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Last September, Michael Bloomberg gave Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins School of Public Health $300 million to target “gun violence.” As you might imagine, the former New York Mayor’s gun control gun control advocacy taints any “research” that comes from his largesse. For example, when Hopkins’ researchers concluded that gun control laws could have negative unintended consequences, they somehow forgot to recommend repeal of those laws. From

The research team looked at what happens when people want to temporarily remove firearms from their home because they fear someone in the house might be considering a suicide attempt. In some states, they found, gun control laws may actually hamper the ability to easily transfer a gun temporarily to reduce suicide risk.

What’s needed, according to Jon S. Vernick of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore and colleagues, are laws that allow for temporary storage of guns by federally licensed firearm dealers, law enforcement officers, family members and friends.

The research was published this week in an issue of JAMA Internal Medicine focusing on firearm violence.

Catch that? Universal Background Checks — laws requiring a federal background check by a federal firearms licensee for any transfer of firearms — would inhibit a family member’s (or caregiver’s) attempt to temporarily remove firearms from someone at risk of suicide. No wonder other researchers are arguing that voluntary cooperation may work better than the heavy hand of legislation.

In a separate paper in the same issue, public health researchers from Boston argue that in order to reduce gun suicides, health care professionals need to work with, and not against, gun shop owners, firearm instructors and gun rights stakeholders. Rather than squaring off against one another, they say, these groups should “jointly devise strategies to put time and distance between a suicidal person and a firearm.”

Suicides account for approximately two thirds of all fatalities associated with guns. Universal Background checks have not been shown to reduce the criminal use of guns, but they might increase the number of firearms-related suicides. So what’s the point?

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Gun Watch

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  1. The point is to create an environment toxic to firearms ownership. They want there to be more risk, less benefit, more hoops to jump through until more and more people give up deciding that it’s just not worth the trouble to own a gun.
    That’s the point.

    • Nailed it. Was having a discussion recently with a friend who’s not a gun guy. I’ve got him maybe 80% on board with 2A rights being important but he still thinks of silencers as solely for assassins. The hearing protection / less noise pollution aspect that *would* have been baked into the community by now was completely destroyed by the NFA.

      • You should point out that Great Britain actually has more lenient laws on suppressors than America does, and that in fact it’s actually almost part of the etiquette of shooting there that you run a can.

  2. As Australia proved with their surrender of their self-defense rights, banning civilian guns does – eventually- reduce suicide by firearm. Suicide by all other means, however, increases proportionately. So instead of eating a bullet, our Aussie friends decide to let a croc eat them instead…

    • Japan banned suicide by train by fining next of kin for the shutdown it caused.

      Suicide by train stopped entirely, but suicide rate by any means didn’t change.

    • Australia had more than just the one response to the Port Arthur shooting. Aside from the massive buyback, they passed the Mental Health Act of 1996 which was meant to increase access to psychiatric care and added a ton of regulations and reporting to psychiatry. With the massive amount of public awareness and the much larger number of people who were able to enter into care, its impossible to say it was the gun buyback that lowered suicide rates. Given that no other country which has begun massive gun control schemes has also been able to show lowered rates of suicide its almost certain the Mental Health Act and not the buyback is responsible for the decline.

  3. I have personally known three people who committed suicide. All three had access to firearms. None of them used a firearm to end their lives. To suggest that we can reduce suicide by removing access to guns defies both logic and statistical evidence.

    Of course, this is what POTG have been arguing for decades, which means that the title and the premise of this article are also false.

      • Ok, you got me on a technicality. I still think we don’t want to use this argument, because it runs contrary to our narrative. Guns don’t cause suicide, mental illness causes suicide. The victim’s choice of tools won’t make it any more or less tragic.

    • I too think that the article is based on a false premise. There are only a few states with universal background checks for transfers, and while I do not know the details of the Washington law, I HIGHLY doubt that a UBC is necessary for police to take firearms into custody for safe keeping, in fact I am quite certain they are not in any other state. No more so are UBCs required to turn over a firearm to a FFL. Hence, taking guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others, whatever the other merits of such a law may be, do not implicate any part of any UBC law, as long as the storage is by the police, another owner, or an FFL.

      • “…I HIGHLY doubt that a UBC is necessary for police to take firearms into custody for safe keeping…”

        Yeah, “safe keeping” *rolls eyes*. You’ll never get them back if you give them to the cops telling them it’s a suicide risk. I don’t care what the law says.

        When I had a pistol confiscated (illegally) by the police it took months of badgering from me, and then from a lawyer who finally wrote them a “We’ll sure you” letter, to get that burner back. It ended up costing me almost 3x the price of the piece to get the damn thing back.

        Never give anything to the state or it’s minions if you want whatever it is back. That goes for money, guns, rights or anything else. Everything you have is disposable in the eyes of your overlords and the watchword is always “safety”.

      • The problem with the Washington state law is another person can’t simply take possession of the guns from the person who may be wanting to harm themselves. You’d have to either call the police to come and seize the guns, or somehow convince the person to bring the guns to an FFL to transfer the guns to you. Even taking them temporarily so you can take them to the police or an FFL would be a transfer, which needs a background check.

        If that sounds retarded, it’s because it is.

  4. I would think that the principle of least harm would apply here. I would certainly break a transfer law to remove firearms from someone who I believed was suicidal…

    On the other hand, if he told anyone about it later, I might just kill him! ?

    Aah… The moral perils of living in a police state!

  5. This is so much more complicated than just a “gun violence” or suicide issue.

    My brother committed suicide, via drug overdose.

    It has given me much food for thought over the years. Each suicide is an individual circumstance, we shouldn’t just condemn out of hand. Sometimes, well, there’s just not much that can be done. Firearms are an extremely effective and quick way to end suffering. Guns are just tools, of course. The problem is the aftermath, that others are left to deal with. That and the noise a discharge creates frightens people.

    The “gun storage” legislation is not a viable idea. I get pissed when these solutions are offered. It just illustrates how little thought was put into them.

    I think that the posters on display in just about every guns store and firing range are one of the best ways we can promote awareness.

    • Ed, I’m sorry for your loss.

      However, the term “promote awareness” is a meaningless liberal term that does nothing to solve the problem.

    • Taking away firearms is not, in and of itself, a solution to suicides; however, the intent is that these laws will be used in conjunction with voluntary or involuntary efforts to address the underlying issues. The real issue, though, as you point out, is not the means that will be employed, but the desire to use them, a point which these people and their valiant efforts to limit availability of firearms obviously ignore.

  6. “Universal Background checks … might increase the number of firearms-related suicides.”

    That is a feature, not a bug!

    As the other person commented, gun-grabbers only care about portraying firearm ownership in the worst light possible and making ownership as expensive and legally dangerous as possible. If thousands of people have to die along the way to make that happen, they can live with that.

  7. What’s the point? Guns bad-gun owners WORSE. The point is civilian disarmament. It’s pretty EZ to kill yourself. I’ve known a couple guys who killed themselves-neither used a gun…

  8. More Right-wing BS as usual.

    UBCs would have actually reduced homicides and suicides in general.

    A gun in the home increased the chances of murder or suicide against the owner or a member of the household than defending yourself against criminal attack.

    DGUs are nothing but a MYTH!

    I’ve returned from my trip to japan and this country has the lowest rates of murder and suicides in the world.

    Meanwhile gun-friendly countries such as that 3rd world swiss hellhole have higher murders, crimes and suicides.

    Suicide is no laughing matter.

    People must come together to help one another.

    But “POTG” just prefer dividing us more and more as gun laws become relaxed and the death toll from bother murder and suicide rises.

  9. BS, just another heap of BS.

    These aholes are just looking for a way to get their toe-uner-the-turtle. Don’t let them, we can’t trust them to delay a fart, much less not take a dump on “helping” with anything.

    F them.

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