Questions are asked around the background check implications every time murderers and shooters have wrought havoc and despair with mass shootings. However there is an equally dark under belly which statistics don’t highlight and overshadows the homicide numbers. Statistics that won’t be muted or controlled by any background check. For a number of years evidence suggests whether the real threat from guns is those individuals that turn firearms on themselves.
In 2013 16,000 homicides were recorded along with over 40,000 suicides and of which half were committed with the use of a firearm. This according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new study contends that firearms policies inclusive the more stringent background check should be as much about public health as it is about public safety. By monitoring 2 states who had amended their policies. One state had lax gun control while the other more stringent background check policy and process, the suicide rates in both states were tracked. The policies could be seen to have far reaching implications than Americans would perceive.
Suicide does appear to be part of the equation that seems to have been factored out for whatever reason. Government policy can’t be construed that it should be there to protect us from ourselves. Government and legislation is there to implement protection from others. What can be taken from tougher background check laws is the underlying principle of reducing violence from criminals but which also at the same time protects those close to us. Daniel Webster’s study can be read in full by following this link. The study took in changes in the policy of 2 states along with suicide data.
In 1921 Missouri required permits for the purchase of handguns but thereafter in 2007 repealed it. Webster and co researchers estimated the rise in firearm related suicides to be around 16%. The repealing of laws also confirmed guns diverted in to criminals hands along with increasing homicides. Connecticut struck off in an opposite direction. The state brought in (1995) mandatory requirements for permits to purchase firearms following a succesful background check. Researchers estimated suicide rates fell by 15.4%.
While a background check may well flag suicide risks such as alcohol and drug abuse and/or historical violent crime. The momentary impulses around suicide is more often than not fleeting. The relevance of this is that if the tools are not readily accessible to carry out the act they may withdraw from these thoughts and not commit suicide. The researchers could not discount other factors in gun suicides.
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