Recent Research on Suicide and Guns

It’s difficult to say exactly when this was first published, but it just hit Health Policy this past month. The conclusion is interesting:

Our empirical analysis suggest that firearms regulations which function to reduce overall gun availability have a significant deterrent effect on male suicide, while regulations that seek to prohibit high risk individuals from owning firearms have a lesser effect.

In other words, keeping “dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people,” as Brady of fond of promoting doesn’t work. The only thing that does? Regulations that make it harder for you and me, who are not dangerous, and will likely never be suicidal, from exercising our rights under the constitution.

14 thoughts on “Recent Research on Suicide and Guns”

  1. “In all models, we control for gun prevalence with the number of hunting licenses per capita”

    So, what if the thick of the state does not hunt? I don’t think there are a lot of hunting permits in South Florida but we do have a lot of CCWs

  2. And what difference does it make which method is used for suicide? It’s just as easy to hang yourself or jump off a bridge as it is to shoot yourself.

  3. In MA we have very few gun suicides. But our suicide rate per capita is higher than the surrounding states. I call BS on this study without even looking at it and I think Miguel picked up on why already.

    In MA very few people hunt because to do so around here is playing with fire. Any transgression of hunting laws (and there are plenty) results in lifetime loss of one’s firearms rights. And there is very few ways one can hunt around here, if hunting is even allowed in the town you are in.

    Assuming hunting permits match firearms ownership is the typical Fudd appeasement that we have come to expect.

  4. “And what difference does it make which method is used for suicide? It’s just as easy to hang yourself or jump off a bridge as it is to shoot yourself.”

    It doesn’t. Overpasses and pills are popular means in these parts.

  5. I like how they start by claiming that the drop in suicides in the US is due to decreased firearms availability? Has firearms ownership ever trended downwards in the US? This seems like a bullshit claim.

  6. Also, how do they account for countries like Russia and Japan that have astronomical suicide rates despite a draconian gun control regulations that have been in place for centuries?

  7. I love how they casually slip into comparing “firearm suicides” without looking at substitution effect.

  8. Terraformer: “In MA we have very few gun suicides. But our suicide rate per capita is higher than the surrounding states.”

    This also holds true globally. Our suicide rate is 11/100,000 while the whole world is 16. We are also lower than almost all the western European countries that gun control normally loves to compare us to. Just goes to show it has never been about our “high rates”.

  9. I can’t download the study. Is it looking at gun suicide rate, or total suicide rate? How do they figure out gun ownership rate?

  10. I find doctor-assisted suicide illegal; however, if suicide is made legal, then why shoud we worry about gun-assisted suicides?

  11. It’s great the way you guys will spin anything that comes along to align with your ideas.

    Just from the little quote Sebastian provided, doesn’t it sound like you have a significant reduction in suicide when you reduce gun availability, period. The next is a sort of afterthought. In high risk groups, who are what, the criminals and druggies and gang members?, you don’t have the same reduction in suicide.

    You know why, those guys are too busy surviving to worry about suicide. Suicide is a luxury problem which poorer people suffer from less.

    So, keep spinnin’ it boys while I try to download and read the report. You know me, I love to spout off on something before even reading it.

  12. mikeb, questioning the premises of a study is not “spinning”. It’s trying to determine the “spin” of the original study.

    In any case, Sebastian is right. The State is NOT obligated to prevent suicides, or even murder. The State’s ONLY obligation is to protect the liberties of individuals. When suicide or murder occur, it is the proper place of the State to clean up the mess, determine who did what, and then prosecute anyone who is guilty of malicious crimes.

    To ban guns from the law-abiding would not commit suicide in an attempt to prevent a handful of “suicide-by-gun” deaths, is an affront to important principles of liberty we hold dear–the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to self defense.

    Of course, considering that criminals, druggies and gang members are “too busy surviving to worry about suicide”, why would they care one whit what the laws on arms are? Even if weapons are completely banned, wouldn’t these people still seek them out? At the very least, if guns aren’t available, won’t they seek out bats, knives, and chains? These types of people live inherently dangerous lifestyles, and that is why they are more focused on survival.

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