Suicide, Survival and Guns

Suicide Attempts, Deaths and Medical Interventions by Meathod - 2007 thru 2014

“Guns are inherently more lethal in committing suicides!” Yet when we looked at W.H.O global suicide data, we discovered that the most suicidal country at the time (Lithuania) had about three times the rate of suicides, 1% as many guns per capita, and nearly everyone killing themselves used rope. In the USA, where guns are abundant, the data skewed in odds ways. We think we know why, but with a lack of absolute data, it is a little speculative. The Quick Take-aways Suicide “deaths” are those regardless of medical attention. Successful suicide victims receive no EMT or hospital treatment. EMT/hospitalization is effective for some modes of suicide and not others. The big clue We at the Gun Facts project have routinely noted the international disconnect between firearm ownership and suicide rates. In short, the availability of a gun did not affect the probability of a successful suicide. Looking at just … Continue reading

Callous Kids

dead dyes - callous kids and guns

One aspect of inner-city violence with guns From crime statistics and criminology studies we know that: Gun violence is a huge problem in poor, inner-city neighborhoods. The prime gang recruitment ages are between 14 and 19. Gun carrying, almost always done illegally, is common. An open question is “what drives these bad decisions, to associate with street gangs, acquire guns illegally, and to use them?” Here is one element worth noting: that emotionally callous kids are more prone to gun play than others. What is “callousness”? Both the dictionary and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders defines this. The dictionary definition is more straightforward and says to be callous is to be “insensitive, indifferent, unsympathetic”. The DSM has a special specifier identifying people with “limited prosocial emotions”. Same thing, different wording. A new study studied if callous kids were (a) more likely to carry a gun and … Continue reading

What leads To Mass Public Shootings?

Causes Associated with Mass Public Shootings - Per Violence Project MPS Database

That is the big question everyone is asking. You, I, even your crazy Uncle Jim who never “got over ‘Nam” don’t shoot-up elementary schools or their company headquarters. That leaves us to wonder what makes mass public shooters different that the rest? What causes them to disconnect from reality and society to the point where mass murder seems like a good idea to them? Well, we now may have some numbers to (partially) answer the question. … Continue reading

Ammo Background … Checked

Effects of background checks for ammo purpchases in California and New York per homicide rates

The Gun Facts project received a provocative question: “We’ve had a few years of California’s Prop. 63. Can we point to any numbers that show whether the ammo background check law is having the desired effect?” The answers are: “Yes, we have numbers; no, it didn’t have an impact; but there are a lot of gotchas in the analysis.” The two experimental states Both New York and California passed laws that require criminal background checks before you can buy ammunition. New York passed their law in 2013 and California in 2017. These two states –The State of COVID and the State of Emergency – passed these measures along with other gun control actions (California, for example, established procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by specified persons), so it is technically impossible to weed out just ammunition retailing as a factor. But we can at least measure aggregate violence stats … Continue reading

Missouri Compromised

Missouri Suicide Rates, Ages 10-24

If your doctor is a member of the American Medical Association, get another doctor. QUICKLY! A new low in gun research by doctors may have been reached in a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This now disreputable rag is allegedly “peer reviewed,” but that claim is credible only if the peers are refugees from the local sanitarium. In their fresh assault on logic, the sundry docs and quacks concluded that changes in pistol purchase and concealed carry laws in Missouri (MO) caused suicides in younger people to rise. They did this by creating synthetic models that invented suicide statistics by incorporating erratic source data. They had to take this approach because the real numbers were not exactly in their favor. The Big Scary … Not JAMA launched into their artless misdirection by saying “suicide was the second leading cause of death for children and … Continue reading

EveryCon and Youth Suicides

Suicides ages 0-14 for 2016

If one kid died last year from eating Tide Pods, and two died this year, then you can say there was a 100% increase in the child Tide Pod death rate. But your summary would be completely misleading. Herein we will do an academic deconstruction of a similar propaganda move by Michael Bloomberg’s favorite charity, Everytown for Gun Safety. Statistics don’t lie but statisticians do NOTE: This image is being used under “fair use” doctrine as an example for educational purposes The core claim made by Everytown, as shown in the social media image they created, is that kids – people age 14 and under – were the fastest-growing firearm suicide rate age group. The two agitprop con jobs at play here involve who is being studied and when. Let’s start with “who.” In the book Guns and Control by Gun Facts project founder Guy Smith, we see that in … Continue reading

Inner-city Guns

Gun access by at-risk inner city youths in New York

For decades, the raw data has shown that the bulk of gun crimes, woundings and deaths occur in the inner cities and are closely associated with gangs. What we don’t have a great deal of clarity about is why and how this situation has come to dominate gun violence. Forget the statistically rare mass public shootings, the even more rare terrorist events, and even the plummeting rates of gun accidents. If you are actually serious about “gun safety,” then you focus on what is occurring inside of major metro areas. Seventeen people died in the Parkland High School shooting. That many high school aged blacks die every week from gun violence, and these deaths are not tied to mass murders. Thanks to the Center for Court Innovation, we have some added clarity. “Gotta Make Your Own Heaven” That is the title of a solid bit of research published in August … Continue reading

Assault Weapon Deadliness

Mass Public Shooting Deaths and Woundings by Weapon Type - 1982 thru 2020-06-26.png

“Assault weapons must be banned because they are vastly more deadly!” (It is equally believable that this was said by Everytown, MSNBC, or the crazy homeless person on the corner… it is getting hard to tell the difference.) Are “assault weapons” inherently more dangerous that any other type of gun? I know ardent gunnies will go into deep discourse about the relative energy transfer potentials of sundry ammo types and rifle configurations. But thanks to the Gun Facts Mass Public Shooting database, we can make a quicker review. The High-Level Numbers NOTE #1: “Assault weapon” is a legislative term, not a technical one. There are a plethora of “assault weapons” laws that cover everything from handguns to hunting rifles to Lord Knows What. So we use the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons bill definition since it is the only one that covered all of the United States. NOTE #2: It is … Continue reading

Cali Suicide Calumny

California Suicides by Age and Means, 2004-2016

“Bury the lede” is an old newspaper trade term for not disclosing the interesting part of the story until so late in the article that few people read it. Paragraph #1, Senator Bedfellow gave money to a shelter for battered women; paragraph 48, Senator Bedfellow was charged with wife beating in 2006. It is a propaganda tactic, and it is used too often in gun policy research. In this case concerning suicides in California, the stunt was aided and abetted by the California government. Woe, thy name is Wintemute Long ago, a doctor with zero criminology credentials started publishing on gun control topics. His early research was, in a word, hilarious. One chunk of his intellectual effluvium used “observational evidence” about people at gun shows in two states. Generalized, the assumption the doctor made was that if Bill asked his friend Ted about a firearm for sale at the gun … Continue reading

Gun Ownership RANDomness

Self-Reported Household Gun Ownership and Citizen Status - Gallup, ABC, GSS, Pew, BRFSS

The Rand Corporation does a lot of interesting stuff. So, when they studied household gun ownership rates, we at the Gun Facts project took note. And we sadly note that this is not Rand’s finest work. It really isn’t even presentable. Normally we try not to go too deep into minutiae on the Gun Facts blog, mainly reserving it for more groundbreaking observations (such as when we untangled the “cattle pen scenario” element of mass public shootings or dove deep into what, if any, impact “high capacity magazines” had). But today, we will have to guide you through some perspective on gun ownership rates and show how Rand seems to have muddied the political waters. Why we need to know state-level gun ownership rates The lack of perfect knowledge about household gun ownership rates by state has annoyed criminologists and social scientist for decades. Since most American states do not … Continue reading