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Firearms-Suicides: The Second Amendment and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Firearms-Suicides: The Second Amendment and the Law of Unintended Consequences

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Published by VJLaxmanan
Attention is called here to the hockey stick pattern revealed in the graph of firearms-suicides data from the most recent years 1990-2011. The strong correlation between firearms suicides and gun ownership in all the 50 US states is also shown there based on the available data on gun ownerships. Furthermore, it is shown that the Suicides/Homicides ratio is greater in one is 38 out of 44 states for which data is available and in the remaining six states, it is very close to one. The demographic of suicides revealss that the highest number of suicides are in the 65" age group and the data for Florida separates out from the rest of the country. All of this points to the fact that the pro-gun lobby's and the NRA's committment to the Second Amendment is turning into another shining example of the law of unintended consequences. Americans, with their high rates of gun ownership, are not killing each other. Increasingly they are killing themselves.
Attention is called here to the hockey stick pattern revealed in the graph of firearms-suicides data from the most recent years 1990-2011. The strong correlation between firearms suicides and gun ownership in all the 50 US states is also shown there based on the available data on gun ownerships. Furthermore, it is shown that the Suicides/Homicides ratio is greater in one is 38 out of 44 states for which data is available and in the remaining six states, it is very close to one. The demographic of suicides revealss that the highest number of suicides are in the 65" age group and the data for Florida separates out from the rest of the country. All of this points to the fact that the pro-gun lobby's and the NRA's committment to the Second Amendment is turning into another shining example of the law of unintended consequences. Americans, with their high rates of gun ownership, are not killing each other. Increasingly they are killing themselves.

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Published by: VJLaxmanan on Jun 30, 2013
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Firearms SuicidesThe Second Amendment and theLaw of Unintended Consequences
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads:
"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people tokeep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" 
is widely regarded by the NationalRifle Association (NRA) and the pro-gun lobby as the permitting unrestrictedright to private ownership of guns by citizens. About 80 million Americans, ormore than one-half of US homes [1], own about 223 million guns(see DeborahWhite, click here). Figure 1 illustrates a tragic recent consequence of thishallowed right to bear arms.
Figure 1:
The “h
ockey stick 
” 
pattern of rising firearms-suicides in the US (199- 2011), starting 2007, similar to that found in climate change studies. In 2011,the latest year for which data is available, there were 19,796 preventable deaths
 
16,000
16,500
17,00017,50018,00018,50019,00019,50020,00019982000200220042006200820102012
Time t [Calendar year]
   F   i  r  e  a  r  m  s   S  u   i  c   i   d  e  s ,  y
Total Firearms Suicides228,202 (1999-2011)
 
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due to firearms-suicides. The total lives lost from 1999 to 2011 equals 228, 202,or nearly a quarter million. Data source: The original research articles are alsocited 
a)
 
Hoyert, Donna L. and Jiaquan Xu.2012.
‘Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2011
- Selected
Causes.’
 National Vital Statistics Reports (NVSS).Hyattsville, MD:US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control Prevention, Division of VitalStatistics,10 October. (Q6492)Full Citation   b)
 
WISQARS.2009.
‘Injury Mortality Reports 1999 and Onwards (USA).’
Web-based InjuryStatistics Query and Reporting System / WISQARS.Atlanta:National Center for InjuryPrevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / CDC,9 December.(Q1377)Full Citation  c)
 
Jackson, Thomas.2005.
‘Global Gun Deaths.’
 NISAT Firearm Mortality Database2005.Oslo:Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers,1 January. (Q12)Full Citation  d)
 
Curfman, Gregory D, Stephen Morrissey and Jeffrey M Drazen.2008.
‘Handgun Violence,
Public Health
, and the Law.’
 New England Journal of Medicine.Massachusetts:Massachusetts Medical Society,3 April. (Q1975)Full Citation 
This is NOT what the second Amendment was meant to be.This is NOT what gun ownership was meant to be.The following is a brief summary based on some of my recent articleslisted in the references.
With increasing gun ownerships [2] and ready accessto guns in most homes, more and more Americanshave been killing themselves, not killing each other,especially since the economic down turn of 2007 (seealso the articles by Roger Kay [3] and Sean McElwee[4]. The flat portion of the graph of Figure 1 (withsmall fluctuations in the number of firearm-suicidedeaths) is like the curved portion of a hockey stick. The sharp almost linearrise in firearms-suicides, the straight line portion of the graph, is like thehandle of a hockey stick, hence the name hockey stick pattern, which was first used by climate change scientists to illustrate the alarming rise in globalaverage temperature in recent years relative to historical trends.We see asimilar alarming rise in the firearms suicides which started with 2007, thebeginning of the economic downturn and the full blown financial crisis in theUS, just before the Presidential election in November 2008.
 
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From My Facebook Page
Like · · Share · Promote · 7 minutes ago (as of June 30, 2013, 8:08 AM) ·
 
Vj Laxmanan When the adverse side effects of a drug arediscovered, it is often banned and taken off the market. Thesame goes with guns and I have presented convincing data here,from all the 50 US states, to show what has been going on duringthe recent economic downturn.Sad, indeed!
There, but for the grace of God, go I
.”
Heard that before?a few seconds ago · Edited · Like  https://www.facebook.com/vj.laxmanan (You can always sendme a friend request or a message).

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