What’s this “new” data?
A decade’s worth of data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that thousands more people die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds than from assaults.
From 2005-15, the department tracked that data. There were 3,533 firearm assaults that resulted in death, while 5,483 people died from self-inflicted gun shots (55 percent more).
The difference in rate is even greater locally. Over the same period in Greene County, 56 people were killed by guns fired by another person, while 262 died by firearm suicide (368 percent more).
The article includes several scary graphs about how gun suicides are more successful than other mechanisms for self-harm.
Which leads us to the inevitable coda:
A measured change to gun laws can help this specific problem because if we can keep firearms out of the hands of people who may be suicidal, we have a much better chance of saving their lives.
The author also says:
Folks in Missouri are protective of guns, built out of a culture of defending ourselves and providing for ourselves. We don’t have to change that culture, but we may have to change our law.
Folks with good intentions may be inconvenienced by waiting for guns. But for people considering suicide, it could save their lives.
Summary: I didn’t know this, so here’s an argument for increased legislation based on what I just learned.
But people who know about guns know about the risks. Especially the risks of turning the ratchet to the right.