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Study: Gun ownership increases suicide risk
#1
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/01/21...=obnetwork

Quote:People may have heightened risks of dying from suicide and murder if they own or have access to a gun, according to a new analysis of previous research.

Researchers found people who lived in homes with firearms were between two and three times more likely to die from either cause, compared to those who lived in homes without guns.

"There have been a lot of conflicting reports about having a firearm in the home," Andrew Anglemyer said. He is the study's lead author and an epidemiologist from the University of California, San Francisco.

Anglemyer and his coauthors write in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday that the U.S. has the highest prevalence of gun ownership in the world, and the majority of suicides and murders are committed with firearms.

For the new review, the researchers analyzed 14 studies that looked at the risk of committing suicide among people who did and didn't have access to guns and five studies that looked at gun access and the risk of being murdered. Four of the studies examined both suicide and murder risk.

The studies were published between 1988 and 2005. All but one found people with access to firearms had heightened risks of dying from suicide and murder.

"Most analyses will find some conflicting studies," Anglemyer told Reuters Health. "That's not at all what we see here."

The researchers found having access to a gun was tied to a three-fold increase in the likelihood that people would kill themselves.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 12 out of every 100,000 people commit suicide each year.

Anglemyer's team also found about a two-fold increased risk of death from murder among people who had access to a gun, compared to those without access to firearms. For women, the increased risk of being killed was even higher.

The death rate due to murder in the U.S. is about five per 100,000 people each year, according to the CDC.

Anglemyer and his colleagues write that previous studies have suggested rates of suicide and murder may be higher in areas with a high prevalence of gun ownership because people who commit those acts on impulse have an easier time getting a gun there.

In an email to Reuters Health, Dr. Brian Smith and Rose Cheney from the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia wrote that firearms are efficiently lethal - even during brief moments of anger, rage and depression.

"The lethality of the weapons drives the increased risk of suicide and homicide completion," they wrote. "Firearms have very high case fatality rates, particularly in the case of suicide. Guns leave very little room for reconsideration of the choice to end a life."

Smith is a fellow in the Division of Traumatology and Cheney is executive director of the Firearm and Injury Center at Penn.

In an accompanying editorial, David Hemenway writes that gun access may not have increased the likelihood of death from homicide as much as suicide because most people are not murdered with their own gun.

Hemenway is an expert on injury prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

He also told Reuters Health the new analysis may underestimate the relationship between gun access and deaths because it only included studies comparing individuals and not large populations. But he agreed with the main finding.

"I would argue that there's not nearly enough research in the firearm area," Hemenway said. "But if there is one thing we know, that's it."

The researchers point out the analysis is only as reliable as the studies themselves, and some could have been flawed in the way they collected information on deaths and gun ownership....................
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#2
RugerGirl;132316 Wrote:http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/01/21...=obnetwork

Quote:People may have heightened risks of dying from suicide and murder if they own or have access to a gun, according to a new analysis of previous research.

Researchers found people who lived in homes with firearms were between two and three times more likely to die from either cause, compared to those who lived in homes without guns.

"There have been a lot of conflicting reports about having a firearm in the home," Andrew Anglemyer said. He is the study's lead author and an epidemiologist from the University of California, San Francisco.

Anglemyer and his coauthors write in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday that the U.S. has the highest prevalence of gun ownership in the world, and the majority of suicides and murders are committed with firearms.

For the new review, the researchers analyzed 14 studies that looked at the risk of committing suicide among people who did and didn't have access to guns and five studies that looked at gun access and the risk of being murdered. Four of the studies examined both suicide and murder risk.

The studies were published between 1988 and 2005. All but one found people with access to firearms had heightened risks of dying from suicide and murder.

"Most analyses will find some conflicting studies," Anglemyer told Reuters Health. "That's not at all what we see here."

The researchers found having access to a gun was tied to a three-fold increase in the likelihood that people would kill themselves.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 12 out of every 100,000 people commit suicide each year.

Anglemyer's team also found about a two-fold increased risk of death from murder among people who had access to a gun, compared to those without access to firearms. For women, the increased risk of being killed was even higher.

The death rate due to murder in the U.S. is about five per 100,000 people each year, according to the CDC.

Anglemyer and his colleagues write that previous studies have suggested rates of suicide and murder may be higher in areas with a high prevalence of gun ownership because people who commit those acts on impulse have an easier time getting a gun there.

In an email to Reuters Health, Dr. Brian Smith and Rose Cheney from the University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia wrote that firearms are efficiently lethal - even during brief moments of anger, rage and depression.

"The lethality of the weapons drives the increased risk of suicide and homicide completion," they wrote. "Firearms have very high case fatality rates, particularly in the case of suicide. Guns leave very little room for reconsideration of the choice to end a life."

Smith is a fellow in the Division of Traumatology and Cheney is executive director of the Firearm and Injury Center at Penn.

In an accompanying editorial, David Hemenway writes that gun access may not have increased the likelihood of death from homicide as much as suicide because most people are not murdered with their own gun.

Hemenway is an expert on injury prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

He also told Reuters Health the new analysis may underestimate the relationship between gun access and deaths because it only included studies comparing individuals and not large populations. But he agreed with the main finding.

"I would argue that there's not nearly enough research in the firearm area," Hemenway said. "But if there is one thing we know, that's it."

The researchers point out the analysis is only as reliable as the studies themselves, and some could have been flawed in the way they collected information on deaths and gun ownership....................

Hmm. How many of those gun related suicides are by police officers? Their rate is 5 times that of the general populace, and overwhelmingly involve firearms.
tolerance for failure meter... LOW
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#3
I bet their study is rather flawed. It's probably more likely that people that are going to commit suicide chose a gun because it's available, and if it weren't available, they'd chose another method.

According to the wiki page on suicides by country, the US doesn't even rank in the top 10. Japan, where gun ownership is almost non-existent is in the top 10. Highest suicide rate per capita is Greenland, but I don't know what their stance on gun ownership is.
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#4
streaker69;132320 Wrote:I bet their study is rather flawed. It's probably more likely that people that are going to commit suicide chose a gun because it's available, and if it weren't available, they'd chose another method.

According to the wiki page on suicides by country, the US doesn't even rank in the top 10. Japan, where gun ownership is almost non-existent is in the top 10. Highest suicide rate per capita is Greenland, but I don't know what their stance on gun ownership is.

I was thinking the same thing.... really, a lot of people own guns, even if it's just grandpa's gun that ended up in a closet or the attic. So if you are suicidal, that is the easiest place to start, I suppose.

Greenland is a huge hunting area so I'm going to imagine that at the very least, everyone has a rifle. Not sure about handguns.

All those really cold places have high suicide rates don't they? I was thinking they are higher in Canada and Alaska (as compared to many other states) as well.
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#5
I actually agree with the article. Guns do make suicide easier: jumping off of tall structures require travel, pills require prescriptions most times, cutting arteries is painful. If I were to commit suicide, I would choose a firearm first, unless I had access to chemicals that would make the ordeal less messy.
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#6
jahwarrior72;132329 Wrote:I actually agree with the article. Guns do make suicide easier: jumping off of tall structures require travel, pills require prescriptions most times, cutting arteries is painful. If I were to commit suicide, I would choose a firearm first, unless I had access to chemicals that would make the ordeal less messy.


Yes but the study seems to be saying people choose the firearm or they are less likely to even commit suicide. In your post, you just say it would be your preference....not make it more likely.

I'm not saying the study is wrong, necessarily....but it's nearly impossible to find out if all the people would have still killed themselves if they did not have access to a gun.
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#7
It the words of Lisa Simpson:

"Is it a causation or a correlation?"

Of course someone who wants to kill themself with a gun will shoot themself with a gun if they have access to it.

However, if someone really wants to kill themself, they will be creative and use ANYTHING that they can get their hands on to kill themself with. Literally anything.

None of this means that the firearm lead to or caused the person to be suicidal. Firearms do not make a person want to kill themself any more than a car makes someone want to drive into a wall.

As far as the homicide rate, this kinda makes some sense, especially if the criminal element is included in this study. In that case, they own a firearm, not for their protection, but because they have the firearm for unlawful reasons, resulting in a higher likelihood that they will be killed during their daily criminal activities. Remember, this is in a medical journal, so it is a possibility that they define murder as the killing of a human by another human. In this case, they would not differentiate between being murdered and being on the loosing end of a justified shooting.
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