r/science Dec 01 '22 Wholesome 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 'MURICA 2

U.S. gun death rates hit highest levels in decades, study says Social Science

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/11/29/gun-death-rates-highest-levels-00071285
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u/theArtOfProgramming Grad Student | Comp Sci | Causal Discovery & Climate Informatics Dec 02 '22

The peer reviewed paper discussed in the article can be found here https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2799021

### Abstract

Importance Firearm fatality rates in the United States have reached a 28-year high. Describing the evolution of firearm fatality rates across intents, demographics, and geography over time may highlight high-risk groups and inform interventions for firearm injury prevention.

Objective To understand variations in rates of firearm fatalities stratified by intent, demographics, and geography in the US.

Design, Setting, and Participants This cross-sectional study analyzed firearm fatalities in the US from 1990 to 2021 using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat maps, maximum and mean fatality rate graphs, and choropleth maps of county-level rates were created to examine trends in firearm fatality rates by intent over time by age, sex, race, ethnicity, and urbanicity of individuals who died from firearms. Data were analyzed from December 2018 through September 2022.

Main Outcomes and Measures Rates of firearm fatalities by age, sex, race, ethnicity, urbanicity, and county of individuals killed stratified by specific intent (suicide or homicide) per 100 000 persons per year.

Results There were a total of 1 110 421 firearm fatalities from 1990 to 2021 (952 984 among males [85.8%] and 157 165 among females [14.2%]; 286 075 among Black non-Hispanic individuals [25.8%], 115 616 among Hispanic individuals [10.4%], and 672 132 among White non-Hispanic individuals [60.5%]). All-intents total firearm fatality rates per 100 000 persons declined to a low of 10.1 fatalities in 2004, then increased to 14.7 fatalities (45.5% increase) by 2021. From 2014 to 2021, male and female firearm homicide rates per 100 000 persons per year increased from 5.9 to 10.9 fatalities (84.7% increase) and 1.1 to 2.0 fatalities (87.0% increase), respectively. Firearm suicide rates were highest among White non-Hispanic men aged 80 to 84 years (up to 46.8 fatalities/100 000 persons in 2021). By 2021, maximum rates of firearm homicide were up to 22.5 times higher among Black non-Hispanic men (up to 141.8 fatalities/100 000 persons aged 20-24 years) and up to 3.6 times higher among Hispanic men (up to 22.8 fatalities/100 000 persons aged 20-24 years) compared with White non-Hispanic men (up to 6.3 fatalities/100 000 persons aged 30-34 years). Males had higher rates of suicide (14.1 fatalities vs 2.0 fatalities per 100 000 persons in 2021) and homicide (10.9 fatalities vs. 2.0 fatalities per 100 000 persons in 2021) compared with females. Metropolitan areas had higher homicide rates than nonmetropolitan areas (6.6 fatalities vs 4.8 fatalities per 100 000 persons in 2021). Firearm fatalities by county level increased over time, spreading from the West to the South. From 1999 to 2011 until 2014 to 2016, fatalities per 100 000 persons per year decreased from 10.6 to 10.5 fatalities in Western states and increased from 12.8 to 13.9 fatalities in Southern states.

Conclusions and Relevance This study found marked disparities in firearm fatality rates by demographic group, which increased over the past decade. These findings suggest that public health approaches to reduce firearm violence should consider underlying demographic and geographic trends and differences by intent.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

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u/mcbaindk Dec 01 '22

We've had one civil war, yes...

But what about second civil war?

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u/BOKEH_BALLS Dec 01 '22

Material conditions plummeting for the last 30 years plus an abundance of readily obtained firearms equals lots of dead people

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u/notimeforniceties Dec 01 '22

Or, to put it in context, the recent historic lows have reversed in the last two years. Gun death rates have been steadily declining since the 90's. That trend reversed during covid. But the larger trend, ovet the last decade, is that even as the statistically rare-but-headline-grabbing mass shootings increased, overall rates are almost half what they were in the 90s.

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u/deletable666 Dec 01 '22

Are all of these increased deaths suicides like the majority of gun deaths in the US, or homicides? They are solved in similar ways, healthcare, living wages, and education

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u/curien Dec 01 '22

"America’s gun-related homicide and suicide rates both rose 8% last year..."

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u/deletable666 Dec 01 '22

I read in some groups the homicide rates increased more than the suicide rates, but this was the average. I think the things that lead to higher rates of suicide also can lead to higher rates of homicide. Poverty, mental health issues, lack of opportunity.

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u/markender Dec 01 '22

Exactly. The problem is treating those is a lot more expensive than giving the police military equipment.

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u/myspicename Dec 01 '22

Eh, it's actually a lot cheaper. It just doesn't fill the pockets of the right people.

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u/markender Dec 01 '22

That's true. It would also require universal Healthcare to work. The current state of the US, no way.

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u/clmns Dec 01 '22

Man it's so sad this is the "common wisdom". Not saying you're a defeatist, but the USA is a first world country, literally bordered by another first world country that has universal healthcare. I feel like universal healthcare would be one presidential term away if it wasn't for Fox.

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u/gbushprogs Dec 01 '22

Not just Fox any more.

Billionaires (plural) openly own, personally, several news media companies and social media -- wrangling absolute control over the messaging.

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u/deletable666 Dec 01 '22

Totally agree, and it doesn’t make the right people rich, it does the opposite.

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u/l0ts0fcats Dec 01 '22

White men are disproportionately represented among gun suicide rates yet the states with the highest proportion of white men will do anything to gut government assistance towards Healthcare, education, and a living wage.

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u/Wildcatb Dec 01 '22

The report I heard last week was that the largest demographic of 'gun homicide' was black males in their 20s, and the largest demographic of 'gun suicides' was white males in their 80s.

That last age bracket surprised me.

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u/axolotl_afternoons Dec 01 '22

My Dad is in his 80s, lives alone, and has a gun. I have been wondering if he may choose to use it on himself at some point. Note, I've asked him to come live with me and my family, but he doesn't want to.

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u/Im_Talking Dec 01 '22

This is why dying with dignity should be allowed.

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u/drwert Dec 01 '22

Honestly an understandable age to check out at. You've lived a full life, and you're not beating the problems that start coming in at that age. The last few years of my grandmother's life in her late 80s were just awful.

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u/souttous Dec 01 '22

In the US they will do everything possible to keep you alive so they can continue to bleed you for money. My grandma was 98 and hadn’t walked in years when they proposed amputating her leg since “her prognosis is so good otherwise.”

She died a week later.

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u/Yomat Dec 01 '22

You also are likely a complete drag on your family financially and you know it. You may even be dragging down their quality of life.

I hope that when I die, it's quick and painless and doesn't drag on draining my family's future away. Cremate me, put me in a coffee can and sprinkle my remains somewhere you think I'd like and be done with it.

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u/bradbikes Dec 01 '22

Aging in America is an incredibly expensive prospect since healthcare insurance is a bonkers idea that doesn't work. Doesn't help that state governments have chosen to artificially limit Medicaid that would help these people for purely political reasons.

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u/mhornberger Dec 01 '22

Older white males are from a generation more (almost totally) committed to the bootstraps mentality. And also, one least likely to acknowledge or seek treatment for mental health concerns. More likely to seek the solution in a bottle, or if that doesn't work, the barrel of a gun. Millennials and Gen Z may be more comfortable seeking treatment for mental health issues, or talking about their feelings, but Gen X and older, very much less so.

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u/BabyPuncherBob Dec 01 '22

Which states would those be, exactly?

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u/wordsnerd Dec 01 '22

Just visually looking at maps, I'm seeing a correlation between race and suicide rates, but perhaps not with education spending.

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u/deletable666 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Totally. There is not really any politics representation pushing for these things as a solution. It is easier for political candidates to get votes saying “never gun control” or “lots of gun control”. It is just not a realistic way to approach the issue in this country. It requires massive fundamental change to constitutional law. I think political capital and political attention should be focused around why people do these things, not just how

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u/IceFoilHat Dec 01 '22

Looking at why crime happens would take admitting we have issues that need to be addressed at the highest levels. This goes against American exceptionalism. We will continue to punish the people who commit the crimes instead of fixing the issues that lead to them.

You can also substitute suicide for crime in that entire statement.

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u/lightningsnail Dec 01 '22

Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are anti government assistance? Interesting.

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u/skwizzycat Dec 01 '22

Wasn't the rate in the 80s/90s drastically inflated by gang violence as a result of the crack epidemic?

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u/LonelyMachines Dec 01 '22

It was, and another interesting factor is lead tocixity.

It wasn't until the late 1970s that we started to account for the long-term effects of ambient lead on mental and physical health. Chronic exposure over years can result in arrested mental development, depression, and aggressive behaviors.

Back then, it was in paint (especially in low-income housing), gasoline, and all sorts of consumer products. The argument is that we can trace a line from the reduction of ambient lead to a decline in crime.

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u/Burt-Macklin Dec 01 '22

There’s also a causal line drawn between lowered crime rates and when abortion was legalized. Similar delayed affect; significantly fewer unwanted children born into economically-doomed scenarios.

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u/MeltAway421 Dec 01 '22

Man imagine you made some bad decisions and died and it turns out it's in part because you were poisoned

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u/skwizzycat Dec 01 '22

Yep I'm actually pretty familiar with that causal relationship as my high school debate partner and I ran a lead abatement plan as a means of reducing juvenile crime in the 90s

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u/panachronist Dec 01 '22

This sentence reads like a mad lib, tbh.

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u/dtanker Dec 01 '22

The numbers today are also drastically inflated by gang violence aswell, and in the last two years there was another type of pandemic. Not surprising there's a similar result.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

Yes. Without opening the can of worms that comes with the discussion, if you removed suicide, gang violence, and self-defense from our gun stats the final product would look very different and be significantly less headline grabbing.

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u/SplitOak Dec 01 '22

Looking at the subsections of the violence is a lot more useful overall. Lumping everything into one bucket is a problem because each has a a different type of solution.

  • Suicide
  • gang violence
  • domestic violence
  • self defense (justified)
  • police shootings
  • random murders

Self defense shootings and police shootings are very different than the others. Even so random murders my be “self defense” that didn’t meet the criteria of “self defense”.

Suicides require a vastly different approach than gang violence.

The funny thing is that most people are mostly worried about the “random murders” which are generally one of the smallest buckets on the list.

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u/OverthinkingMadMan Dec 01 '22

And they are still higher than the rest of the "western" world by a huge margin. Even if you take out suicides.

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u/Picnicfixins Dec 01 '22

The US is also notably an outlier in that it never established much of the public health infrastructure present in those nations to which I believe you’re referring. There was a system for psych hospitals that was disbanded in the Carter administration with the follow up programs shut down during the Reagan administration.

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u/Rentun Dec 02 '22

There a lot of issues in the US that are largely unique to the US among developed countries. Most of those issues have an economic basis, and are baked into the American ethos. As the world gets more crowded, more interconnected, and more resource starved, the ideal of rugged individualism that is at the very core of the American identity continues to be less and less useful, and becomes more and more harmful.

Being a rugged individualist who doesn’t care for other people and doesn’t mind working 14 hours a day is hugely beneficial in a country of mostly farmers and herders in mostly wilderness. It’s actively harmful in a modern interconnected service industry focused country.

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u/Darryl_444 Dec 01 '22

Especially if you take out suicides.

In 2020, US gun suicides were about 52% of all gun-related deaths. In other developed nations, the gun suicides average between 65-95%. So if we ignore all the suicides, the comparative difference increases and the US is much worse.

It's interesting to note that gun homicides drop off far more than the other categories, in nations with fewer guns. People just don't shoot each other as much, or themselves. But especially each other.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States#/media/File:2010_homicide_suicide_rates_high-income_countries.png

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/b0uYBKHIrlm6WudnThFqoZ9gNvw=/0x0:1916x1721/1320x0/filters:focal(0x0:1916x1721):format(webp):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/12543393/GUN_SCATTER2.jpg:format(webp):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/12543393/GUN_SCATTER2.jpg)

https://i.redd.it/57vhwve0xga91.jpg

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u/OverthinkingMadMan Dec 01 '22

A man with sources is a man of caliber. Thanks for the reading material!

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u/kwanijml Dec 01 '22

Such a huge margin that the u.s. has more non-gun homicides than countries like Germany or Australia have total homicides.

So, even if we were to somehow magically remove all civilian-owned guns in the u.s. overnight (and without starting a civil war which would kill far more than would ever be saved by the lack of guns in homicidal hands), America would still be a more violent society than many developed nations....and that even assumes that none of the would-be gun murderers would have substituted to a different implement...which is of course absurd.

The u.s. has a violence problem. Not a gun problem. Full stop.

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u/saltedjellyfish Dec 01 '22

The article says the trend reversed in 2005 but also got worse during Covid.

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u/Enthused_Llama Dec 01 '22

Man it sure is weird how often poor material conditions for a large swathes of the population correlates to unrest.

Oh well we better just keep concentrating all of the wealth at the top.

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u/Prince_Edward_IV Dec 01 '22

America:

makes life harder for underprivileged people

widens gap between lower and upper class

creates and supports unrest and division via media and polarizing politics

home to the top 5 largest weapon manufacturers in the world

"why do people keep shooting each other?"

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u/zuzg Dec 01 '22

120 privately owned guns per 100 citizens In the US. But sure that isn't related to this

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u/WeMissYouBlooky Dec 01 '22

Honestly surprised to see Canada so high on this chart. Wonder if it's related to being a neighbor of the US? Equally surprised to see Mexico missing, maybe due to lack of reporting or is Mexico not a "developed economy"?

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u/Moderator-Admin Dec 01 '22

Canada has a big problem right now with illegally acquired guns, specifically handguns.

You can probably guess which bordering country is bringing them into Canada, and it's not Greenland.

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u/wingsnut25 Dec 01 '22

In the US, states like Vermont (.03), New Hampshire (0.4), North Dakota(0.6) and Iowa(0.7) have the same or a lower firearm homicide rate then Canada (0.7),

All of the States that I listed above have received an F grade from the Gifford's Gun Control Group State Gun Laws Report Card.

Then you have states like Maryland which has an A- from Giffords and a firearm homicide rate of 5.1.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

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u/OwMyBalllz Dec 01 '22

Yup. The converse is also true. Same with schools, the affluence of the district has a huge correlation with ‘how good’ the school is perceived to be.

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u/durablecotton Dec 01 '22

Zip codes are one of the best predictors of educational success and outcomes.

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u/Wolfwags Dec 01 '22

It’s almost like they’re trying to obscure their findings

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u/Doromclosie Dec 01 '22

Canada has a lot of northern hunting. People need a gun (orr several) to help manage local wildlife. It can become a nuisance to their farm animals. Rabies, mange, coyote attacks, distemper are all really problematic. The gun you use to get a marmot isn't the same as the gun you'd use for a moose, so you need several.

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u/Coal_Morgan Dec 01 '22

Anecdotal but to just add to this my friends a farmer and a hunter and has I believe 6 long guns. 1 he inherited from his Dad, 2 really nice rifles for hunting specifically, 1 rifle for small game or varmint and 2 Shotguns for hunting and larger varmints like coyotes that get close to the home.

That's in Southwestern Ontario in Essex County so that's an across Canada sort of thing and close to a city.

Up north there's a lot of wildlife and a lot of people live far from assistance and have livelihoods to protect and moose, deer, coyotes, wolves and three different kinds of bears can do a lot of damage if they end up wandering into barns, stables or close to the house. The most humane way to put down a large animal that is also hurt by a car or broken a leg or has some other issue or disease is a rifle or a shotgun.

Europe doesn't have the wildlife that most of the other continents have. I'm not a pro gun guy but I am a have the right tools for the job guy.

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u/Garlan_Tyrell Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Well, considering Mexico’s homicide rate is 29/100k, it would make the United States look almost as flat as some of the European countries.

Plus, no, I don’t think Mexico would qualify as a developed country in whatever metrics the chart makers are using.

Edit: Grabbed all homicides instead of gun homicides. Corrected it to 16.1/100k in my other comment, w/link.

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u/N8CCRG Dec 01 '22

I noticed you chose to change the metric from "gun violence deaths" to "homicide deaths".

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u/Garlan_Tyrell Dec 01 '22

Looks like it’s still 16.1/100k with gun murders only.

So only 4X higher, not 7X higher.

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u/NoCapOlChap Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Alternative title, "Suicides (unsurprisingly) at record highs".

(Morbidly) interesting to note it seems that method is becoming more popular with black women. Arguably, it's the most effective, especially given one's circumstances for Americans at the end of their wits.

Edit: I wonder how often the firearm used wasn't one they originally possessed, but gained possession of. Specifically, taking a partner's gun.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6628a1.htm

Report in 2017 states the homicide victim rate for black women was 4.4 per 100k, so it near literally quadrupled.

"But the pandemic's over", oh a new one took it's place, and the American public refuses to believe it exists either

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u/GingerRazz Dec 01 '22

"But the pandemic's over", oh a new one took it's place, and the American public refuses to believe it exists either

The pandemic isn't what caused suicide to skyrocket. The pandemic response lead to social isolation and economic collapse. The isolation and financial issues caused the increase in crime and suicide. Don't get me wrong, pandemics need to be taken seriously, but the societal effects of covid lockdown show that you can take measures to reduce pandemic deaths and cause serious problems elsewhere.

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u/buzzzzz1 Dec 01 '22

Terrible rise in firearm deaths but I hate that we always lump in suicides into these stats. 54% of firearm deaths are suicides. They mention "firearm violence" and also say "the paper confirmed racial and sexual differences in U.S. gun deaths and that homicide deaths are concentrated in cities and suicides are more common in rural areas."

Just my opinion, but I believe these issues should be seperated. You have a violence problem and you have a suicide problem.

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u/Hefty_Tendy Dec 01 '22

I’d take it a step further and say that American gun violence is broken up mainly into 3 categories: Suicides, targeted homicides (including gang violence and fights with innocent bystanders), and random mass shootings

The latter category is the smallest by far and gets a majority of the attention. Unfortunately all the legislation we propose that might reduce mass shootings really doesn’t do anything to reduce targeted homicides or suicides. Our suicide rate is in not an outlier among other developed countries and should be viewed as a mental health issue not a gun issue. But it’s convenient for groups with an agenda to lump suicides with “gun violence” in order to inflate their numbers.

Targeted homicides spiked after the death of George Floyd. I’d love if an organization would do more research on how much of an effect losing faith in institutions along with police withdrawal had an effect on homicides. This article is an interview with a criminology professor that has a lot more insightful information than the study linked by OP.

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u/voiderest Dec 01 '22

Could break the homicide down a bit as well. At least that's what I think would be reasonable when looking for root causes and root cause mitigation. You did mention gangs and ego battle things. There is also domestic type violence or violence committed during other criminal activity.

Then with the mass shootings concept the definition may not match up with the connotation leading to stats that don't really describe the issue. Very easily something gang related or a murder suicide can get lumped into the idea of a spree killer with a loose definition. That's how some orgs will claim a mass shooting happens every week but those incidents don't make national news.

Comparative stats on this also seem to often run into a problem of not really trying to tease out or control for confounding variables. Some studies appear to be straight up cherry picking data or implying causation without showing it.

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u/Hefty_Tendy Dec 01 '22

Very easily something gang related or a murder suicide can get lumped into the idea of a spree killer with a loose definition. That’s how some orgs will claim a mass shooting happens every week but those incidents don’t make national news.

This is such a massive pet peeve of mine every time some sensationalist article gets published saying, “America has averaged 3 mass shootings per day for all of 2022.”

You ask someone if they’d consider a gang shootout where 3 people got injured and 1 died a mass shooting, 99% of the population would say no. I’m pretty sure those shooting trackers have even counted police shootings where cops hit innocent bystanders as mass shootings. The same thing happens with the term “school shooting” where people count stuff like a suicide on school grounds or gang shootout between non-students to be “school shootings.”

It makes it very difficult to have an honest discussion about these sensitive topics of people aren’t willing to bring honest data to the table.

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u/bestusername73 Dec 01 '22

I think the term random is a bit out of place here. Many mass shootings target groups of people for the purpose of terrorism. Ther last two mass shootings i remember are Walmart and club q, which is a freelance with coworkers and an anti lgbt hate crime, definitely not random. Some mass shootings may come from a general frustration and be part of a suicide but a fair share of them are not like that.

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u/Coal_Morgan Dec 01 '22

I get what you're saying but what I think he's saying is the individual victims are random.

As opposed to killing a person you know the name of and seeking them out.

Showing up to a place even if the place or group is targeted ends up with random victims. Several of the people at Club Q weren't part of the LGBT community but making a delivery. The shooter wanted a group of people not a list of named persons.

If he'd decided to show up one day later different people would have died.

So, while it's 100% like you said Macro targeting, I think how the person you're replying to is dividing up the categories is still relevant.

Suicides by gun are distinctly about mental health or physical decline and need to be discussed as an individual issue.

Murders of individuals known tend to be about an inciting event; money or sex being the most well-known.

Spree shootings tend to be about a buildup of discontent over time and the radicalization of thought towards the group that is targeted.

Each of those have different causes and need to be analyzed and thought about in different ways. I'm 100% for gun control but gun control will turn some of the spree shooters into bombers instead. We need to talk about radicalization and the propaganda that these people are ingesting wholesale.

(There are other cases of gun violence like psychopaths and workplace shootings. I'm just citing the three since they tend to have distinct causes)

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u/Hefty_Tendy Dec 01 '22

That’s fair. When I say “random” I mean “not targeting a specific person.”

Most homicides have a specific target, even gang shootouts and drive-by shootings, though they may not have an individual specific target, they do target members of rival gangs and have motivations to kill the person beyond killing just because they don’t like them. They occasionally will have innocent bystander victims, but those aren’t intended targets. If you’re a person who hasn’t done anything to really upset someone or make someone want to murder you, you generally don’t have to worry about becoming a victim of gun violence.

Mass shootings are indiscriminate shootings where the shooter has no specific goal other than to kill lots of people. They will often target specific locations where they know a group of people they don’t like are at, but they don’t have specific targets. The motive is more akin to terrorism than ordinary homicide. The “it could happen to anyone” aspect of mass shootings is the reason why they scare the general public so much despite making up a very small fraction of all homicides.

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u/bestusername73 Dec 01 '22

That makes sense, and I see why you would break up categories that way. I only clarified because I've had people tell me that third category is anomalous/unpredictable or unimportant, when it can often be specifically motivated. Appreciate your thoughts on it.

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u/sundae_diner Dec 01 '22

"The highest gun suicide death rates are in white men in their early 80s, at 45 per 100,000, the researchers said."

Why are so many pensioners killing themselves?

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u/calypsopub Dec 01 '22

That's easy. I'm 60 and a widow, and I already have several chronic health issues that make life a struggle. I picture my life at age 80 and I know I will be blind, debilitated by diabetes, probably in constant pain, wearing a diaper, no longer able to do anything I enjoy. At some point you're better off dead.

I'm not suicidal. I'm determined to live whatever time I have left to the fullest, but I have a plan in case I want to check out on my own terms.

Another commenter implied that it's because people don't take care of themselves. Sure, that may hasten the process. But young people need to face the fact that even with perfect genetics, diet, and lifestyle, your body will sooner or later betray you. By 80, very few people are able to be active and enjoy life anymore. Maybe your kale smoothies will help you get to 100, but at some point you, too, will falter.

By the time he died at 78, my dad was blind, got around with a walker, needed somebody to trim his nails and bathe him, regularly pooped himself, could no longer get together with friends because they all died or were as infirm as he was. The indignity of his existence was brutal. I cared for him in the last few weeks, and I honestly wondered why he wasn't suicidal. He fought to the last breath. But I don't judge anybody who wants to take an easier path.

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u/couldbemage Dec 01 '22

Visit a half dozen nursing homes chosen randomly. I work in healthcare, and 100 percent will shoot myself before ending up in one of those places.

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u/5474524 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

If you never had kids, your entire family is likely either dead or nonexistent. All of your friends are dead or dying. You're too old and fragile to do much of anything but lounge in a chair, because you grew up obese on a post-Depression "clean your entire plate" diet and never took care of yourself. You have fatal health problems popping up. Your entire support system is gone. All you have is your house and your possessions. Maybe a wife, if she hasn't already died or doesn't hate you.

Old age is bleak if you don't have your health and your people. I'd shoot myself, too.

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u/CMDR_Tauri Dec 01 '22

^ That and being told by medical professionals or social services that you're no longer able to live in your own house; you'll have to move into an assisted living community. I've known a few old guys who, after that news, tied up any loose ends in their lives and then ate a bullet. They just didn't want to burden anyone.

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u/arbivark Dec 01 '22

death with dignity, at a reasonable cost. beats spending your final year in pain hooked up to tubes, watching your life's savings evaporate.

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u/boredtxan Dec 01 '22

Agreed. Those have very different root causes and will need different solutions.

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u/The_Countess Dec 01 '22

Both rose at about the same rate.

And both your suicide and homicide risk rise considerable when you buy a gun. They aren't all that separate with they have common causes: economic despair and the prevalence of guns.

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u/Xais56 Dec 01 '22

I've been suicidal a couple times in my life (alright now though!), but the easiest way for me to complete suicide would be via knife wound or OD, and the sort of drugs I have access to OD on would be very painful.

Neither of those sound like a fun way to die. Just because I've wanted to die doesn't mean I wanted to suffer on the way out.

If I had access to a gun I can't say for sure I'd be here today. Guns make access to instant death very easy, and that's the real danger.

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u/throwaway_4733 Dec 01 '22

Are you me? Because you sound like me. Twenty years ago I decided to end it. But I didn't own a gun so my methods available were all methods that seemed very painful and drawn out. I didn't want to spend 10 minutes bleeding out and in pain. If I had a gun I wouldn't be here. No one gets to the cash register and decides they want to go back to the candy aisle and pick up a snickers. But lots of people make that impulse buy at the check out.

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u/FirstTimeWang Dec 01 '22

Same. I own a couple of family heirloom shotguns for skeet shooting, but I keep them locked up and I don't keep ammo in the house.

But at my lowest I started to wonder what would happen if I went to the local gun store and tried to buy a single 12ga shell...

If I already had the ammo on hand, maybe I wouldn't have used it... but I would've been a hell of a lot closer to finding out.

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u/Kee_Lay Dec 01 '22

I work in an ICU and I can tell you first hand, the number of attempted suicides I've seen has been too high. I've seen drug od's, hangings, firearms, a couple of other far too inventive methods and even a couple people that tried to cut their throats. I've seen quite a few by firearm and more of them did not die than did die. The pain and misery they went thru on their way towards recovery was so much more than the intentional drug overdoses with a far more lasting negative impact on the rest of their lives. It's not as guaranteed to be quick and painless as some might imagine.

I'm glad you're doing well right now. I hope you continue to do well and are able to get the help you need to ensure that you live a long, healthy and prosperous life. Your life has value and meaning, even on the darkest days when it doesn't seem to.

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u/The_Countess Dec 01 '22

If they make it to you at the ICU then they are already in a small minority.

According to a harvard study, 85% of suicides by gun succeed, compared to 3% of suicided by for example drug overdose.

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/guns-suicide/

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u/mudlife976 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Worst part of this stat is more than 50% are suicides and that’s a real problem

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u/yogaballcactus Dec 01 '22

It’s kind of amazing how many gun deaths are suicides. The person most likely to kill any given person is themself. If you’re worried about safety, your money would be better spent on a therapist than on a gun.

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u/DevilsAdvocate77 Dec 01 '22

Is some part of this not a "real problem"?

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u/WhenIsWheresWhat Dec 01 '22

I wish they'd count suicide as a separate category.

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u/Ignacio97 Dec 01 '22

Gun devil is getting stronger

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u/SirMcgentleman Dec 01 '22

How many of those increased gun deaths are from the increase in suicides since covid.

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u/DrSOGU Dec 01 '22

As was cited in another comment, the latest increase is 50-50 homicide and suicide (roughly 8% each).

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u/Jak_n_Dax Dec 01 '22

This will still mean more suicides, as the number of suicides has always been higher than homicides.

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u/MillionEyesOfSumuru Dec 01 '22

We don't have the very latest figures, but between 2018 and 2020, overall suicide rates in the US dropped by 5%. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/suicide-data-statistics.html

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u/joemaniaci Dec 01 '22

Oof, I'm willing to bet that rate totally rebounded starting in 2020.

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u/EMP_Jeffrey_Dahmer Dec 01 '22

In recent years, the number of gun owners have increased nationwide. This also means the left or liberal people are now owning firearms as well. We already know where the Republicans stands on gun issues. But now the democrats are having a hard time passing gun regulations because their side are gun owners too.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

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u/Astavri Dec 01 '22

100%. People realize they cannot trust the police will be there and sometimes the best person to defend you and your family is you.

Especially in some of the larger cities (which are typically democrats) where crime is much more prevalent than rural or suburbs.

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u/capcaunul Dec 01 '22

In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data on U.S. firearm deaths last year, counting more than 47,000 — the most in at least 40 years.

The U.S. population is growing, but researchers say the rate of gun deaths has been getting worse, too. America’s gun-related homicide and suicide rates both rose 8% last year, each hitting levels not seen since the early 1990s.

In the new study, the researchers examined trends in firearm deaths since 1990. They found gun deaths began to steadily increase in 2005, but the rise accelerated recently, with a 20% jump from 2019 to 2021.

The researchers counted more than 1.1 million gun deaths over those 32 years — about the same as the number of American deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the last three years.

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u/helm MS | Physics | Quantum Optics Dec 01 '22
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u/razeal113 Dec 01 '22

Out of curiosity what is the percentage of the 47,000 that are suicides ?

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u/evtbrs Dec 01 '22

“An estimated 20,966 firearm homicides and 26,320 firearm suicides occurred in the United States during 2021.”

From: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7140a4.htm

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u/tyler111762 Dec 01 '22

2/3rds, if the tends hold from the last time i looked.

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u/scootymcpuff Dec 01 '22

And 8% increase in suicides and homicides over the last year. Could it also possibly be related to a marked increase in the cost of living over the same time frame? Economic instability (job loss, increased food prices, etc) kicked off my mandatory lockdowns could drive a lot of already-unhealthy people to commit suicide or turn to violent crime.

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u/Raven_Reverie Dec 01 '22

Poverty equals crime, and I can certainly see the former going up dramatically

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u/noldshit Dec 01 '22

Did we not learn during covid that what they want you to see and the truth don't always line up? These reports don't separate crimes from accidents or suicides. It's easy to sell your agenda by aggregating data in your favor.

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u/0111101001101111 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

So the black woman suicide rate essentially doubled in only 6 years.

I think a lot of us couch our understanding of gun violence primarily as a problem of homicide, rather than suicide. However the latter is far more prominent, and imo, evidence as to the extent of alienation inherent in capitalism that causes people to isolate and atomize.

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u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

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u/Krombopulus-Michael Dec 01 '22

Police killings are at an all time high too.

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u/Torbelson Dec 01 '22

Are gun deaths higher than drug deaths?

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u/Dbracc01 Dec 01 '22

We had about 40000 gun deaths and 109000 drug deaths this year.

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u/usernmtkn Dec 01 '22

Quick, lets make drugs illegal!

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u/DGGuitars Dec 01 '22

Something like half of all gun deaths are suicide I think possibly more with covid mental health issues.

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u/sp3kter Dec 01 '22

And nearly 2/3rds of the gun deaths were suicides, but we dont talk about overdoses the same way.

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u/Torbelson Dec 01 '22

Wow. Now how many of those gun deaths are related to drugs?

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u/SBC_packers Dec 01 '22

Even alcohol deaths are more, and no one is planning on banning that.

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u/Torbelson Dec 01 '22

That's interesting I did not realize that.

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u/No___ImRight Dec 01 '22

Second-hand smoke deaths still beats all gun deaths

Exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 41,000 deaths each year among adults in the United States

Overall it's nearly half a million deaths from tobacco

More than 480,000 deaths annually

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/index.htm

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u/SmallpoxTurtleFred Dec 01 '22

In the bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco and Firearms, the first two are the most deadly BY FAR but you only hear about the third one.

Worry about gun violence while you smoke and drink is irrational.

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u/echonian Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Gun deaths are still lower than deaths from a lot of things.

Heart disease for example kills "far" more people than guns ever could. Much of that is due to people dying of old age, admittedly, but we could probably save more lives by banning processed sugar than we ever would by banning guns.

Then there are issues like the matter of "mass shootings," which get mass media attention but make up less than 1% of firearm deaths in the USA (edit: typically, though this number varies a bit). People on this sub in particular seem to dislike statistical analysis though, and instead simply seem to want to see scientific studies and the like that reinforce their own world views.

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u/massada Dec 01 '22

There are some states, some years, where if you only count guns that aren't handguns, pitbulls generate more ambulance rides and more in medical spending than guns.

There's a reason that Colorado and many other states in the Rockies are banning the breeding of pit bulls at the county and sometimes state level.

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