Suicide statistics aren't grounds for gun control

Suicide statistics aren't grounds for gun control

Suicide represents a profound problem in this country. The effects of mental illness take their toll in many ways, but when someone feels their only way out is to take their own life, well, that creates effects few can foresee.

One thing that we should be united on is trying to find a solution to suicide, some way to prevent them.

However, we can’t.

Why? Because “researchers” are far too busy trying to find ways to blame guns for everything with “studies” like this one.

The number of suicides committed with firearms increased 11% over the past decade and was driven primarily by deaths in cities with more relaxed gun policies, according to new research first obtained by ABC News.

Researchers from New York University and Everytown for Gun Safety, a leading gun control advocacy organization, released a report Thursday tracking the growing rate of suicides by firearm, which already make up the bulk of gun deaths in the United States.

Everytown said the statistics support its argument for gun control. (Opponents of such restrictions say they’re unconstitutional and ineffective.)

“We know that stronger gun laws save lives,” Everytown’s deputy research director, Megan O’Toole, told ABC News. “And this data demonstrates the importance of local legislation in preventing gun violence in cities specifically through addressing them suicides.”

See? The fact that Everytown was involved with this research at all should make everyone skeptical all on its own.

It’s not like Everytown would be involved in a study that suggested guns save lives, despite the ample evidence that they do.

But what about the study itself?

The report relies on data at the city level collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides accredited researchers like those at NYU with special access to analyze trends. The correlation between gun policy and higher gun suicide rates was made based on Everytown’s ranking of states with varying degrees of gun laws.

Everytown’s ranking focuses on how states enacted a list of 50 laws encompassing a swath of gun measures — including storage requirements; regulations for permits and background checks; variations on “red flag” laws, which make it easier for authorities to temporarily restrict firearm purchases for those deemed to be a potential threat to themselves or others; and more.

In other words, it’s a study designed to advance Everytown’s policies.

You see, this is nothing but correlation. We all know that correlation doesn’t equal causation, so finding such a correlation means absolutely nothing.

Further, suicide isn’t a gun issue. It’s a mental health problem, one exacerbated by anti-gunners desire to label all mental illnesses as grounds for taking guns away from law-abiding people. Areas with lax gun laws are also likely to be places where people like their guns, which means they’re likely to be worried about losing their gun rights.

That never gets mentioned.

Does it make a difference? It’s impossible to tell because these studies don’t look at any deeper causes. They’re designed to advance a narrative and do so masquerading as science. Is it any wonder people don’t trust research like they used to?