Pediatrics Journal Study on Urban vs. Rural Gun Deaths Misses the Point

A reader over at shares our view that the much-publicized study by Pediatrics journal—announcing that rural suicide stats equalize urban gun crime death—is a botched landing at the wrong airport. While we crunched the numbers to yield a different conclusion than the one promulgated by the press, John Orsban questions the study’s basic premise.

Once again, people with good intentions focus on the wrong problem. The new study in Pediatrics journal aims only at gun deaths. For some reason, these people look at means rather than cause. They determined that urban gun murder is as dangerous as rural gun suicide. I am sure the researchers would find Japan confusing, since that country bans guns and has a much higher suicide rate than the US. By fretting over the means, rather than the cause, these people add confusion to the problem of suicide.

The money spent on the report would be far better spent trying to determine the cause of suicide, rather than how. As for accidental shootings, we now have a 40 year low, with millions more gun owners, much lower than when we had all those gun-ban laws. Using their logic, banning automobiles to prevent drunk driving makes sense. Common sense would tell an unbiased reader that guns are not the problem. Guns are the means, not the cause, and anyone who wants to commit murder or suicide will always find the means. To read a great study, read “Would banning firearms reduce murder/suicide” by Don Kates and Gary Mauser. [download study here]

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