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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Study: Gun Ownership, Not Suicidal Behavior, Is Strongest Predictor of Death by Suicide

Posted by on Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 6:31 AM

State by state data has long shown a strong correlation between rates of gun ownership and rates of suicide, but whether there is a causal relationship, well, that has been harder to discern. A variety of factors influence suicide rates, including poverty, population density, and crime. For example, I'd probably kill myself were I forced to live in Wyoming, even if the state didn't rank tops in gun prevalence.

But now a new study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, concludes that, controlling for other factors, the strongest predictor of how likely a person is to die from suicide within a given state, is in fact, whether they have a gun in the home:

[S]uicide attempt rates were not significantly related to gun ownership levels. These findings suggest that firearm ownership rates, independent of underlying rates of suicidal behavior, largely determine variations in suicide mortality across the 50 states. Our results support the hypothesis that firearms in the home impose suicide risk above and beyond the baseline risk and help explain why, year after year, several thousand more Americans die by suicide in states with higher than average household firearm ownership compared with states with lower than average firearm ownership.

The full text of the paper is behind a firewall, but you can hear an interview with Dr. Matthew Miller, its lead author, on this week's edition of Science Friday. Dr. Miller makes the point that rates of suicide mortality are not much related to rates of major depression, rates of substance abuse, or even rates of suicide attempts. Statistically, the impulsive and fleeting nature of suicide—a quarter of all attempts occur within five minutes of the initial impulse, about half within the first 20 minutes—combines with the lethality of guns to overwhelm all other factors.

To be clear, easy access to firearms within the home does not increase one's risk of attempting suicide, the study found. It merely increases one's risk of succeeding. Dramatically. Victims who attempt suicide using pills or cutting are 100 times more likely to survive, says Miller, whereas "you don't get a second chance when you use a gun."

And since less than ten percent of suicide survivors go on to make a second attempt, it is easy access to firearms within the home, at that fleeting moment of impulse, that ends up having the single largest impact on suicide mortality rates.

 

Comments (117) RSS

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delirian 1
Indeed, the claim that a suicidal person will always find a way is complete bullshit. The vast, vast majority of people who are suicidal survive. This is why removing firearms, never leaving a suicidal person alone, and suicide barriers help. It takes a long chain of failures for a suicidal person to die.
Posted by delirian on September 4, 2013 at 6:42 AM · Report this
Posted by Urgutha Forka on September 4, 2013 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 3
Similarly, female doctors have high rates of successful suicides, because they know how to successfully pull it off using pills, while most people don't even seriously hurt themselves.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on September 4, 2013 at 6:50 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 4
Wow, someone who uses a gun to kill himself has a higher likelihood of succeeding. That's shocking news. Who could have guessed that? Yawn.

I hope that "study" wasn't paid for with tax dollars.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on September 4, 2013 at 6:53 AM · Report this
delirian 5
Goldy says:
"For example, I'd probably kill myself were I forced to live in Wyoming, even if the state didn't rank tops in gun prevalence."
Ha ha ha! Suicide can be funny! You are so witty! Please, please, more suicide jokes!
Posted by delirian on September 4, 2013 at 6:57 AM · Report this
6
"you don't get a second chance when you use a gun."

exactly, if you wish to do it, do it right.
Posted by setose on September 4, 2013 at 7:09 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 7
Jackson Hole is a really nice place, even if it is rife with rich republican fucks. You would like living there.

@4: you should try reading until you've understood the point. goldy even bolded it for you. now go polish your arsenal.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 4, 2013 at 7:19 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 8
Max, read @6.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on September 4, 2013 at 7:32 AM · Report this
9
Why are we so troubled by people successfully opting out? Could it be we're jealous that they found a way off the hamster wheel that none of us want to be on?

Life is more meaningful if we acknowledge that it is optional.
Posted by Let 'Em Go on September 4, 2013 at 7:34 AM · Report this
10
It's time for another episode of EVERYONE'S favorite game show
STRANGER TROLLING BINGO!

Today's winning picks are:

Gun nuts!
Thee Olde Seconde Amendmente!
Suicide!
Assault weapons!
Apples and oranges!
You just do not care about X dead Y's!
Tautological tautologies!
Picking cherries!
I don't want to ban all guns but ... !
The NRA!

Beat a straw man for big bonus points!
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 7:35 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 11
Here are the results of the CDC study authorized by Dear leaders febuary executive order.

For a mere 10 million we learned
"
1. Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

3. Mass shootings and accidental firearm deaths account for a small fraction of gun-related deaths, and both are declining:
“The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths. Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” The report also notes, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

4. “Interventions” (i.e, gun control) such as background checks, so-called assault rifle bans and gun-free zones produce “mixed” results:
“Whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue.” The report could not conclude whether “passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.”

5. Gun buyback/turn-in programs are “ineffective” in reducing crime:
“There is empirical evidence that gun turn in programs are ineffective, as noted in the 2005 NRC study Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. For example, in 2009, an estimated 310 million guns were available to civilians in the United States (Krouse, 2012), but gun buy-back programs typically recover less than 1,000 guns (NRC, 2005). On the local level, buy-backs may increase awareness of firearm violence. However, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, guns recovered in the buy-back were not the same guns as those most often used in homicides and suicides (Kuhn et al., 2002).”

6. Stolen guns and retail/gun show purchases account for very little crime:
“More recent prisoner surveys suggest that stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals. … According to a 1997 survey of inmates, approximately 70 percent of the guns used or possess by criminals at the time of their arrest came from family or friends, drug dealers, street purchases, or the underground market.”

7. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are not homicides, but suicides:
“Between the years 2000-2010 firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearms related violence in the United States.”

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_i…
More...
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 7:42 AM · Report this
12
@4, @6, @8, @10 Okay, maybe you believe it's your right to be able to take your own life when you get despondent enough to want to.

What about your teenage son? Would it be okay for him to break into your arsenal and use one of your guns to take his life in a moment of despondency? Or to kill one of his teachers or classmates in a moment of rage? Would that be okay with you?

Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 7:43 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 13
@12

Well would that be the fault of an inanimate object, or a failure on behalf of the parent.

And of course it would not be ok, but does it justify stripping millions of Americans of their civil rights?
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 7:53 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
@8: can't. unregistered comments blocked. it makes life more pleasant.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 4, 2013 at 8:03 AM · Report this
Goldy 15
@13 This either/or argument is just plain stupid. If you're a hunter, you need a gun. If you enjoy target shooting, you need a gun. If you just love collecting guns, the way some people enjoy collecting stamps or Star Wars figurines, then obviously, you need to own guns.

But if you're purchasing a gun for personal safety, well, most people are making a mistake. On average, owning a gun increases the likelihood that you or a loved one will be killed or injured by one. Those are the facts. And 95 percent of my posts on the topic have merely been to inform readers that guns don't make you safer. Not sure why that's perceived as a threat to your civil rights.
Posted by Goldy on September 4, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this
16
@12
"Okay, maybe you believe it's your right to be able to take your own life when you get despondent enough to want to."

Maybe you can get Goldy to start a thread on that subject.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/…
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM · Report this
17
@13 This is a health study. What makes you think it's anything else?

We know that cigarettes are bad for us, but it's still legal to smoke.

We know that alcohol has a heavy toll on society, but it's still legal to drink.

We know that a bad diet will contribute to excessive heart attacks and strokes, but you can still eat whatever the hell you want.

If it's simply that you object to anyone discovering the truth; if you're protesting against people popping your little fantasies about empowerment and self-protection; then you're probably not fit to either be a citizen of this country, or to own a gun.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 8:08 AM · Report this
18
@15
"And 95 percent of my posts on the topic have merely been to inform readers that guns don't make you safer."

You are the one who keeps bringing that up.
Even when the fallacy has been pointed out to you.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
"There is a difference between arguing the blanket statement that guns make us safer and arguing that guns can be used to defend one's self against death, serious bodily harm or tyranny."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 8:12 AM · Report this
Fnarf 19
Guns are a public health problem. It's as simple as that. Only crazy people and Republicans think public health is stupid or communistic or whatever.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on September 4, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
pragmatic 20
Not sure why that's perceived as a threat to your civil rights.


Because they are fucking paranoids?
Posted by pragmatic on September 4, 2013 at 8:15 AM · Report this
21
It seems to me that Goldy has a serious gun fetish.

Even I, as a 'gun enthusiast' don't think and write about guns every day. In fact, I don't spend much time thinking about guns at all, except when perusing the whiny gun posts here on the SLOG...
Posted by CPN on September 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM · Report this
fletc3her 22
If you value your family's well being, don't get a gun. Simple as that.
Posted by fletc3her on September 4, 2013 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 23
@8

Thank you. Gun nuts today are nihilists. Human life has no intrinsic value and so you're happy to stand by and let people kill themselves. You see no meaningful difference whether people live or die.

You care more about letting a blame fool buy a gun and shoot the first random thing he bumbles into than infringing on that blame fool's "rights" by making him pass a gun safety course first. You oppose trigger locks and insurance liability and background checks for all the same reasons. It stopped being about protecting human life 35 years ago, when the NRA changed from a group of responsible citizens into a gun cult.

Now admit it: guns don't make you safer. You know it's true, and you don't care about safety anyway. The dance with death is part of the turn on for you fuckers.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on September 4, 2013 at 8:32 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 24
@21

Yeah, it's a fetish. Same as when a doctor gives a vaccination. Disease fetish. If you point out that driving drunk or texting kills people, then you're a car accident fetishist. But if you buy a gun to protect yourself from crime, then are you a... crime fetishist?

Sometimes it's impossible to parse the crazy from you fuckers. Anyway, guns kill more people than traffic accidents in Washington, and many other states. It's obvious why guns should be a top priority.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on September 4, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 25
"Gun Ownership, Not Suicidal Behavior, Is Strongest Predictor of Death by Suicide"

Just came here to point out that every suicide requires suicidal behavior, making the correlation 100%.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on September 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 26
@5

There's a deep message in Goldie's joke. He is stating that Seattle's society is superior to Wyoming. People with better-than-thou beliefs would have made good Nazi soldiers.
Posted by dnt trust me on September 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM · Report this
dirac 27
Curious, does "predictor" happen to be scientific or medical jargon or was that completely made up here? I can't find the full-text of the citation.

The NRA is definitely a gun cult. Used to be grandpa who would train the kids on how to use guns properly. Now it is indeed a bunch of redneck weekend nihilists--but, to be honest, we have a society of nihilists who don't give a shit about the suffering we inflict on others thousands of miles away or the vitriol we spew at [mostly] *humans* online. "Go shopping" or "I'm pragmatic" are the answers our political system gives those who have genuine concerns. So, I'd look at the disowned dark side of glorifying violence in actions AND words, too, before I thought about guns. It's a sick culture that spawns things like the NRA and George Bush.
Posted by dirac on September 4, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 28
@26

Guys who think they're better than everybody else would not follow orders. Everybody knows good Nazi soldiers are all about just following orders.

You suck at recruiting Nazi soldiers. Not sure why you're on the lookout for them to begin with, but keep your day job.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on September 4, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
29
@23

Nice try. But the point of this post was to deteriorate public support for the 2nd Amendment using a red herring.

The 2nd Amendment nowhere mentioned hunting or any other reason I might choose to bear arms. But it makes the anti rights crowd happy to use the "hey, I'm not against hunting or collecting or whatever, I'm just concerned for your safety" line of irrelevant bs.

Don't like the 2nd Amendment? Change it, or accept it. Those are the two options for rational....

Oh. Never mind. Carry on with the futile hatefest.
Posted by Seattleblues on September 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
delirian 30
@25: You are going to have to work on your reading comprehension. This is a survey on rates. If the suicidal ideation rate in an area is X% and the gun ownership rate is Y%, the suicide rate will be mostly determined by the gun ownership rate. It means that as far as preventing suicide, it is more effective to reduce the proportion of guns than it is to reduce the rate that people feel suicidal.
Posted by delirian on September 4, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this
31
@25 I hope you're a better engineer than you are a logician. The study that Goldy cites is concerned about the success rate of that behavior, not the behavior itself.

Imagine we're discussing the tensile strength of steel alloys, and you say, "All steel alloys that failed contained primarily iron." Well, duh.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 8:58 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 32
@ 29, your entire Slog comment history is a futile hatefest. Another SB Freudian slip.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 33
@15
Did you even bother to peruse the United Stated Center For Disease Control Study I posted, because it refutes your point completely.

Yet you still continue to cite the flawed and refuted Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay study that states that “firearms in the home are 43 times more likely to be used to kill a family member than an intruder. “The study had serious flaws; namely, it skewed the ratio by failing to consider defensive uses of firearms in which the intruder wasn’t killed. It has since been refuted by several studies, including one by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, indicating Americans use guns for self-defense 2.5 million times annually.

Protip:
The Second Amendment was not for hunting, target shooting or collecting. It is enumerated to protect the individual and collective right to armed self defense, as clarified by SCOTUS in DC vs Heller
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 34
@28

'Better' is a good word, but I prefer Superiority. It has that Aryan Brotherhood feel which perceives inferiority among gays, gypsies, jews and wyoming society.
Posted by dnt trust me on September 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
seatackled 35
But where does Seattleblues stand on the rights of uncloseted gays to own and carry guns?
Posted by seatackled on September 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
36
@26, you think so? Because I think people from Wyoming would make much better nazis than people from Seattle.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
37
@29 Why are you such an idiot? Paranoia makes you stupid.

The point of this post, and others like it, is to deteriorate the myth that owning a gun makes you safer. This myth has been heavily marketed by organizations and lobbyists to insecure people anxious to believe it.

Without changing or repealing the Second Amendment, we can make this country a lot safer if we just dispel that myth with actual facts and let people make more rational decisions about their own personal gun ownership. This is empowering people, not disempowering them.

Just because everyone should have the right to own a gun, doesn't mean everyone should own a gun.

By fighting against epidemiological studies and public education, you are not empowering people, you are disempowering them. And making them less safe. Keeping other people ignorant doesn't make you smarter.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 38
@37

The Center for Disease Control disagrees with you.

Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker:

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_i…
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM · Report this
smade 39
The right to bear arms is infringed upon at this very moment and has been for a long, long time. And unless you're cool with private ownership of Patriot missile batteries and tactical nukes, you're cool with the infringement of that right, too. So, now that we're all agreed (excepting the truly psychotic, of course) that some level of infringement is good and necessary, let's have a fucking rational discussion about the correct level of infringement without bringing in the specious argument about the inviolability of the second amendment.
Posted by smade on September 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM · Report this
delirian 40
@38: C'mon. You know that wasn't what BR said. BR said that gun ownership doesn't make you safer. You countered with a small subset of gun owners who are victims of crime, ignoring the general statement. You aren't going to change the world with this discussion, so you might as well argue it honestly.
Posted by delirian on September 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 41
@36

You may be right!
Still, all of us gotta keep eyes on the prize, Superiority!!
Posted by dnt trust me on September 4, 2013 at 9:21 AM · Report this
42
but we're still clear,
Goldy,
that owning a gun,
or even owning a hundred guns,
does not put one,
or one's family members,
at anywhere near the same level of risk of bodily harm
than homosexual sexual activity by men imposes.

Right?

You get that, right?

Homosexual sexual activity by men is several magnitudes of order deadlier than gun ownership.

Right?

So you will post several times a day that
"Male Homosexual Activity is Deadly"

Right?
Posted by twentytwopercent on September 4, 2013 at 9:25 AM · Report this
43
@41, well it's good to be superior to a nazi, but you're setting the bar kind of low there.
Posted by GermanSausage on September 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM · Report this
44
@37
"The point of this post, and others like it, is to deteriorate the myth that owning a gun makes you safer."

What "myth"?
Goldy is the one who keeps claiming that as a straw man he can beat.
Guns are not magical.
Buying one will not make you "safer".
And that has been addressed already.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…

"There is a difference between arguing the blanket statement that guns make us safer and arguing that guns can be used to defend one's self against death, serious bodily harm or tyranny."
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM · Report this
seatackled 45
About that study that Cascadian Bacon keeps under the mattress next to the porn mags, don't trust it:

Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist who is the source of a debunked claim that critics say dramatically exaggerated the frequency of defensive gun use, recently served on a committee tasked by the federal government with creating a potential research agenda focusing on ways to minimize gun violence.
. . .
Right-wing media have pointed to the report's citation of Kleck's research to claim that it proves that "guns actually save lives." In fact, the report's treatment of the criminologist's work is more complex, typically contrasting his results with other studies that show dramatically different results.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/06/28/…

Here's more about Kleck and the problems with his research.
http://vacps.org/public-policy/the-contr…
Posted by seatackled on September 4, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 46
Texas has fewer guns and less suicides than Washington.

It also has fair property taxes.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on September 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 47
@30/31 Who says I even read Goldy's article? The headline was humorous to me. I know he means that previous suicidal behavior isn't as predictive of future suicidal behavior as gun ownership. But that's not what he said.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on September 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 48
@43

It's time for a joke, but I don't think I can get a bigger laugh than Goldie's @5. He's the superior one in this thread, he just has the superior mindset that I don't have.
Posted by dnt trust me on September 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM · Report this
49
@24

Another bullshit statistic. Vehicle fatalities per capita in Washington is 6.8 per 100,000 people. There are 1.4 gun murders per 100,000 people here.

And yes, Goldy does have a gun fetish. He and everyone else at The Stranger don't give a shit how people die unless it's from gunfire, then they piss and moan until they're blue in the face.
Posted by CPN on September 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM · Report this
50
@10. you forgot pit bulls. suicide by pit bulls? or gentrification?
Posted by Cassette tape fan on September 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM · Report this
meanie 51
This is hilarious @15 and everyone else claiming to have facts, homeboy keeps posting the actual CDC STUDY THAT OBAMA CALLED FOR TO STUDY GUNS IN THE US THAT CONTRADICTS YOUR OPINIONS

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_i…

OH LOOK AT ALL THOSE FACTS RIGHT THERE FROM THE STUPID GOVERNMENT

keep posting these half baked opinion rants.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on September 4, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 52
40
It points to a group of people who have been made safer by firearms ownership. Thus it refutes the blanket statement "guns do not make you safer."

In fact the CDC study goes on to state that they make 500,000 to 3,000,000 safer each year.

2. Defensive uses of guns are common:
“Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

No one is saying that a gun in a safe item, the damn things come with warnings stamped on them in a box that says "WARNING" with a manual with "WARNING" written in big red letters on every page.

If the things were not dangerous, they would not work as a defensive weapon.

@45
I am referring to the CDC study that was requested by the Obama Administration.
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_i…
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 53

Death by Transit

In the UK, jumping under a train accounts for around 3.5% of all suicides. In the US it is almost insignificant, although in some other European countries that have well developed rail networks and tough gun control laws, it is more popular. Germany has 7% of suicides take place on their railways1.


http://lostallhope.com/suicide-methods/j…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on September 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM · Report this
snoopy 54
this totally rings true. If I owned a gun there's a good chance I'd be dead. Whenever my thoughts turn to suicide, I always fantasize about buying a gun. It's immediate, it's quick, it's sure fire.
Posted by snoopy on September 4, 2013 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 55

Suicide by transit. It's growing!

Look at this commuters tear jerking response:

Suicide-by-train happens on a regular basis (at least monthly) on my train-line, and it always happens on my commute home. It pisses me and my fellow commuters off something shocking.

[...]

You fuck everyone over who just want to get home after a long day at work.

You fuck with the PT train system who had to call in emergency buses (and our lovely busdriver who had to ask the passengers for directions to all the stations...bless her soul!!)

You fuck with the cops, the ambos, the SES and all the other poor schleppers who had to scrape your bits off the tracks. And you seriously fuck with the hearts and souls of the drivers. Damn you.


http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/show…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on September 4, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
seatackled 56
I am referring to the CDC study that was requested by the Obama Administration.

Yes, that's the same study with the debunked researcher working on it that you keep citing.
Posted by seatackled on September 4, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
57
@51 Not sure which report you're reading, but I just clicked on the link you posted, and page 1, paragraph 1 lays it out pretty clearly. Gun violence is a plague in this country. "Fatal and non-fatal firearm violence poses a serious threat to the safety and welfare of the American public." The report goes on to raise a number of future research questions, including studying the effects of the dissemination of gun-safety features, violence in entertainment, etc.

So, given that, which minor hair are you trying to split, just so I can have some idea of your "argument?"
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 58
@56
Well 6 months ago everyone was crying that the CDC was not allowed to do a public health study of firearms.

Now the same people are crying because the CDC study was done and failed to back up their misconceptions or support their "feelings".
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
blip 59
@29, Your contempt for the 1st amendment is showing. Again.
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM · Report this
60
Thanks for highlighting this study. Here are some tips for writing about suicide from people who study it. They'd prefer that we not use words like succeeding for obvious reasons.
http://reportingonsuicide.org/
Posted by chris in dk on September 4, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 61
@57
Oh you made it to page 1, very good only 122 pages to go.

The study shows that firearms violence is related to multiple factors, including the economic status, substance abuse, and the education of the user. The mere presence of a firearm is not in and of itself an indication of gun violence.

There is a reason this study is being buried by the regimes media lapdogs.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 10:18 AM · Report this
Goldy 62
@47 No, that's not at all what I meant. Read the article. In fact, read the headline. It clearly states that suicidal behavior is not as predictive of suicide mortality as gun ownership. You are conflating suicides with suicide attempts.
Posted by Goldy on September 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 63
@58: The "study" you link to is not a study. It is the recommendations of "a committee of experts to develop a potential research agenda focusing on the public health aspects of firearm-related violence."It is basically an in-depth review of current literature and studies to determine where and how the CDC can best invest to "improve knowledge of the causes of firearm violence, the interventions that might prevent it, and strategies to minimize its public health burden."

This "study", such as it is, did not include any original research. The CDC has not studied gun violence in this "study". It has simply identified, based on existing research, where it wants to focus its efforts when it does study gun violence.

That being the case, this "study" shouldn't be cited as proof or support of any position on gun control - it isn't a primary source. It also can't be cited to show that the CDC has reached any conclusions. All it tells us about CDC is what they want to study in the future in their own research, which hasn't taken place yet.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on September 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 64
@52:

500,000 to 3,000,000 defensive uses PER YEAR?

on average, that's 1400 to 8200 defensive uses PER DAY.

i find this hard to believe. are we counting things like shooting your neighbor's cat?
Posted by Max Solomon on September 4, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
65
@61 You evidently never read the study. Footnotes start on page 71. The section on video games starts on page 63. The sections before that lay out criteria and procedures for future studies.

It's basically a study on how to do a comprehensive study, with an overview (and lament) about the types and quality of data available to study and the impediments imposed to that study. There are no major conclusions about gun violence itself drawn after that first paragraph. Or, at least looking in the table of contents, I can't see where they would have hid them.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
66
@64 The defensive use of a firearm doesn't necessarily involve shooting anything. If you show a bad guy a gun and he backs off that's a defensive use of a firearm.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on September 4, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
67
@62
"It clearly states that suicidal behavior is not as predictive of suicide mortality as gun ownership."

From previous discussions, there are approximately a million suicide attempts in America every year.
There are about 100 million households with guns in America.
There are about 40,000 "successful" suicides per year.

So, that is 0.4 suicides per 1,000 gun-owning households.
But 4 suicides per 1,000 people attempting suicide.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 68
@62

I think you are flashing your Superiority Card here. In the past two years, considering the 50+ posts on Guns, and the 1000s of the same old arguments from commenters, I have NEVER detected any CONFLATION. These women and gentlemen are the Most sound, rational writers in the country. They make Wyoming debaters look like suicide cases. Ha Ha SUICIDE!
Posted by dnt trust me on September 4, 2013 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 69
@62 Every suicide includes a suicide attempt.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on September 4, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
seatackled 70
@69

Every suicide attempt does not result in a suicide. Moreover, every instance of "suicidal behavior" does not necessarily lead to a suicide attempt. Even the headline doesn't imply what you typed.
Posted by seatackled on September 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 71
@53 Maybe that's what's behind the trend in Asian countries to have glass walls between trains and platforms, with doors that open along with the train doors (like SeaTac's internal train system). They make the stations much quieter and cleaner as well.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on September 4, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 72
@70 I think I regret my flippant statement by now, but I'll defend it further. Yes - the 100% thing is wrong (100% of suicides were caused by suicidal behavior, but less than 100% of suicidal behavior causes suicides). But unless you're saying that gun ownership has a stronger correlation with suicides than suicidal behavior even including successful suicidal behavior, I don't get your point.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on September 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
73
@72 Now you're just being a dumbass.

The report clearly states that:

1) gun ownership rate in a locality is clearly proportional to suicide rate (said rate being defined by success) in that locality.

2) suicidal tendencies alone (as measured by attempts) is less proportional to suicide rate (as measured by success) than is (1).

Do you need a fucking PowerPoint presentation on this?
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
74
@72
"But unless you're saying that gun ownership has a stronger correlation with suicides than suicidal behavior even including successful suicidal behavior, I don't get your point."

That is what Goldy claimed.
But the statistics show something else.

There are 4 suicides per 1,000 people attempting suicide.
There are 0.4 suicides per 1,000 gun-owning households.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
seatackled 75
@72

My point was just that you inadvertently or deliberately misread the headline, that's all. It mentioned gun ownership and suicidal behavior and made a claim about the rates of suicide these two factors lead to; you worked from the opposite direction and took suicide as your starting point.
Posted by seatackled on September 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
76
Correlation is not causation. Correlation can not ever tell you that doing x causes y. You cannot say that owning a gun causes an increased suicide risk based on this data.
Posted by mage on September 4, 2013 at 11:21 AM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 77
@11:
1. Armed defendants are less likely to be injured by an attacker, but armed attackers are far more likely to injure defendants.
2. That claim is immediately followed by the caveat that many other studies predict much lower levels of defensive gun use, on the order of 100,000 to 150,000 events per year, and that Kleck's higher numbers were based on very small sample sizes.
3. Mass shootings and accidental deaths may be minor parts of the problem, but what about the vast numbers of deaths from intentional shootings of a small number of people?
4. The lack of decisive evidence with regard to the efficacy of gun-control legislation is the product of the pro-gun movement, as Republicans in Congress have long restricted the use of federal funds from any research that could be used to support gun control, effectively banning gun research from being adequately funded.
5. The ineffectiveness of buyback programs does not counterindicate the use of gun control legislation.
6. Guns acquired via street purchases or the underground market originate somewhere. Unless the guns were stolen from the manufacturer, every gun was at some point sold legally. There are numerous known cases of street-level illegal gun dealers patronizing gun shows in order to supply their clients, including a recent and much-publicized case involving a college student in Chicago, his distributor on the streets, and a gun show just across the border in Indiana.
7. Reducing the availability of guns to persons with a track record of mental illness and/or violence will cause gun suicide rates, as well as homicide rates, to fall.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on September 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM · Report this
blip 78
@72, This is not about gun ownership vs. suicide attempts, but gun ownership AND suicide attempt vs no gun ownership and suicide attenpt. I.e., Someone who has a gun in the home and attempts suicide is more likely to die from suicide than someone who does not have a gun in the home and attempts suicide.
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 11:29 AM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 79
Hey Cascadian - just curious, but what public health measures do you think are reasonable to reduce gun violence and accidents? How about some sort of gun-safety test/classes before the purchase of a firearm, similar to a driver's ed? Car and guns are tools - as a society, isn't it in our self-interest that people demonstrate the capability to operate them safely?
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on September 4, 2013 at 11:33 AM · Report this
blip 80
@76, You are correct. That is not what this data, nor this post, is saying. It does say that owning a gun is associated with an increased probability of dying by suicide when it is attempted.
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
venomlash 81
@74: rate ≠ correlation
Posted by venomlash on September 4, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 82
@79
I support mandatory gun safety education at the grade school level. Even if one has no plans on ever owning or firing a gun they should still know the basic principles of safety, IE Coopers 4 rules and how to unload a weapon.

I would also support an education requirement added to the WA CPL, similar to the mandatory hunters safety education required for a hunting license, as well as training in the legal aspects of armed self-defense.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
83
@81
Yet when the rate is 10x higher for A than B it takes a lot of "statistics" work to get that down to even 1 to 1.
Which is why the study is restricted to incidents where suicide is attempted rather than including situations where there is a gun in the household (or not).

And that is where Goldy incorrectly quoted the study.
There is NOT a correlation between a gun in the household and an increased suicide rate (over suicide attempts).
There IS a correlation between a suicidal person AND a gun and an increased suicide rate (over suicide attempts).
But phrasing it like that would result in a collective "well duh!".

Which is why Goldy incorrectly quoted the study.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Skye Blu 84
so gun nuts kill themselves at greater rates than normal people... sounds like a self-correcting problem to me.
Posted by Skye Blu on September 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 85
@66: uh, yeah... thanks, ken. i kinda knew that was "defensive use".

what i'm doubting is that americans flash their guns at a bad guy 8000 times a day, or even 1000.

so i'm asking if their including shooting something that aren't a threat, i.e. the neighbor's cat, or a rabid squirrel, a drunk kid looking for a party at the wrong address, etc., as a "defensive use".
Posted by Max Solomon on September 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Goldy 86
@80 Actually, this study goes further. It finds that owning a gun is associated with an increased probability of suicide mortality independent of the probability of suicide attempts.

@72 I don't believe you don't actually get my point. But for the sake of those reading along, let me explain it with a hypothetical example: There are two people living in the same state, Person-A, who does not keep a gun in his home, and Person-B, who does. Person-A has a history of major depression and substance abuse, two predictors of suicidal tendencies. Person-B has no history of mental illness or substance abuse, and has shown no obvious signs of suicidal behavior. Person-A may be statistically more likely to attempt suicide, but Person-B is statistically more likely to actually commit suicide. Thus gun ownership is a stronger predictor of suicide mortality than suicidal behavior.

The reason is because most non-firearm suicide attempts fail, yet on those occasions when the suicidal impulse strikes without prior warning, easy access to a gun enables the victim to act on the impulse quickly and effectively, thus vastly overwhelming all other predictive factors.

It's not that suicidal behavior isn't a predictor of suicide mortality. It's just that gun ownership is a much stronger predictor.
Posted by Goldy on September 4, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
mkyorai 87
@84. Not really. They also kill the rest of us at greater rates than normal people.
Posted by mkyorai on September 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 88
they're.
Posted by Max Solomon on September 4, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 89

@85
1000, or even 8000 is a small number in comparison to 180,000,000 armed citizens.

Though I do agree that the numbers do seem a bit high, at the very least, as the study says, guns are used defensively as much as they are used offensively.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 90
My step-grandfather did this.

Something no grandchild should ever have to discover.

Or at least that's what my brother thinks.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on September 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Goldy 91
@83 Wrong. Click on the link to Science Friday and listen to Dr. Miller explain his study in his own words.
Posted by Goldy on September 4, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
92
@76, @78, @80, @83 I'm going to assume that you folk honestly don't understand statistics or the study and that you're not just willfully throwing smoke in the air.

So, pay attention.

The study looks at two different things. Separately.

1) The number of successful suicides per attempts in different areas (e.g. states).

2) The number of successful suicides per gun ownership in those same areas.

It then looks for the degree of correlation between those statistics across different areas. This has nothing to do with rates of suicide alone, or with rates of attempts. Nor does it look directly at rates of suicide by method.

By looking between areas, they could see how predictive the varying rates of attempts, or the rates of gun ownership, separately, were in predicting the rate of successful suicide. The math showed there was a closer correlation of gun ownership than there was with suicide attempts.

Yes, it's a "sneaky" statistical way to show that independently, gun ownership alone is predictive of suicide rate, but so what? It's the truth.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
93
@86
"Person-A may be statistically more likely to attempt suicide, but Person-B is statistically more likely to actually commit suicide."

Yet the nationwide stats don't seem to match that.
From previous discussions, there are approximately a million suicide attempts in America every year.
There are about 100 million households with guns in America.
There are about 40,000 "successful" suicides per year.

So, that is 0.4 suicides per 1,000 gun-owning households.
But 4 suicides per 1,000 people attempting suicide.

That's a 10x difference so someone is working some "statistics" somewhere.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
blip 94
@93, If you actually believe a back-of-the-envelope calculation at a 4th-grade math level somehow disproves a rigorously peer-reviewed multi-variate statistical analysis, you are flattering yourself. I am going to be generous and assume you are pretending to miss the point to derail the discussion.
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
95
@94
If you could show where my math was wrong then you would have.
Therefore, you cannot.

The point is that in order to get the numbers claimed someone has to be creative in their definitions of "gun" or "suicidal behavior".
And if you start digging you'll find that "suicidal behavior" (suicide attempts) is NOT what is being measured.
Instead, things like "substance abuse" are included.
If you smoke pot on the weekend, you may be included in those statistics.

So someone who smokes pot on the weekend (more than 1 million people) is more likely to attempt suicide and fail than someone who does not smoke weed but does own a gun who is more likely to succeed in a suicide attempt (but will attempt suicide a lot less often).
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
blip 96
@94, The problem is that your math is not applicable. It does not even come close to addressing the question here. I realize that statistics, particularly multi-variate models, are difficult for a lot of people to understand, but you should have the humility to recognize when you are out of your depth.
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM · Report this
blip 97
(@95, obv)
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 1:04 PM · Report this
98
OK- as someone who has worked on this, read the article, listened to the Science Friday Podcast, and has some understanding of stats- here is what was actually said:
-Suicidal ideation and rates of attempts are pretty flat across the board.
-Suicide 'success' rates triple if there is a firearm in the home,
-Teen suicide rates go up 4x if the firearm in the home is kept loaded and unlocked
-Suicide is primarily an older white male problem. About 2 people kill themselves with firearms for every person who is otherwise killed with a gun.
-Suicide rates are highest in what some scientists call the 'Loser Belt'- essentially the inter-mountain west -high rates of unattached white men with weak economic prospects and social ties.
-Suicide is generally an impulsive act, often less than 5 minutes between the time of the idea and taking action. That is why firearms are such a potent risk factor.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on September 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM · Report this
99
All right Mr. Goldstein. For the hell of it, I'll assume you first care about gun deaths by suicide more than the traffic or substance abuse or industrial accident caused deaths you never blather on about. I'll assume you want something done to prevent your person B from the suicide their mental and physical health showed no signs of prior to picking up that .38.

What's your fix? You must have an idea since gun deaths, while statistically a small problem, clearly loom large in your mental landscape. Share your wisdom with us mere mortals, would ya?
Posted by Seattleblues on September 4, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 100
@49

I didn't say "gun murders". I said "guns kill more people than traffic accidents". Gun murders, plus gun suicides, plus accidental gun deaths. You've gone down this road of denial before, and here we are again. The whole point of this thread is gun suicides and you're deliberately being dense about it.

It's the same nihilism as 5280 cheering on suicides. You don't count suicide because you think anybody who tries to kill themselves ought to succeed. You don't value life for its own sake.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn http://youtu.be/zu-akdyxpUc on September 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
101
@93 You can't even divide by 1000, and you expect anyone to believe you? Plus, your grasp of simple English is clearly deficient. What part of the following sentence escapes your understanding?

States with higher levels of gun ownership have higher rates of suicide.

And of this one?

These higher rates of suicide have closer correlation to the rates of gun ownership in the population than they do to the rates of suicide attempts.

Obviously, if the rate of suicide attempts were the same everywhere -- that is, if it were a common factor that we could zero out on both sides of the equation -- then gun ownership alone would determine the death rate from suicide, as it's the singular most effective method. But, the rate of suicide attempts is not the same everywhere, so it made for an interesting statistical exercise to compare the two. As for the import of the results, one of two interesting conclusions might be drawn: a) easy availability of guns didn't promote suicidal tendencies or raise the level of suicide attempts; or b) easy availability of guns actually reduces the number of attempts because fewer people need to try more than once.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Report this
102
@96
"The problem is that your math is not applicable."

Households with a gun have a suicide rate of 0.4 per 1,000 households.
People who exhibit suicidal behavior (attempting suicide) have a suicide rate of 4 per 1,000.

Now, in order to get those numbers to where guns are more indicative of suicide than suicidal behavior someone has to be creative with the definitions of "guns" or "suicidal behavior".

And once you start digging you will see that that is exactly the case.
"Suicidal behavior" is NOT what is being used but rather "substance abuse".
Because more people exhibit "substance abuse" than exhibit "suicidal behavior".

But that is NOT what Goldy claimed the study was about.
"New Study: Gun Ownership, Not Suicidal Behavior, Is Strongest Predictor of Death by Suicide"
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Report this
blip 103
@102, If you read past the headline you would see that, according to a new study, gun ownership is a stronger predictor of death when suicide is attempted than all other predictors included in the model.

With that, I recognize I am way out of my depth here, so I am no longer going to attempt to help you understand something that has been explained repeatedly.
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 1:37 PM · Report this
104
@103
"than all other predictors included in the model."

And what was included in the model?
Substance abuse.

And what was excluded from the model?
Suicide attempts.

Why?
Because otherwise you end up with the situation where households with a gun have a suicide rate of 0.4 per 1,000 households.
But people who exhibit suicidal behavior (attempting suicide) have a suicide rate of 4 per 1,000.
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 105
f.u. doesn't even understand how bingo works, 'nuff said.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on September 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
blip 106
@104, Suicide attempts are the outcome in the model, i.e what the predictors are predicting, in this case, successful suicide when it is attempted (a binary outcome, either Y or N), as in

predictor1 + predictor2 + .... predictorN = probability of death by suicide when suicide is attempted
Posted by blip on September 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
107
@106
"Suicide attempts are the outcome in the model,"

What was Goldy's headline?
"New Study: Gun Ownership, Not Suicidal Behavior, Is Strongest Predictor of Death by Suicide"
So Goldy's headline was NOT correct.
Well, not unless you redefined "suicidal behavior" to include things like "smokes pot on the weekends".

"predictor1 + predictor2 "

Again, that shows that Goldy's headline was inaccurate.
This is NOT about "suicidal behavior" as Goldy claimed it was.
Unless you redefine "suicidal behavior" to include "smokes pot on the weekend".
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on September 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
Goldy 108
@99 I believe I have answered this question before. My solution is a decades long public health campaign intended to change Americans' attitudes toward gun ownership along the lines of what we've done with smoking, seat belts, and drunk driving. The goal should be to dissuade people from buying guns they don't need (and that in fact make them and others less safe), and to persuade people who do choose to own guns to store them locked and unloaded.

This is a public health issue, and would most effectively be approached as such.
Posted by Goldy on September 4, 2013 at 5:21 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 109
@108
Bullshit *Cough* Bullshit
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 4, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this
110
@100

So what's your solution? So far, this thread is pretty much the standard ad nauseaum pablum that Goldy drones on about every day.

For the gun whiners around here, somehow a gun suicide is worse than throwing yourself in front of a train.

The way I see it, dead is dead, but the way you see it is that if somehow someone offs themselves with a gun, it's a preventable tragedy. In your utopian fantasyland, if only guns didn't exist, then the suicide rate would tumble overnight, when the reality is that there are a hell if a lot if countries in this world with higher suicide rates and unbelievably restrictive gun laws.

Trouble is, that doesn't fly with your dogma or narrative, yet you claim I'm the one being dense here.

The reality is most left-wing zealots on the SLOG simply don't like guns because they are scary and icky, which results in passive-agressive bullshit platitudes like, 'guns don't make you safer.'

That's not a solution.
Posted by CPN on September 4, 2013 at 6:59 PM · Report this
111
Any way you cut the numbers, anyhow you want to look at it the ugly truth is this: guns don't kill bad guys breaking into your home, they kill gun owners, their kids and their spouses.

Many people are not sure that is a bad thing...lets face it, most of you are fucking mouth breathers, you don't need to continue cluttering the world, and your shitty kids weren't going to add anything to the mix either. So by all means, please keep arming yourselves, leaving them out, loaded and such.

The proportion of homes with firearms is at a historic low, as is violent crime. Not sure why everyone is suddenly so concerned about personal safety.
Posted by Chris Jury http://www.thebismarck.net on September 4, 2013 at 7:55 PM · Report this
112
People it should be obvious by now that facts are slippery things when you coat them with cascadian bacon grease then try handling them while in a fairly unbalanced state.

I really don't understand why the pro-gun crowd feel so threatened by this study, sure its interesting statistically but hardly surprising.

Besides the question to ask about studies like this is not, omg how does this threaten me? It should be something more like, can this information aid in mapping suicide clusters?

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on September 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM · Report this
Boring Dad is Boring 113
@111: Shout it from the rooftops, brother! A healthy population of arrogant, dissembling fucks such as yourself ("most of you" are like that) are the single best guarantor of gun rights in the known universe.

It can be hard to get people motivated to vote and act, but holy shit, you (and Barry, and Nancy, and Crazy Uncle Joe, and Mikey Bloomberg) basically just do the job for free. You fucktards have put more guns in circulation, and more gun-rights-friendly politicians in office, than any lobbying or interest group could in a hundred years.

Please donate to the latest gun-owner-harassment project (http://wagunresponsibility.org) and let's get that sumbitch on the ballot ASAP, and then see who turns up to vote.
Posted by Boring Dad is Boring on September 4, 2013 at 9:42 PM · Report this
seatackled 114
@112

That's their thing: they feel threatened by everything. They are a superstitious cowardly lot, and anything will strike terror into their hearts.
Posted by seatackled on September 5, 2013 at 12:11 AM · Report this
Keister Button 115
Hilarious how only one of 114 comments references one of the four researchers responsible for the titular assertion, and that is from the SLOG poster himself. I have a preconceived notion that people disputing this assertion aren't interested reading what they can of primary and secondary documents to refute or find fault with the methodologies of analyzing survey data, but prefer tangential points and endless bickering.
Posted by Keister Button on September 5, 2013 at 2:47 AM · Report this
Keister Button 116
I see in one page attempting, with map overlay diagrams, to correlate the top states in gun ownership with top states of suicide by gun, that Oregon is in the latter top ten but not the former. Would that have anything to do with Oregon being the first state to legalize euthanasia, in 1994?

I also see Utah in the latter category: would that have anything to do with a related HSPH abstract claiming people who drink 2-4 cups of coffee are less likely to commit suicide? Not a lot of coffee drinkers in Utah... or maybe the noncoastal "western" states have higher suicide rates because of: isolation from community, no oceans to go listen to or visit to calm the feverishly distraught mind, low population, lack of interest in funding mental health care...
Posted by Keister Button on September 5, 2013 at 3:12 AM · Report this
Fistique 117
I like smokers better than gunners cause when you say to a smoker "you know you're gonna kill yourself with those things" they put on their sunglasses and go like "YEAAAAAAAAAAAAH" all CSI Miami but when you say the same thing to gunmen they go "um no I am a invincible Batman look at all these NUMBERS", so fuck those guys
Posted by Fistique on September 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM · Report this

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