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Physician groups issue ‘call to action’ to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths

REUTERS/Jim Young
Metro Shooting Supplies employee Chris Cox speaking to a customer about the purchase of a 9mm handgun in Bridgeton, Missouri.

Calling gun-related injuries in the United States a “public health crisis,” seven medical specialty societies, the American Public Health Organization (APHA) and the American Bar Association (ABA) released a statement on Monday that calls for new policies to reduce such injuries — policies that won’t, the organizations insist, violate the Second Amendment.

The statement  — described by its authors as an urgent “call to action” — also stresses that the nine organizations intend to play an active role in getting such policies implemented.

“Our organizations support a public health approach to firearm-related violence and prevention of firearm injuries and deaths,” write the authors of the statement. “Similar approaches have produced major achievements in the reduction of tobacco use, motor vehicle deaths (seat belts), and unintentional poisoning and can serve as models going forward.”

The statement was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It was signed, in addition to the APHA and the ABA, by leaders from the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Surgeons and the American Psychiatric Association.

Sobering statistics

As background information in the statement notes, more than 32,000 people die each year in the United States from gun-related homicides, suicides and accidents — the highest rate of such deaths among all industrialized countries. In fact, guns are the second-leading cause of injury-related death (after motor vehicle crashes) for American adults and teens.

The U.S. also ranks first among 178 countries in terms of the number of guns in private ownership — about 300 million.

“Although some persons suggest that firearms provide protection, substantial evidence indicates that firearms increase the likelihood of homicide or, even more commonly, suicide,” the statement points out.

“This violence comes at a substantial price to our nation, with a total societal cost of $174 billion in 2010,” it adds.

Those costs “do not include the rippling physical and emotional burdens gun-related incidents leave on those who are non-fatally wounded and the communities who lose or support injured colleagues, friends and family,” writes Dr. Darren Taichman, executive deputy editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and editor-in-chief Dr. Christine Laine, in an editorial that accompanies the statement. “It does not matter whether we believe that guns kill people, or that people kill people with guns — the result is the same: a public health crisis.”

Recommendations

The statement offers several recommendations for reducing gun-related deaths and injuries:

  • Support the requiring of criminal background checks for all firearm purchases, including sales by gun dealers, sales at gun shows, and private sales between individuals.
  • Oppose state and federal mandates that interfere with physician free speech and the patient-physician relationship, including laws that forbid physicians to discuss a patient’s gun ownership.
  • Support improved access to mental health care and caution against broadly including all persons with any mental or substance use disorder in a category of persons prohibited from purchasing firearms. … [A]lso support adequate resources to facilitate coordination among physicians and state, local, and community-based behavioral health systems so they can provide care to patients, raise awareness, and reduce social stigma.
  • [Oppose] blanket reporting laws that compel physicians and other health professionals to report patients who are displaying signs that they might cause serious harm to themselves or others. [Such laws] can stigmatize persons with mental or substance use disorders, create a disincentive for them to seek treatment, and undermine the patient-physician relationship.
  • [Support] restrictions for civilian use on the manufacture and sale of large-capacity magazines and firearms with features designed to increase their rapid and extended killing capacity.
  • Advocate for robust research about the causes and consequences of firearm violence and unintentional injuries, and for strategies to reduce firearm-related injuries.

‘A disturbing silence’

Two years ago, as Taichman and Laine explain in their editorial, a similar appeal was made to U.S. physicians to join forces to focus on the country’s gun-related public health crisis.

“The profession’s relative silence was disturbing, but in part explicable by an inability to study the problem,” they recall. “Political forces had effectively banned the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and other scientific agencies from funding research on gun-related injury and death. And the banned worked: a recent systematic review of studies evaluating access to guns and its association with suicide and homicide identified no relevant studies published since 2005.”

In January 2013, a month after the horrific mass murder of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., President Obama issued an executive order that not only lifted the research ban, but specifically directed the CDC to conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence.

“Obviously, this directive alone will not end the suppression of science,” says Taichman, “for while research may now be ‘allowed,’ the CDC has been unable to direct new resources to this task as the President’s CDC budget requests to support a focus on gun-related violence were not funded. Compounding lack of research funding is the fear among some researchers that studying guns will make them politically unpopular and threaten their future funding even for unrelated topics.”

Still, add Taichman and Laine, “the profession is beginning to speak more loudly. At the CDC’s request, the Institute of Medicine developed a focused research agenda designed to have an impact on firearm-related violence in three to five years.”

One contribution to that new research agenda was published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers report that people hospitalized in Washington State for gun-related injuries were significantly more likely to become repeat victims of gun violence — or to become perpetrators of gun violence — than the general population.

“Among hospitalized patients, prior criminality has a stronger association with subsequent violent crime perpetration than a prior diagnosis of mental illness,” the researchers conclude.

You’ll find links to the statement, editorial and study on the Annals of Internal Medicine website.

Comments (47)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 02/24/2015 - 10:00 am.

    Item 6

    “Advocate for robust research about the causes and consequences of firearm violence and unintentional injuries, and for strategies to reduce firearm-related injuries.”

    It seems to me that they already completed the research if they already have 5 solutions identified.

  2. Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 02/24/2015 - 10:01 am.

    Excellent Recommendations.

    I support each one, especially 2, 3, 4, and 6, as those are all restrictions put in place by the firearms lobby to discredit sound science and health research.

    I await the usual suspects who will claim these recommendations are flagrant abuses of constitutional rights.

  3. Submitted by Colin Brownlow on 02/24/2015 - 10:23 am.

    A Modest Proposal

    As long as we’re talking about a public health approach to gun violence and drawing comparisons with tobacco risk reduction – how about a tax on firearm and ammunition purchases that reflect the social cost of firearm violence. There’s certainly a precedent for that with tobacco and to some extent alcohol. Don’t ban, don’t restrict – tax. There’s sound studies that show this works with tobacco and to a lesser extent alcohol.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 02/24/2015 - 10:56 am.

    Cost-benefit analysis

    Guns save lives.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ll=37.579413,-96.416016&t=h&source=embed&ie=UTF8&msa=0&spn=27.745558,61.611328&z=4&mid=zh4ISav_aZq4.kScmZTR1RBnI

    At least one criminologist (Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University) claims they save more than they cost.

  5. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/24/2015 - 11:41 am.

    I have to hand it to leftists; no one is better at finding back doors to slip their agendas through. It’s a trick the right really has to learn and run with.

    That being said, this is an issue that bears watching, but is not one of burning importance for protectors of the constitution. The 2nd amendment sells itself; there are more firearms manufacturers and more people owning firearms for personal protection than at any other time, and most importantly, NRA membership is at an all time high.

    And as so many leftist politicians have learned recently, there isn’t a better path to career oblivion than threatening to infringe upon the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms.

    • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/25/2015 - 07:15 am.

      Really, Mr. Swift?

      The left – “no one is better at finding back doors to slip their agenda through.”

      So when a group of professional associations, many of which are doctors, calls guns a public health issue in the US, this is some sort of sneak attack? If you have been watching the news, this approach is not really new.

      And what, exactly, do you mean by “agenda”? Better control of guns in the US?

      I remind you that the right to bear arms is based on the phrase “well armed militia.” It always is amusing how conservatives are for original interpretation of the constitution except when it doesn’t go their way.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/25/2015 - 12:04 pm.

        I remind you that the meaning of the phrase “well armed milita”, as well as the *individuals* right to keep and bear arms was settled by the Supreme Court of the United States in District of Columbia v. Heller.

        For your education, I’m happy to provide the facts.

        http://www.lawnix.com/cases/dc-heller.html

        • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/25/2015 - 02:34 pm.

          I remind you for the second time in 24 hrs, Mr. Swift,

          that there are limitations on the “right” to bear arms, even acknowledged by Justice Scalia in the Heller decision:

          There’s no unlimited right to bear arms

          Even Justice Antonin Scalia, whose opinion in Heller is a gun rights landmark, had to agree with 2nd Amendment framer James Madison that the right to bear arms has limits.

          http://lat.ms/1wnYI5z

          • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/26/2015 - 05:58 pm.

            Felons and some mentally ill are forbidden. Yeah, we know that Bill. No Problems for the overwhelming majority of American gun owners whose right to keep and bear arms has been judged inviolate by the Supreme Court.

            • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/27/2015 - 08:43 am.

              Wrong, again, Mr. Swift

              It is not only felons and some mentally ill who have limitations on their gun rights.

              It is absolutely untrue that “American gun owners whose right to keep and bear arms has been judged inviolate by the Supreme Court”

              See:

              “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

              Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in his Syllabus of the Brief
              District of Columbia v. Heller
              554 U.S. 570 (2008)
              link: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/554/570/

      • Submitted by Kevin Vick on 02/27/2015 - 06:25 pm.

        Well Armed Milita

        The “well armed militia” you speak of was comprised of common citizens. The “right of the people, to bear arms has been upheld by the US Supreme court as an individual right, District of Columbia v. Heller. Additionally, “the people” is referenced in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 9th Amendments. Are you suggesting that only groups of people have these rights, such as the freedom of speech, not the individual?

  6. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/24/2015 - 11:54 am.

    Guns save lives. Up is down.

    The US has 5x the gun ownership rate and 5x the murder rate of its peer countries. Five times.

    If guns reduced violence, why would one need a gun for personal protection? To reduce violence it would need to be a less lethal weapon than its alternatives.

    Guns save lives. Yes is no. War is peace.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/24/2015 - 03:08 pm.

      The US also has 5x the population of it’s peers. Unless you mean China; not many guns there…in private hands, I mean.

      • Submitted by Colin Brownlow on 02/24/2015 - 03:20 pm.

        It’s rate not absolute number

        Thomas – he’s talking rate not number so it doesn’t matter what the population is. Rate per capita normalizes for population.

        • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/24/2015 - 04:00 pm.

          Rate, number, both are irrelevant since most of our peers have total or near total bans in place. That’s something government can do when there are no constitutional protections in place….as there are here.

          • Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/24/2015 - 05:18 pm.

            18 guns per 100 people ≠ “total or near total ban”

            Yes, how could the US possibly manage with “only” 58 million personal firearms? Imagine the tyranny with such a “puny” number.

            “That’s something government can do when there are no constitutional protections in place….as there are here.”

            I get it. The point of the Constitution is so people can have aesthetic attachments to their tortured interpretation of it and over 11,000 extra people get to get murdered every year. I’m sure all those dead people, their families, and their friends appreciate such “freedom”.

      • Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/24/2015 - 03:27 pm.

        Having trouble with the word “rate”?

        Read, then respond.

      • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 02/24/2015 - 04:48 pm.

        Rate

        He’s referring to a per capita rate, so it doesn’t matter how many people country A has compared to country B as it’s already adjusted to be apples to apples.

  7. Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 02/24/2015 - 02:53 pm.

    Guns make us safer

    Unless of course you are a women, then not so much. Women are 11 times more likely to be murdered by a gun than women in other high income societies. The tired trope issued by that happy terrorist organization the NRA, that women are safer when guns are present is so pathetic it hardly seems worth mentioning, except the consequences are quite real.

  8. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 02/24/2015 - 04:52 pm.

    Gun Deaths

    We lose 32,000 people per year to gun deaths? By comparison, we lost 2800 people on 9/11 and that was just a one time incident. Since then we’ve lost 416,000 people to firearms.

    That’s like killing everyone in Minneapolis, plus a good sized suburb on the way into town.

  9. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/24/2015 - 06:27 pm.

    All this hysteria overlooks the fact that in the last decade, while gun ownership had doubled, gun related homicides have fallen to numbers not seen since since the mid 1960’s. They are still falling.

    US Department of Justice:

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf

    Clearly, and inarguably, guns are not the problem. High capacity magazines are not the problem.

    • Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/24/2015 - 07:30 pm.

      Murder rates peaked the year before the Brady Bill

      Which is also the same year the 10-year assault weapons ban went into effect. The rate of decline in the murder rate tapered off more after that ban expired.

      Again, I ask, if guns aren’t more lethal than alternative weapons, why do people prefer them for self-defense over other weapons?

      If conflict is held constant, the more lethal weapons, the more harm. It’s physics.

    • Submitted by Eric Paul Jacobsen on 02/25/2015 - 08:39 am.

      The reason for the drop in crime is lead abatement.

      The reason for the drop in crime noticed in the United States during the mid-1990s is the removal of lead from gasoline that started in the 1970s. Really.

      http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline

      The research behind the theory that lead poisoning causes crime, like research that shows that more guns in the United States cause higher injury death rates per capita, is international. It has been confirmed in country after country where lead was removed from gasoline, and since lead was removed in different countries at different times, but always with similar drops in the crime rate following afterward, it’s a strong correlation that offers a strong argument that lead removal caused crime reduction.

      In contrast, the notion that the lax gun laws of the United States caused the recently observed drop in crime uses exclusively local data and ignores the fact that everywhere in the industrialized world, crime rates dropped after lead was removed from gasoline.

      The NRA is not a public-interest research group. It is an industrial lobby for the economic interests of gun manufacturers. Since the 1970s, the NRA has discovered that it can increase gun sales most effectively by promoting a warped misinterpretation of the Second Amendment, paranoia about democratically elected government, and a cultish macho fantasy lifted from Hollywood movies. The NRA makes its money from memberships purchased together with gun sales. The NRA has never found, because it has never looked for, a solution to any problem that does not involve more people buying more guns. Selling more guns is all the NRA cares about.

  10. Submitted by Christian King on 02/24/2015 - 07:23 pm.

    The flaw here…

    The flaw here is the assumption that the 2nd amendment guarantees individuals the right to bear arms. It does not. The few times prior to our current court that the Supreme Court ever dealt with questions concerning gun rights, they typically refused even to hear the cases because, in the proper interpretation, states and municipalities could impose whatever restrictions they saw fit to impose.

    In the ’70s the NRA began its maniacal campaign to re-frame the debate, to argue that the 2nd amendment applies to individual rights rather than states’. Say a thing often enough and people will believe it. Even conservative members of our supposedly “originalist” Supreme Court.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/25/2015 - 06:44 am.

      The flaw with your story is, it’s wrong. In Heller, the Supreme Court has found the second amendment does indeed guarantee the individual right to keep and bear arms.

      Sorry, but there it is b

      • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/25/2015 - 07:40 am.

        The flaw with your story, Mr. Swift

        is that even conservative Supreme Court Justice Scalia has acknowledged that the “right to bear arms” is not without limitations.

        See for example:

        There’s no unlimited right to bear arms

        Even Justice Antonin Scalia, whose opinion in Heller is a gun rights landmark, had to agree with 2nd Amendment framer James Madison that the right to bear arms has limits.

        link http://lat.ms/1wnYI5z

    • Submitted by Kevin Vick on 02/27/2015 - 06:33 pm.

      2nd Amendment Assumption

      “The People” is reference in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th Amendments. You would have us believe “the right of the people to keep and bear arms” only refers to groups ie a militia. Would you then hold that all the other amendments referring to the people only applies to groups? Only groups of people have the right to freedom of speech, not individuals? As has been stated, the US Supreme Court upheld the individual right to keep and bear arms, DC v Heller.

  11. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/24/2015 - 07:33 pm.

    Hysteria?

    Don’t think there is much Hysteria on this side, gun nut side yes, they are the ones buying the thousands of rounds of Ammo and multiple weapons, and clamoring don’t take my precious! The use of DOJ statistics is a nice trick! The message being conveyed that folks chose to ignore is: The US is ~ 9.5 x more murderous than its next challenger, with normalized numbers (that means population is taken into account) also not referenced in the DOJ Statistics.
    The usage of the term “Murder is declining” is intellectually dishonest, we are higher than we were in 1950 (figure 1), read the graphs. We had a bubble that corresponds to the “Failed War on drugs” or is it an intellectually honest comparison to compare “Peace murder rates and war murder rates”? You will also notice that “multiple victims is increasing Figure 36 & 37.

    To round out the point: Note the majority of Gun deaths in the 14-17-24 year old category. Would the NRA support limiting guns to these kids, no different that a drivers license or drinking? Of course not, they want guns in the hands of everyone “its good for business” from the moment off of mommy’s nipple to the time they pry it from that cold dead hand!

    Thus our gun toting fellow Americans are proud that we kill 9.5 x ~ 32 0000 a year and are full well willing to have all those brothers, sisters, kids mother and fathers lives sacrificed because they have a bad case of little ptr syndrome.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/25/2015 - 07:36 am.

      Dennis, any argument that starts and ends with kindergarden name calling is guaranteed to be a loser. I understand; you feel you must be right in your bones, but the facts do not bear it out….it’s frustrating. But, with respect, invective laden tirades do not move your argument forward.

      • Submitted by Colin Brownlow on 02/25/2015 - 10:14 am.

        Let’s take out the name calling

        So let’s take out the name calling and just look at his numbers. Who care’s about the name calling as we’re all thoughtful grown-ups here. Are the number’s he cites wrong?

        One other point – yes murder rates in the US are falling, but they are still dramatically higher than other western democracies. That includes democracies that regulate but don’t ban guns (Canada for example). So what if our rates are falling, the point is murder – largely as a result of gun violence – is still far higher than in other developed nations. When suicide is factored in, the discrepancies are even greater.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/25/2015 - 09:53 pm.

        Would you prefer

        Gun owning radicals, perhaps extremists? The average person does not own 6-10,000 Rounds and 5-6-8 different guns including assault rifles. Are these considered “mainstream normal people” normal people walking around with six shooters on their hip and a 30ot6 across their back?
        But feel free to come up with what one would term extremely fringe group? Or make the case that the NRA, and their politically extreme gun ownership position (an opinion, that can be supported) is a “normal” morally balanced viewpoint, as the good doctors made to their point? Evidently its OK to “name call” dismiss folks like me with a wave of the hand as “Liberal” rather than philosophically thoughtful and intellectually honest supporters of principle. Fair enough? The boo-hoo statement of name calling really rings pretty shallow, as some folks would say “man-up”. There was no problem in some of your other posts calling out Obama!
        Feel free to also argue the DOJ report (your post/your data source)
        Also please support your statement about, Hysteria, there is no mass take away the guns action, their is a: Don’t you think its about time we join the rest of the civilized world in looking at murder rates, or at least entertain the conversation? How about addressing the age issue? Argue the points in the piece! That is what intellectual honesty is all about.

  12. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/25/2015 - 12:07 pm.

    US murder rate, Brady Act, and Assault Weapons Ban

    For those who wish to see the data from 1960 to 2013, here it is in graphical form.

    http://postimg.org/image/5wlai6teb/

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/26/2015 - 09:14 am.

      With the exception of the “assault weapon” ban, which was nothing more than a hysterical reaction to a problem that didn’t exist. 2.3% of murders are committed with rifles *of all types* (of which semi-automatic, AR style constitute a fraction of), your disembodied chart shows that the restrictions already in place are doing the job quite nicely.

      • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/26/2015 - 03:41 pm.

        So how many murders are committed in a year in the US?

        That number multiplies by .023 gives us an upper limit to the number of semi-automatic, AR style rifles that are used to kill people.

        But never mind. We should allow people who wish – to blow up concrete blocks at 100 yards in order to “feel good.” Because that is “freedom.”‘

        And the people who are killed be damned.

        And it should also be noted that semi-automatic rifles with large magazines are:

        a) unnecessary for uses other than killing – people

        b) very convenient for the mass murder types

        Eventually this problem is going to be solved. It has in most of the rest of the world.

        The civilized world, at least.

  13. Submitted by jason myron on 02/26/2015 - 03:53 pm.

    Gotta love the mentality of gunhuggers.

    Doctors sound an alarm on 30K gun deaths, and they go apocalyptic and hysterically whine about hysteria. One guy dies of Ebola, and they want congressional investigations.

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/26/2015 - 05:54 pm.

      “Doctors sound an alarm on 30K gun deaths”

      Precisely; hysteria is often accompanied by irrational ranting. The actual number isn’t half that….

      http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-

      • Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/26/2015 - 07:27 pm.

        Comprehend the claim before attempting to rebut

        “Precisely; hysteria is often accompanied by irrational ranting. The actual number isn’t half that….

        [your broken link attempting to refer to the main page of the FBI’s 2011 ‘Crime in the United States’, which is 2 years older than the latest edition]”

        cf.

        Here is what this article actually says:
        “more than 32,000 people die each year in the United States from gun-related homicides, suicides and accidents”

        So it’s not “hysteria” or “irrational ranting”, it’s you making a very large error by omitting suicides and accidents and also attempting to use data which is 2 years older than the data set used in the AIM paper.

        The AIM paper uses 2013 data from the CDC, which one can easily access through its WISQARS query engine. The AIM paper is linked to from this MinnPost article and cites its source (CDC FastStats on injuries) in its footnotes.

        In 2013, there were 33,636 fatal injuries from firearms in the US, comprised of the following:
        21,175 – suicide
        11,208 – homicide
        467 – legal intervention
        505 – unintentional
        281 – undetermined intent

        Sources:
        http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html
        http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2151828#r13-0337

        • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/27/2015 - 08:08 am.

          Thanks so much for this comment

          I tried to make the same point, but you have done a much better job of making it much more clearly.

  14. Submitted by Jay Willemssen on 02/26/2015 - 06:59 pm.

    Homicide in rich OECD countries – US v peers

    In terms of GDP per capita (PPP), the 21 richest OECD countries are the US and the following 20:

    Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

    In 2011, the population in the US was 312 million compared to 581 million in the other 20 countries.

    Non-gun homicides in the US exceeded the other 20 countries by about 600. However, gun homicides exceeded the other 20 countries by about 9,500. Adjusted for population, the US non-gun murder rate is 2.1x that of its peer countries, but its gun murder rate is a whopping 18.1x larger than its peers. This translates into an overall murder rate that is 5.3x higher in the US compared to its peer countries.

    So taking the non-gun murder rate as a baseline to estimate the general violence of the US compared to its peer countries (again, 2.1x as much), if the gun murder rate differential were also 2.1x, US deaths in 2011 would have been about 8,800 people less than it was.

    Sources:
    http://www.unodc.org/gsh/en/data.html
    http://www.gunpolicy.org/

    [It’s also worth noting that 6.7% of all gun murders in 2011 in all those 20 peer countries were committed by a single person – Norway’s Anders Behring Breivik. So the numbers for the year are a bit anomalous for the peer countries.]

    • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 02/27/2015 - 07:35 am.

      Suicide is a slippery slope for a leftist to argue against. For instance, are you going to argue a woman’s right to end the life of her unborn children is fundamental, but ending her own is what, a sin?

      Also, Japan, one of the countries with every kind of restrictive gun laws y’all love to chirp about, and more, has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, more than twice that of us gun slinging Americans. Peace loving Scandinavian countries are not far behind.
      http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-statistics.html

      See the correlation? More individual freedom = less despair.

      • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 02/27/2015 - 08:28 am.

        Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll
        link: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine-features/guns-and-suicide-the-hidden-toll/

        Lots of countries have higher suicide rates than the US. There are obviously ways to kill yourself other than with a gun.

        However, the ready availability of guns make it easier.

        And trying to drag abortion into this issue is an illustration of how desperate you must be.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/01/2015 - 01:49 pm.

        Slippery slope?

        You are hurting my feelings with the “leftist” “name calling”! That’s called a “stereotype” from of propaganda, Please in the future: We are open-minded philosophically progressive, intellectually and logical principle based thinkers that will challenge irrational arguments, cherry picked statistics and propaganda/hyperbole/less than truthful or factual based statements, via the Socratic method.
        Thank you.

        PS: Yes we do believe in the constitution “That it is a living document” not dead like most religious scripture, and that the most important part of the constitution is the “Preamble” because it states the goal of the constitution, the philosophical “why” it was written. Enjoy. .

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