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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The University of Michigan's Health System has a fact- and link-filled webpage dedicated to Gun Safety for Kids and Youth. Recent data revealed "3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years" in one year:
* 214 unintentional
* 1,078 suicides
* 1,990 homicides
* 83 for which the intent could not be determined
* 20 due to legal intervention
The overwhelming majority (2896) were teens aged 15-19.

Thanks to its liberal gun laws, the U.S. does not stack up well, internationally:
According to the CDC, the rate of firearm deaths among children under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. American children are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and nine times more likely to die in a firearm accident than children in these other countries
One recent study found that two-thirds of gun owners store their weapons unlocked and loaded.

For many, many years, researchers have reported these kinds of results:
The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.
I'm very saddened to report that in just the past 7 to 10 days, at least two teenage boys in Louisville have committed suicide with a handgun.

I offer my most sincere condolences to their families.

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