September 04, 2008

"Guns in the home may increase suicide risk" - apparently.

(Image courtesy

The Harvard School of Public Health has studied four years of data in the US and found higher rates of suicides involving firearms in states with more gun owners – up to four times higher for men and eight times higher for women. The numbers of suicides not involving firearms, on the other hand, were the same.

Let me put that into plain English for you: If you live in a house with guns you are more likely to use a gun to commit suicide than if you don't have guns in the house.

Now this is a correlation but not a causation (as Karen Norberg of the US National Bureau of Economics Research in St Louis, Missouri, mentions: other differences between gun owners and non-gun owners unrelated to firearms may explain the differences in suicide rates), but I've got to say, living in a country where there is a remarkably low amount of gun ownership (due to the fact that it is not mandated in the constitution), if you had asked me prior to this study starting what I thought the results would have been, I would have been right on the money "If you have guns in the house, they are going to be used to commit suicide"

Glad the research money is being used on intelligent items.....

(Coming soon results of a study on causes of pedestrian road traffic deaths in countries with high volumes of private vehicle ownership, and studies on causes of death for climbers stranded in sub-zero temperatures on mountains).


  1. I take it you are reading those excellent articles on dodgy use of numbers on the BBC website?

    There have been 5 of them now and they are brilliant.

    Can't remember the guys name, though despite a quick hunt.

    Have a look for him if you haven't read it.

  2. Actually I worked this one out all by myself, Algo. But I will check out the BBC website and see what the guy has to say.. Ta
    (ps what did Ray Knight say...?)