Guns And Suicide: More Guns, Less Suicides?

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Anti-gunners have long tried to use suicide as yet another reason gun control should be enacted. In their minds, someone deciding to take their own life is not just a health issue, but groups for legislative intervention. They believe that if they pass enough laws, those people who use a gun to take their own life will simply not try to kill themselves.


Of course, that’s complete and total BS. While guns are the most effective means for suicide, there are plenty of other options that are damn near as effective. Taking away guns will simply shift suicidal individuals over to one of those, thus accomplishing nothing except further erosion of our civil rights.

Yet anti-gunners are still convinced that if they take our guns, they can save us.

However, a new study suggests something very different.

Researchers surveyed surviving loved ones of 121 handgun and shotgun owners who died by suicide—93 of whom died with a firearm and 28 who died through other means—and asked about the numbers and types of firearms the individuals had and the circumstances of their deaths.

The findings, published in the Archives of Suicide Research, showed that 77% of those who died using a firearm, and 61% of those who died using another method, owned a handgun. They also found that 88.8% of people who only owned handguns used a firearm in their suicide death as compared to 81.8% of those who only owned shotguns.

Further, the more firearms a person owned, the less likely they were to use one in their death.

“This finding was surprising,” says author Michael Anestis, executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center and associate professor of Urban-Global Public Health at Rutgers School of Public Health.

“Although such stockpiling may increase the odds of other problematic outcomes, it appears from our results that the risk for firearm suicide may actually be highest among those who own only one or a small number of firearms.”


Of course, the idea of “other problematic outcomes” is BS as well, but let’s focus on the suicide thing for now.

Why would having more guns make you less likely to kill yourself?

Well, for me, buying guns makes me happy. Buying more guns makes me happier, so having a lot of guns makes me a lot happier than the humorless scolds who are trying to take them away. I’m not sure that’s the mechanism they’re observing, though.

The researchers offer all kinds of speculation, none of which actually makes any sense and I have nothing I can offer that goes beyond speculation. In particular, my guess is those with a lot of firearms are also going to be more likely to know how suicide statistics are used for gun control and simply decide that if they’re going to commit suicide, they’ll use another method.

That’s just a guess, though.

Regardless, it does suggest that more gun doesn’t just lead us to less crime, but fewer suicides as well. Clearly, the secret is to encourage gun owners to buy a lot more guns for their own mental well-being.

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