The folks at GunWatch had a great catch when they looked at the information in a recent Maryland study dealing with guns and climbing suicide rates.
Maryland’s gun control laws are out of hand as it’s one of the most difficult places in the nation to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights. Maryland is also a fairly densely populated state and so crime is a perpetual problem in certain areas of the state. Now, Maryland is following the lead of other gun grabbing fascist states and attempting to use rising suicide rates as an excuse for gun control.
For this reason they recently conducted a study that attempted to provide evidence that guns were a contributing factor in rising suicide rates. Sadly (for them), what they found was that guns don’t really have anything to do with “why” people commit suicide.
Check this out, from Gun Watch:
Their studies about suicides “caused” by firearms ownership, tend to be junk science. Consider a recent “study” published only with the American Public Health Association. It was done about suicides in Maryland. Maryland is densely populated, and has extremely strict gun control. Only 3.5% of the suicides were in rural areas. The numbers are likely correct, but the interpretation leaves much to be desired. From reuters.com:
In particular, doctors need to pay close attention to gun use and mental health for men, the study results suggest.
That’s because 89 percent of the gun-related suicides occurred among men, and because the higher rural suicide rate was only true for men.
Firearm suicide rates were 36 percent higher for rural men than urban men. But rural women were 37 percent less likely to commit suicide than urban women, regardless of the method.
The author of the study draws this mind numbing conclusion, directly in contradiction to the evidence just cited:
“Access to guns in the home creates a higher risk of suicide for family members whether or not there are known mental health concerns,” Nelson said. “Secure gun storage – locked, preferably in a storage cabinet, and unloaded with ammunition locked up separately – should be routine in gun-owning homes.”
And how is locking up guns and ammunition supposed to prevent suicides, especially by men who preferentially own guns? Another conclusion, likely as valid, is that rural areas with guns prevent women from committing suicide, as the rate of women committing suicide is almost exactly as reduced as the rate of men is increased, in rural areas.
Other possibilities are likely. There are more available women in urban areas. Men with women available are less likely to commit suicide. The obvious conclusion is that more women should be making themselves available in rural areas to keep the suicide rate down. At the same time, the suicide rate for women would be decreased. But that obvious solution is not politically correct. It is much easier to blame inanimate objects such as firearms. Suicide is a complex affair. Countries with lots of guns have a high suicide rate and low suicide rates. Countries with few guns have both high and low suicide rates. It is the overall suicide rate that maters, not the number of suicides performed with a particular method.
Overall suicide rates in the United States have risen from 11.08 in 1997 to 12.93 in 2014. The number of guns per capita has risen from .97 to 1.21 in the same period. But the percentage of suicides committed with guns decreased from 60% to 49%.
If guns were the cause, you would expect the percent of suicides with guns to rise, not fall.
It’s pretty fascinating stuff and it goes to show that, just as with violence, guns are not the problem… people are.