The big three that people are proposing, mental health, unemployment, drug use, are only very weakly correlated.

      He explains very nicely how correlation is not causation, but gives us suggestions for where to focus research and policy initiatives.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:57:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  edit - show [weak or strong] (2+ / 0-)

        I have to slow down and proof read more carefully. I know what I mean, but if I leave out the "or" how will anyone know?

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:22:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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