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Old January 23, 2014, 08:21 AM   #26
DT Guy
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I like how they weight the societal costs and risks of firearms ownership after casually stating that, 'there is little evidence a firearm reduces the risk of homicide'; I've seen convincing evidence that firearms DO prevent violent crime, both academic and personal.

If only we could make lying somehow expensive, or painful, most of this type of reporting would instantly stop.

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Old January 23, 2014, 09:05 AM   #27
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Remember when reporting about shootings ,the antis changed the FBI reportings from " known to" to "friend of " ? If they repeat the lies often people believe it !
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:08 AM   #28
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I would like to see someone who clearly does not have a bias toward gun control looking at the raw data and seeing if they reach the same or different conclusions. Someone like John Lott who has debunked many of the other so-called studies, such as the famous one that stated "you are 43 times more likely to die if you keep a gun in your home" that is still repeated and referred to by the anti-gun zealots.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:29 AM   #29
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The presence of a firearm in the home makes suicide by firearm more likely than in a home without firearms, but as has been pointed out already, that's an essentially meaningless statistic.

However, one point is that suicide attempts with firearms tend to be more successful than other attempts.

So all else being equal, you might expect to see slightly more completed suicides in a home with firearms compared to a demographically similar one without.

For whatever that's worth, which I doubt is much as far as practical policy goes.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:47 AM   #30
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Like them or not, facts are facts.

Statistically, the only guaranteed way to prevent a home invasion is to not have a home.

All you people with guns and homes must hate your families. For shame...
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Old January 23, 2014, 12:33 PM   #31
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Does someone have a link to the study itself?

When this news was printed in our local newspaper, there was a clarification that the 'access to firearms' data was "a gun owned by famliy, friends or neighbors.
So, I did some quick mental math and thought: lessee: 40% ish of US homes own a gun of some stripe.
If I am a normal person:
I have a neighbor on each side of me: 2
My parents have house: 1
I have at least one sibling: 1
I have at least 2 friends: 2
So a total of 6 basic possibilities of households which might give me access to a firearm. 40% of 6 is (bad math): 2.5. So, if I completely discount geography and demographics and social conditions, if the researchers asked about firearm ownersihp at 3 related households (1 family, 1 friend, 1 neighbor), there's probably someone with a gun. I have no idea how far they threw the net, but it's not hard to find someone who could "give access" to a firearm.

Why do I bring this up? So, in my house, my father had a shotgun. he kept it at work, b/c he worked in a sketchy part of town. He kept a baseball bat under his bed at home. That was probably fine for 1972. Anyhow, if I had killed myself by turning on my car in a closed garage, my death could have been included in this study as a "suicide in a house with a firearm."
lies, damn lies, statistics.
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Old January 23, 2014, 12:46 PM   #32
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Statistically, the only guaranteed way to prevent a home invasion is to not have a home.
Even the homeless guys living out of shopping carts get their carts stolen.
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Old January 23, 2014, 12:59 PM   #33
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I've merged two threads -- we don't need more than one on this subject.
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Old January 23, 2014, 02:39 PM   #34
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Whenever anyone talks about risk (of anything) and uses the phrase "2 or 3 times more likely to..." it means that they don't have any real numbers that mean anything.
Huh. I didn't see that phrase in the actual study.

What you were citing was not actually the study

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1814426

but a reporter synopsis of the study.

Quote:
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.
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/0...tcmp=obnetwork

So on one hand, you are correct in your assessment in that "they," the reporter, didn't pay attention to the study. However, as a critique of the study, complete with quote marks, your claim is invalid and you missed an excellent opportunity to make a valid point by not going to the original source.

The study does cite specific numbers, not that there isn't a significant failure in their use, as noted by 2damnold4this.

Nothing wrong with being critical, but it is important to be critical of the correct source that you are citing and not to confuse the difference between what a reporter is summarizing versus what is actually said in a study.


Quote:
We have fewer suicides per capita than just about any other first-world country. That includes many countries that supposedly have a higher standard of living than ours.
Given the list of per capita suicides you note from your source

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv...iciderate.html

and a characterization of what are first world countries from here...

http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/first_world.htm
http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworl..._countries.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World

...the US does NOT have fewer suicides that just about any other first-world country. We aren't 2nd or 3rd. We aren't even 6th. We are 8th. The only one on the list with less than us that isn't 1st world is Mexico.
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Old January 23, 2014, 08:50 PM   #35
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Opposing Methods

To me it looked like the Harvard study in the original post and the study in the link above took two different approaches and so are like comparing apples to oranges. The Harvard study took a national, widespread approach and the annals study took a more individual approach. I think the Harvard study made a very good point.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/...useronline.pdf

"But*even*so,*American*homicide*is*driven*by*socio‐economic*
and*cultural*factors*that*keep*it*far*higher*than*the*comparable*
rate*of*homicide*in*most*European*nations."

That study was really well written in my opinion. Easy to read anyway. The annals study touches on the socio-economic factor particularly relating to homicides and how most of the homicides were on women and how it was mostly someone they knew/domestic violence. Suicide also has a lot of socio-economic factors. Urban areas where gun ownership is less prevalent and historically more restrictive have higher homicide rates than rural areas where there are more guns. But on the other side, suicide rates are higher in rural areas.

The Harvard study brings up the topic of firearms as a deterrent for violence which is on another topic on this forum I may have been merged, not sure sorry. From reading both and my own biases I am leaning towards firearms as a tool (another post put it much better) and not necessarily the cause or something to blame for anything.
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Old January 23, 2014, 09:13 PM   #36
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Whenever anyone talks about risk (of anything) and uses the phrase "2 or 3 times more likely to..." it means that they don't have any real numbers that mean anything.

Huh. I didn't see that phrase in the actual study.

What you were citing was not actually the study
You are right, I wasn't citing the actual study. Nor did I mean to. My comment was intended to be more of a general comment on the report, not the details of the study itself.

Because, in reality, lots of people will only look at the headline blurb /reporter's comments, and take them as "fact".
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:26 PM   #37
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You are right, I wasn't citing the actual study. Nor did I mean to. My comment was intended to be more of a general comment on the report, not the details of the study itself.
Sorry, I missed that when you said that they didn't have any real numbers when the real numbers did exist in the actual study about which the reporter was summarizing.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:30 PM   #38
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Let me be unpopular and say guns probably do play a role in suicides.

Someone who's going to kill themselves and has access to a gun is going to think about that gun. It's also known to be fast and easy. Cutting your wrists is painful and once you've finished one, or both, you still have time to act and save your life if you change your mind. Tying a noose to hang yourself with is time consuming, and leaving the car running in the garage leaves you to think about it.

With a gun, you know if you do it right it will be quick and it will likely be done right. A chart I read placed shotgun suicide fatality rates at something like 98.9%, the highest of any method. Handgun suicide was lower, but still in the top 5 most effective methods. It's quick. If you do it right (wrong?), there's no time to second guess. I think it also cuts out a lot of doubt. There's no thinking "Can I tie this right?" "Do I have the willpower to cut my wrists?" There's none of the self doubt of whether or not you can figure out how to operate a safety.

I think having a gun in the house probably does spur a certain small number, whether statistically significant or not. I don't think we need to be trying to legislate an answer to it, but they should be locked up around kids and anyone you know or think to be unstable or even having a particularly tough time.

Some people will find another way. Others might not have if they weren't given a tool with great opportunity to use it for such.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:58 PM   #39
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Tools

I agree with you Dakota-Potts. You put that in a way that made sense. A firearm is probably the right tool for the job. They should be locked up with kids, clinically depressed, etc. I wasn't doing a good job, but I was trying to say something along the lines of the original post, why are they suicidal in the first place? It isn't because there is a gun in the house, that just means there is a tool ready to use. A gun in the house has to be in the back of your mind as an easy option. That might be why the domestic violence turning to homicides is higher, too. A tool is readily available. I don't know what triggers people to do something like that. I don't know of any statistics but suicide is not always an impulse decision, so there are warning signs and time to lock up stuff in many cases, not all I am sure. The signs are hard to see often too. Domestic situations with people with a history of violence and access to a firearm are scary. This is probably unpopular, too but those kinds of histories should be warning signs not to have guns, too.

Greece and Macedonia might be a good case study. In the Harvard study, both countries had low homicide rates, and many guns. I think I was reading that right. With the economic collapse over there the suicide rate sky-rocketed. Homicide rates held steady. Greece is still among the leaders in guns/capita. Socio-economic factors really seem to be the driving force. Off topic again, but the video games and movies in American culture might be a cultural factor to look at. For some reason US has a higher homicide rate than Greece and most of Europe. One is too many, and I think it is worth looking into to figure out how to lower the rate for both suicide and homicide.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3900906.html

The Washington Post link above was for pre-economic colllapse (2005) in Greece. Greece was lowest for all countries. After the economic collapse? increase of 45% according to this article.

http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indi...#country=gr:us

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._gun_ownership

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_suicide_rate

The US is ranked 33rd on this list with Greece going up to 87th highest from 2009 data. The data is from just after US economic troubles started,too and suicide rates are up.

Last edited by Againstthewind; January 23, 2014 at 11:36 PM.
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:34 PM   #40
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What is the most popular suicide method?
Strictly statistically speaking, I'm thinking Bacon.

Cigarettes used to be pretty popular, but not so much these days .....

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Old January 23, 2014, 11:47 PM   #41
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Best summation can be.


smoking is bad for babies. therefore lets pass a law that prevents pregnant women from being anywhere cigarette smoke can be found.
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Old January 24, 2014, 12:01 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Bezoar View Post
Best summation can be.





smoking is bad for babies. therefore lets pass a law that prevents pregnant women from being anywhere cigarette smoke can be found.

I'm not sure what your point is here, but would you oppose banning smoking anywhere pregnant women are expected to/need to/like to be?
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Old January 24, 2014, 07:35 AM   #43
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Suicides per 100,000 people...
South Korea 24.7
Hungary 21.0
Japan 19.4
Belgium 18.4
Finland 16.5
France 14.6
Austria 13.8
Poland 13.8
Czech Republic 12.7
New Zealand 11.9
Denmark 11.3
Sweden 11.1
Norway 10.9
Slovak Republic 10.9
Iceland 10.4
Germany 10.3
Canada 10.2
United States 10.1
Luxembourg 9.5
Portugal 8.7
Netherlands 7.9
Spain 6.3
Britain 6
Italy 5.5
Mexico 4.4
Greece 2.9

Guns are almost non-existent in S. Korea, which interestingly has a suicide rate nearly 2.5% higher than ours.
Thats a lot of suicides to commit using some other means.

I have little doubt that America's firearms play a significant roll in impulsive spur-of-the-moment suicides, simply because they are immediately available and the results are instant, but beyond that S. Korea and Japan's numbers show that where there is a will there is a way and firearm ownership is basically irrelevant to suicides
(Nearly no firearms in Japan, also.)
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Old January 24, 2014, 09:28 AM   #44
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Japan's numbers show that where there is a will there is a way and firearm ownership is basically irrelevant to suicides
(Nearly no firearms in Japan, also.)
Right, and we can even look at data from the opposition and see that for a country such as Japan that does have a higher suicide rate than the US, the much lower gun ownership does not appear to causative. You can no more say that high gun ownership correlates with higher suicides per capita than lower gun ownership correlates with fewer suicides per capita.
http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/japan

For example,

Quote:
The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Japan is 0.61 firearms per 100 people
Quote:
In Japan, annual suicides by any means total 1997: 23,502

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)
In Japan, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

1997: 18.41
1994: 16.72
Quote:
In Japan, annual firearm suicides total 1999: 47

Rate of Gun Suicide per 100,000 People
In Japan, the annual rate of firearm suicide per 100,000 population is

1999: 0.04
1994: 0.04
The data are dated, but the pattern is fairly clear. There are few guns in Japan and few guns being used for suicide, but the suicide rate is very high (compared to the US). Obviously, guns are not the issue.
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Old January 24, 2014, 12:48 PM   #45
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For some reason US has a higher homicide rate than Greece and most of Europe.
Only if you look at it a certain way. War is homicide, and Europe has had a LOT more of that than the US.

Although it has changed some, most European nations have a much more ...consistant culture than the US. More homogenous. Areas that don't have a high level of consistency in the culture are more violent. Look at the Balkans, for one example. Multiple ethnic groups (with the added complication of different religions), have been fighting and killing there for centuries. Europe has had nearly constant warfare between someone since the days when there were no nations, only tribes.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. Which, btw, was begun in Europe...

Europe is currently experiencing what I think is its longest continuous period of "peace" in centuries. (no, please don't mention ethnic cleansing in the Balkans..they don't want to count that against their peace) I hope it lasts a long, long time, but history argues against it.

the US is often referred to as a melting pot, and in many ways, it is true. The pot bubbles and roils, its not a calm simmer all the time. And if you look at the ideas put forth by many of our "leaders", it does seem true that the dross floats to the top....

Homicide for personal reasons, by individuals, the US has more than Europe, currently at any rate. Homicide for political reasons, by groups? Europe has a really good lock on that, the US can't even come close.
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Old January 24, 2014, 04:36 PM   #46
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Europe is currently experiencing what I think is its longest continuous period of "peace" in centuries.
Europe experienced a 5 decade "Pax Americana" ..... which was really not a "peace", but a cold war, between the United States and it's proxies, and the Soviet Union, and it's proxies. Europe stopped warring with itself because a giant eagle and a huge bear divided them up into two piles and sat on them, glowering and trading polite insults at each other for half a century.

Almost as soon as the two superpowers ceased their staring contest, and wandered away to other pursuits, the most unstable part of Europe (the Balkans) started fighting again ..... with various nations taking sides, almost exactly like they did before the Great War .... only this time, they let their proxies fight it out .....
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Old January 24, 2014, 09:40 PM   #47
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only this time, they let their proxies fight it out .....
so far....
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Old January 24, 2014, 11:25 PM   #48
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a giant eagle and a huge bear divided them up into two piles and sat on them, glowering and trading polite insults at each other for half a century.
Ah.. I miss the good ol days.

Our current leaders have also reduced us from Eagle status to buzzard status.
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Old January 25, 2014, 03:03 AM   #49
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Ah.. I miss the good ol days.
Ah, Nostalgia ...... the whole thing turned out well, but I also remember the fatalism I viewed life with in the Army in 1987 ..... It appeared to me the bear was dying and would lash out before keeeling over .... and my life expectancy in any war would be measured in hours, not days ..... the question was how many Warsaw Pact soldiers could I kill before they got me ..... that chemical weapons would be used was a given, and tactical nukes (including the ones our 8" GS Field Artillery Bn trained to use) were likely ..... oh, I remember the ugly side of things, as well .... WWIII in western Europe would have had all the worst aspects of WWI and II, and some that were newly invented .....
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Old January 25, 2014, 09:01 AM   #50
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Very good, jimbob86, in providing an example of how nostalgia for the good old days often provides blinders of ignorance about what really once was and how bad things actually were or could of been, much like how information (inconvenient truths) are ignored today.
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