Comparing gun-owning vs non-owning households in terms of firearm and non-firearm suicide and suicide attempts

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Comparing gun-owning vs non-owning households in terms of firearm and non-firearm suicide and suicide attempts

Category: Suicide|Journal: Preventive Medicine (full text)|Author: D Hemenway|Year: 2019

 

Highlights:

•Known information about suicide permits estimates of previously unknown relationships.

•90% of firearm suicides occur among members of gun owning households.

•Yet only 20% of their suicide attempts are with firearms.

•Among non-owning households, 1% of suicide attempts are with firearms.

The goal of this study is to provide, for the United States, estimates for gun-owning and non-owning households in terms of firearm and non-firearm suicides and suicide attempts. To make these ballpark estimates I combine a half-dozen known “facts” about suicide (e.g., households with firearms are at approximately 3× the risk of suicide as households without firearms). Among the six major conclusions are that about 90% of firearm suicides occur among members of gun-owning households, that 75% of suicides among gun-owning families are firearm suicides, but only 20% of suicide attempts among these families are with firearms. This study not only provides estimates of suicides and suicide attempts by gun-owning and non-owning households, but the reasonableness of the estimates provides support for the reasonableness of the half-dozen known “facts” about firearms and suicide.

 

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