Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Gun Control Not Associated With Reducing Suicides

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gun Control Not Associated With Reducing Suicides

Throwing all manner of mud at the wall to see what might stick, Michael Bloomberg’s number-crunchers and whoever produces “reports” for the Brady Campaign nowadays have decided, as gun control supporters do, to try promoting gun control as the solution to suicide.

From their perspective, it makes sense to give it a try, since firearm murder and firearm accident death rates are at historic lows, the American people increasingly say that firearms help protect people from crime, and each of the anti-gunners’ attempts to promote gun control in knee-jerk reaction to high-profile crimes has motivated Americans to buy more guns.

A new study by researchers at Bloomberg’s Center for Gun Policy at Johns Hopkins University contends that if you juggle the numbers a certain way, suicide rates might hinge on whether a state requires a permit to purchase a handgun, while the Brady Campaign tries to link suicide rates to gun availability in general.

Dealing with the subject of suicide requires the anti-gunners to get creative, however. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, which cover years 1981 through 2013—incidentally, a period in which Americans acquired an additional 195 million firearms—the firearm suicide rate (the number of suicides per 100,000 population) decreased five percent, while the non-firearm suicide rate increased 27 percent.

Requiring that a person obtain a permit before acquiring a handgun is one of anti-gun activists’ favorite restrictions, particularly if the authorities that control the permits are allowed to arbitrarily refuse them to legally eligible applicants. The Brady Campaign calls the concept “needs-based licensing,” with the understanding that if you aren’t in the FBI’s witness protection program, or a real life James Bond, or married to someone in the issuing officer’s immediate family, you couldn’t possibly need to have your application approved.

So, Bloomberg’s researchers compared suicide trends before and after Connecticut increased its purchase permit requirement in 1995, and before and after Missouri eliminated its requirement in 2007. The researchers ran the numbers, for those states and the other 48, two ways. When using a “synthetic” model – which is not the preferred approach when studying differences among the states  – the researchers not surprisingly concluded that purchase permit laws reduce suicide.  Synthetic, in this case and as you might expect, means created from computer simulation. 

However, when they ran the numbers according to traditional methodology based on actual data from the states, they admitted, Connecticut’s permit law had “no association with overall suicide rates” and “[t]he repeal of Missouri’s [purchase permit] law was not associated with changes in any of the suicide measures.”  

Of course, instead of leading with this finding, the researchers used the “synthetic” model as the lead because it provided the results which support their anti-gun agenda.

 

As the trend lines in the following chart show, over time, Connecticut’s suicide rate has remained almost flat, the U.S. rate has decreased slightly, and Missouri’s rate has increased only slightly.

Gun control supporters might say “ah HA!” to Missouri’s increase over the last few years. However, as the trend lines in the next chart show, since about the time of the 2008 recession and stock market decline, Connecticut’s suicide rate with a purchase permit restriction, and Missouri’s rate without such a restriction, have both increased, along with that of the rest of the United States.

As the New York Times reported in 2013, after interviewing officials at the CDC, the increase may be traced to “the economic downturn over the past decade. Historically, suicide rates rise during times of financial stress and economic setbacks.”

The Times further noted, “[a]nother factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses.” Indeed, for all of gun control supporters’ focus on guns, most of the recent increase in non-firearm suicides has been due to an increase in those by suffocation and by drug-related poisoning. 

The CDC considers substance abuse to be among the 17 risk factors for suicide, and effective clinical care for substance abuse to be among six protective factors for preventing suicide.  Even Bloomberg’s lead researcher, Dr. Cassandra Crifasi, acknowledged to Health & Medicine Week that “substance abuse” is one of the risk factors for suicide. 

Dr. Crifasi also admitted that her study’s findings didn’t show that the lack of a handgun purchase permit requirement increases suicides. “When we examined whether there were changes in suicides committed by other means following the changes in the laws, there was some evidence that Connecticut experienced lower than expected rates of suicides by means other than firearms,” she said. “This suggests that factors other than handgun purchaser licensing may have contributed to the decline in suicides.”

The Brady Campaign may be wrong about how to remain safe. But we can at least give them credit for reminding us of the value of unsolicited advice.  

TRENDING NOW
Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

The legislature only just gaveled in this week and anti-gun legislators and gun control groups couldn’t wait to reintroduce their extreme gun ban legislation - an "assault weapons" ban, Senate Bill 5217.

Washington:  The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: The Hits Keep on Coming as Magazine Ban Pulled to the Senate Floor

On Friday, the Washington Senate pulled magazine ban legislation, Senate Bill 5078 to the Senate Floor where it is eligible for a vote for passage.

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

News  

Monday, January 10, 2022

What You Need to Know about ATF’s New eForms System

On December 23, ATF launched a new system for applicants to complete various forms that ATF is responsible for administrating. For most gun owners, this change will primarily impact how applications for firearms regulated under ...

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Indiana: House Passes Lawful Carry, Sends To Senate

Yesterday, the House voted 64-29 to pass House Bill 1077, the lawful carry bill. It will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

News  

Monday, November 8, 2021

Canada, Six Months from “Confiscation Day”

In early 2020, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his so-called “assault weapon” ban along with a temporary amnesty period that allows the owners of newly-banned firearms to possess their property without incurring criminal liability. Canadians affected ...

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Friday, January 14, 2022

Wisconsin: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Insurance, Licensing and Forestry voted to pass Senate Bill 619, the constitutional carry bill. It is now eligible for floor debate in the full Senate.

Anti-Gun Provisions Dropped from House-Passed NDAA

News  

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Anti-Gun Provisions Dropped from House-Passed NDAA

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a revised version of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual defense bill that directs funding for our nation’s military. The two anti-gun provisions that were included ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Georgia: 2022 Legislative Session Convenes Today

Monday, January 10, 2022

Georgia: 2022 Legislative Session Convenes Today

Today, January 10th, the Georgia Legislature begins the 2022 legislative session. Last week, Governor Brian Kemp announced his support for constitutional carry. Currently, 21 states allow law-abiding adults to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense without having to ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.