Change in Gun Suicide After Gun Law

Change in Nongun Suicide After Gun Law

Change in Overall Suicide After Gun Law

Continuation of of decreasing trend

Continuation of increasing trend

Increase

No significant difference

No significant difference

No significant difference

Decrease

No significant difference

No significant difference

Mixed: Decrease with higher age limits

Not stated

No significant difference

mixed (see text)

Not stated

No significant differences

No significant difference

No significant difference

No significant difference

There are several substantive differences between the research literature linking guns and crime and the research literature linking guns and suicide. First, there is a cross-sectional association between rates of household gun ownership and the number and fraction of suicides committed with a gun that appears to be much more consistent than, for example, the cross-sectional association between gun ownership and gun homicide. There also appears to be a cross-sectional association between rates of household gun ownership and overall rates of suicide, reported by investigators on both sides of the gun policy debate. However, the association is small, the findings seem to vary by age and gender, and results have been sensitive to model specifications, covariates, and measures used; furthermore, the association is not found in comparisons across countries. In the absence of a simple association between household gun ownership and crime rates within the United States, the literature on guns and crime has been forced to attend to some of the methodological problems of omitted variables and endogenous relationships inherent in studying complex social processes. The presence of a simple bivariate association between gun ownership and suicide may have prevented suicide investigators from pursuing study designs hav-



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