From “The Crime Report,” thecrimereport.org, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Report Links Accessibility of Guns to Homicide, Suicide
January 22, 2014
An individual’s access to firearms significantly increases the odds of death by homicide or suicide, according to a new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers reviewed 15 studies comparing the odds of being a victim of suicide or homicide between persons with and without access to firearms.
All but one study found significantly increased odds of suicide and homicide victimization associated with access to guns.
According to the report, individuals with firearms access are 3.2 times more likely to die from suicide and 1.9 times more likely to be the victims of homicide.
In the same issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, an editorial by David Hemenway, Director of the Harvard University Injury Control Research Center, criticized the study for being “too conservative” in its estimates.
Hemenway writes that population-based studies, which were not used for the report, show that locations with high levels of household gun ownership are associated with high rates of firearm-related death.
“There is no association with gun ownership levels and suicide by means other than guns,” Hemenway wrote.