Study on 'Permissive' Gun Laws and Suicides Missing Some Data

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I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I sincerely wish that absolutely no one would take their life over temporary problems, regardless of the method they use to end that life. Suicide is an issue that needs to be addressed as a society.

And that's without the gun control argument being tacked on.

It's unfortunate that it is because, simply put, it's a massive distraction. Guns are the most common way people take their own lives, but it's far from the only ones people use.

A new study doesn't help change that, either.

When states let gun owners carry a firearm openly without a permit, death rates soar.

Significantly more people died by firearms and suicides in states that have relaxed open carry laws, a nine-year study of death data from all 50 states shows. 

"Our analysis suggests that because of the change in the law, which provides easier access to firearms, we saw an increased firearm suicide rate and total suicide rate," said principal study author Dr. Jose Diaz, a professor of surgery at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

His team evaluated annual rates of firearm-related deaths, total suicides and total homicides from 2013 to 2021. Death data came from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the study period, 19 states barred open carry or required a permit, and five states switched to open carry laws without a permit. Twenty-six states already allowed open carry without a permit before 2013.

Over the study period, firearm deaths jumped 45% nationwide, from 33,636 in 2013 to 48,830 in 2021.

Researchers found a significant link between more liberal gun laws and rates of firearm-related deaths.

Total suicide rates rose by about 57%, while suicides by firearm rose 18% in states that switched to permitless open carry, the data showed.

Now, I'm going to give credit where it's due. At least they also looked at total suicide rates. Interestingly, though, it also seems that suicide rates as a whole rose by a much greater degree than suicides by firearm.

It's almost like guns weren't the problem.

Let's also remember, however, that homicide rates had been trending downward year after year until 2020 when things went kind of nuts throughout the entire world. Homicide rates skyrocketed, all without any significant liberalization of gun laws.

I should also include this obligatory link as to why gun studies are generally worthless.

This is especially important because Diaz seems fixated on open carry for some reason, and we've never seen a single news report of someone open carrying before committing either suicide or a violent crime.

Not a one.

It just seems odd that the study ended the year after the most significant spike in homicides we've ever seen. Then again, from what we've seen about gun research, that shouldn't be surprising in the least.

See, I want to believe in research. I want to be able to trust studies that come out. 

Yet, as noted in the obligatory link above, the laws of probability mean we should have gotten at least some pro-gun results out of gun researchers, even as outliers. The fact that we haven't is suggestive that such results are being suppressed, which goes along with some other things we've seen involving "the science" of late.

Especially since this researcher didn't bother to look at total homicides, just those involving a firearm. I can't help but wonder if that was because his total suicide data was so much higher than those committed with a firearm and he was afraid he'd see something similar with homicides.

That might not be how Diaz rolls. I honestly don't know, but his profession is full of people who have gone out of their way to be untrustworthy, so absent some evidence that this is different, I see no reason to even consider it as relevant.