Controlling firearms use in Australia: has the 1996 gun law reform produced the decrease in rates of suicide with this method?
ABSTRACT Observed reductions in firearm suicides in Australia have been linked to the 1997 national firearms agreement (NFA) introduced following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre. The NFA placed strong access restrictions on firearms.
To assess the impact of legislative restrictions on the incidence of firearm suicide in Queensland and explore alternative or contributory factors behind observed declines.
The Queensland suicide register (QSR) provided detailed information on all male suicides in Queensland (1990-2004), with additional data for Australia (1968-2004) accessed from other official sources. Trends in suicide rates pre/post NFA, and in method selection, were assessed using negative binomial regressions. Changing method selection patterns were examined using a cohort analysis of 5 years of age classes for Australian males.
The observed reduction in firearms suicides was initiated prior to the 1997 introduction of the NFA in Queensland and Australia, with a clear decline observed in Australian figures from 1988. No significant difference was found in the rate pre/post the introduction of the NFA in Queensland; however, a significant difference was found for Australian data, the quality of which is noticeably less satisfactory. A marked age-difference in method choice was observed through a cohort analysis demonstrating both time and age influences. Within sequential birth cohorts, rates of firearms suicides decreased in younger males but increased in hanging suicides; this trend was far less marked in older males.
The implemented restrictions may not be responsible for the observed reductions in firearms suicide. Data suggest that a change in social and cultural attitudes could have contributed to the shift in method preference.
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ABSTRACT: Suicide rates in China are among the highest in the world, although there has been a decreasing trend in the past few years. One practical approach to study the characteristics and risk factors of suicide is to interview the suicide attempters. It was to compare completed suicides with serious attempters that may shed lights on suicide prevention strategies. This is a combination of two case control studies for suicide completers and suicide attempters respectively. After a sample of suicides (n=392) and community living controls (n=416) were obtained and studied in rural China, we collected in the same rural areas data of suicide attempt and studied 507 medically serious attempters and 503 community counterparts. Characteristics and previously observed risk factors were compared between the suicides and the attempters, and we found that the demographic characteristics and risk factors for the suicides were also for the medically serious attempters but at some lesser degrees for the attempters than for the suicides. It was especially true of suicide intent, deficient coping, negative life events, and impulsivity. While most of the demographic characteristics were not significantly different between the suicides and the attempters, most of the clinical variables could distinguish the two groups. The suicide victims and the serious attempters could be of the same group of people who were at the edge of fatal self-injury, and the same clinical risk factors but of different degrees have divided them into the life and death groups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 02/2015; 176C:176-182. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2015.02.005 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To empirically assess the impact of firearm regulation on male suicides. A negative binomial regression model was applied by using a panel of state level data for the years 1995-2004. The model was used to identify the association between several firearm regulations and male suicide rates. Our empirical analysis suggest that firearms regulations which function to reduce overall gun availability have a significant deterrent effect on male suicide, while regulations that seek to prohibit high risk individuals from owning firearms have a lesser effect. Restricting access to lethal means has been identified as an effective approach to suicide prevention, and firearms regulations are one way to reduce gun availability. The analysis suggests that gun control measures such as permit and licensing requirements have a negative effect on suicide rates among males. Since there is considerable heterogeneity among states with regard to gun control, these results suggest that there are opportunities for many states to reduce suicide by expanding their firearms regulations.Health Policy 10/2010; 101(1):95-103. DOI:10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.10.005 · 1.73 Impact Factor