Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rate of Gun Death and Gun Ownership

via Eunoia who said, "'Nuff said."


  1. You don't love Amerika do you Mickey??

  2. These "gun deaths" are mostly suicides, no?

    Can you think of any other reason why Massachusetts' "gun death" rate would be lower than that of Alaska? Are there any other differences at all between these two states, other than how restrictive the gun laws are?

  3. WRT suicide, the point gunloons ignore is that having a gun makes suicide more likely.

    Gunloons would like to pretend that *all* folks who are suicidal will find a way to commit suicide, so guns aren't a factor. But that ignores a lot of realities. To be sure, there are people who will commit suicide no matter what. But there are many more for whom suicidal thoughts are fleeting or temporary. If these folks have a gun readily at hand--they're dead. OTOH, if they don't, their odds of living increase dramatically. There are literally tons of studies backing this up.

  4. @Jadegold, sure, because we know that guns whisper to people in the night, "you're worthlesssssss... you deserve to diiiiiiiiieeeee... You should kiiiiiiilllllll yourselllllllllfffff. Uuuuuuuuse meeeeeeeeeee....."

    Guns make suicide more likely, what a crock of crap.

    Counterpoint: Japan, with a much higher murder rate, yet very few are with firearms.

    I do see your point, and believe you may be somewhat correct. There are SOME suicides that gun control of some kind could prevent. However, such a difference is negligible. Say, what is your solution, and have you considered how many lives your solution will cost for the relative few you save?


  5. O: The facts are what they are.

    The reality is that there are as many different levels of mental illness as there are people. Some people are so mentally ill they'll commit suicide no matter what--even if they have to chew through their own wrists. Many others--particularly adolescents--make experience impulsive suicidal thoughts.

    Again the science is there for you to read. But, of course, science is biased, right?

  6. Jade,
    Establishing that guns cause suicide is extremely difficult.

    To establish causation, the researcher has to be able to control for the variable of interest, and IRBs aren't too keen these days on having guns placed in random homes.

    It doesn't cut it to look retrospectively at suicide cases and compare their gun ownership with control cases. There's that pesky endogeneity issue that people like Kellerman and Hemenway love to ignore.

    Saying that the risk of suicide is higher conditional on owning a gun (therefore guns cause suicide) is like saying that the risk of death is higher conditional on having gone to hospital recently (therefore hospitals cause death).

  7. "Again the science is there for you to read. But, of course, science is biased, right?"

    If it comes from a researcher like Hemenway, who is funded by the VPC, then yes, it is biased.

  8. You mean to tell me that guns can’t kill when they are not present? This is a shocking revelation.

    Unfortunately it is figures like this that lead gun owners to believe that you are after everyone’s guns. It seems you would prefer the whole nation to have 10% or less firearm ownership like Hawaii. You can’t get that by going after the bad guys.

    Regarding Jade’s facts, let’s look at a Jadegold approved gun deaths chart:

    These are YOUR facts Jade, and they show that the United States has the same suicide rate as the rest of the countries in this group despite the fact that we have far and away more guns. The facts are what they are.

  9. MA gunner - on what basis do you think these gun death rates are mostly suicides? I do not see anything that suggests that in these statistics.

    Right off the top, though, relating to your comment about the restrictiveness of gun laws, I see a correlastion to compliance with the NCIS data base for gun checks.

    Look at the states and the stats here, and then look at the table of NCIS compliance for people with dangerous mental illness by state here (scroll down to it):

    That would suggest that the results correlate and are not accidental.

  10. If I might point out.....what I take to be your own state of Massachusetts is 5th down on that table, with a big goose egg of zero; just above my home state of Minnesota....which also has a big goose egg of zero names reported to the NCIS.

  11. The other thing I noticed was that this is from 2007 figures (if you read the small print at the bottom of the figures). The Virginia Tech massacre of that year was what led to the improved/increased reporting to the NCIS - by some, but not all states.

    So, if you look at the table that I linked on Penigma be sure to look at the 2007 column, pre-Virginia tech, not the higher figures in the subsequent years, for a more accurate apples to apples comparison.

  12. Magunner: Problem for you is that it comes from multiple sources including Hemenway, Harvard, the CDC, Utah School of Medicine, NBER, Canada, NIH, Univ. of IL, etc.

    Why is science biased against guns?

  13. Then why do women very rarely use a gun for suicide even when it's available? There are lots of reasons buried I'n the stats. None of them pretty

  14. "Why is science biased against guns?"

    Because when the Joyce Foundation gives you a grant to study the role of guns and suicide, and you publish a negative result, they stop funding you.

    Go ahead and look up the studies, Jade. Google Scholar. It's all there for you.

  15. I showed related data in my blog post last month, graphed out:

    You pro-gun commenters here really like to downplay the suicides, as if they are irrelevant to the statistics. Whether suicide, homicide, or accidents, the prevelance of guns contributes to all of these, and thus all are valid for consideration.

    Keeping a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide by a factor of 3 to 5 and increases the risk of suicide with a firearm by a factor of 17.

    More than 90 percent of suicide attempts with a gun are fatal. In comparison, only 3 percent of attempts with drugs or cutting are fatal.

    Wiebe, Douglas, "Homicide and Suicide Risks Associated with Firearms in the Home: A National Case-Control Study," Annals of Internal Medicine 41 (2003):771-782

    Kellermann, Arthur L. et al., “Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership,” New England Journal of Medicine, 327(7) (1992): 467-472

    Miller, Matthew, David Hemenway, Deborah Azrael, "Firearms and Suicide in the Northeast," Journal of Trauma 57 (2004):626-632.

  16. "Why is science biased against guns?"

    Science is chiefly funded, regulated, sometimes prohibited, controlled, and heavily influenced directly and indirectly by the federal government and it's academic and corporate subsidiaries. Armed citizens are a well known threat to government power - they compete for the use of the general police powers meaning there is less need for government laws, manpower, and budgets. In addition armed citizens are usually law abiding, again limiting the need for the government be large and powerful and well funded. They also tend to be less easily frightened, meaning they will be less likely to forfeit their liberties and more likely to oppose the government usurping power.

    That is why "science" is biased against guns - since "scientists" serve their master the government, they use their "scientific" resources for their master's gain and our loss. It's the same system that produces "science" that says it makes sense to give large numbers of children huge quantities of speed every day for years on end.

  17. Baldr,
    All three of those researchers are big-time Joyce Foundation grantees. Look it up for yourself though. Don't take my word for it.

  18. @Jadegold, Science is unbiased, but the researchers often aren't. Sure, the facts and figures and scientific research are there to read, but I would like the BIGGER picture showing ALL the facts, not just the ones you and the other anti-gun advocates like to "cherry pick" to suit your agenda.

    And again, what do you propose to save lives, and have you considered the lives your ideas will cost?


  19. Jadegold said, "having a gun makes suicide more likely."

    MAgunner responded, "Jade, Establishing that guns cause suicide is extremely difficult."

    Isn't anyone else bothered by that kind of pro-gun bullshit? I pointed out Big Wayne doing the same thing at the CPAC last week. This is blatant dishonesty, misrepresenting what your opponent says and responding to that as if your opponent really said it.

  20. Orygunner brought up Japan in the suicide argument, obedient pro-gunner that he is.

    It doesn't compute for the simple reason that in the Japanese culture and history, suicide has has played an important and honorable role while in the United States it's always been regarded as something negative, anywhere on the spectrum between temporary insanity and mortal sin which'll land your soul in hell.

    In other words a better example of comparing apples and oranges is difficult to come by.

  21. @Mikeb, Thank you, you just confirmed the point I was trying to make: There are OTHER factors more prevalent to suicide rates than the existence of firearms.

    There is also considerable evidence that there are other factors far more influential to rates of other firearm-related violent crime than the prevalence of firearms, too.


  22. Our suicide rate is 11/100,000. The global suicide rate is 16. We have more guns then the rest of the world. There isn’t a whole lot more to say on the subject.

  23. TS, There's one more thing to say. Our 11/100,000 is too high because so many of them use the most lethal tool.