The anti-gun folks love to go on about how guns cause suicides. And then they only count gun-related suicides. Interesting choice of data.
So let us take a look at Canada, to begin.
Once upon a time, Canada had basically the same gun laws as the USA. That changed. So what impact did it have on the suicide rate. You would expect – if you listen to the Left – that the suicide rate in Canada must have dropped after they restricted firearms. The truth is that the suicide rate in Canada has been fairly constant since the 1920s. The Canadians change to the gun-laws didn’t alter suicides – except to alter the methods employed.
During the 1980s and 1990s, firearms (or explosives) and hanging were the first- and second-most frequent means of suicide among Canadian males, followed by poisoning, gases, and jumping, and collectively, nine-tenths of suicides were committed via these five methods; poisoning was responsible for forty per cent of female suicides, followed by hanging (20%), gases and firearms (10% each). Analysis of coroners’ reports has attributed overprescription practices, and deficiencies in patient screening and prevention by family physicians to recent Canadian suicide trends.
A study of 20,851 suicides in Quebec from 1990 to 2005 found that hanging, strangulation and suffocation were the principal causes of death (males, age-adjusted rate of 15.6 per 100,000; females, 3.6), followed by poisoning (males: 5.7; females: 2.9).
So if access to firearms cause suicide, why is it that limiting access to firearms didn’t move the suicide rate of Canada? Could it be that people bent on self-destruction choose the available means they believe will achieve their end? In the city of Toronto, 4% of the suicides occur by throwing oneself in-front of a transit train. What does that prove, expect that 4% of suicides choose that method? Does it say anything about eliminating public transit trains? I think not.
If you look farther afield than Canada for comparisons with the USA on the subject of suicide, then the picture becomes even more problematic for the gun-grabbers.
How is it, if access to guns leads to suicide, that all those countries with restrictive gun-laws (or that have outlawed private ownership) have such higher rates of suicide than the USA? Could it be that guns and access to guns don’t cause suicide, but that mental illness and other factors do?