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Thursday, October 29, 2015

How many lives could PAS save? (PAS V)

[Recall that PAS would allow individuals to prevent their own future gun purchases.]

My first response to this question is always: let's enact PAS and find out.  That's not usually a persuasive argument, but because PAS piggy-backs on the existing background check system, it would cost very little.

Short of that, estimating the number is hard, but a few statistics can at least put the potential of PAS into perspective.  Gun tracing studies find that between 3% and 10% of gun suicides are committed with recently acquired guns.  My own econometric analysis of gun purchase delays mirrors the 3% figure, so let's go with that.  Given that there are roughly 20,000 gun suicides each year, that translates into 600 with recently purchased guns.  That's the set of suicides PAS is most likely to prevent.

90% of suicides involve mental illness and my survey indicates that a very substantial percentage of people receiving psychiatric care would sign up for PAS.  600 suicides per year times 90% times the percentage from my survey is well over 100 suicides each year.  And 100 suicides prevented would be three times the death toll of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history (VA Tech, 32 victims).

To sign the petition, learn more, or contact me, go to StopGunSuicide.com.

Posted by Fredrick Vars on October 29, 2015 at 03:07 PM | Permalink


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