New Study Points To Real Problems In America, Turns Out It’s Not Gun Shops

Opinion By Elizabeth McGuigan

Mental Health
New Study Points To Real Problems In America, Turns Out It's Not Gun Shops

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s (JAMA) Network Open by The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, argues suicide by firearm rates are higher in counties with more gun shops. Except when they aren’t.

The authors apparently contradict their own findings in the results alone. Suicide rates “were higher and increased more rapidly in rural than in large metropolitan counties.” Also, the presence of firearms retailers in rural counties is not associated with an increase in county-level suicide rates.

Beyond the Gun

This might be why the authors’ conclusions have nothing to do with gun shops. “The study found that suicide rates have increased across the nation and most rapidly in rural counties, which may be more sensitive to the impact of social deprivation than more metropolitan counties.” They continue with a note that improving “social connectedness, civic opportunities, and health insurance coverage” have the potential to reduce suicide rates.

While their findings on the prevalence of firearms retailers fell apart for rural areas, there were real conclusions in this study that may have actionable lessons for policymakers.

The findings that didn’t fall apart: higher deprivation areas have higher suicide rates, as do areas with low social capital, high social fragmentation, low health insurance coverage, and high percentages of veterans. Rather than irrationally blaming the tool used in these tragedies, lawmakers have a chance to address these root causes. For example, higher deprivation counties are lacking in areas such as education, employment, and housing quality. Areas with lower social capital are missing things like arts and nature facilities, recreation sites, and business/political/civic associations.

Firearms Fund Rural Conservation

We know that the firearms and ammunition industry is the number one source of conservation and wildlife preservation funding in the U.S., through an excise tax paid on every firearm and all ammunition purchased. With that in mind, it stands to reason that promotion of healthy pursuits in nature such as hunting areas and shooting ranges would be one option to improve the problems with social capital.

Oddly enough, we don’t see academics considering this in their research topics.

It’s clear there is an underlying bias in research questions posed by so many in recent years. Of course, it comes as no surprise that even when the carefully crafted questions don’t quite pan out for the gun control crowd, we still see headlines [with no connections to the actual facts] out of anti-gun outlets such as The Trace, “Prevalence of Gun Stores Linked to Higher Suicide Rates, Study Finds.”

Increasing suicide trends is a major crisis in the U.S. today. And the firearms and ammunition industry is working to reduce these tragedies through partnerships with groups like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We know the answer isn’t closing down all federally licensed firearms retailers but is in coming up with Real Solutions for safer communities. We hope lawmakers will also read beyond the misleading headlines and help address the actual problems in our communities.


National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org

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    Tionico
    Member
    Tionico

    For an interestin study, go have a look at the suicide statistics etc in Canada. Nearly identical in social, economic, demographics, cultural, educational, ethical values and practices, two interesting data sets emerge: First, the overall suicde rate, all means, is very nearly identical in terms of events/100.000 people. Second, one signficant difference in law between the two nations is this: in Canada it is functioainlly impossible for ordinary folks to possess or own or use handguns. Handguns are one of the more utilitised methods of suicide in the US< but since they are not very available in Canada almost never… Read more »

    Screwtape
    Member
    Screwtape

    More to the point, in 1995, the Canadian govt banned half the handguns in the country outright, banned the remainder and all other firearms unless the owners obtained a temporary government exemption, aka a five-year renewable Firearms Possession and Acquisition License ( “PAL”), and put in stringent storage requirements for all firearms so they are not quickly and readily accessible with ammunition at home. (Basically, forget using a gun for self-defence against a home intruder; and carry permits are out of the question for the unwashed masses.) One much ballyhooed result of all this was a drop over the next… Read more »

    Tionico
    Member
    Tionico

    One rather large economy sized elephant in the room I almost never hear mentioned is this one: We have now two generatioins of people who have been born and raised in this coutry who have seem the devalution of human life, millions of them snuffed out for the simple lame excuse of “convenience”. COnvenience of those responsible for the situation arising, but not willing to follow through and BE responsible for the consequences of their own actions. Yes I am talking about the sixty millions or so of Americans who were murdered whilst yet within their own mothers’ wombs, not… Read more »

    tomcat
    Member
    tomcat

    @Tio Now the democrats are coming out and announcing population control and it is just for saving the planet. Each and every one of them want to be the king.

    57K
    Member
    57K

    The gun lobby has nothing on the doctor lobby. In the cases where a mass murderer was taking medication for a mental disorder, or was suspected by a physician to be a potential threat to society, or themselves, the answer is very much one of responsibility. There is a remedy: due process of the law which should allow a physician to recommend a person be evaluated by a state medical board to include judges, as well as psychiatrists. Just like felons whom are afforded due process when they are tried, no one should be considered mentally incompetent and having their… Read more »

    tomcat
    Member
    tomcat

    They could start with shotgun Joe.

    Brad
    Member
    Brad

    I think that all of these “pundits” miss the point entirely; John F. Kennedy was a life member of the NRA, he understood the need to stand for freedom against tyranny. Did you know that students would take their guns to school and store them in the cloakroom so that they could have them when school let out for the day? But things have changed, and thoughts and prayers are insufficient, The man in Dayton, Ohio was a Democratic voter, a supporter of Bernie Sanders, and a member of Antifa. The man in El Paso was another democratic voter, radical… Read more »

    MICHAEL J
    Member
    MICHAEL J

    Another biased, slanted study that some politician or bureaucrat will use to push their agenda to disarm Americans for our own good.

    Hankus
    Member
    Hankus

    This is why we should not give any monetary grants to firearms “research”. “Researchers” who begin with an obvious bias, like the AMA or CDC, will arrive at their predetermined conclusion. Data will be cherry-picked and manipulated. Then they will publish their “findings” in a rag like the JAMA and presto, it’s accepted as “FACT”. At that point “the science is settled”. Refer to ‘climate change”, which began as “global cooling”, then morphed to “global warming”, then to their currently-preferred narrative.