Quote Of The Day

“So what we see is that there is no direct correlation at the global level between firearm ownership and violence.”  —  Anna Alvazzi del Frate (program director, Small Arms Survey)

There are several interesting snippets contained in this study, which blessedly seems to be focused on data and not an agenda.

The one that’s got the most airplay has been of course that the United States constitutes nearly half of all the guns held in private hands — yeah, I know, we need to do better — but the quote above is, I think, the clincher in the study.  This is because in the grand scheme of things, who and how many gun owners there are is just a statistic;  the more important information is how those gun owners use their guns — and the most interesting observation is that once you exclude military gun use, the most common use for privately-held guns, even with crime included in the incidence, is suicide.

And of course because suicide is going to occur regardless — whether by guns, pills, hanging, falls, jumping in front of trains, whatever — it’s quite clear that including gun suicide in “violent crime” statistics (which is what most of the would-be gun confiscators do) is a mendacious device.  (I know, when someone eats their gun there’s a violent outcome because brain splatter, but it’s hardly a more violent outcome than, say, hitting the sidewalk after a jump from a height of twenty stories, where no gun is involved.)

It’s a fascinating read, and it’s so clinical that not even TIME magazine can spin it into a Schumeresque sound bite.  In fact, the only reasonable sound bite from the study is the conclusion at the top of this post, which is why it’s the Quote Of The Day.


  1. The gun control crowd always includes suicide numbers in overall firearms deaths each year. How many of those are due to medically assisted suicide not being readily available, or just to much bother if you don’t need assistance because you have a gun? The left supports medical suicide. Some percentage of annual suicide must surely be medical suicide.

    1. > How many of those are due to medically assisted suicide not being readily available,


      Suicide is a large and difficult topic, but there is evidence to suggest that the more serious a person is, the more lethal–immediately lethal–means they will pick.

      Medically assisted suicide is (generally) for the kind of people for whom suicide is a “reasonable” option–the terminally ill etc. Most of the gun suicides are people are clinically depressed, or who have seen their lives destroyed somehow (cheating spouses, divorce, lost their jobs etc.) and would not qualify for most medically assisted suicide regimes.

      What *might* work is if we allowed barbiturates or opiates to be sold OTC, but that’s a drug war issue.

      Still, generally people who do not want help, do not want to be found before it’s done etc. It’s fast and certain. This means it’s *going* to be the choice of those who want out NOW.

  2. Back when I was a pre-teen, an elderly woman decided to end her life jumping from the roof of a seven- story building. Just as she landed on the front steps, a family was exiting the front door and luckily were only spattered with brains and blood (psychological shock is another story.) If she had access to a pistol, I wonder if she might have taken another route.
    I begin to wonder if quite a few of the “mass-murderers” aren’t similarly highly depressed individuals who, like Jim Jones, just (only) want to take a few people along with them on the their last journey. Weird, I know, but highly depressed individuals tend to view the world through weird-colored glasses.

    1. > I begin to wonder if quite a few of the “mass-murderers” aren’t similarly highly depressed individuals

      Depends on what you mean by “quite a few”.

      There is a thing called “Suicide by Cop” where someone engages in the sort of violence that “makes” the popo shoot him. Sometimes this is expressed through a “mass” killing.

  3. Thankfully, through the paucity of tax revenues, the governments of the United States are vastly over-matched when it comes to arms by those “Deplorables” they condescend to. You would think that they might be more circumspect in that attitude.

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