Does Handgun Ownership Lead to Suicide?

wintemute head shot

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

By Robert B. Young, MD

Garen Wintemute, MD (of course) et. al have come up with another study to publish, this one in their anti-gun co-conspirator, The New England Journal of Medicine, purporting to show that gun owners are more likely to commit suicide over time than those who do not own guns.

Thanks to Carl Bussjaeger for alerting us to this in TheTruthAboutGuns.com June 5. Read his article about the most obvious problem with their conclusions…that they ignored people who’ve owned firearms for years (twice as many as new purchasers). So their claim that “firearm access [is] a risk factor for suicide” is not actually addressed in the study.

But is it true, as Bussjaeger recognizes, that “they may have found a correlation between new or first-time handgun buyers and suicide”?  Sure. But what should we make of this?

California now provides identifying data on its citizens regarding firearms purchases, ownership and causes of mortality (there’s an issue in itself). The study’s authors tracked these aspects of Californians’ behavior from the end of 2004 through all of 2016. From their results:

“. . . 676,425 cohort members acquired one or more handguns, and . . . 17,894 died by suicide, of which 6691 were suicides by firearm. Rates of suicide by any method were higher among handgun owners . . . These rates were driven by much higher rates of suicide by firearm among . . .  handgun owners . . . Handgun owners did not have higher rates of suicide by other methods . . . The risk of suicide by firearm among handgun owners peaked immediately after the first acquisition, but 52% of all suicides by firearm among handgun owners occurred more than 1 year after acquisition.”

The authors tracked individuals from 1985 through 2016. It isn’t explained why their study cohort begins only with October 2004. They also excluded handgun registrants under 21, who presumably were gifted these firearms, since they could not purchase them legally.

Does the suicide risk of being a young gift recipient differ from that of those purchasing handguns? One guess is that being given a firearm would less likely happen because the recipient is suicide.

As the study reports, “the evidence base has [many] gaps and limitations” when it comes to blaming firearms ownership for higher rates of suicide. Let’s stipulate that those for whom firearms are accessible are indeed more likely to kill themselves with firearms than those for whom they are not accessible, and not more likely by other methods. This is supposed to be a powerful observation in the introduction. But it’s really just circular reasoning.

They identified a study population of 61% of California’s population, as they depended on voter registration rolls to identify “participants”. Illegally owned handguns (cheaper, and owned by less conventional people) could of course not be accounted for. Acquisition of first handguns included initial purchases and registration on moving to California.  They also supposedly controlled for suicide risks from smoking and drug and alcohol abuse by comparing handgun ownership with diagnoses of lung cancer, endocarditis and alcoholic hepatitis).

None of these assumptions workre. Including initial registrations by those moving to California means these folks already owned handguns, contradicting their exclusion of natives who did. Registered voters are likely more conventional in every way than people who’ve never bothered to register, and have more means and opportunity for legal acquisition, than those who are illegal possessors whose intent is much more likely to murder than to suicide. “Controlling” for substance abuse of all kinds by selecting an endpoint for three types of those behaviors ignores the vast majority of addicts, let alone their living courses.

Mental illness

Bigstock

The outcome of these criteria were “6,691 . . . suicides by firearm” (not just handguns?). This was out of the entire cohort of 26,313,436, of whom 676,425 (2.6%), according to their questionable criteria, acquired one or more handguns an average of 6.9 years earlier. Firearms were “used in 89% of the suicides among handgun owners and 33% of those among nonowners.”

“Handgun owners had lower rates of all-cause mortality than nonowners but substantially higher rates of suicide” . . . “These elevated suicide rates among handgun owners were attributable to much higher rates of suicide by firearm.” “52% of all suicides by firearm among owners occurring after the first year of ownership” with highest rates of firearm suicides during the first days and month of ownership.  Even long-term ownership of one’s first handgun(s), up to the whole 12 years of the study, was associated with higher suicide rates (by firearm) too.”

The authors acknowledge not examining the incidence of mental illness in their cohort. They are correct that this should not be different among gun owners and non-gun owners (that’s one compliment for us). Yet this is the most critical piece of any explanation about who likely to suicide by any method. One may well buy a handgun in order to have the means to kill oneself. That potential would indeed be highest soon after the purchase, and would not necessarily regress to the mean of the general population after the first month or year as they seem to expect.

But this is not news. The real question is what, if anything, ought to be done about it. We know their answer, which does not arise from the study, whose “goal is to estimate the effect of handgun ownership on their risk of suicide.”

It examined less than 2/3 of the California population, and for some reason limited its intended reach just to presumed new handgun purchasers. But it couldn’t even identify all first-time “purchasers”, mixing in legal immigrant possessors and ignoring extra-legal purchases and possession. The only valid conclusion is that if you are or become a registered voter in California, are part of the 20% of Americans who have a diagnosable mental illness, can afford the time and expense to purchase a first handgun legally and buy one, you might use it against yourself sooner or later.

No doubt, researchers funded by the Fund for a Safer Future, the Joyce Foundation, and Stanford’s Schools of Law and Medicine do believe that we can be saved by not permitting us to purchase our first handgun(s).

.007% of Americans died by shooting themselves in 2018. .025% of their California cohort died by firearm suicide over 12 years, or .004% per year; to use their average number of years (6.9) with the new handgun(s). This means that their cohort of new Californian handgun owners’ rate of suicide by firearm is the same as the overall United States average. Therefore, new handgun purchasers are not at higher risk of suicide than are  gun owners, period.

The premises and reasoning of such studies has to scrutinized every time. The intention is to prove something dreadful about civilian gun possession in our country, dreadful because of the consequences portrayed. In this case, they’ve discovered that many people in a limited California cohort just like across the nation, choose firearms to kill themselves.

These events are dreadful, but the implication that eliminating firearms ownership (or, as far as this study really allows, letting no one to buy their first one?) would change overall suicide rates. Until someone shows this, the whole argument is moot, and no one has ever been able to.

Let’s unpack their basic argument (sans footnote numbers):

“Suicide attempts are often impulsive acts, driven by transient life crises. Most attempts are not fatal, and most people who attempt suicide do not go on to die in a future suicide. Whether a suicide attempt is fatal depends heavily on the lethality of the method used, and firearms are extremely lethal.

“These facts focus attention on firearm access as a risk factor for suicide, especially in the United States, which has a higher prevalence of civilian-owned firearms than any other country and one of the highest rates of suicide by firearm. In 2018, 24,432 suicides by firearm occurred in the United States. Handguns are used in approximately three quarters of suicides by firearm.”

The final act is often impulsive, but that’s not the whole story. People don’t impulsively say to themselves “Hey, I’ll try suicide today!” Almost all contemplate ending their lives for quite some time before acting, making plans which may even given them a sense of comfort knowing they can control the end of lives when they feel so terribly distressed with living itself.

In America, guns are the primary choice because they are available and effective. In most of the world, guns are not so available and other methods are the primary choices. For example, hanging is the choice in Japan; would suicide rates there decline if rope were made unavailable? Pesticide poisoning is preferred in parts of South and East Asia; the same question applies there. The intent to suicide is what leads to it, regardless of means available. And the means available determine what are used.

Of course there’s a correlation between handgun purchases, gun ownership and suicide. Eliminating handguns would reduce suicide rates—but only at first. Advocates for this want us to see no further. But that effect would be transitory, until people whose courses lead toward suicide begin adopting other, equally final approaches (jumping from heights, massive drug overdoses, CO poisoning). All of these are fatal if care is taken to avoid detection, which seriously suicidal people do.

One glance at suicide rates worldwide tells the tale. Despite Americans inexplicably (to many) “clinging to their guns”, we sit firmly in the mid-range of suicide rates (comparable to the Europe overall), probably thanks to the widespread availability of mental health care in our country.

Don’t be distracted by the trees that firearm opponents so love to itemize. Keep clear on the forest—guns do not cause homicidal or suicidal violence, and armed civilians prevent far more crime, deaths and injuries than they cause.

 

Robert B. Young, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in Pittsford, NY, an associate clinical professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

This article was originally published at drgo.us and is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. avatar Ing says:

    Maybe the esteemed Mr. Wintemute should buy himself a handgun, and we’ll wait with bated breath to find out whether he’s identified a cause or a shaky correlation.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      nope…but it sure makes it easier…quick, fast and relatively painless…saw it happen once and it wasn’t quite as horrific as Hollywood would have you believe…and I, for one…take comfort in having that option….

      1. avatar George Washington says:

        Uh…. there’s plenty of videos online that show it’s pretty damn MESSY!….

    2. avatar Jimmy Beam says:

      I’d bet dollars to donuts he owns at least one firearm. Many of these anti-gun hypocrites do.

    3. avatar DB says:

      Japan has almost no guns in private hands but a very high suicide rate.
      If you want to do yourself in, you will find a way.

    4. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, DAMN, Ing, “bated”? My hat is off!

    5. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      One of the unspoken fallacies of correlational research is that you can correlate anything with anything else. This is what this guy is doing with suicides and gun-ownership. He is seeking to establish a causal relationship—owning guns causes suicides—were none exists. This is junk-science, pure and simple. We see similar junk-science with “causal correlations” between actual physical violence and video games. (At the risk of belaboring the point; there is no empirical evidence—none—of otherwise normal people being induced to commit violent acts after playing video games . . . or watching movies . . . or reading books. . . or commenting on TTAG)

    6. avatar Higgs says:

      This Doctor is part of a massive cover up of the real issue.

      Every person who has used a gun to commit murder or suicide has been found to have Di Hydrogen MonOxide in their system. It’s a massive coverup. Even worse every person who has been killed by a gun has been found to have Di Hydrogen MonOxide in their system.

      But it does not stop there. This substance is found in all patients who die for Covid, Flu, Cancer, and heart attacks. it appears that this substance has been found in every person who has died for the past ten years.

      Where does it come from? it’s everywhere. In our food, the air, all of our drinks.

      The deaths are preventable. Let’s follow the lead of the anti-gunners. Lets Ban Di Hydrogen MonOxide and prevent all deaths. Join me in banning Di Hydrogen MonOxide, AKA h20, AKA water so we can all live……..

      /SARC

      *************************************************

      Every fact above the line is true, which cannot be said for the good Doctors facts. But the conclusion is insanly wrong, which can arguably be said about the Doctors conculsion.

  2. avatar Imayeti says:

    Japan has no guns but a higher suicide rate.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      different culture…where it is often viewed as an honorable act to amend disgrace or failure…

      1. Still has a higher rate of suicide…( seppuku)
        Then there’s China…Try the Foxconn factories where they use forced labor on Chinese peasents who live in barracks there…They have “anti-suicide nets and fences” there to prevent “employees” from throwimg themselves from the ramparts…All for our I phones, and other electronic products…..Originally, Nintendo used forced labor at these facilities to make the previous Wii U game 🎮 console….

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          Only to save the CCP the effort of cleaning up a mess. 10 more coolies ready to step into the job. (and they only had a few thousand deaths from the chicom flu).

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Are we supposed to be shocked? How did we think they were undercutting any possible prices by so large a margin? *Obviously* they were using slave labor, similarly to Mexican labor in recent years.

      2. avatar George Washington says:

        You’re an idiot….js….. do yourself a favor and shut up…. please.

  3. avatar Dennis says:

    The “Journal” said it, it must be true! Guess I’ll have to turn all mine in Monday!

  4. avatar John Bryan says:

    Only handguns received by left-leaning pundits, statist dupes, anti-human rights advocates, Progressives/Fascists/Nazis/Socialists/Communists (all pretty much the same critter) as anonymous gifts lead to the recipient offing themselves – can we do some kind of crowd funding thing and start buying lots of Heritage Arms .22s?

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      cops already understand this…and often choose that option….

  5. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Actually, I could believe that firearm availability could be a factor in suicide rates. So what? If anybody had thought of it, don’t you think that suicide might be listed as one of our rights?

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      one way to look at it…and it frees you from being controlled by others….

    2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “…don’t you think that suicide might be listed as one of our rights?”

      Well, there’s that pesky “My body, My choice” thing going on… 🙂

    3. avatar John A. Smith says:

      Well said, Larry. Dr. Wintemute’s analysis and conclusions are sound. Like you, I just can’t say I really view the conclusion as a problem in need of solving. I’m ok with people killing themselves; I don’t like it (my mother killed herself) but I certainly accept it as one of the most critical of human rights: the right to decide when to leave the party.

  6. avatar KenW says:

    Guy wants to kill himself so he goes out and buys a gun and does the deed. So? It’s his life. Take away the guns and maybe he will tuck his car under an overpass at 100+mph. Or find another way. If they are serious about it they will find a way. What are they going to do, shoot him to stop him from taking his own life?

    We diabetics have it easy if we want to off ourselves. I can take to much insulin and its dirt nap time.
    Which I would do if what killed my father ever happened to me.
    People can say what they want but if its humane to put a cat or dog out its misery why should a human have to slowly die from brain cancer.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      +1 ….. Wanting to die is the #1 cause of suicide.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      true…once you’ve seen others pass in long, painful ways it alters your perspective……

  7. avatar Sam Brown says:

    I wish people would proofread their articles…….

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      What in the world for?

  8. avatar Rusty - time for RGB to go - Chains says:

    Will someone please give Dr. Wintemute a gun?

    1. avatar 9x39 says:

      Here’s to hoping he’ll change his name beforehand. Wintermoot seems more appropriate.

      1. avatar Dr. Boom says:

        After reading what the (good) Doctor had to say, I also decided he needed a name change. “Hinterpoot” to me seems more appropriate, unless and until he runs out of gas. Can you commit suicide by intentionally developing a lower G.I. blockage? And then flic your Bic at your butt when the build-up of pressure finally overcomes the blockage?

  9. avatar enuf says:

    “Does Handgun Ownership Lead to Suicide?”

    No. Inanimate objects cannot cause people to engage in any behaviors.

    Ownership of eating utensils does not lead to obesity.

    Ownership of condoms does not lead to cheating on one’s spouse.

    Ownership of pencils, pens, paper or other recording media however sophisticated in technology does not cause people to write best selling novels.

    Ownership of a baseball bat does not cause a person to hit baseballs out of the ballpark.

    It is always the person that does an action.

    It really is rather that simple.

    1. avatar frank speak says:

      accountability has never been high on the list of those on the left…the fault always has to lie elsewhere…

      1. avatar enuf says:

        No difference for those on the right…the fault always has to lie elsewhere for those who follow like good little Party Members…

        1. avatar George Washington says:

          Gtfo…. nobody here gives a fk about your opinion…. on anything….. you fkn commie pos

    2. avatar Dr. Boom says:

      ” Inanimate objects cannot cause people to engage in any behaviors.”
      Ha!, I say, HA!
      You obviously haven’t seen my penis.

      1. avatar Someone says:

        You are right, we did not see it. What kind of behaviors does it cause? Uncontrollable fits of laughter?

  10. avatar Nam62 says:

    I have owned handguns since 1958. I should have committed suicide 100 times over!!! I’m still alive something must be wrong!!!!!!!

    1. avatar Tired of the bs says:

      Defective guns. Send them to me.

  11. avatar Raptor 1 says:

    Rifles. Pistols. Roses. Beatle bugs. These things do not cause suicide.

    People do……..

    Nous Defions

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      if i had to read tweedle beetle battle out loud one more time…
      fortunately we discovered hamster huey and the gooey kablooey.

  12. avatar tdiinva says:

    I wonder how many suicides by any cause are by people with a terminal illness? Should we even count those in the suicide statistics? I don’t think physician assisted suicides are counted. A lot of people don’t want to attribute C19 deaths to people who have prexisting conditions even if they would probably lived another 15 or 20 years so why should we count somebody who shoots himself as a suicide if they already have one foot in the grave?

    1. And some are overlooked, eg, many single-car fatalities are no doubt suicides, rather than accidents.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        And firearms accidents among LEOs.

      2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        No Doc, you can usually tell.

        1. avatar George Washington says:

          No, gadsen fag, you can’t always tell…

        2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “No Doc, you can usually tell.”

          Really? How do you tell from someone who fell asleep at the wheel?

          And if you say ‘seat belts’, I know a few stubborn folks who still refuse to wear them…

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      back when doctors made house calls they knew how to properly assess the situation and always left you enough “to do the job”…these days it seems dragging out the process can be quite lucrative….

  13. avatar Montana Actual says:

    Obviously the answer is yes. Buncha crazy gun nuts…

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      /s

  14. avatar Leigh says:

    If that was true there would be tens of millions every year.
    Guns are just tools. They can be used for good or evil or be neutral.
    Painting all gun owners as evil is like saying all blacks are criminals. Pretty bigoted.
    I would like to see new gun owners train with their new weapons…use and store them properly.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “I would like to see new gun owners train with their new weapons…use and store them properly.”

      Teach it in high school, the same a driver’s ed…

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        drivers ed was practically compulsory. now you sign up in advance to get on the short list.
        the only thing hokier than those simulators was the jungle drums arcade game. no, even that was better.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          750 built in ’71.

          https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6bq15g

          we soon talked the proprietor (small convenience store atop a decommisioned elevated depot along the skokie swift) into getting pinball games (magnetron, surf champ, bow and arrow, etc.).

        2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          Oh, man, I musta missed that video game.

          Can you imagine the shrieks of outrage if that was released today? 🙂

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        So, like, one credit. Start with Drivers’ ed, proceed to firearm safety and rights, then on to family planning/sex ed/birth control. 8th grade at the latest, 6th grade way better, both optimal.

  15. avatar jram01 says:

    “Raptor 1 says:
    June 13, 2020 at 16:37
    Rifles. Pistols. Roses. Beatle bugs. These things do not cause suicide.
    People do……..
    Nous Defions”

    That’s right and NO I am not on the phone.😃

  16. avatar Leigh says:

    Suicide is a choice. Your body… your choice.
    Murder suicide…totally different animal. Those need to disappear.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      They’re ok as long as they follow the prescribed pattern, “I’m gonna kill myself and then her!”

  17. avatar MikeJH121 says:

    With over 500 million guns out here in the land of the free (more or less, for now). You would think all those evil guns would have better numbers. I am speaking of course to those little metal and poly imps, they can read your minds. That “thing” in your nightstand, your metal keeper (shhhh) they can feel what you feel.

    POTG joke about setting one down and nothing happens if no human interacts. But just like the reports on those SUV’s…. “SUV runs over little car” …..”SUV ran off road, driver dies” they kill. SO be aware just when we least expect it, they are all gonna rise up.

    My 120 lb Dutch Shepard can bite my face off, his power of violence is in control, he chooses, So is mine, so do I. He is much more stable as am I, then any of these educated a-holes, it is not what they know, but what they believe. And they believe in controlling others. My Dutchie and I can do without their help.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      pass the dutchie…

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        “pass the dutchie…”

        *COUGH* – *COUGH* – *HACK* – *GAG* *GAG*.

        Man, that was some good shit, really *smooth*!

        (Dim memories of 35 years ago… 🙂 )

    2. avatar George Washington says:

      You’ll notice most, if not all, of the “educated” class are truly EDUCATED IDIOTS…. always made up of the most retarded looking nerds…. Which is EXACTLY why I never attended college…. there’s no WAY I would be around people who look or act like they do…. and don’t get me started on the ghetto rats running wild through college campuses today…..js

  18. avatar Leigh says:

    Is it just me or does he bear a resemblance to Kevorkian? Aka DR. Death.
    Lol

    1. avatar CTstooge says:

      Where’s his SS uniform? This guy screams Creepy Nazi in 10-foot flashing neon letters…

      1. avatar George Washington says:

        Sorry…. but this moron wouldn’t cut it in the SS….
        I just love how you COMMIES try to align the Third Riech with your mouth breathing communist idols…..
        The liberals and the minorities are NOT anywhere near the ideology of the Third Reich…. nice try though… now GTFO!

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          “The liberals and the minorities are NOT anywhere near the ideology of the Third Reich….”

          Different flavors of the same totalitarianism, son, whether you like it or not… 🙂

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          NOT GW – find some books and education yourself on history and politics.

          Communism and National Socialism are as two bros fighting over the keys to dear departed dads castle (and the lands/serfs). IE there IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE.

          Yes your gov’t school told you that the Nazis (National Socialists) were “right wing extremists”. THEY LIED (shocked?)

  19. avatar former water walker says:

    Do guns LEAD to suicide? Nope they just make it easier…and so what?!? Take a bottle of tylenol and you have the same eternal result.

  20. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

    According to this socialist anti-gun elitist I should have been dead many times over by now. I’m 63 years of age and have absolutely no desire to commit suicide, murder, homicide, or whatever. And I already own four handguns and have had instant easy access to a handgun now for over 40 years. And I personally know many other owners of handguns who have owned them for decades and they too are still alive and well. There are also many trappers who run a trap line for fur bearing mammals who carry a .22 handgun as a tool. They too are still alive. Not to mention several million free thinking women within the last 30 years who have become first time handgun owners. They too are alive and well, probably because they now own a handgun and pack one as well. Where do these deluded self righteous nanny state useful idiots get off by pontificating their anti-gun political deceit to the public?

    James A. “Jim” Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)
    Long Live The State of Jefferson!

  21. avatar Mr. Tactical says:

    He’s full of crap. I did a series of videos on this topic several years ago. I looked at other nations that have for the most part removed firearms from civilians. I looked at the suicide rates before and after such bans. While yes, a drastic drop in firearm assisted suicides was noted, in some cases dropping to near zero. That’s a win the anti-gun 2A deniers like to screech about. What they fail to look at, or should I say what they refuse to look at is no appreciable change was seen in overall suicide rates. Removing guns had no effect what so ever. People simply changed to a different method. This method was self-strangulation.

    But, but, a gun makes it 100% effective. No, it doesn’t Plenty of failures. Now stepping off that chair with an extension cord around your neck, that’s just as effective.

    When people want to prove a point, damn the facts, just change the facts, omit the facts, or just plan lie to make everything say what you set out to say.

    1. avatar Montana Actual says:

      Well said. Now days, their “facts” are only as far as they want to look. If it’s not from a source they trust personally, it might as well not exist.

  22. avatar Shire-man says:

    Yes. I’ve killed myself twelve times already. Twice today.
    Besides, my body my choice, right?
    These clods only claim to care about suicide because if you kill yourself they don’t get to kill you.

  23. avatar Hannibal says:

    A gun is an easy and painless way to commit suicide if used correctly. Of course it tends to increase suicide rates.

    My answer is: so what?

    If I find out that I have a progressive neurological disease that will leave me senseless, suffering and a burden, I should have the individual choice to end my own life. And the idea that everyone else should have their liberty abridged so that I can’t use that liberty on myself is perverse.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Show me the proof that guns increase suicides.

      1. avatar Montana Actual says:

        I think what was meant is that it’s used as a tool in suicides therefore adding another number to them. I doubt Hannibal meant it the way he worded it.

  24. avatar HEGEMON says:

    I’ve known five people who committed suicide, and they all did it with a GOVERNMENT issued firearm. This is an insidiously corrupt and dangerous study. Leftist doctors lie as much as their leftist masters.

  25. This fine, upstanding medical scholar should be sent to the new “Nation of CHAZ , IN The Autonomous Zone !” What used to be known as Seattle……A place where only the right to keep and bare purple Dildos is enforced!

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      as far as i’m concerned (not calculable) the term chaz refers to a spoiled deluded brat that was chritened as chastity.

  26. avatar Wally1 says:

    Guns cause suicide at the same rate that cars cause people to speed. Yea, right if you are a dem and never accept responsibility for yourself. Want high taxes, poverty, political corruption and high crime, keep voting democrat and blame everything or everyone else for your problems. You know, George Floyd would still be alive if he could have just quit committing crimes. A better Question would be: Does being black cause you to commit crimes and be violent. Because the stats sure indicate that!.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Well, cars (and motorcycles) *DO* cause people to speed, I cannot run 90 mph though I often drive that fast.

  27. …Or maybe he can ask for a place at the side of the new “Black Panther Warlord—the new Wakanda, inside the Autonomous Zone…After the Nation of CHAZ/ Black Panther Civil War…(re: Once know as Seattle…) [“May the games begin!!! Arm yourself with a large purple Dildo and charge !!!! Into Oblivion !!!! The Battle cry in the Nation of CHAZ !!!]

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Followed by “send some cigarettes!”

  28. avatar Jim from LI says:

    Half the new wonder drugs I see being flogged on TV warn you to “stop taking if you feel suicidal thoughts..”. Who knows what they’re putting in this stuff. Time would be better spent researching the causes of suicidal desire and not the instrumentality.

    1. avatar The grid says:

      All I have to say is lobbying. You’re right and do you remember what Purdue Pharma was allowed to advertise regarding OxyContin? That it was NOT ADDICTIVE! Because corrupt, incompetent government agencies allowed them to put that on paper, while the drug was prescribed left and right, even to young teens in high doses, and most folks in the business were totally aware it was definitely addictive. We definitely have a mental illness and substance abuse problem in our nation.

      1. avatar Jim from LI says:

        And if they could sell hydroxychloroquin for $200 a pill, you’d see it touted as the 8th wonder of the world. Cheap and off patent? It’s dangerous, it doesn’t work, stay away, be very afraid!

    2. avatar George Washington says:

      Money…… is the root of all evil….. and as unrealistic as it might seem, if everyone were rich and without problems, nobody would kill themselves….
      Money DOES buy happiness….

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        “and as unrealistic as it might seem, if everyone were rich and without problems, nobody would kill themselves….”

        Plenty of rich folks kill themselves, and for stupid reasons.

        “Money DOES buy happiness….”

        Make up your fucking mind – You just told us no one would kill themselves if wealthy, and lots do.

        You’re a real piece of work, ‘george’. You’re a Leftist fuckwit that owns guns, and you consider yourself oh-so-superior to us who don’t drink the Leftist Kool-Aid…

  29. avatar UpInArms says:

    ” those for whom firearms are accessible are indeed more likely to kill themselves with firearms than those for whom they are not accessible ”

    And people who have swimming pools in their yard are more likely to go swimming than those who don’t…and people who own cars are more likely to drive than people who don’t…and people who have computers are more likely to use the internet than people who don’t… and… oh, what the hell.

    Duh.

  30. avatar Ralph says:

    Water leads to suicide. I can prove it. 100% of all suicides from any cause drank water within ten years of their death.

    Also, reading anything by Dr. Windymutt is enough to drive a fella to dark thoughts. It’s been proved!

    1. avatar Prndll says:

      I wonder how much Dr. Handynut pays for malpractice insurance?

  31. avatar Juice says:

    I’ve got a feeling my uncle is way more likely to drown in his backyard than I am in mine, since he owns a pool and I do not. I ought to dig up a study or something so I can show him the time bomb he’s sitting on.

  32. avatar John Felicia says:

    I have two masters, one in non binary gender studies, the other in chemistry-LGBTQ-pottery art and science. I can tell you that gun owners are more likely to commit suicide by firearm than those who do not have direct access to firearms. It has also been proven than folks who do not play the lottery cannot win it. Alright I have to go to bed now I work morning shift at Starbucks.

  33. avatar possum says:

    Probably not if your hanging by a rope

  34. avatar Shawn says:

    To the left gun ownership leads to death because once they are in power they will make gun ownership punishable by death.

  35. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Seriously. ,one might think Garen Wintemute, MD is either in the tank or a quack (of course).

    1. avatar Prndll says:

      Doctor, heal thyself.

  36. avatar The Cold Backhand of God says:

    Does owning a spoon make ya fat?
    hurr hurr hurr …

  37. avatar strych9 says:

    Does Handgun Ownership Lead to Suicide?

    No, but working for the Clintons does.

    Also, there’s like a 10% shot that you off yourself in a jail cell if you’re name is Jeffery Epstein but the other 90% chance is that the Clintons get you.

    1. avatar The Cold Backhand of God says:

      Antonin Scalia didn’t truly die in his sleep, either. He was suffocated.
      This is what keeps Justice John Roberts awake at night.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        Roberts has nothing to worry about.

        That traitorous piece of shit did exactly as he was told and mooted the ‘NY Pistol’ decision…

  38. avatar Prndll says:

    If that were the case, there would be no cops as pretty much every one of them get issued handguns.

    What is the ratio of soldiers still living versus those killed by their own trigger finger that were all issued M9’s? How many died from enemy weapons?

    With such a large number of handguns in civilian ownership, there wouldn’t be anyone left for the cops deal with. For that matter, we wouldn’t have made it out of the ancient west days of single action army revolvers. Is it considered suicide when a thug chooses death-by-cop?

    The whole thing of craziness bs. Too much desire to contort reality and never actually deal with the truth or the facts.

  39. avatar TFred says:

    PLEASE someone at TTAG, FIND AN EDITOR.

    This is a great article but so chock full of careless editorial errors, it would hurt more than it would help to share, especially among the medical professionals who so desperately need to see it.

  40. avatar Dennis says:

    Why do all these “experts” look like they stepped out of a 1930’s brown shirt rally!?

  41. avatar Doug says:

    The left has been yelling about the right to die for years. But I guess it’s only good if the state does it as money and power seems to be what they are really talking about.

  42. avatar Robert Messmer says:

    So what? Even if gun ownership or handgun ownership did cause suicide, the government has no authority to prevent it. We no longer abide by the 2nd amendment in that we have to beg government permission to buy a weapon (and PAY for having to beg). They do not need to put even more road blocks in the way.

  43. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

    Let’s look at Red Flag Laws, since that was one of the reasons behind that push. What an honest assessment says, is that yes suicide by firearms went down, BUT, there was a corresponding rise in suicides by other methods. So the Red Flag law didn’t reduce suicide, it only reduced suicides by a particular method. Where’s the net gain? There isn’t one.
    Someone intent upon killing themselves and/or others will succeed the majority of the time. The method they use is irrelevant to the problem. Is the person that shot themselves in the head, any more dead than the high dive artist? No, the end result is still the same, except one requires a HazMat team to clean up because of the splat.
    The problem with this “study” and many others like it, is that it’s too focused upon methodology, while ignoring the underlying cause, which is the extremes of mental distress. Shall we ban ropes, knives, kitchen ovens, Hi Rise dwellings, automobiles, garages, and a whole shopping list of methods by which people kill themselves? Well, I haven’t seen the so called “experts” suggest that.

  44. avatar Connie says:

    But, he’s a hell of a lot of fun at a party.

  45. avatar 9mm Johnson says:

    It does not matter if there is a correlation between gun ownership and higher rates of suicide. That does not impact my rights to own guns at all.

  46. avatar Wheel gun guy says:

    Suicide is cowardly it comes from a fear of the future. It has nothing to do with guns.

  47. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    How does he feel about the suicide rate in Japan?

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