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Thread: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Rodeo View Post
    That's because none exists. I could take every single study done that attempts to claim guns as a causative agent and show how there is no causative link proven in the study. I'll issue this challenge: post a study, and I'll show you how it doesn't prove a causative link. Other than that, I can't find a study that doesn't NOT prove such a thing, because you can't prove a negative. The only thing you can prove is that firearms are an effective method of suicide if someone chooses to do so.
    There have been dozens of studies, controlling for a variety of factors including suicidal thoughts, mental illness, urban, rural, poverty, joblessness, suicide attempts, and other factors. And what they ALL show is access to a gun increases the risk of a successful suicide, in part because the effectiveness of a gun approaches 90%, and the effectiveness of other available means are FAR lower, some as low as 5%. Also, at least a third of suicides are impulsive, in a moment of crisis, and a gun takes no planning and no effort - put it to your head, pull trigger, dead. There is no second guessing - one can't call 911 after a gunshot to the head but you can call after cutting your wrists but before you bleed to death or before a drug overdose kills you. Many/most people who survive what was intended to be a suicide, including non-fatal gunshot wounds, do not in fact go on to kill themselves. The crisis passes. If you use a method other than a gun, you're more likely to fail, and more likely to be ABLE to live through the crisis.

    The point is there isn't just a correlation being noted. The research supports various reasons why that correlation is best explained by the easy accessibility of a very lethal weapon - i.e. a gun.

    I don't think it's possible to do what you suggest and prove "causality" but the problem with your objection is there must be something about gun owners (besides having a gun) that makes them uniquely more likely to kill themselves. Are they more impulsive, less stable, more violent, care less about the loved ones they leave behind, more unlikely to seek mental health or other services? What factor unique to gun OWNERS, but unrelated to the easy access to guns, would explain the results of a couple dozen studies that show gun owners at a FAR greater risk of suicide?

    You mention controlling for data points, yet every study I've seen - every one - makes a weak causal argument in spite of controlling for almost no variables. Take the Harvard Study from 2008. As a quick example, that study compares suicides and gun ownership by state. Wyoming is given as an example of high gun ownership, and the correlation is made between that state and other states with low gun ownership rates and lower suicide rates. But what didn't the study control for? Rural vs urban. Mean vs median income. Male to female ratio imbalance. Divorce, Family, and Friend Of The Court practices. Mean age vs age of the suicide. Terminal illness (often a given reason for suicide). Average hours of sunlight. Percentage of the population on SSRIs. Average number of children. Prevalent religion and religious attitudes. Find me a study that even attempts to isolate variables, and I will gladly take a look at it.
    OK, here's a rundown of many studies on the issue: Suicide | Harvard Injury Control Research Center | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

    And from the summaries are some of the controls in the various studies:

    - region, unemployment, alcohol consumption and poverty,
    - rates of attempted suicide
    - divorce, education, unemployment, poverty and urbanization
    - lifetime major depression and serious suicidal thoughts
    - differences in mental health do not explain why gun owners and their families are at higher risk for completed suicide than non-gun owning families.

    This study surveyed 9,000 households. "Respondents with firearms in the home were no more likely to report suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts, but if they had a suicidal plan, it was much more likely to involve firearms. The higher rates of suicide among gun owners and their families cannot be explained by higher rates of suicidal behavior, but can be explained by easy access to a gun."

    The US is top of the list for private gun ownership, yet only 30th in suicides per 100,000 citizens. The top of that list? Greenland, which doesn't even show up on the per capita gun ownership list. Second in suicides per 100,000 is Lithuania, ranking 160th in gun ownership. Third is South Korea, ranking 149th in gun ownership. Japan is seventh in suicides yet only 164th per capita in gun ownership. Why is that? If guns cause suicide, shouldn't the US be first on that list as well?
    OK, even you don't believe the suicide rate in Japan has a thing to do with guns and the risk of a successful suicide attempt in the U.S.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    If you had the gun owner's permission then they had the firearm removed, you just did the leg work. But that's not what you said. If you remove a firearm someone els owns, that means you did not have their permission, and thus comitted a crime.
    What I said was, "you'd take the guns out of the house if you could." It was admittedly unclear, but you assumed the "did not have permission." But as I said, I wouldn't worry for even 1 second about a "felony" charge of trying to protect a loved one from themselves by removing the guns and holding them in safe keeping for a period.

    Report dangerous people to the authorities and let the police hold the firearm; don't take the law into your own hands.
    Now that's pretty funny. If some cop came to your home and said he'd gotten a report you were suicidal, so turn all your guns over to him, I can guess your reaction, suicidal thoughts or not.

    And if you've ever tried to do anything like that, the person has to DO something that proves he or she is a threat to themselves or others. Or make an explicit threat, to their own life or that of someone else. A generalized depression and ambiguous statements are not sufficient for the police to take the person into custody or demand to go through the house and remove all weapons, etc. So if a loved one is IMO suicidal, I won't wait on the law to seize and hold the firearm.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    What I said was, "you'd take the guns out of the house if you could." It was admittedly unclear, but you assumed the "did not have permission." But as I said, I wouldn't worry for even 1 second about a "felony" charge of trying to protect a loved one from themselves by removing the guns and holding them in safe keeping for a period.
    You never can, that's the thing. The owner has to have the guns removed. The only person who can legally remove a firearm from the owner's possession without their consent is a police officer with probable cause or a warrant. You are not that police officer so you can't do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Now that's pretty funny. If some cop came to your home and said he'd gotten a report you were suicidal, so turn all your guns over to him, I can guess your reaction, suicidal thoughts or not.
    Be careful when trying to make the conversation personal, you know nothing about me and all who have assumed before have eaten their words.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    And if you've ever tried to do anything like that, the person has to DO something that proves he or she is a threat to themselves or others. Or make an explicit threat, to their own life or that of someone else. A generalized depression and ambiguous statements are not sufficient for the police to take the person into custody or demand to go through the house and remove all weapons, etc. So if a loved one is IMO suicidal, I won't wait on the law to seize and hold the firearm.
    Right, and if they do something, get them help. Don't assume you taking off with their guns will do anything more than make the problem worse.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    You never can, that's the thing. The owner has to have the guns removed. The only person who can legally remove a firearm from the owner's possession without their consent is a police officer with probable cause or a warrant. You are not that police officer so you can't do it.
    Well, obviously CAN or CANNOT isn't the issue - doing so is simple. Locate the guns, pick them up, put them in a case/bag/pack of some sort, walk out with them and store them in a safe place. Pretty easy. And if the point is that might be illegal, OK, I'm willing to take a risk of arrest to try to save the life of someone I care about. Seems like what any person who cared about their friend or loved one would gladly do.

    Be careful when trying to make the conversation personal, you know nothing about me and all who have assumed before have eaten their words.
    Fair enough.

    Right, and if they do something, get them help. Don't assume you taking off with their guns will do anything more than make the problem worse.
    The problem is that "something" might be shoot themselves in the head. Getting them help unless they want the help is damn hard. If you've been through it you know it to be true.

    And we've about exhausted this. I assume it will make the problem better because that's what ALL the research tells me. And it makes sense.

    Let's assume I have an adult child come for a visit while he's getting treated for major depression. And let's say the closet in the spare bedroom where he's staying is where I store my handguns and rifles. EVERY rational person would remove those guns from that room, and put them into safe storage for the duration of the visit. Exactly no one not a blithering idiot would hand him one of the Glocks to keep in the bedside table for "protection." There is not a mental health professional on the planet that would advise arming him for the visit. The research does nothing more than reflect and confirm the common sense of a gnat that would tell us all making a deadly weapon readily available to a depressed, suicidal individual is incredibly unwise and dangerous to the individual.

    Yes, a committed person can kill themselves. The difference is a gun makes it more likely they WILL kill themselves. Dozens of studies prove this common sense point.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    The point is there isn't just a correlation being noted. The research supports various reasons why that correlation is best explained by the easy accessibility of a very lethal weapon - i.e. a gun.
    The entire problem is that it is a correlation, not a causation.

    People who have access to prescription narcotics are more likely to commit suicide using them over people who do not have access to prescription narcotics. If they really want to kill themselves though, and they have access to both prescription narcotics and a gun, they are probably more likely going to use the gun. In neither scenario, however, is the ownership of the pills or the ownership of the gun what causes them to commit suicide. Enabling a specific course of action does not cause the specific course of action.

    OK, here's a rundown of many studies on the issue: Suicide | Harvard Injury Control Research Center | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

    And from the summaries are some of the controls in the various studies:

    - region, unemployment, alcohol consumption and poverty,
    - rates of attempted suicide
    - divorce, education, unemployment, poverty and urbanization
    - lifetime major depression and serious suicidal thoughts
    - differences in mental health do not explain why gun owners and their families are at higher risk for completed suicide than non-gun owning families.

    This study surveyed 9,000 households. "Respondents with firearms in the home were no more likely to report suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts, but if they had a suicidal plan, it was much more likely to involve firearms. The higher rates of suicide among gun owners and their families cannot be explained by higher rates of suicidal behavior, but can be explained by easy access to a gun."
    First of all, I would love access to these publications so I can examine their methodology. Hemenway is a notorious anti-gun zealot with a huge political axe to grind. But even assuming the research isn't corrupted, it's not a big stretch to assume it is easier to shoot yourself with a gun if you have one than if you don't have one. It's also easier to get in a car accident if you own a car than if you don't own a car. But merely owning a car isn't what causes car accidents, nor has anything to do with any specific risk factors relating to your likelihood of being in an accident. Again, this is not causative.

    OK, even you don't believe the suicide rate in Japan has a thing to do with guns and the risk of a successful suicide attempt in the U.S.
    These studies you link to attempt to claim that the link is causative... but if that were true, we would see a higher instance of suicide among populations that own more guns. This is the exact premise behind every study that compares individual states in the US... but suddenly the logic doesn't hold up when we examine other nation states. There are twenty-nine other countries with more suicides per capita that have far less gun ownership per capita (in a few examples, close to no private gun ownership). This simple fact destroys the notion that guns cause suicide.
    "Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. . . . Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness."
    ~Orwell, Politics and the English Language

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo Rodeo View Post
    The entire problem is that it is a correlation, not a causation.
    Cause as you're using the term is impossible to prove. Obviously it's impossible to prove that a person who is dead would or wouldn't have successfully killed himself if a gun wasn't available, so unless we conclude that the question - do guns increase the rate of suicides? - cannot be answered, then we have to look for correlations. For example, we could have a controlled group study and randomly assign suicidal individuals into group A (the non-guns group) and Group B, differing only in that Group B has a Glock in their bedside table. And then we sit back and watch and see if group B successfully kills themselves more often. Obviously incredibly unethical and cannot happen. So to answer this question we have to look at guns and suicide and see if the increased risk persists across regions, populations, time periods, poverty, urbanization, rate of mental illness, etc. and they do.

    There is no other way to answer this question. So when you object to the research to date, all you're doing is saying we cannot know anything about whether guns increase the risk of death by suicide because we cannot prove a "causal" link. But that's a "we cannot know the answer so why even bother to study the problem" approach.

    People who have access to prescription narcotics are more likely to commit suicide using them over people who do not have access to prescription narcotics. If they really want to kill themselves though, and they have access to both prescription narcotics and a gun, they are probably more likely going to use the gun. In neither scenario, however, is the ownership of the pills or the ownership of the gun what causes them to commit suicide. Enabling a specific course of action does not cause the specific course of action.
    No one is claiming that the gun or pills "causes" a suicide attempt. The "cause" is an underlying mental illness or crisis that causes a person to want to end his or her life. Step 2 is the decision to commit suicide. Step 3 - decide on the method. Step 4 - Make the attempt. The vast majority of attempts fail. But with guns handy, the process is quick and effective - decide, pick up the gun, pull trigger. It can happen in 5 seconds. That seems to be why the suicide rate is higher for gun owners - there need be no lag between the decision and the attempt, and most attempts succeed.

    First of all, I would love access to these publications so I can examine their methodology. Hemenway is a notorious anti-gun zealot with a huge political axe to grind. But even assuming the research isn't corrupted, it's not a big stretch to assume it is easier to shoot yourself with a gun if you have one than if you don't have one. It's also easier to get in a car accident if you own a car than if you don't own a car. But merely owning a car isn't what causes car accidents, nor has anything to do with any specific risk factors relating to your likelihood of being in an accident. Again, this is not causative.
    The papers are all cited at the link.

    And the point is the suicide RATE is higher for gun owners than for non-gun owners. The studies show that finding persists AFTER controlling for the factors listed, among others. It's not an exhaustive list of the studies.

    Furthermore, if it's not the gun, what is it unique to gun owners that causes them to be at greater risk of suicide?

    These studies you link to attempt to claim that the link is causative... but if that were true, we would see a higher instance of suicide among populations that own more guns. This is the exact premise behind every study that compares individual states in the US... but suddenly the logic doesn't hold up when we examine other nation states. There are twenty-nine other countries with more suicides per capita that have far less gun ownership per capita (in a few examples, close to no private gun ownership). This simple fact destroys the notion that guns cause suicide.
    The claim that guns "CAUSE" suicide is your own - no researcher would make that claim. The CAUSE is the desire to end one's life. The vast majority of attempts FAIL. But not with guns. So what guns apparently do, according to the research, is affect how often people attempt and are successful at killing themselves, and gun owners in every study kill themselves more often than non-gun owners in the U.S.

    And you're trivializing the studies by claiming they do a simple comparison between suicide rates in State A versus State B and if higher in B and more guns in B then ===> guns increase the risk of suicide. That is (an unfair summary of) ONE study - there are at least a dozen more that use different methods and they ALL come to the same conclusion.
    Last edited by JasperL; 04-20-15 at 07:14 PM.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Well, obviously CAN or CANNOT isn't the issue - doing so is simple. Locate the guns, pick them up, put them in a case/bag/pack of some sort, walk out with them and store them in a safe place. Pretty easy. And if the point is that might be illegal, OK, I'm willing to take a risk of arrest to try to save the life of someone I care about. Seems like what any person who cared about their friend or loved one would gladly do.
    You're willing to commit a felony to do a thing which won't make any difference. If nothing else, they can just go buy another gun.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    The problem is that "something" might be shoot themselves in the head. Getting them help unless they want the help is damn hard. If you've been through it you know it to be true.
    Iv'e been through it a few times, actually. Remember what I warned about making the conversation personal? I've been at the edge, ready to do the deed right then and there, and I had a gun. My gun wasn't part of my "plan", though. I was going to use two particular medications and a bottle of vodka. If anyone had taken my firearm I would have put the whole the thing off just to see them in prison because that's the kind of pretentious asshole I am.

    Don't ruin your life just because someone wants to throw away theirs. If you want to help then just talk to the person about every day normal stuff. If you get a line of communication going then they'll open up about things. Believe it or not a suicidal person doesn't want to kill themselves, they want a way out of their problem. Your job would be to show them ways other than death. Removing guns doesn't accomplish that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Let's assume I have an adult child come for a visit while he's getting treated for major depression.
    I like that, I was that adult child, moving in with my father and for that reason. Do continue...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    And let's say the closet in the spare bedroom where he's staying is where I store my handguns and rifles. EVERY rational person would remove those guns from that room, and put them into safe storage for the duration of the visit.
    If they're going to do it they're going to do it. You took your guns out of the equation, great. If they can't just go to Walmart and buy a gun while you're at work then they'll find some other way to kill themselves. As I said my "plan" involved two particular medications and a bottle of vodka. My back-up plan was to get hammered and step in front of a train. If I had decided to do it, the only way I could have been stopped is if someone had me taken into custody by the authorities. Removing the guns wouldn't have accomplished anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Exactly no one not a blithering idiot would hand him one of the Glocks to keep in the bedside table for "protection." There is not a mental health professional on the planet that would advise arming him for the visit. The research does nothing more than reflect and confirm the common sense of a gnat that would tell us all making a deadly weapon readily available to a depressed, suicidal individual is incredibly unwise and dangerous to the individual.

    Yes, a committed person can kill themselves. The difference is a gun makes it more likely they WILL kill themselves. Dozens of studies prove this common sense point.
    The studies show that they'll just find some other way to do it. Your sources count each attempt separately, and that's another fault. They should count each person separately because a suicidal person will keep attempting until they die.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Cause as you're using the term is impossible to prove. Obviously it's impossible to prove that a person who is dead would or wouldn't have successfully killed himself if a gun wasn't available, so unless we conclude that the question - do guns increase the rate of suicides? - cannot be answered, then we have to look for correlations.
    Good for us, then, that the question can be answered:

    WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE? A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE
    Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy

    Guns are just one among numerous available deadly instruments. Thus, banning guns cannot reduce the amount of suicides. Such measures only reduce the number of suicides by firearms. Suicides committed in other ways increase to make up the difference. People do not commit suicide because they have guns available. They kill themselves for reasons they deem sufficient, and in the absence of firearms they just kill themselves in some other way.
    Causes of suicide:

    Owning a firearm doesn't increase the chance of suicide.

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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Cause as you're using the term is impossible to prove.
    .....
    No one is claiming that the gun or pills "causes" a suicide attempt.
    .....
    The claim that guns "CAUSE" suicide is your own - no researcher would make that claim.
    No no, what you said was "The point is there isn't just a correlation being noted." The problem is that it is only a correlation. If it's beyond a correlation, it is a cause, which is what you are actually arguing.

    Obviously it's impossible to prove that a person who is dead would or wouldn't have successfully killed himself if a gun wasn't available, so unless we conclude that the question - do guns increase the rate of suicides? - cannot be answered, then we have to look for correlations. For example, we could have a controlled group study ... And then we sit back and watch and see if group B successfully kills themselves more often. Obviously incredibly unethical and cannot happen. So to answer this question we have to look at guns and suicide and see if the increased risk persists across regions, populations, time periods, poverty, urbanization, rate of mental illness, etc. and they do.
    "Successfully" doesn't belong in the same category as "more likely". What these studies prove is that guns provide a clear and easy path for those who wish to end their lives to do so. They do not show that people are more likely to attempt.

    The "cause" is an underlying mental illness or crisis .... Step 2 is the decision to commit suicide. Step 3 - decide on the method. Step 4 - Make the attempt. The vast majority of attempts fail. But with guns handy, the process is quick and effective - decide, pick up the gun, pull trigger. It can happen in 5 seconds. That seems to be why the suicide rate is higher for gun owners - there need be no lag between the decision and the attempt, and most attempts succeed.
    The odds are about 25:1 for unsuccessful attempts. That means for every 2 people who killed themselves, 50 people tried. About half of all successful attempts are completed with a gun, so out of 50 suicide attempts (and 2 completions), 1 was the result of a gun. What that tells me is that guns are quite effective as a chosen method... not that they have anything to do with an increased incidence of attempts, i.e. you aren't at any higher risk of committing suicide if you don't already want to commit suicide.

    It is a dishonest conflation to say increased ability to do the deed is the same as increased desire of doing the deed, which is why it's inappropriate to call it an "increased risk."

    The papers are all cited at the link.
    No, I mean the actual papers. I want access to the papers themselves. Methodology. Raw data. Not a two liner half assed abstract.

    Furthermore, if it's not the gun, what is it unique to gun owners that causes them to be at greater risk of suicide?
    They aren't at greater risk of suicide; they are more likely to successfully complete their attempt. To claim they are at greater risk of suicide is to imply causation without separating attempts from the total number. I mean, if we assume gun ownership leads to a greater risk of being in the subgroup "completed suicides", then we must also conclude not owning the gun leads to greater risk of being in the subgroup "suicide attempt".... do you believe not owning a gun makes someone more likely to attempt suicide? No, you don't, but if we apply this take on statistics to the 25:1 ratio, this is the only conclusion. So, you see, the reasoning must be flawed somewhere.

    And you're trivializing the studies by claiming they do a simple comparison between suicide rates in State A versus State B and if higher in B and more guns in B then ===> guns increase the risk of suicide. That is (an unfair summary of) ONE study - there are at least a dozen more that use different methods and they ALL come to the same conclusion.
    When Hemenway does a study comparing gun ownership across country lines instead of state lines, I would love to see it. The problem is, he probably did that study, and I'm willing to bet it didn't come to the conclusion that he liked. Academics in charge of politically motivated organizations have a vested interest in not publishing studies that don't expressly conform to their political motivations. Academics aren't perfect; they perform "failed" experiments all the time (I put "failed" in quotes here because statistical experiments never fail, they just sometimes show things they didn't set out to show, or perhaps fall short of nullifying the hypothesis). I mean, just show me one study with Hemenway's name on it that isn't a "slam dunk" . They have to exist, even if by mistake. But I'm willing to bet none have been published.
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    Re: One-year-old shot dead by 3-year old in Cleveland home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
    Good for us, then, that the question can be answered:
    I've read that article and other than naked, baseless assertions, it provides nothing to prove the case. The evidence goes like this - 1) suicide rates vary across widely different countries, 2) those variations cannot be explained by the rate of gun ownership ===> 3) guns cannot affect the suicide rate. It's such an absurd logical leap that I can't believe it was ever published. The studies here in the U.S. looking at the same communities and controlling for all kinds of factors show gun owners simply do kill themselves more often than non gun owners. Maybe there is some unexplained characteristic of gun owners that is unrelated to guns that makes them more likely to kill themselves, but no one can even hazard a guess what that might be.


    Causes of suicide:

    Owning a firearm doesn't increase the chance of suicide.
    It's obvious you will ignore the evidence, and I'm not going to make you believe something you're determined to not believe. In the great big scheme of things, I've made the same choice as other gun owners and accepted that the risk posed by having guns in the house is outweighed by the benefits of gun ownership, same way I've accepted that the risk of dying on my bike cycling on the road is real, but also outweighed by the benefits. So we can agree to disagree.

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