Buying a Gun Increases Your Risk of Suicide?


July 13, 2008, 11:32 AM
Another of the anti's arguments debunked in a well written article:

If it were true, I'd have to say my risk has been growing steadily over the last 10 yrs. :evil:

If you enjoyed reading about "Buying a Gun Increases Your Risk of Suicide?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Just Jim
July 13, 2008, 11:37 AM
My Buying a Gun Increases Your Risk of Suicide if you commit a felony crime?

There, I made it sound right.


La Pistoletta
July 13, 2008, 11:40 AM
It does not. People are not averages, nor statistics.

July 13, 2008, 11:49 AM
It's a really annoying case of association without causation that gets repeated all too often. Guns don't "make" you commit suicide any more than they "make" you commit murder. It's just that a good chunk of "successful" suicides involved guns (gun suicides have a 90% kill rate, as opposed to, say sharp objects), so idiots try to reverse the equation to imply causality. Also, if the person didn't die, it doesn't count as a suicide stat.

Chapman phrases it well:

The consensus of experts, he says, is that an increase in gun ownership doesn't raise the number of people who kill themselves -- only the number who do it with a gun.


July 13, 2008, 11:49 AM
Steve Chapman is one of the few sane voices at the Trib when it comes to firearms. The rest of the people there view legal gunowners as no different from gangbangers.

July 13, 2008, 11:52 AM
Being suicidal increases your chances of suicide. The vehicle of delivery is of no consequence. I am not trying to be insensitive, but 100% of the time, statistics keep statisticians employed.

90% of the time that works every time!

July 13, 2008, 11:54 AM
The only suicide I am more prone to regarding firearms is financial suicide.

I've long said that Shotgun News is the most expensive subscription you will ever have.

-- John

Just Jim
July 13, 2008, 12:02 PM
It does not. People are not averages, nor statistics.

So in Sweden they keep no record of your birth, gender,race or death?? How are they on guns, do they keep a record on your guns??


La Pistoletta
July 13, 2008, 12:08 PM
So in Sweden they keep no record of your birth, gender,race or death?? How are they on guns, do they keep a record on your guns??

Not sure what this has to do with anything. :p

What I mean is even if you could show that buying a gun increases the "chance" of committing suicide (which to my knowledge, it doesn't), that only describes occurrences, not causation.

But yes, birth date, gender and date of death are recorded. Not race, don't see any point in that. Then again, we have mostly "native" Swedes and immigrants from the Middle-East here.

All firearms require license.

Just Jim
July 13, 2008, 12:15 PM
But yes, birth date, gender and date of death are recorded. Not race, don't see the point of that.

In the USA race is recorded at birth and death. While birth is an occurance death is listed due to causation.

The socialist here like to list tools as causation so they can regulate tools. They constantly use every tatic they can to destroy our freedom. Most states here you can own a gun without a lic, but the socialist are trying to change that.


The Lone Haranguer
July 13, 2008, 12:19 PM
:scrutiny::rolleyes: Common sense should tell the author(s) that one must want to commit suicide first. If no gun were available, he or she would find another way.

July 13, 2008, 12:23 PM
"If you bought a gun today, I could tell you the risk of suicide to you and your family members is going to be two- to tenfold higher over the next 20 years,"

I can't imagine I'm the only one who'd like to see the research that backs up this - at least in my opinion - wild claim. My guess is that one doesn't exist and he's making his political feelings known by making false claims via his position in academia.

In what possible way does owning a firearm make one more likely to commit suicide? There is simply no correlation.

I think I'll get into the wild claim business: buying a hammer means you and / or your kids / parents / grandparents are more likely to rob a bank in the next 20 years or so. Makes perfect sense, right?

How's that for a start?

July 13, 2008, 01:26 PM
In my 20 years as a professional rescuer, I will tell you that people try suicide every day in my area. The overwhelming attempts made use pills. I believe the next most common are:

knives, other sharp objects, hanging, guns, and leaping in front of cars and trains.

Pills, knives, sharp objects and many other methods are not often successful due to the techniques and skills used by modern EMS and modern hospitals.

The most successful are guns, leaping in front of traffic, and hanging. Why are guns the most successful suicide tools? For the same reason they are the most successful murder tools, warfare tools, and self defense tools: they are effective, and it is difficult to carry a train into your apartment.

July 13, 2008, 01:26 PM
I am in the process of finishing up my master's paper and one of the main focus of our professor is the difference between correlation and causation. Obviosly some other people need to listen to the same lesson.

Standing Wolf
July 13, 2008, 01:46 PM
But let's suppose science could establish that people who obtain firearms do indeed increase their death rate (or the death rate of their family members) from suicide. So what?

Buying a car may shorten your lifespan, since traffic accidents are a major killer. Building a backyard swimming pool creates a potential fatal hazard to you and your loved ones. But nobody says the government should interfere with such decisions.

Unfortunately, a great many leftist extremists believe government is entitled to meddle in our each least decision.

July 13, 2008, 03:24 PM
Right....just like buying a car increases your risk of getting a DUI.

July 13, 2008, 03:27 PM
guns just increase the chances of successfully commiting suicide...if you really want to kill your self there are plenty of other things in the own that work, many are even more leathal.

Robert Hairless
July 13, 2008, 04:12 PM
Right....just like buying a car increases your risk of getting a DUI.

Anyone who has both alcoholic beverages and a motor vehicle is at much greater risk of DUI than someone with neither.

That is why both cars and alcoholic beverages must be banned as soon as possible. No compromise is acceptable.

I therefore propose the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and I urge all gun owners to contact their legislators to support it:

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

July 13, 2008, 04:19 PM
Good article. He's on our side:

Presumptuous paternalists argue that Americans should be deprived of guns because gun owners are their own worst enemies. A lot of Americans would reply: We can't trust ourselves, but we can trust you?

Perhaps some folks should should read the article before going off on the article/author. Not pointing any fingers, just a suggestion.

Just Jim
July 13, 2008, 04:22 PM
Didn't they try to ban alcohol before??? Aren't they trying to ban drugs now?? Seems you might have a problem with this idea.


July 13, 2008, 04:23 PM
Buying a gun increases your chances of commiting suicide just like buying condoms increases your chances of getting pregnant.... :uhoh:

July 13, 2008, 04:36 PM
I guess Montanan's are in big trouble,
since there is 27 gun per household on average.

We should be the number 1 suicide state.

July 13, 2008, 05:17 PM
And living increases your risk of dying.

July 13, 2008, 05:37 PM
You guys are being reactive and not thinking about this clearly. There is most definitely a correlation between gun ownership and suicide. Both sides are correct, in a way.

The reason is that guns are statistically THE most lethal means of suicide. Even more lethal than jumping off a building - because many suicidal people aren't rational enough to jump off a high one, just their house or something. The success rate for pill overdose is just 2%.

Many people who are suicidal will use whatever means they have at hand. If they have pills, they will take pills. If they have rope, they will hang themselves. If they have a gun, they will shoot themselves (especially if they are men). But with the gun, the attempt is far more likely to succeed and actually be counted as a "suicide." Out of 100 people who take pills, only two will be counted as suicides. But out of 100 people who shoot themselves, about 90 will die and be counted as suicides.

The point is, owning a gun doesn't increase your risk of being suicidal, nor does it increase your risk of attempting suicide. But using a gun DOES increase your risk of actually dying should you attempt it. Thus, gun ownership does increase your risk of successful suicide (ie, the only category that matters in such a study).

Just Jim
July 13, 2008, 05:41 PM
:D:D So if I buy a gun for an anti gun politicion am I telling him to go kill himself??:neener:

Really guys they are taking this crap too far and it's always the socialist that do it.


July 13, 2008, 05:53 PM
THe professor now needs to explain why Japan a gunfree country has the highest suicide rates in the world.

La Pistoletta
July 13, 2008, 06:14 PM
THe professor now needs to explain why Japan a gunfree country has the highest suicide rates in the world.

You ever poured a bunch of cold water on a hot stove?

That's the sound those people make when you try to expose the truth to them and their intended audience.

July 13, 2008, 06:25 PM
I am not being reactive but sarcastic. Make no mistake about it the antis lost big with Heller and their next big push will be "reasonable" restrictions on those who MAY have some mental/emotional health issues. What is reasonable? who gets to decide? The goal is to take away all guns in America. The "studies" done on the issue of guns by the medical community have been greatly biased against firearms. The public health community should be looking for more effective means to fight disease.

July 13, 2008, 06:56 PM
Playing devil with cause and effect.....:evil:

One of the more insidious forms of suicide that is probably NOT captured in the statistics is via OD of acetaminephin (such as Tylenol).

Here if the initial OD doesn't send you into a hepatic coma then the probability is you wake up, say thank God, then die from acute liver failure 3-6 days later.

Quote from the Army's Medical Department

Overdoses of acetaminophen require immediate medical attention to prevent permanent damage. Overdose treatment usually involves pumping the person's stomach and administering charcoal, plus a three-day hospital admission so that a complete course of antidote therapy can be administered. By the time symptoms of an overdose become apparent, it may already be too late to save the liver and possibly the person's life.

In this case the death will probably not be captured as death by suicide by due to liver failure.

The CDC estimates that suicide cost to the US at approx $25Bn per year

Now much of these costs are medical (how surprising) and are greatest for unsuccessful attempts with a range of approx 20:1, unsuccessful to successful.

As such it is economically far better for the economy and the individuals family/estate as a whole to be a successful suicide than a selfish unsuccessful suicide......:rolleyes:

Therefore, purely from an economic Darwinian perspective we should applaud suicide by firearm for the reduction in cost to us all........:evil::rolleyes:

Betcha the dear professors didn't factor that in............:D

July 13, 2008, 08:53 PM
I can see it's been said already, but I'll reiterate:

Correlation does not mean causation.

In fact, in the case of buying a gun makes you commit suicide, I'll bet they have the causation reversed...

If you want to commit suicide, you are more likely to buy a gun.

Being that you most likely are already aware if you want to commit suicide, I doubt you have to worry next time you buy a gun...

July 13, 2008, 09:22 PM
Funny, I bought a gun precisely because I value my life so highly.

July 14, 2008, 01:02 AM
Another great article by Steve Chapman. I have dropped him an email to let him know just how much I appreciated the article.

General Geoff
July 14, 2008, 01:47 AM
I always figured that the only meaningful relationship between guns and suicides, is that:

1. Guns are highly effective suicide tools,
2. A person who uses a gun to commit suicide is actually serious. You don't say a person who shoots himself is "crying for help" like a guy who's standing on the ledge of a tall building or slashing his wrists in a bath tub. The person who shoots himself on purpose is almost always dead.

July 14, 2008, 09:00 PM
You ever poured a bunch of cold water on a hot stove?:confused:...
Suicide and college drinking are reasons enough to keep guns off campuses, she said.
They do use the suicide excuse quite a bit, don't they? I found this article, thought I'd share.

July 15, 2008, 01:52 AM
Umm. . . How about buying multiple bottles of sleeping pills? Napping in your car while in the garage with the engine running, etc. etc.

Folks wanting badly enough to off themselves will find a way.

Robert Hairless
July 15, 2008, 04:55 AM
Didn't they try to ban alcohol before??? Aren't they trying to ban drugs now?? Seems you might have a problem with this idea.


Sigh. Jim, Jim, Jim ....

No offense intended but you obviously know little about politics and less about the American people, especially of this generation and its predecessor. The abject failure of those prohibitions is the primary reason why I will have no problem at all with this idea.

These Americans are guided by the principle that "Nothing succeeds like failure." When an initiative fails, they believe that the failure can be corrected by doing more and more of whatever it is that didn't work before and before that.

That's why the "war on drugs" gets more and more money thrown at it. It's why a great many gun owners try to persuade increasing numbers of other gun owners to vote for candidates who don't stand a chance of winning. It's why Ralph Nader and Ron Paul keep running for President, why Adrian Fenty keeps poking his municipal hairpin in the electric outlet, and why the good people of Washington, DC, will continue to vote for him as soon as they figure out how to cross the streets by themselves without either being hit by or stealing a car.

Many Americans today like to fail. They know failure, they're accustomed to it, and they like it because it's familiar. It's success that they fear.

There, by the way, is the key to understanding Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, The Brady Campaign, and Gun Owners of America. It's also why newspapers continue to do what it is that has made them fail, and why they behave as if they believe that doing more of it will help them succeed.

July 15, 2008, 09:30 AM
There is a positive, significant correlation between the amount of ice cream consumption and drowning deaths. Does this mean that eating too much ice cream will cause one to drown? Of course not. There is a third variable. Both ice cream consumption and swimming increases in the warm months. There is NO cause and effect. As anyone with even an elementary understanding of statistics knows, correlations NEVER prove cause and effect.

It does make sense that using a gun to shoot oneself in the head is more reliable in its lethality and is relatively easier than other forms of suicide. Driving a car or truck makes it easier to die in a traffic accident. When is someone going to say driving is too dangerous and we should get rid of our cars and trucks? The people who want us to get rid of our guns would most likely not be very willing to give up their personal vehicles to make society safer would they?

If you enjoyed reading about "Buying a Gun Increases Your Risk of Suicide?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!