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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:33 AM

In the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide is the leading cause of death.

Mortality among Recent Purchasers of Handguns

METHODS
We conducted a population-based cohort study to compare mortality among 238,292 persons who purchased a handgun in California in 1991 with that in the general adult population of the state. The observation period began with the date of handgun purchase (15 days after the purchase application) and ended on December 31, 1996. The standardized mortality ratio (the ratio of the number of deaths observed among handgun purchasers to the number expected on the basis of age- and sex-specific rates among adults in California) was the principal outcome measure.

RESULTS
In the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide was the leading cause of death among handgun purchasers, accounting for 24.5 percent of all deaths and 51.9 percent of deaths among women 21 to 44 years old. The increased risk of suicide by any method among handgun purchasers (standardized mortality ratio, 4.31) was attributable entirely to an excess risk of suicide with a firearm (standardized mortality ratio, 7.12). In the first week after the purchase of a handgun, the rate of suicide by means of firearms among purchasers (644 per 100,000 person-years) was 57 times as high as the adjusted rate in the general population. Mortality from all causes during the first year after the purchase of a handgun was greater than expected for women (standardized mortality ratio, 1.09), and the entire increase was attributable to the excess number of suicides by means of a firearm. As compared with the general population, handgun purchasers remained at increased risk for suicide by firearm over the study period of up to six years, and the excess risk among women in this cohort (standardized mortality ratio, 15.50) remained greater than that among men (standardized mortality ratio, 3.23). The risk of death by homicide with a firearm was elevated among women (standardized mortality ratio at one year, 2.20; at six years, 2.01) but low among men (standardized mortality ratio at one year, 0.84; at six years, 0.79).

CONCLUSIONS
The purchase of a handgun is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of suicide by firearm and by any method. The increase in the risk of suicide by firearm is apparent within a week after the purchase of a handgun and persists for at least six years....

...Two distinct explanations may be proposed for the increased risk of suicide by firearm among recent purchasers of handguns. The near absence of suicides by firearm during the waiting period and the marked increase in the first month after the end of the waiting period suggest that some purchasers owned no other firearms and bought handguns with the intention of killing themselves. Most suicides by firearm occurred after a longer period of ownership, however. In these cases, preexisting access to a handgun may have added to other newly arising risk factors. This possibility would be consistent with the finding that fewer than 10 percent of persons who committed or attempted suicide with a firearm acquired the firearm for that purpose.

Read the full study: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199911183412106

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Reply In the first year after the purchase of a handgun, suicide is the leading cause of death. (Original post)
Robb Dec 2012 OP
Denninmi Dec 2012 #1
Robb Dec 2012 #2
easttexaslefty Dec 2012 #14
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #3
Robb Dec 2012 #4
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 #5
loyalsister Dec 2012 #22
NightWatcher Dec 2012 #6
Robb Dec 2012 #9
NCTraveler Dec 2012 #11
easttexaslefty Dec 2012 #19
NightWatcher Dec 2012 #23
Robb Dec 2012 #24
NightWatcher Dec 2012 #26
easttexaslefty Dec 2012 #25
PeaceNikki Dec 2012 #7
GreenStormCloud Dec 2012 #28
slackmaster Dec 2012 #8
Robb Dec 2012 #10
slackmaster Dec 2012 #13
Robb Dec 2012 #16
slackmaster Dec 2012 #17
Robb Dec 2012 #18
slackmaster Dec 2012 #20
cthulu2016 Dec 2012 #15
ileus Dec 2012 #12
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #21
ileus Dec 2012 #29
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #30
Turbineguy Dec 2012 #27

Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:41 AM

1. Meh, too messy, too traumatic.

I think I'd be more of a scented candles, nice music, do it in bed with a stash of tranqs saved for the purpose kind of guy, IF I were so inclined.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:43 AM

2. Fortunately, scented candles don't seem to have an associated risk factor.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:16 PM

14. I've tried that.

It's a bad move.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:45 AM

3. The Beagle has landed

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:54 PM

4. Harsh. But there it is.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:56 PM

5. Ad this remains the strongest argument against gun ownership

Your odds of being shot go way up when you get a gun.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:42 PM

22. It also underscores the specificity of the weapon

People who are most committed to suicide choose the most effective tools. None is more effective than one designed specifically to shoot and\or kill people.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:04 PM

6. if they committed suicide right after they bought the gun, they bought the gun to kill themself

This becomes a mental health issue where someone was looking for a way to die and chose the gun in lieu of pills, or hanging, or getting professional help.

I think we need to address the way we treat suicidal folks. How many of these recent spree shooters have turned th egun on themselves before they were grabbed by the cops? How many people every year commit what is called "suicide by cop" (pointing a weapon at a cop who then has to shoot them dead).

Suicide isnt always a bad thing. Had any of these recent spree shooters just stayed home and washed a bottle of sleeping pills down with a bottle of Jack Daniels, the world would be a better place. Some people aren't going to get help, adn I'd rather they do themselves in before shooting up a school, church, shopping mall....

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:10 PM

9. You don't have to read the article, but reading the excerpt before replying is considered good form.

"Fewer than 10 percent of persons who committed or attempted suicide with a firearm acquired the firearm for that purpose."

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Response to Robb (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:14 PM

11. I am sure most of those committed, and not attempted.

Who did they ask about the reason of the purchase?

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Response to Robb (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:24 PM

19. And, amen. n/t

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Response to Robb (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:57 PM

23. read the excerpt, but had issues with the findings, thank you

Unless there was a questionnaire, "Why did you purchase this gun? 1. to kill other people or 2. to kill yourself", I don't see how they could come to a conclusion that only a few people bought the gun to kill themselves, but being around a new gun somehow caused the person to be more likely to commit suicide. Guns don't call out from the drawer for the user to come "pick me up. shoot yourself".

I've never put too much faith in cohort studies going back to my college days studying research methodology. I often times found them to be spurious in nature.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:03 PM

24. LOL

If you believe a questionnaire the only truly accurate method to gather data, there must be a great deal that confounds you.

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Response to Robb (Reply #24)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:14 PM

26. no, not what I said, I think you are having the reading comprehension issues.

I did not say that the only way is from a questionnaire. I don't see how the researchers could surmise that while more people killed themselves with a gun, only 11% purchased the gun with that original intent. I suggested that more people had the intent to do it but they did not expressly mention that was the reason for the firearm purchase.

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Response to NightWatcher (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:08 PM

25. It's anecdotal

so do what you want with it, but most of the parents that join the online support group I belong too ( if dead by gsw) used someone else's gun.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:05 PM

7. In addition, CCW holders have killed 499 people, including 14 LEO's and 23 mass murders.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:46 PM

28. Those numbers are bogus.

If you will click on the detail page to show each killing you will find that the Michigan states entries include exactly 100 suicides in which the only one killed was the CCWer. The entries don't give the method of suicide so if a person took pills to do it then it has nothing to do with him having a CCW, but VPC still counts it.

When a CCWer commits a murder/suicide they count that as two CCW killings instead of one.

They have been counting since 2007 to get the highest number, instead of giving an annual rate. An annual rate is a more accurate number, but not as alarming.

Some of those murders were not done with guns, so what does having a CCW have to do with it?

If you really want an accurate comparison of CCW people to the general population, which I seriously doubt that you do, the state of Texas annually publishes the exact statistics for their state. At the end of 2011 we had 518,625 people with Concealed Handgun Licenses. We had exactly 6 convicted of murder or manslaughter, out of 573 such convictions for the entire state. http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/chl/reports/demographics.htm

Here is a chart comparing conviction rates of CHL holders to the general population. CHLers are in red, General Population in blue.


We are far more law-abinding than the general public, although some few of us do go bad.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:06 PM

8. That's because some people purchase handguns specifically for the purpose of killing themselves

 

It's no big mystery.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:10 PM

10. See above.

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Response to Robb (Reply #10)


Response to slackmaster (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:19 PM

16. I worked for a chef who had killed two people by accidentally falling on them.

Two incidents more than a decade apart.

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Response to Robb (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:20 PM

17. Egad, I take it he was a person of size

 

Considerable size.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:21 PM

18. No, the falls were both from some height.

Once at a party (off a deck), once at some tourist trap or other.

Not a scratch on him, either time.

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Response to Robb (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:32 PM

20. M times V squared

 

That would be a hell of a thing to have to live with even if it happened only once.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #8)


Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:14 PM

12. I've had about 25 first years of pistol ownership

Still haven't poked a hole in myself amazing isn't it.

Bought 5 this year so I'm working on 5x the amount of suicide watch as normal. Currently I only want 2 pistols in the coming year I suppose we'll see if I survive 2013.

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Response to ileus (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:35 PM

21. Your individual experience does not negate the scientific study cited in the OP.

Why did you feel the need to buy five pistols this year, if I may ask?

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:57 PM

29. No real need, I just bought/traded them.

I traded a Ruger mini14 for a Sig P229 in S&W40 because I didn't have a 40, and didn't need a mini since I already had AR's.

I wanted a 44 mag ruger blackhawk like I had in 86. I bought a 357 blackhawk instead. I didn't care for it so I sold it to a co-worker. I suppose the romance of the 44 is what I'm really after, I still want a 44mag blackhawk, maybe this coming year.

I took that cash and bought a 10mm G20. I didn't care for it I bought it mostly because it was FDE. I shot it a few times an sold it to a co-worker. While the 10mm is a great cartridge, it didn't do anything my 40 doesn't do cheaper (unless you buy real 10mm and not the watered down stuff like I bought)

I took that cash and bought a SR22 for the family to shoot. What a wonderful little 22 to own. My daughter and son love the little thing because it's so light and easy to shoot for a 8&10yo. My wife proclaimed it the most fun gun we own to shoot (I wouldn't go that far)

The fourth one my wife actually bought because she got her CHP in August, a S&W 642 with CT grip. What a great little EDC this pistol has turned out to be for her.

The coming year I have maybe 3 firearms on my must have list. I still need a AR upper to hunt with (6.8 I'm thinking) a 22/45 and a full sized 45acp for HD.

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Response to ileus (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:09 PM

30. Did you enjoy typing all that up?

"No real need." Of course not. You don't need, you just want. Have fun. I hope you don't live near me.

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Response to Robb (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:15 PM

27. That explains the gun industry's

thrust (and success!) to sell into an obviously saturated market. They have to get people to buy extra guns before they shoot themselves. And of course "....had the other family members been armed, this tragic suicide could have been prevented!"

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