Gun Owners Three Times More Likely to See Suicide or Murder

DISCLAIMER: These facts are gonna piss off the gun nuts:

The old pro-gun adage of “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” might be arguably true. However, reanalysis of data on gun owners shows that while guns do require people to operate them, the individuals most likely to die are those who actually have guns in the home. In fact, researchers have found murder and suicide to be three times more common in homes with firearms than without. 

A Shocking Discovery

Within the Annals of Internal Medicine study itself, an even more discouraging data set has come to light:

The availability of firearms in the home may not be the catalyst for suicidal ideation, but firearms may be a preferred method of suicide among those who have suicidal thoughts. [They] found that adolescents with firearm access were no more likely to have suicidal thoughts or a suicide plan in the past 12 months than those without firearm access. However, among adolescents with a suicide plan, those with a firearm in the home were more than 7 times more likely to have a plan involving firearms than those without a firearm in the home (OR, 7.39 [CI, 2.04 to 26.84]).

This means that the stale discussion of having a gun in the home to protect one’s family and property is entirely counter-intuitive. If kids are no more likely to have suicidal thoughts whether or not a firearm is available, but they’re more than 700% more likely to plan it with a gun when one is around, how does society even begin to address that statistic? Not to mention the tripled success rate of those plans.

Research Shows…

With studies that show the beneficial effect ofproper storage on teen suicide and murder rates? They put it pretty bluntly in their conclusion:

The 4 practices of keeping a gun locked, unloaded, storing ammunition locked, and in a separate location are each associated with a protective effect and suggest a feasible strategy to reduce these types of injuries in homes with children and teenagers where guns are stored.

That Should Be Enough, Right?

Actually, no. That piece was published in 2005 and gained very little attention. Maybe it’s time for the NRA to stop worrying about what guns are selling and to start providing real, applicable advice and news showing how to own a gun like the hundreds of thousands of responsible firearm owners in the United States.

If they don’t, empirical data and the ethos of America will continue to grow more support in favor of strict firearm regulation. With studies like the one from the Annals of Internal Medicine being published, our home-defendin’ friends, neighbors and relatives have less and less ground to stand on.


10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down

By cutting off federal funding for research and stymieing data collection and sharing, the National Rifle Association has tried to do to the study of gun violence what climate deniers have done to the science of global warming. No wonder: When it comes to hard numbers, some of the gun lobby’s favorite arguments are full of holes.

Myth #1: They’re coming for your guns.
Fact-check: No one knows the exact number of guns in America, but it’s clear there’s no practical way to round them all up (never mind that no one in Washington is proposing this). Yet if you fantasize about rifle-toting citizens facing down the government, you’ll rest easy knowing that America’s roughly 80 million gun owners already have the feds and cops outgunned by a factor of around 79 to 1.


Sources: Congressional Research Service (PDF), Small Arms Survey

Myth #2: Guns don’t kill people—people kill people.
Fact-check: People with more guns tend to kill more people—with guns. The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates. Also, gun death rates tend to be higher in states with higher rates of gun ownership. Gun death rates are generally lower in states with restrictions such as assault-weapons bans or safe-storage requirements. Update: A recent study looking at 30 years of homicide data in all 50 states found that for every one percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate, there is a nearly one percent increase in its firearm homicide rate.


Sources: PediatricsCenters for Disease Control and Prevention

Myth #3: An armed society is a polite society.
Fact-check: Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively.
• Among Texans convicted of serious crimes, those with concealed-handgun licenses were sentenced for threatening someone with a firearm 4.8 times more than those without.
• In states with Stand Your Ground and other laws making it easier to shoot in self-defense, those policies have been linked to a 7 to 10% increase in homicides.

Myth #4: More good guys with guns can stop rampaging bad guys.
Fact-check: Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 30 years: 0
• Chances that a shooting at an ER involves guns taken from guards: 1 in 5

Myth #5: Keeping a gun at home makes you safer.
Fact-check: Owning a gun has been linked to higher risks of homicidesuicide, and accidental death by gun.
• For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.
• 43% of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm.
• In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boyswho found a handgun pulled the trigger.

Myth #6: Carrying a gun for self-defense makes you safer.
Fact-check: In 2011, nearly 10 times more people were shot and killed in arguments than by civilians trying to stop a crime.
• In one survey, nearly 1% of Americans reported using guns to defend themselves or their property. However, a closer look at their claims found that more than 50% involved using guns in an aggressive manner, such as escalating an argument.
• A Philadelphia study found that the odds of an assault victim being shot were 4.5 times greater if he carried a gun. His odds of being killed were 4.2 times greater.

Myth #7: Guns make women safer.
Fact-check: In 2010, nearly 6 times more women were shot by husbands, boyfriends, and ex-partners than murdered by male strangers.
• A woman’s chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than 7 times if he has access to a gun.
• One study found that women in states with higher gun ownership rates were 4.9 timesmore likely to be murdered by a gun than women in states with lower gun ownership rates.

Myth #8: “Vicious, violent video games” deserve more blame than guns.
Fact-check: So said NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre after Newtown. So what’s up with Japan?

United States Japan
Per capita spending
on video games
$44 $55
Civilian firearms
per 100 people
88 0.6
Gun homicides
in 2008
11,030 11

Sources: PricewaterhouseCoopersSmall Arms Survey (PDF), UN Office on Drugs and Crime

Myth #9: More and more Americans are becoming gun owners. 
Fact-check: More guns are being sold, but they’re owned by a shrinking portion of the population.
• About 50% of Americans said they had a gun in their homes in 1973. Today, about 45% say they do. Overall, 35% of Americans personally own a gun.
• Around 80% of gun owners are men. On average they own 7.9 guns each.

Myth #10: We don’t need more gun laws—we just need to enforce the ones we have.
 Weak laws and loopholes backed by the gun lobby make it easier to get guns illegally.
• Around 40% of all legal gun sales involve private sellers and don’t require background checks. 40% of prison inmates who used guns in their crimes got them this way.
• An investigation found 62% of online gun sellers were willing to sell to buyers who said they couldn’t pass a background check.
• 20% of licensed California gun dealers agreed to sell handguns to researchers posing as illegal “straw” buyers.
• The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has not had a permanent directorfor 6 years, due to an NRA-backed requirement that the Senate approve nominees.

Mother Jones

Simple Fact:

Simple Fact:

Nobody wants your guns, you morons…Are you a felon?…Are a dangerous mentally ill individual?…Are you on the terrorist watch list?…Even then Nobody will come for your guns unless YOU decide to tell someone you have them…

“Merica was founded on guns…Paul Revere rode to protect the second amendment…That fascist marxist socialist nazi Obama wants to take my guns n givem to Al Kayda!”

For God’s sake give it a rest…

Gun safety legislation in no way means you have to turn in your guns…Assault weapons legislation in no way means you have to turn in your guns, EVEN IF THEY’RE ON THE LIST OF BANNED WEAPONS…If you legally own a firearm it is yours, and it is protected by the second amendment…

The Most Thought Provoking Excerpts from Chris Kluwe’s Book

If you’re familiar with Chris Kluwe’s opinionated, profanity-strewn internet pieces,  you have a pretty good idea what his book is like. Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is a glorious mishmash of essays, letters, articles, and thoughts collected by the outspoken punter.  Here are a few of the highlights in my opinion