http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matte ... ves-lives/
So whilst they want to mean that by making the access to lethal means of suicide less easy, suicide rates would drop, aren't they actually saying that when you improve the life of people, their environment, their tools, whatever, by making them less toxic or dangerous, these same people tend to think less about suicides because they have less reasons to do?
Let's quote that, piece by piece.
A number of studies have indicated that when lethal means are made less available or less deadly, suicide rates by that method decline, and frequently suicide rates overall decline. This has been demonstrated in a number of areas: bridge barriers, detoxification of domestic gas, pesticides, medication packaging, and others.
In China they also stretched nets above courtyards and added bars to windows to prevent employees from killing themselves by jumping through them.
I wouldn't say that these employees' situation got all sunshine though.
For example, in rural areas of Asia and the Pacific Islands, pesticides are a leading method of suicide attempt (Gunnell 2003
). Pesticides in widespread use have changed over time, and suicide deaths have been observed to rise and fall with the toxicity and case fatality rate of the particular pesticides currently in use. For example, the suicide rate in Samoa
rose and fell with the introduction and control of paraquat, a pesticide that was more lethal than the pesticides in previous use in the country. Suicides declined dramatically in Sri Lanka following restriction of more lethal pesticides (Gunnell 2007
Perhaps we could go on about the economical landscape of those regions too? Lethal pesticides are toxic. They're a high cause of cancer in fact. As we've seen, many people who have cancer are willing to put an end to their lives. So perhaps suicide rates didn't drop because the workers couldn't find anything efficient to kill themselves, but because their overall working condition improved by getting rid of that poisonous crap?
Coal Gas in the United Kingdom
Prior to the 1950s, domestic gas in the United Kingdom was derived from coal and contained about 10-20% carbon monoxide (CO). Poisoning by gas inhalation was the leading means of suicide in the UK. In 1958, natural gas, virtually free of carbon monoxide, was introduced into the UK. By 1971, 69% of gas used was natural gas. Over time, as the carbon monoxide in gas decreased, suicides also decreased (Kreitman 1976
). Suicides by carbon monoxide decreased dramatically, while suicides by other methods increased a small amount, resulting in a net decrease in overall suicides, particularly among females.
"Over time" not being quantified. Should we forget that the post-war era was coming to an end in England and the economical situation was improving as a whole through the sixties, until some unfortunate turns of events?
Over time, rates of suicide began to increase again although not to the pre-1965 levels.
Perhaps, but they increase nonetheless. Were bridges becoming more and more lethal? Were guns wrapped in christmas crackers? :|
One author has estimated that over a ten-year period, an estimated six to seven thousand lives were saved by the change in domestic gas content (Hawton 2002
Well I'd love to read about that because the only referenced source regarding this Hawton bloke is that one:
"Hawton K. United Kingdom legislation on pack sizes of analgesics: background, rationale, and effects on suicide and deliberate self-harm. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 2002;32(3):223-229."
It seems to focus on med packs, not gas, although the footnote seems to indicate six pages of content regarding suicide by gas. Too bad we can't read it, eh?
Of course, if less people tend to kill themselves, that is actually a good thing, but you're not going to achieve much with your domestic gas when someone tries to rob your property, short of blowing up the entire hourse, the pyrhic way (with a middle finger too). HA!
Reducing access to lethal means does not always reduce the overall suicide rate.
Now that's literally a concession. It looks like those pesky suicidal people would do anything to find a way to put an end to their misery, wouldn't they?
Someone should create non-lethal ropes! NOW!
For example, restricting a low-lethality method or a method infrequently used may not make a detectable difference in the suicide rate. Restricting a very low-lethality method-if it results in attempters substituting a higher-lethality method-could in fact increase the overall suicide rate. Means reduction doesn’t change the underlying suicidal impulse or necessarily reduce attempts: rather, it saves lives by reducing the lethality of attempts
I guess periods are too expensive.
More seriously, who gives? They just admited that the overall suicide rate doesn't always drop, no matter the reduction of lethal means.
Next time, FLASH NEWS! DISTRESSING TIMES INCREASE SUICIDE RATES and KNIFES STILL DEEMED TOO SHARP BY MINISTRY OF DOMESTIC SAFETY!
Below, links that don't work:
- When Do Means Matter? a worksheet that examines when means reduction is likely and unlikely to result in an overall decline in suicides.
- More studies involving bridge barriers, pesticides, medications, and other methods.
Below, the references.
Gunnell D and Eddleston M. Suicide by intentional ingestion of pesticides: a continuing tragedy in developing countries. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2003;32:902-909.
Gunnell D, Fernando R, Hewagama M, Priyangika WD, Konradsen F, Eddleston M. The impact of pesticide regulations on suicide in Sri Lanka. Int J Epidemiol. 2007;36(6):1235-42.
Kreitman N. The coal gas story. United Kingdom suicide rates, 1960-71. Br J Prev Soc Med. 1976 Jun;30(2):86-93.
Hawton K. United Kingdom legislation on pack sizes of analgesics: background, rationale, and effects on suicide and deliberate self-harm. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 2002;32(3):223-229.
They surely have one of the shittiest ways to use links. There's not a single link that leads to anything substantial. Either they lead to footnotes (when you could expect more), or lead to files, notably two PDFs, which don't exist.
provides the material to read.
Their objective seems different than Mother Jones.
I gets bizarre once you reach http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/useful-links/
http://www.bradycampaign.org/our-impact ... -your-home
is listed. In the examples, on their page titled "Suicide Proof Your Home", they cite the case of Markie, 3
Sure thing. Didn't they mean accident?
What should we think of such a website which authors can't even be arsed enough to be accurate over such simple concepts?
In America 8 out of 10 firearm suicides among adolescents are committed with a gun belonging to a family member. Because so many adolescents use a family member’s gun to attempt suicide, Suicide-Proof Your Home informs parents about the simple steps they can take to reduce the risk that a youth suicide will occur in their home. Parents are encouraged to decrease the likelihood of suicide by securely locking or removing lethal means, such as firearms and medications.
to learn the simple steps you can take to suicide-proof your home.
Suicide-Proof Your Home was developed in partnership with The Rhode Island Department of Health.
Uh-huh. Securely locking OR removing lethal means. I wonder what they mean by that.
They link to suicideproof.org, so let's see.
They have a brochure: http://www.suicideproof.org/Suicide-Pro ... ochure.pdf
What can you read?
If I did not have that gun in my house, my son might still be alive.
In other words, no gun, no problem.
On page 2, for recommendations to potentially save a teen's life, one reads:
REMOVE FIREARMS FOR NOW
- Ask a trusted friend or family member to keep it temporarily.
- Your local police precinct or shooting club might offer temporary storage.
- At the very least, lock they securely away from ammunition.
The first two proposals make the ownership of a gun as self defense near completely fruitless or not exactly practical.
The second one even partially conflicts with the principle in the Constitution by giving your gun... to the cops.
The third one makes it harder for you to use it if you have locked the ammo away from the gun. Talk about giving an advantage to the assaulting party!
Not a single time do they ever simply say lock the darned gun AND its ammo inside one single secure place. Because I guess that would be too obvious.
Or too easy.
Moving on to Lok it Up, which seems more concerned about selling storageware than really dealing with the problem at large.
http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservice ... /guns.aspx
Simply put, an adult who owns the gun wouldn't exactly need a safe for his own weapon, right? It's for the kids.
Then why do they say "We lose $183 million in medical costs and lost productivity each year." ?
Are we supposed to extrapolate the loss of productivity from parents? Ok, let's do so.
Anyways, I went looking for the firearm, deaths and injuries statistics for King County. They provide a PDF: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservice ... b2013.ashx
On page 3 we learn that although 18% of deaths are caused by firearms for people between the ages of 19 to 24, it rises to 41% for black youths.
On page 4, you read:
Of the 536 nonfatal firearm injuries between 2006 and 2010 that required hospitalization, 15% were unintentional, 6% self-inflicted, 73% assault, and 6% other.
Thank you proving that the majority of firearm injuries originate from unlawful activities! 73% are assault!
Unless specified, the statistics do not solely focus on children and teens, even if the document likes to hop back and forth between both focused and overall population categories.
Then they go on citing the costs of this and that, as usual, never musing on the deterrent aspect of firearms. They don't directly tell who causes most of those high costs, but considering we're talking about, again, a 73% rate of non fatal firearm injuries, either we're talking about a majority of victims who surely would have loved to have a mean to defend themselves, or the perpetrators, who don't care about your regulations and ended at the hospital because they got the shorter end of the stick in their street warfare or got a taste of their shit, courtesy of more honest citizens.
Later on there's a bunch of race or ethnics based statistics which put the black people at a great disadvantage, not only against whites, but asians and hispanics too, with asians/PI "enjoying" an almost equally low level of death by firearm than whites do.
I can imagine that all black people live in poor areas and all other ethnics don't, but is that enough to explain the insane gap in sheer violence?
Then there's data based on localization. Without knowing much of Seattle, we see that it sucks in the south-west areas, which may be poor areas.
And so on...
Now there's something interesting to point out. On page 6, there's a graphic, figure 3, that shows the homicides and homicides by firearm over a selection of countries, Japan, many European countries, Australia (four cities separated by a whole continent) and the USA at the far right. Oh and the Canadians (sorry).
Without a surprise, we see that the USA have a very high rate of homicides.
But what we see is that Germany, for example, has an homicide rate of .8 and homicides by firearms rated at .2, meaning that 25% of deaths are caused by firearms, which puts Germany above several statistics usually cited on anti-gun sources, since they like to use impressive percentages!
Same goes for Spain.
Well, we have a big percentage here for Germany and Spain, yet nothing to worry about much.
Oh wait. For Sweden, it's 40%! Still far from USA's 69%, but nothing to scoff at either.
For Japan, we find that the firearm related rate is so low that it's found at 0. Their overall homicide rate is equally low, sitting at .4.
Don't jump on conclusions yet! It all this gets crunchy delicious several pages later. :)
Figure 8, on page 10, provides a similar visual, this time for suicides and firearms suicide rate. Don't miss that one.
Oh lookie! Japan beats all records with a 24.4 suicide rate! Yet 0.0 for suicide by firearms. I'm sure that's an embarrassing fact the gun-control plebe would innocently push under the rug.
Isn't that documente used by a website cited by Harvard, that claims that reducing the access to lethal means of suicide (read: ban guns) would lower suicide rates significantly?
I guess the Japanese are really special. They must have developped super secret seppuku techniques.
Next comes France at 16.3 (!), the land of the so called "bon vivant" ... well, not so much apparently.
Let's put that in the category of death by smelly cheese. Ok, truth said, that's still 2.8 by firearms.
What is striking is that the United States sit in some kind of average regarding suicide rates. Sure, half of them are done with firearms, but it looks like in other countries, when you don't have a gun, you improvize and it works just as well!
The United States have an homicide rate of 12.4, Germany and Sweden 12.3 and 12.1 respectively yet much lower suicides by firearms in comparison to the USA: 1 and 1.5 vs 6.9
Canada is in close position at 11.3 despite a much lower portion of those suicides achieved with firearms, at 2.
Simply put, in those rich countries, a lack of firearms does certainly NOT result in lower suicide rates.
That single piece of data literally blows away the idea that a reduction of firearms in the USA would reduce suicide rates.
So the only impressive number really boils down to the rate of homicides in the USA and the equally high rate of homicides by guns from figure 3 on page 6.
Of course, it doesn't really mention anything about criminality rates either.
Yes, firearms make killing easier. However, are there more homicides in the USA because there are more firearms, or because there are more criminals per individual?
Those big numbers all get blasted by a few good gunfacts
For your curiosity, you may read this too:
This is one of the links available at the Harvard website. I'm not sure what to think of it...