For a while now, so-called experts have been trying to link a lack of gun control with all kinds of nastiness. From increased violent crime to increased suicides, it’s all because of gun laws or the lack thereof. I’m pretty sure if they could figure out a way to get away with it, they’d blame a lack of gun laws for increased cases of COVID-19.
However, the problem is that so many of their claims simply don’t make any sense, such as this study focusing on Missouri.
A loosening of Missouri’s permit-to-purchase (PTP) and concealed carry firearm laws may have contributed to increased rates of firearm suicides among young residents, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network Open.
CDC data show suicide was the second leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 10 to 24 years in 2017, while rates of mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes have been on the rise among this age group over the last decade.
In 2017, Missouri ranked sixth in the nation in firearm deaths. Over 58% of suicide deaths also involve firearms. “Firearm-related deaths are the second leading cause of death in Missouri children aged 1 to 17 years,” the authors wrote, adding, “In 2018, every 4 days a young person in Missouri died by suicide via firearm.”
Missouri currently has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the United States. For example, private possession of firearms is permitted without a license, although it is unlawful to sell or give a firearm to any individual under the age of 18 without parental consent. In addition, buyers of firearms in private sales are not required to pass official background checks before taking possession of a firearm, there is no established waiting period for a firearm purchase to be completed, and current regulations do not have written specifications for safe storage of private firearms and ammunition, the authors explained.
In 2007, the state removed a requirement for gun owners to have a state PTP license for concealable firearms, while in 2011, Missouri lowered the legal age to obtain a concealed carry permit from 23 to 21. That age limit was further reduced to 19 in 2014. “Finally, in 2017, a law was enacted that allowed for permit-less carry for all gun owners in most public places. Currently in Missouri, any person at least age 19 years may carry a firearm in plain view (ie, open carry) or in hidden view (concealed carry) in most places without a permit,” the authors noted.
The problem here is that none of the laws changed had any impact on the age group in question.
After all, the laws didn’t permit people under the age of 18 to buy a gun, to carry a gun, or anything of the sort. The age group the study focused on was still bound by the same laws they always had been.
If legal children had been able to buy guns and that correlated to an increase in suicides, then maybe they’d have a point, but that didn’t happen.
Oh, researchers had guesses such as claiming more guns in circulation led to the increase, but they’re just guesses. Again, it was still unlawful for children to be given a firearm with a parent’s permission.
In other words, they found a correlation and are making a leap as to causation. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, or “after therefore because of.”
And yet, I bet these researchers also wonder why we dismiss studies like this.