June 10, 2020

"The decision to buy a handgun for the first time is typically motivated by self-protection. But..."

"... it also raises the purchasers’ risk of deliberately shooting themselves by ninefold on average, with the danger most acute in the weeks after purchase, scientists reported on Wednesday. The risk remains elevated for years, they said," the NYT reports.

Thanks, scientists, but did you exclude the people who bought guns because they'd already formed an intention to shoot themselves? Or maybe it's just the NYT that wrote it that way, making it sound as though there are a lot of people who buy a handgun for self-defense and then somehow — once they've got that handgun — embark for the first time into suicidal ideation.

Of course, it's easy to see that people who have a gun are more likely to shoot themselves than people who don't have a gun, but they're talking about first-time handgun owners. So the comparison is first-time handgun owners and longterm handgun owners? NO!
The study tracked nearly 700,000 first-time handgun buyers, year by year, and compared them with similar non-owners, breaking out risk by gender. Men who bought a gun for the first time were eight times as likely to kill themselves by gunshot in the subsequent 12 years than non-owners; women were 35 times as likely to do so.
Well, the non-owners number would be extremely small, so 8 times that and even 35 times doesn't sound so big.

Toward the end of the article, there's a reference to "so-called reverse causation." That's the situation that I mentioned, above, that the handgun was bought for the purpose of suicide, but the researchers had no way to tell the difference between these people and those who bought the handgun for self-protection (and the protection of others).

I got the feeling the article was written to inspire readers not to arm themselves lest the gun would change them into a person who'd commit suicide. This is the message that if you don't want to die, don't arm yourself because you'll be arming your most-likely murderer: YOU!

120 comments:

wendybar said...

Ignorance is bliss.

Mike Sylwester said...

The idea of the study and of the NYT article is that banning handguns would be based on science.

Drago said...

It is critically important to the marxists long term plans that citizens not be armed, lest they get any funny ideas about not being 110% supportive at all times for all leftist policies designed to put those citizens at the complete mercy of their democrat betters....

Ken B said...

Telling you what to think. More than the lies and the bias what I hate about the press is their presumption in trying to tell me what to think.

bgates said...

There's no need for an individual to own a firearm, because you can depend on the police, who shouldn't exist.

Ken B said...

The phrase “raises the risk” implies they have done a *causal* analysis. They have not. The claim is fake news.

n.n said...

Planned person, self-abortion, probably. Others will follow a rational process including: education, training, in order to mitigate progress by circumstance or choice.

Wince said...

When did statistical inference become "science"?

I suppose when "climate statistics" polled worse than "climate science".

mccullough said...

Perhaps the handgun owners who committed suicide were depressed because they never had the opportunity to shoot someone in self defense.

Jersey Fled said...

Wait. People who buy guns are more likely to shoot themselves than people who don't own guns?

Skeptical Voter said...

Leaving aside nitwits and the New York Times journalism staff (but I repeat myself) hand guns are dangerous for first time owners. In 1969, my ARMY MOS required that I carry a .45 caliber pistol (tough to carry a 90 mm recoilless rifle as well as an M-16). So I got to train on the pistol range. The instructortold us at great length that more accidental injuries happened on the pistol range than anywhere else in training. People seem to be careless about where they are pointing that pistol. With a rifle you've got a long barrel in front of you and two hands on the weapon. With a pistol some fool will John Wayne it one hand, or drop it, or not really know where the barrel is pointing. People get hurt.

NMObjectivist said...

Very good, Ann.

Sebastian said...

"self-protection"

Family protection. Home defense, as I believe they say in the gun business. Which is I think is doing well, for some reason. Must be all those people wanting to commit suicide all of a sudden.

tim maguire said...

it also raises the purchasers’ risk of deliberately shooting themselves by ninefold on average

A person who owns a gun is 9 times more likely to shoot themselves on purpose than a persons who does not own a gun?

9 times nearly zero is still pretty darn close to zero. Thanks NYT for that super useful and not at all manipulative information!

Michael K said...

It's the NYT so you can assume you are correct. Another series of cases, unmentioned I assume, is the number of people who rent a gun at a gun range and kill themselves. Not as big a number but not zero.

I'm Not Sure said...

"That's the situation that I mentioned, above, that the handgun was bought for the purpose of suicide, but the researchers had no way to tell the difference between these people and those who bought the handgun for self-protection"

But- no reasonable person can disagree, because... SCIENCE!

Jeff Weimer said...

Yes, owning a dangerous tool makes you more likely to be injured or killed in contrast to *not* owning it. Duh.

That they assume all were buying for self-protection and not breaking out suicide from that is a good point to bring up.

Paul said...

If you have never driven a car then you raise the risk of being in a car crash how much? 10x? 20x???

If you have never touched a gun in your life it is a wise idea to get training first, THEN buy the gun.

Of course those who have shot guns before (Boy Scouts, Military, Police, etc...) don't need so much training.

The NYT is just scaring people... trying to make you think everyone is a dumbshit like John Ritter in 'Three is a Company'.

And that is the real story.

robother said...

The man in the mIrror has been my worst enemy my whole life. I need a gun to protect myself from him.

Mary Beth said...

raises the purchasers’ risk of deliberately shooting themselves

Do they think guns are some kind of mind controlling device? To me, suicide by gun within a short time after purchase implies that was the reason for the purchase. If it happened years later, I would think that then it was just the most convenient method available.

In any case, suicide by gun is a cruel thing to do to the person who finds the body.

Unknown said...

That’s why you have to buy TWO handguns šŸ¤£

David53 said...

A friend, who has never owned a gun, recently asked me what gun I would suggest for home defense. He was interested in buying a 9MM since he had practiced with one when he was active duty. I've known him for 40 years and he never before expressed an interest in owning a firearm. Smith & Wesson was about $9 a share in January, it closed north of $16 today. Not a stock I would recommend but it is a sign of the times.

Rob said...

The calls to defund the police must be a huge spur for people to arm themselves. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the gun manufacturers are funding the effort.

Big Mike said...

Unless they stole the gun, how did the non-owners kill themselves by gunshot? Did they borrow a loaded firearm from a friend? Some friend! Are we including "suicide by police"?

The answer, I think, is to buy a long gun, meaning a shotgun or a rifle. Easier to shoot a home intruder and hit him (it's almost always a "him") and harder to shoot yourself.

Expat(ish) said...

I will make a few other observations....

I love my Glocks, and they are great guns, but they do not have a positive manual mechanical safety. (Yes, I know how the trigger works) so I would call these very poor first time owner guns and likely to AD. They are very popular.

Many of the other popular guns (Roger LCP, KelTec 380, etc) also,lack manual mechanical safeties and use long tough double action triggers to prevent AD. These guns are most likely to be carried with a round in the chamber, also making them unsuitable, imho, for new shooters. I’d also add that these lower caliber pistols seem more toylike to some.

Finally, most indoor and outdoor rangers were closed during the sale of hundreds of thousands of guns, making training even spottier. Plus,the NRA and CCL instructors couldn’t run their courses either.

Shorter form; there’s a lot of dirty carry going on.

-XC

jaydub said...

Defund police! Disarm citizens! There's more than one way to commit suicide, you know.

whitney said...

Here's my prediction. In some liberal City with strict gun control laws a bunch of armed criminals are going to go into the Suburban neighborhoods and massacres a bunch of white people and that will be the end of the gun grab.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Let's recap....today the NYT is an expert on firearms and yesterday, the WAPO was an expert on South American cocoa farmers who primarily sell their products to primitive tribes. Where do they find these McGiver-skilled journalisters?

Unknown said...

Twelve years seems like a long ways out. Also I'd like to see what the general suicide rate comparison is.

I suspect that the number of first time airplane purchasers corresponds much more to the number of people who commit suicide with an airplane than the correlation with guns.

RNB said...

"I got the feeling the article was written to inspire readers not to arm themselves..." You could have stopped right there. This is, after all, the NYT we're talking about.

Bruce Hayden said...

Yeh. The article makes perfect sense. Waiverers and just the prudent, when watching violent AntiFA thugs and BLM home boys rampaging across the country, by and large unconstrained by the police in Dem cities around the country, and hearing the protesters shouting #DefundThePolice, have decided to make sure that they can defend themselves, and their families, when the cops won’t, or can’t, and so are buying guns. A lot of guns, only constrained in volume by manufacturing capacity and the overwhelmed approval process. This is a rearguard action by the NYT, hoping against hope that they haven’t lost the gun grabbing argument for the next generation.

YoungHegelian said...

I got the feeling the article was written to inspire readers not to arm themselves

Yes, because the "recent unpleasantries" have led a sizable fraction of the population who would never before armed themselves to start buying guns, even among the NYT's target audiences. How strange that widespread civil insurrection would lead to a response like that! /sarc

I'm sorry, but you have to be NYT's reporting staff level blinkered not to have seen that one coming. That's drinking the Kool-Aid by the gallon, that is.

Mattman26 said...

So people who have guns are more likely to shoot themselves with a gun than people who don't? Stop the presses!

Static Ping said...

It's the New York Times. Of course it is misleading and propaganda. They have already overtly told you that they will lie to you for your own good. Believe them.

But if you insist on taking this rag even minimally serious, most statistical studies are garbage. If the study supports the narrative, then the newspaper will dutifully pass on the press release as SETTLED SCIENCE!1! This is both because journalists are liars and because journalists generally know nothing about science, mathematics, or statistics. Basically, they don't know what they are talking about but they are eager to be fooled for the greater good. When someone who actually knows what they are talking about riddles the study with so many holes as to leave nothing left of note, the journalists will ignore because they have already published another two dozen SETTLED SCIENCE!1! press releases. There is no news in the truth, and no truth in the news.

This science by press release and garbage statistical studies to get a grant nonsense was going strong in the 1990s. It is worse today. Everyone wants to be the damn science hero and get free Teslas and snort cocaine off hookers.

But, yeah, people who own guns are more likely to shoot themselves than people who do not own guns. Related, people who own cars are more likely to get into car accidents than people who do not own cars. We really do have the best elites.

gbarto said...

Scientists?

You shouldn't buy a gun because... science!

Carol said...

One of the funnest things I ever did was taking shooting classes. I started with a .38 special revolver but couldn't shoot the thing well, so switched to a Glock 9mm. Much better! I got pretty good and started entering practical shooting competitions.

The shooting crowd is very, neurotically, safety-conscious so you really learn how to handle the things properly.

Highly recommended.

Heartless Aztec said...

Single handedly culling your herd.

Night Owl said...

More anti-gun propaganda from leftists, who know that the only thing standing in the way of their glorious revolution, in which they take over this country, is our second amendment.

If we want our children and grandchildren to live in a free county we need counter the anti-gun propaganda, and teach them about the need for our second amendment. And we should teach them at a young age about gun safety. My ex-husband, who went to middle- and high-school in Georgia and Missouri in the 70s and early 80s said they taught gun safety in school. Being a gun-ignorant NYer it shocked me when he recalled bringing his shotgun or rifle- I know remember which, since as I said, I'm ignorant about guns-- to school. Does any school in America still allow this?

The anti-gun, anti-white rhetoric is propaganda and psy-ops aimed at the young and impressionable. If it works, and the young grow up to be policy makers that destroy gun rights out of fear of violence or due to "white privilege", America becomes a one-party rule, dystopian shithole. Until then the left may destroy the Dem-run liberal enclaves but they'll never dare venture into red-neck America, where the deplorables are armed to the teeth. Because of that this native NYer is looking to retire among the rednecks in a few years.

hstad said...

Just another narrative study! Interesting the headline said "...First-Time Gun Owners at Risk for Suicide...?" Yet, when you go into the body of the article it includes all first time buyers injuries regardless of cause. But it's a bogus study - so comparing someone who buys a Gun, first time, vs. someone who doesn't buy one, risk of dying? Makes no sense? How about comparing to someone who buys and combat knife, or other lethal objects. What does comparing to a non-decision say. Hey, I bet you that if I compared a first time buyer of a car versus one who doesn't buy a car I'd get worst results. Truly astounding what passes for science in these studies. Pure garbage!

~ Gordon Pasha said...

This is extremely misleading. The actual percentage of people who committed suicide with a firearm is very low.

From the actual study published at the New England Journal of Medicine - at the conclusion of the observation period 99.65% of gun owners have NOT committed suicide with a firearm (see Fig. 1).

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1916744?query=featured_home

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

A gun in the hand is worth a bullet in the brain.

Temujin said...

"This is the message that if you don't want to die, don't arm yourself because you'll be arming your most-likely murderer: YOU!"

This is no doubt true for people who live in New York or people who get a daily dose of the hand-wringing world of the New York Times.

stevew said...

Can't speak from first hand experience, but I understand there are plenty of ways to kill yourself that are less dramatic and require significantly less commitment, i.e.; are easier and less scary, than acquiring a gun and putting it in your mouth or against your temple and pulling the trigger.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Carol... You're experience is not unique. Many of my high school female friends took up shooting later on in life and loved it. They were all "haters" but curious enough to give it a go. I had read that when properly guided the women were quicker to incorporate pistol shooting essentials than men. I took a girlfriend out to the outdoor range near me and talked her through the steps. A six inch barrelled model 27 S&W at 20 feet was all she wanted to do after 3 shots full Magnum. Didn't hit the paper target at all. The range officer pointed out the fact that she had a group that obliterated a 2X2 wooden frame leg. Made me a believer!

BUMBLE BEE said...

Wait awhile! This admonition is from the formerly "Kevorkian" press?

gilbar said...

Yes, I would think, that the numbers of people that did Not own handguns, that shot themselves with a handgun that they owned, would be vanishingly small

narciso said...


i know they are innumerate, but they are also lacking in logic, from the nejm study



A total of 676,425 cohort members acquired one or more handguns, and 1,457,981 died; 17,894 died by suicide, of which 6691 were suicides by firearm. Rates of suicide by any method were higher among handgun owners, with an adjusted hazard ratio of 3.34 for all male owners as compared with male nonowners (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.13 to 3.56) and 7.16 for female owners as compared with female nonowners (95% CI, 6.22 to 8.24). These rates were driven by much higher rates of suicide by firearm among both male and female handgun owners, with a hazard ratio of 7.82 for men (95% CI, 7.26 to 8.43) and 35.15 for women (95% CI, 29.56 to 41.79). Handgun owners did not have higher rates of suicide by other methods or higher all-cause mortality. The risk of suicide by firearm among handgun owners peaked immediately after the first acquisition, but 52% of all suicides by firearm among handgun owners occurred more than 1 year after acquisition.

madAsHell said...

I've been patronizing a firing range in the Bellevue area for a number of years, but I probably haven't been there for a couple of years.

My daughter has a new Glock, and she thought it was time to send some rounds downrange. I was astounded to see safety signs in Chinese at the range!! The range master spoke very good English, but his accent was definitely Chinese. It seems the Chinese tourist bus rolls up, the range master greets them in Chinese, provides some instruction, and rents them a weapon.

RMc said...

Men who bought a gun for the first time were eight times as likely to kill themselves by gunshot in the subsequent 12 years than non-owners

How exactly do you shoot yourself when you don't own a gun? Borrow the neighbor's?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"... it also raises the purchasers’ risk of deliberately shooting themselves by ninefold on average,”

I’m guessing they meant nine times more likely to kill themselves with it then kill another person in the course of a defensive gun use (DGU).

That’s a perfectly credible statistic and actually a strong argument for owning a handgun for self-defense.
In the vast majority of successful DGU’s no shots are fired. Very few predators want to be shot.
When shots are fired they result in a fatality a surprisingly small percentage of the time.
So, yeah, you’re more likely to die of a carefully placed self-inflicted gun shot to the your head than you are likely to shoot and kill a criminal.
If you want a tool for self-defense buy a handgun. If you’re manic-depressive or otherwise irresponsible, stick to pepper spray.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

There's no need for an individual to own a firearm, because you can depend on the police, who shouldn't exist.

When seconds count, the police have been refunded.

Or

When seconds count, the social workers will put you on their wait-list for an office appointment between 9-10:30 and 1:30-3:00 Monday through Thursday (not counting federal, regional, state and bank holidays).

daskol said...

This is why when I used to travel, I always packed a bomb. What are the odds of two people getting on any one flight with a bomb? Since no plane I traveled on ever blew up, I’m thinking zero, and that I’ve got a 100% effective approach to avoid getting on a plane with a bomb.

Jupiter said...

Why would you believe something you read in a comic book?

Kirk Parker said...

"The NYT is just scaring people... trying to make you think everyone is a dumbshit like John Ritter in 'Three is a Company'."

It's the NYT writers who are dumbshits; it's projection all the way down. At least they're writing what they know, We have to give them that!

Bilwick said...

Serfs of America, listen! You cannot be trusted with a firearm! You'll either shoot yourself, a family member or a poor innocent looter who dindu nuffin but try to turn his life around. Only the proper authorities can be trusted with firearms! (Okay, not the police because they're racist pigs, but someone in authority, we'll get back to you on this.) And pay no attention to the Democide figures behind the curtain. . . .

Bruce Hayden said...

“I love my Glocks, and they are great guns, but they do not have a positive manual mechanical safety. (Yes, I know how the trigger works) so I would call these very poor first time owner guns and likely to AD. They are very popular.”

“Shorter form; there’s a lot of dirty carry going on.”

Not sure what you mean there.

But I do understand the problem. I had my one AD/ND. To field strip a Glock, you have to drop the magazine, rack the slide (ejecting the round in the chamber), then pull the trigger, in order for the slide release to work. I racked the slide, dropped the magazine, pulled the trigger... Luckily, I had followed the rule to always point the gun in a safe direction. For those not following closely enough - by racking the slide, I replaced the round in the chamber with the top one in the magazine. And since Glocks don’t have magazine interlocks, the round now in the chamber fired when the trigger was pulled, even with the magazine removed. You should also (and I now compulsively) check the feed ramp/chamber visually or tactilely before treating the gun as unloaded.

The other thing that you need to do is watch the trigger very carefully when holstering (or drawing) a handgun without a manual safety. You just learn to be extra aware when you are doing it, and make sure that nothing gets stuck in the trigger. Drawing it is typically much safer, as long as you make sure that your trigger finger is indexed along the side of the gun, instead of on the trigger or within the trigger guard. Trigger finger doesn’t go there until you are ready to shoot.

As someone above pointed out, get training. At the city ranges I have shot at, and in all the classes I have taken, there is inevitably an obsessive focus on safety. Last range I belonged to, a guy who was shooting really well, negligently swept several bystanders with his muzzle. He was immediately interrupted by two range officers, escorted off the line, and out the front door so fast his head was still spinning. During the summer, I usually have the local outdoor range to myself (intentionally, because most everyone else is either shooting trap, or sighting in their hunting rifles). People are safety conscious, but not at the level you find at indoor ranges and in classes. So, it takes a couple minutes to get back into the compulsive safety mindset they require at indoor ranges.

In any case, back when I was living in CO, I took my kid and three friends to the range I belonged to. They all shot “battleship” with my G17, a 9mm that one of them brought along, and his AR-15. 400 rounds of 9mm and 100 of 5.56 in under an hour. I offered to buy my kid a handgun. They accepted, if it came with a manual safety.

Achilles said...

The problem is that the NYTs is not a source of news or reliable information.

It is complete trash.

Instapundit and pjmedia are infinitely more informative and honest.

Kevin said...

I got the feeling the article was written to inspire readers not to arm themselves lest the gun would change them into a person who'd commit suicide.

Suicide the NYT can deal with.

The real tragedy in their eyes is people changing to support the Second Amendment.

Kevin said...

Shorter NYT: WTF? Suddenly all my liberal friends are talking about buying a gun!

FullMoon said...

What a waste of money. Same result achieved by renting gun at firing range.

h said...

I guess I should try to resist the urge to make this observation a "big picture" observation (oh the kids these days!!), but it does seem to me that University educated young people of today are deficient in the related skills of analytical thinking and clear writing.

Their writing skills seem to be directed toward composing emotionally stirring arguments in favor of a particular position. And analysis (by which I mean drawing conclusions from known facts and logic) seems to have been replaced with the practice of finding anecdotes that support the point of view one has already decided to support. Ironically (is it ironic) some of the best analysts and writers I have known have been trained in law schools. (Ironically because you would think that lawyers more than anyone would be trained to pick a point of view of truth -- guilty or not guilty -- and marshal arguments and evidence that support that point of view. But at higher levels - listen to or read supreme court arguments and opinions - you can see that clever phrasing and restrictive presentation of evidence don't cut much mustard.)

I believe that economics (and harder sciences) do teach the analysis part. But journalism, history, psychology, and the humanities have left analysis and clear writing behind.

narciso said...

so of the cohort, about 6% of the total died, of about 1% were suicides, about 0.4 by firearms, that's what they are agitated about?

Kyzer SoSay said...

People who want to kill themselves will always find a way, gun or not. In places where guns are hard to get, there's always a bridge or cliff that will suffice. This should not dissuade law-abiding Americans from arming themselves. Especially if you live near or in a Blue city, at risk of rioting and break-ins, with the chance that your _PD might not be there next year, replaced by "trained activists" and "Planned Parenthood", in the fever dreams of the MPLS city council at least.

That said, if you have suicidal ideation or are feeling very depressed due to the lockdowns or the riots, you should seek some therapy or confide in your friends about how you're feeling, and talk about it. I know a few people here have been very concerned due to job loss or business failure (and not because of mismanagement, because of government idiocy) and I would recommend you seriously evaluate your mental state.

Be honest with yourself before you purchase a gun - it goes hand in hand with deciding what that gun's role is going to be. You need to decide for yourself if you are capable of responsibly owning a gun. Learning the safety rules (not a lot of those, but they are serious business). Learning the operation of your gun. Making good choices in defensive ammo (no, range rounds are NOT ok unless it's literally all you have). Training yourself to evaluate situations before making a commitment to engage (sometimes this will be split-second, sometimes it will require planning aforethought - like a home invader RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU versus a bank robbery in progress where you have a gun and they haven't noticed you).

But if you're of sound mental state and no criminal record, by all means my encouragement is unending. Research your options. Talk to your gun store sales staff. Shoot a few at their rental range. Find internet forums. And purchase a defensive firearm ASAP.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Annie, Get Your Gun

...Squeeze off a few rounds

rcocean said...

Yes, just more propaganda from the NYT. How many woman kill themselves with a gun? Very few. For whatever reason, women don't like to shoot themselves in the head or the heart - too violent and messy, maybe? They prefer poison or pills, jumping off something, or slitting their wrists.

And the number of suicides for both sexes is exaggerated, since X% would have killed themselves using ANOTHER method. They used a gun because they wanted to commit suicide, they DID NOT commit suicide because they had a gun.

Rabel said...

"Or maybe it's just the NYT..."

The study itself is almost as bad:

"Conclusions

Handgun ownership is associated with a greatly elevated and enduring risk of suicide by firearm.(Funded by the Fund for a Safer Future and others.)"

rcocean said...

I thought the standard Lefty argument against a gun was that it was more likely to be used to kill someone in the house than in self-defense?

I can remember a Archie Bunker TV episode where Meathead made that argument. And sure enough, a couple of funny black burglars broke in and held up Archie with his own gun. Haha. Poor Archie - how dumb to have bought a gun. Said Multi-millionaire Norman Lear - who lives in a gated/fenced Mansion with guard dogs patrolling the grounds and has private security guards.

rcocean said...

Why shoot yourself, when carbon-dioxcide poisoning is painless, and alchohol with pills can it just as easily. Martha Gellhorn killed herself by turning on the Gas Oven.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"The shooting crowd is very, neurotically, safety-conscious so you really learn how to handle the things properly."

Ya damn right!

My friends and I go shooting at a farm sometimes. Nice for long-range practice and rapid fire (double or triple-taps) that most ranges aren't equipped for or don't allow. Sometimes we do a "firing line" where 3-5 of us line up with the target rack 15 yards in front of us and we all cut loose at once. We've got lines on the ground that we cannot cross - either ahead or behind - to ensure that nobody is within 130deg of a muzzle opening in shooting stance. This is as close to "goofing off" as you get with responsible gunners.

Yes, we like to rock'n'roll like you see in the movies - but that's gonna be less than 5% of the ammo we use that day. The rest is all precise shots, double taps, Mozambique drills (two to the chest, one to the head of a silhouette target), and 2-gun practice (multiple long range targets to plink with a rifle, followed by rapid switch to pistol and engagement of a slew of nearby target roundels). One guy let a cold muzzle sweep another dude by accident. He got a stern word, and it'll be awhile before we invite him back. The gun was a paperweight, no mag and a locked-back slide, but it doesn't matter. If the gun isn't pointed generally downrange, the muzzle stays to the ground. The only exception is if you need to take the gun down (disassembly) for some reason, but even then you bet your ass we're all gonna take turns looking into the chamber to ensure it's clear before you start fiddling with it.

rcocean said...

i was reading some tweet which had the Violent crime stats for NYC broken down by Race. It was quite surprising. Basically 85% of violent crime victims and suspects are black or Hispanic. Asians commit almost no crime - they only show up as victims. You can see why NYC white liberals want gun control. Its controlling the guns in the hands of Black/Hispanic Crooks.

rcocean said...

As someone who committed suicide, said by no one.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Doncha just LUV the claim that "scientists" are telling us this?

What? Are you going to deny what "science" tells us?

What? You say that "scientific" claims require falsifiable experiments ? IOW , "I could be wrong. Here's how you would prove it."

What? You mean to say there ARE no possible experiments that could be done to potentially falsify these claims?

What? You mean to say that looking at data post-facto is not an experiment?

The hell you say!

madAsHell said...

It turns out that you can jam a Glock with a limp wrist!!

After we had put a couple hundred rounds downrange, her wrists became.....loose, and the weapon failed to extract properly. Her loose wrists were absorbing some of the energy meant to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka556--WF2o>cycle the slide.</a>

madAsHell said...

I think I might have clobbered that html link, but moderation.........

cubanbob said...

Of course it never occurs to these Nimrod Democrats the gun buying is at all times high is because of their policies.

hawkeyedjb said...

Carol said...

"The shooting crowd is very, neurotically, safety-conscious so you really learn how to handle the things properly."

This is something non-owners, and particularly gun-controllers typically do not know. People who shoot are fanatic about gun safety, as any day at the range will demonstrate. Non-owners who are talked into going to the range are almost always impressed with the sophistication and absoluteness of the safety measures.

Anti-gun people demonize the NRA and want to destroy it. The NRA does more to teach gun safety than any other organization - it has always been one of their primary missions. Get rid of it and you'll significantly increase the likelihood of gun owners harming themselves or others. Of course, you could get rid of both the NRA and privately-owned firearms and live in a non-free society, which is certainly the goal of a lot of anti-gun people.

glenn said...

I know or knew two guys who got that second opinion, went home and put a pistol in their mouth. It’s not the way I’d handle it because somebody else has to clean up the mess. But I think sparing your friends and family a long, ugly decline when the outcome is certain, you betcha.

Yancey Ward said...

Bravo, Ms. Althouse, bravo.

This is how a deep thinker thinks about articles like this. The problem, of course, is that deep thinkers are not all that common.

Bob Loblaw said...

The "science" related to guns is so biased it's worthless. Pressure groups pay for the answer they want, and they get it.

Bob Loblaw said...

It seems the Chinese tourist bus rolls up, the range master greets them in Chinese, provides some instruction, and rents them a weapon.

Why not? I know for Brits one of the "must do" activities for a US trip is a gun range, and you can own guns in the UK, though it's quite a hassle.

Yancey Ward said...

Now that I have that out of the way- first time gun owners certainly are more likely to truly accidentally shoot themselves or others. It is an unavoidable learning curve, but it can be minimized. There are lots of gun ranges with people who will train you, and I would encourage every new owner to do so.

I grew up with guns. I owned a rifle and a shotgun as kid, my father owned several guns as did my maternal grandfather, and all my friends had guns, too, but I haven't, as an adult owned a gun. I am going to purchase a handgun, a good rifle, and a good shotgun at some point in the next few months, along with all the ammo I can find.

The Times article, of course, was their attempt to dissuade their readers from buying first time guns, but that horse has left the barn, and the barn burned down. The riots and the looting were eye openers, and no amount of lying by the press, the Democrat politicians, and their braindead followers can hide the fact of that destruction from the city-dwellers. They believe their lying eyes as to what can happen if the police are told to stand down or are abolished altogether. If you live in one of these cities and can't leave, you had better arm yourself. Believe the leftists when they say they want the police abolished.

Tom said...

First time car buyers are more than 1,000,000% more likely to speed in a car than people who don’t drive and don’t own a car.

Water, it also seems, is wet.

Big Mike said...

The shooting crowd is very, neurotically, safety-conscious so you really learn how to handle the things properly.

@Carol, drop the adverb "neurotically" and you're pretty right. As far as I'm concerned no amount of being safety-conscious is too much.

JAORE said...

I'm a big proponent of the 2A. But years ago my sister confronted a home intruder. Fortunately he split. She called and asked me about what kind of gun she should buy. I lived half a country away at the time. I asked if she would take lessons and practice at a range. She said probably not. I said get a dog.

By the way, did you know that guys that are new power tool owners are more likely to lose a finger than those that own none? I can write up that study for only a quarter million.

Big Mike said...

A myth that used to be popular with the elderly, white biddies who carry such weight in the Democrat party is that a woman shouldn't buy a gun because she won't actually shoot a home intruder so he'll just take it away from her and use it on her. I haven't heard that one too much very recently but it has been very popular among politicians and university administrators trying to justify gun bans for women who have to be on campus alone late at night.

Millennial women seem to be smarter than that, but perhaps more to the point, women have been trained to point their gun at the (wanna-be) rapist's crotch. Men who might think a woman will "never" shoot them in the torso suddenly get very concerned when they think they might lose a penis. And most women who might not shoot a guy in the face or chest will not hesitate to play Lorena Bobbitt with a handgun.

You go girls!

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

In the meantime, the brave new citizens of the "Autonomous Zone" in Seattle already have trouble in their little commune. They invited in homeless people - and the homeless took their food. Now they're begging outsiders to bring them - get this - vegan meat substitutes and soy products so they can keep the place going and continue to fight the racist Establishment.

There is one armed guy there - a black dude called Raz - who has established himself as warlord, although ordering around a bunch of Vanilla ISIS is hardly the same as ruling the Pashtun.

Big Mike said...

This is something non-owners, and particularly gun-controllers typically do not know. People who shoot are fanatic about gun safety, as any day at the range will demonstrate. Non-owners who are talked into going to the range are almost always impressed with the sophistication and absoluteness of the safety measures.

And note that the Range Safety Officer has a sidearm, generally strapped to his thigh but sometimes on his hip, and, yes, he will use it if you make it necessary.

Gk1 said...

This is fine by me if the 'men without chests' find guns "icky" and are too scared to handle them. This propaganda is for the average NY Times reader, not regular people.

The bicurious mythical liberal gun owners are just driving up the price for people actuallyt trying to protect themselves since the blue state politicians are proving daily they won't send protection when shit goes down.

Paul Snively said...

To be fair, I write software for a living, and many, many times I've wanted to murder six-month-ago me.

Gospace said...

hawkeyedjb said...
....The NRA does more to teach gun safety than any other organization - it has always been one of their primary missions....


Wasn't too very long ago that a liberal anti-gunner was caught mishandling a gun (can you say hypocrite?) and was ordered to attend a gun safety class, and given a list of upcoming classes. They were all run by the NRA or other pro-Constitution organizations. So he told the judge he wanted to attend a gun safety class run by a "gun safety" organization. The judge gave him a period of time to find one. There aren't any. He ended up at a class taught by the evil NRA.

jeremyabrams said...

The suicide rate in Japan is far higher than in the U.S., and I believe it's higher than the U.S. murder rate. Usually by hanging. Where there's a will. And I believe some studies have indicated that suicide is means independent. When guns were withdrawn from Australia, for example...

Michael K said...

My middle daughter, a former Bernie voter who lives in Santa Monica, called me during the riots and asked if I had another gun I could give her. Obviously California has gone batshit about guns but she already has one I gave her years ago. She had seen some of the damage caused by rioters and was concerned.

Needless to say, I am not talking about what I might do at her request.

wild chicken said...

I racked the slide, dropped the magazine


I drop the mag THEN open up and check the chamber. Whatever's in there can be dumped out. I don't carry it around racked.

cronus titan said...

We live in inner ring suburb of a city that had riots and the local government has used the same anti-police rhetoric and introduced legislation to "re-imagine" policing. A surprising number of virtue signaling progressive neighbors bought guns in the last week, something they would have found abhorrent 2 weeks ago. They all terrified to say anything because they know they would be targeted.

donald said...

The NYT Sux.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I want to know how many bought a gun in order to commit suicide and subsequently used in in self defense, thereby coming to the realization that their own life had value after all. I think I have a short story there, maybe a novel.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

My personal response to quarantine ennui was to buy an Umarex BB gun, a close copy of the Glock 17. In fact it is licensed by Glock. Its size and weight are virtually identical to the real thing, and the long, stagy trigger is very Glockish. I set up a 25-foot range in the bedroom hallway with a handy bullet trap. During Hulu commercial breaks In can get up and blast away. It's actually quite good practice.

gilbar said...

this afternoon, i was browsing on You tube, and found by accident
We fired 17 rounds of Canister from an original Civil War Napoleon Field Cannon for a study on battlefield archeology

I know, that a LOT of you will say, "Not Practical" or "Too time consuming", but i think i've found the PERFECT home defense tool.
Crowds of Antifa coming down your street? If a Canister round doesn't stop them, it SURE looks like a double canister round will Really make them rethink their plans

Big Mike said...

@BUMBLE BEE, your girlfriend may be cross dominant -- dominant eye is on the opposite of the dominant hand. That, or she might be yanking the trigger or some other issue with her stance or trigger handling. You might follow hawkeye's advice and get her some training with an NRA-certified instructor so he can assess what she's doing and help her fix it.

PS: You didn't really have a new shooter start with .357 Mag, did you?

Jamie said...

I don't know if it's (still) true, but it used to be at least widely accepted (in mystery writing/reading circles) that originally life insurance wouldn't pay off for suicides - and then the law was changed so that they had to pay, but not if the suicide happened within a year of the establishment of the policy. Since as I said this is rather a pop culture understanding of life insurance, it makes me wonder if some of those whose suicides came a year and a bit after purchasing the gun ought to be lumped in with the buy-it-use-it group.

But I also want to know where the non-gun-owners who manage to commit suicide by gun are getting the guns.

Big Mike said...

I will go on record saying that all these first time gun buyers scare crap out of me. How many of them will get training in the safe use of a firearm? How many will practice with it? How many will think to get a gun safe? Or will they load it, toss it in a stocking drawer, and forget all about it until the sad day when a curious grandchild opens that drawer? If they do get a safe, how many will practice opening it so that they can rapidly retrieve it should an intruder kick in their back door? Will they think to get ammo that won't over-penetrate, or if they miss the intruder are their neighbors and neighbors' children at risk of a shot coming through their bedroom window?

Michael said...

I prefer the revolver. Not likely to go bang in the pocket or waistband. Easy to check the number in the cylinder. Not given to jamming.

Expat(ish) said...

@Bruce -

“Dirty riding” in motorcycle terms means riding without the proper endorsements.

I was using “dirty carry” to refer to people carrying concealed without a license or training.

-Xc

Big Mike said...

You can see why NYC white liberals want gun control. Its controlling the guns in the hands of Black/Hispanic Crooks.

Except gun control laws do nothing to control the lawless. Guns can be acquired illegally through the black market or stolen from homes where the owners ignore the need (sometimes a legal requirement!) to lock up their guns. Prohibition didn’t stop people from drinking. The War on Drugs was already lost the day it was started. And outlawing guns will turn gun-running into another major source of income for organized crime, nothing more.

Roy Lofquist said...

Most "scientists" are bottle washers and button sorters. ~ Robert A. Heinlein

Bruce Hayden said...

“I grew up with guns. I owned a rifle and a shotgun as kid, my father owned several guns as did my maternal grandfather, and all my friends had guns, too, but I haven't, as an adult owned a gun. I am going to purchase a handgun, a good rifle, and a good shotgun at some point in the next few months, along with all the ammo I can find.”

Depends on what you want there. As for a shotgun, I have been very happy with my 12 gauge Mossberg 500 pump. It was cheap, I have two barrels for it 18” and, I believe 22”. I mostly use the unchoked 18” (shortest legal length) barrel. I typically load it with 00 Buck, with a couple more on a side paddle, along with some slugs. It was easy to add a flashlight. It has a bead front sight. My next tweak is likely to be a clip on fiber optic front sight. If there is a bulletproof shotgun, it is one of these classic 12 gauge pumps. Always work, decade after decade.

If you are only going to have one rifle, my vote is for an AR-15, probably in 5.56 NATO. Infinitely customizable. Ammo and magazines are relatively cheap, esp if your state allows standard capacity 30 round magazines. Yes, more expensive ammo than .22 LR. But far more useful. And did I mention that they are more customizable than anything else on the market?

As for handguns, my vote is for a 9 mm semiautomatic. If you are going to carry. It concealed, try a subcompact (e.g. G43) If you don’t intend to then go full-size (eg. G17). And if you are going to Swing both ways, maybe try a compact (e.g. G19). Doesn’t have to be any larger of a caliber due to advancements in ammunition technology. This is the most common caliber and thus the cheapest (except for .22 LR).

Bruce Hayden said...

“It turns out that you can jam a Glock with a limp wrist!!”

Just not as easily as with other types of semiautomatic handguns. Somewhere, we have a 9mm Highpoint, and it jams a lot, when limp wristing. It took me a significant amount of practice before I could get it to fire consistently. Meanwhile, I could shoot hundreds of rounds through a G17, without it ever jamming for my (then) limp wristed shooting. My partner has appropriated the Highpoint, which I never really liked. She claims to know where it is, and keeps it hidden. Fine. But I plan to buy her something better this summer after cataract surgery on her part. Maybe in pink.

bagoh20 said...

Reading the NYT makes you 900 times more likely to be lied to by the NYT that people who do not read the NYT.

elkh1 said...

How do non-owners shoot themselves? Where do they get the gun to shoot themselves? Borrow the gun? Is it legal to loan your gun to someone else? Steal the gun? Gangbangers usually shoot other people, not themselves.

Where do non-owners get the gun to shoot themselves?

Bruce Hayden said...

“How do non-owners shoot themselves? Where do they get the gun to shoot themselves? Borrow the gun? Is it legal to loan your gun to someone else? Steal the gun? Gangbangers usually shoot other people, not themselves.”

I think that there is a state or two where borrowing guns is now illegal. That becomes very inconvenient. You can’t go to the range with your buddies, and try each other’s guns (the ophthalmologist who is supposed to do my wife’s cataracts apparently has a pair of Barrett .50 caliber rifles. Our mutual friend was trying to entice me over to N ID to try them out. We are talking a gun that can hit targets a mile away - cool). And, if you are in a class, and your gun jams the instructor can’t show you how to unfamiliar it. How do you rent a gun, if you need a background check every time you do it (and that may take days). If that sort of nonsense, you can say goodbye to renting machine guns when you visa Las Vegas (or Reno).

Big Mike said...

@Bruce Hayden, normally I agree with about anything you write, but I am going to take issue with your advice about a rifle. The AR platform is okay, but I think a newbie needs someone to train him or her in how to use the gun — how to safely but quickly clear jams, for instance. However if you’re only going to get one rifle then I would suggest your rifle be chambered in a hunting cartridge. Out west, with grizzlies, cougars, and wolves a real hazard, you might try .308 Winchester. Further east 6.5 Creedmore or .300 Blackout might be good choices.

Sam L. said...

It's the NYT. I don't trust it. Indeed, I despise, detest, and distrust everything the NYT prints.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Breaking: People who ride in cars 9 times more likely to be hurt in car accidents.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“ Blogger madAsHell said...
It turns out that you can jam a Glock with a limp wrist!!

After we had put a couple hundred rounds downrange, her wrists became.....loose, and the weapon failed to extract properly. Her loose wrists were absorbing some of the energy meant to”

It isn’t only Glocks. I have had non-Glocks fail to feed due to limp wrist.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“Blogger wild chicken said...
I don't carry it around racked.”

I always keep a round racked. Although that means I’ll never be able to reduce a potential home invader’s knees to jelly by racking the slide behind him in a darkened room.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“Blogger gilbar said...

Crowds of Antifa coming down your street? If a Canister round doesn't stop them, it SURE looks like a double canister round will Really make them rethink their plans”

A whiff o’ the grape will do that. Really focuses the mind.

RigelDog said...

For the first time in my life, I have had to picture how we would defend our house if violent rioters came down the street. I've reluctantly concluded that there's little chance of "winning" against a mob. They can always burn us out, and if we scared them off at first by shooting, our house would go on their shit list--and they would be back. Does antifa ever give up? No evidence of that so far.

Nichevo said...

RigelDog, unity is strength. You would do better to talk among your community about coming out to defend the entire area, rather than just your house. A dozen coordinated area natives with a plan, shooting at them from multiple directions, may be more convincing than just one of you. Other advantages will also come to mind.

Bob Loblaw said...

How do non-owners shoot themselves? Where do they get the gun to shoot themselves? Borrow the gun? Is it legal to loan your gun to someone else?

Where I live you can rent guns at the shooting range. But... they won't allow you to shoot if you don't bring a gun. "This makes no sense," you say. Well, the reason is if you rent guns to just anybody, you get suicidal people coming to your range and blowing their own brains out.

As an aside, after the cops show up and figure out what happened, they say "Okay, we're done. Have a nice day." Nobody pays for the mess. The range can't afford one of those cleaners you hear about. So you have the $9/hr guys who work there scraping bits of human tissue off the ceiling with no PPE.

That's why you can't rent a gun unless you bring one.

Tinderbox said...

In other science news, studies show that the chance of hitting one's thumb with a hammer skyrocket for people who have recently bought a hammer.