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Gun buy back in Aust --stunning fall in suicides

Phurge (1112105) writes | about 4 years ago


Phurge (1112105) writes "TEN years of suicide data after John Howard's decision to ban and then buy back 600,000 semi-automatic rifles and shotguns has had a stunning effect.

The buyback cut firearm suicides by 74 per cent, saving 200 lives a year, according to research to be published in The American Law and Economics Review.

A former Australian Treasury economist, Christine Neill, now with Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, said she found the research result so surprising she tried to redo her calculations on the off chance the total could have been smaller.

''I fully expected to find no effect at all,'' she told the Herald. ''That we found such a big effect and that it meshed with a range of other data was just shocking, completely unexpected.''"

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Ummm, OK... (2, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | about 4 years ago | (#33409304) cut firearm suicides by 74%. How much did it cut suicides by?


Re:Ummm, OK... (1)

black3d (1648913) | about 4 years ago | (#33411238)

In total, by around 9%.

Utter crap (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | about 4 years ago | (#33410320)

First of all, the obvious "correlation does not equal causation" applies. This claim is similar to statements like "Less guns of contributed to less crime in Australia". While the statement may or may not be true, it is utterly irresponsible to link the lower gun ownership to the crime drop. To demonstrate how ludicrous this is, one only has to look at the US. The US has the highest gun ownership per capita in the entire world. Gun ownership per capita continues to rise dramatically each year, and yet rates nationwide have continued to fall at an equally dramatic rate. Does that mean that guns prevented crime? Maybe, but it certainly isn't prove-able nor deniable via the information I have provided.

Re:Utter crap (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 4 years ago | (#33410528)

Possibly not, but suicide is not a simple subject and you can't just shrug this off with "Correlation does not equal causation" argument.

There is some evidence to suggest that suicidal feelings don't tend to be something that depressed people suffer from all the time - they're feelings that come and go and seldom last that long at a time. It follows that if there's no immediate easy way to commit suicide in the vicinity, there's a good chance that the feeling will have gone before the means to go ahead becomes apparent.

Take this with as much salt as you think it needs, BTW, as IANAPsychiatrist.

Re:Utter crap (1)

black3d (1648913) | about 4 years ago | (#33411290)

So sick of "correlation does not equal causation". While technically correct, people use it as an excuse to completely ignore symptoms that do demonstrate areas or statistical correlation.

I was reading an article the other day people who sit for more than 8 hours a day are more likely to die than average, and people who sit less than 3 hours are less likely to die. Now, that's an example where the argument can be used, fairly. The sitting itself is not a contributing factor, but a symptom. Very inactive people sit a lot more than very active people. Active people are generally fitter. Working on laws of averages you can therefore, determine by the amount of time someone spends sitting, the likeliehood that they'll die earlier or live longer. Nobody's saying the sitting is necessarily causing the death, but it's a measurable symptom.

The point is - you don't need something to be a causation for it to be a statistical measurement. Theres statistical correlation between the amount of time someone sits and how much sugar they consume as well. There's also a statistical correlation between the amount of sugar someone consumes and their family income. Ergo, you can measure a statistical correlation between family income and how long somone is likely to live. Everything is connected. Each of those things I mentioned is in turn each matched to a thousand other statistics - education level, race, etc.

Trotting out "correlation does not equal causation" is so narrow minded. It completely ignores the fact that if you can find a factual statistical correlation, by modifying the symptoms you modify the outcome, even if the symptoms themselves are not the cause. Don't believe me? Take the sitting for example. Sitting increases the likliehood of early death even though it's not the sitting itself causing it. It's a correlation. However, if you stop people from sitting more than 4 hours a day, you decrease the likeliehood of early death. By stopping them from sitting, you're producing follow-on activity. Modifying the correlation directly affects the causation.

You're blindly ignoring facts because you love guns. Take guns away from people, and they're less likely to shoot themselves and/or other people. You're trumpeting the phrase because you don't understand the linked implications in the scenarios. You don't want to.

Suicides? (1)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | about 4 years ago | (#33411840)

Less concerned about suicides. More concerned about firearms related deaths in general. Anyone got any figures?
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