Factors Associated with State Variations in Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Deaths

Mississippi State University, Department of HPERS, Mississippi State, MS, USA.
Journal of Community Health (Impact Factor: 1.28). 08/2004; 29(4):271-83. DOI: 10.1023/B:JOHE.0000025326.89365.5c
Source: PubMed


This study examined the relationship of 16 variables with homicide, suicide, and unintentional firearm deaths. This cross-sectional analysis, using adjusted partial correlation coefficients, found that state-level firearm homicide rates significantly varied by the prevalence of firearms and by percent of the population which was African American. Whereas, state-level variations in firearm suicide mortality significantly varied by firearm prevalence, per capita alcohol consumption, percent of the population which was African American, and level of urbanization. None of the variables were significantly (p < or = .05) related to state-level variations in unintentional firearm mortality. Furthermore, state gun laws had only a limited effect on firearm-related homicide deaths. Although the current study cannot determine causation, firearm mortality in its various forms is most commonly related to the prevalence of firearms and the percent of the population that is African American.

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    • "A second possibility is that the gun culture in states with permissive gun laws affects the wiliness to shoot possible perpetrators of a crime in a way that affects Black targets more than White targets. On the surface, this makes sense because states with more permissive gun laws also have more extrajudicial shootings of racial and ethnic minorities (Price et al., 2004 "
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    ABSTRACT: The longstanding issue of extrajudicial police shootings of racial and ethnic minority members has received unprecedented interest from the general public in the past year. To better understand this issue, researchers have examined racial shooter biases in the laboratory for more than a decade; however, shooter biases have been operationalized in multiple ways in previous studies with mixed results within and across measures. We meta-analyzed 42 studies, investigating five operationalizations of shooter biases (reaction time with/without a gun, false alarms, shooting sensitivity, and shooting threshold) and relevant moderators (e.g., racial prejudice, state level gun laws). Our results indicated that relative to White targets, participants were quicker to shoot armed Black targets (d av = −.13, 95% CI [−.19, −.06]), slower to not shoot unarmed Black targets (d av = .11, 95% CI [.05, .18), and more likely to have a liberal shooting threshold for Black targets (d av = −.19, 95% CI [−.37, −.01]). In addition, we found that in states with permissive (vs. restrictive) gun laws, the false alarm rate for shooting Black targets was higher and the shooting threshold for shooting Black targets was lower than for White targets. These results help provide critical insight into the psychology of race-based shooter decisions, which may have practical implications for intervention (e.g., training police officers) and prevention of the loss of life of racial and ethnic minorities.
    Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 09/2015; 61:120-130. DOI:10.1016/j.jesp.2015.08.002 · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    • "However, one study has a weak design, while the other does not capture the most relevant types of firearms regulations. Price et al. [21] use cross-sectional state data for 1999 to perform a simple partial correlation analysis between several types of gun control laws and suicide rates. Their results suggest that gun control laws were not significantly related to suicide in 1999, even after controlling for firearm prevalence. "
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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 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, African Americans have been found to be six times more likely than Caucasians to be perpetrators or victims of homicide and is the group mostly likely to die from firearm trauma [43]. Homicides by firearm vary in states by the percent of the population that was African American after controlling for firearms prevalence, number of firearm dealers, presence of firearm laws, alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status, and violent crimes [44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the current perceptions and practices of discussing firearm risk management with patients diagnosed with selected mental health problems. A three-wave survey was mailed to a national random sample of clinical psychologists and 339 responded (62%). The majority (78.5%) believed firearm safety issues were greater among those with mental health problems. However, the majority of clinical psychologists did not have a routine system for identifying patients with access to firearms (78.2%). Additionally, the majority (78.8%) reported they did not routinely chart or keep a record of whether patients owned or had access to firearms. About one-half (51.6%) of the clinical psychologists reported they would initiate firearm safety counseling if the patients were assessed as at risk for self-harm or harm to others. Almost half (46%) of clinical psychologists reported not receiving any information on firearm safety issues. Thus, the findings of this study suggest that a more formal role regarding anticipatory guidance on firearms is needed in the professional training of clinical psychologists.
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