2016-01-29 (Friday)

Today, I learned that:

There exists one more evidence of the negative consequencies of the American obsession to defend having a firearm for “personal protection”, instigated by the National Rifle Association. Here are excerpts from a podcast by Scientific American early this morning, stated by David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center:


David Hemenway, photo by Harvard School of Public Health

“One of the things we know for sure in the United States is that a gun in the home increases the likelihood that someone in the home will die a violent death—from gun accidents, from a woman being murdered by a man in an intimate partner violence situation and particularly by suicide.

The gun violence discussion often seems to give short shrift to suicide, even though more than 60 percent of the approximately 32,000 annual U.S. firearms deaths are suicides.

The evidence is overwhelming, from case control studies and ecological studies. For example, why do we have very different suicide rates across cities, across states, across regions in the United States. To explain the differences in suicide rates across states, turns out it’s not well explained at all by differences in mental health, it’s not well explained at all by differences in the number of psychiatrists, it’s not even explained by differences in suicide ideation among the population or even suicide attempts. What really explains the difference in the United States across the populations is the number of guns. Because it’s gun suicide which is so different.

And someone who commits suicide with a gun very likely would not have either attempted or succeeded if the gun were not available. For example, a 2013 Swiss study tracked men after the size of the army was cut in half, effectively removing guns from half that group. The overall suicide rate went down, and the researchers estimated that only 22 percent of all the men who would have killed themselves with a gun if it had been available wound up committing the act by other means. The presence of the gun just makes it significantly easier to take your own life impulsively.”

Please see references below for complete coverage.

… That’s what I learned in school!


1: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/suicide-differences-by-region-related-to-gun-availability/

2: https://theforum.sph.harvard.edu/events/preventing-gun-violence/

+: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VucczIg98Gw

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