Originally Posted by BRussell
Yeah, "need them." There's a massively higher incidence of suicide among people who have recently purchased a gun. Other studies have looked not just at recent purchases, but at the simple ownership of a gun, and also find increased risk of death. Whether you look at people who have just recently gone out to buy a gun, or people who have had a gun for some time, the risk is still higher for them compared to not having a gun.
Many reasons for wanting a weapon persist for long after acquiring one, though, so the timeframe doesn't establish which way the cause-effect relationship goes. If you have had one for five years and then kill yourself with it, who's to say you didn't originally have that use in mind but life just got better in between? For that matter, correlation doesn't show there is a cause-effect relationship at all. What if some aspect of your character both makes you interested in a legit form of shooting, and also later on makes it more likely for you to consider suicide as a solution to a problem?
Why aren't multipliers (I assume you're talking about the relative risk numbers) interesting to you? That's how you would convey whether the risk is higher or lower from having a gun, which I thought was what we were discussing.
Owning a gun raises the risk of getting shot with your own gun by infinity. What can you do with that number other than go "ooh, that must be very dangerous then"?
We can instead talk about absolute incidence per person and manner of death (probably the best numbers to look at) or the percentage among reasons of death. Both methods enable us to compare two choices, for instance acquiring a gun and learning to smoke cigarettes, and see that the latter is at the very least 20 times more dangerous for a random person - likely a lot more than that.
I posted those exact same incidence rates above. It's the 7th leading cause of death in the US. That's pretty damn big. This is not some non-issue. Firearms kill about as many people as breast cancer. Think of all the concern and public health advertisements about STDs (including HIV), not to mention illegal drugs. And yet firearms cause more deaths than either of those.
I'm not saying deaths by firearm are a non-issue. I'm saying death by firearm is a very different risk than death by your own firearm, and that being a lawabiding citizen goes a long way to diffuse the risk.
Yes, people should get rid of their guns when someone with access to it is depressed. But how many people accurately predict someone else's suicide attempt?
And how many people who want to commit suicide intentionally take away the method to carry it out?
What I was saying is that the depressed person who doesn't trust his own will to stay alive in the immediate future should seek to remove the firearm as well as other particularly handy implements from their own reach to prevent some bad impulse decisions.
Not unlike dropping your car keys in your locked mailbox on the way to the bar in order to make it harder for Stupid You four hours in the future to go for a drive.
Now, when even a doorknob and a shoelace will do the job, of course you can't stop a *determined* person from killing himself, with anything short of putting them in a straitjacket or under constant observation. Should someone get to that stage, I guess nothing will save them except luck or that they have committed themselves in time.
I remember reading that women are strongly averse to suicide methods involving mechanical trauma (including firearms). I don't remember the source right now. If that information is accurate, then getting a firearm should be an even lower risk for an all female household than it is for a random one.
And I'm still willing to bet anything that most of the people who had guns in their home and died as a result believed that they were the height of responsibility when it came to guns. Do you disagree with me on that?
Yes, I think you exaggerate. I'm sure there are many of those types, but I'd bet on there having been more of those who mistakenly think they're doing okay despite cutting some corners, as well as those who just don't think (and if questioned, some of whom would acknowledge they need to do things safer).