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Professor Links High Suicide Rates with Republicans, Gun Owners

A new study published by a University of California sociology professor links the risk of suicide with gun ownership rates and people who voted for George W. Bush.

“States with the highest rates of gun ownership — for example, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Alabama, and West Virginia — also tended to have the highest suicide rates. These states were also carried overwhelmingly by George Bush in the 2000 presidential election.”

That’s how campus officials summed up the recently published study by the professor, who teaches at UC Riverside in Southern California.

The professor also argued stricter gun control laws would reduce suicide rates, but that won’t happen because too many Americans believe they have the right to bear arms.

“Although policies aimed at seriously regulating firearm ownership would reduce individual suicides, such policies are likely to fail not because they do not work, but because many Americans remain opposed to meaningful gun control, arguing that they have a constitutional right to bear arms,” sociology professor Augustine Kposowa was paraphrased as saying by UCR Today, an official campus publication.

“Even modest efforts to reform gun laws are typically met with vehement opposition,” Kposowa said. “There are also millions of Americans who continue to believe that keeping a gun at home protects them against intruders, even though research shows that when a gun is used in the home, it is often against household members in the commission of homicides or suicides. … Adding to the widespread misinformation about guns is that powerful pro-gun lobby groups, especially the National Rifle Association, seem to have a stranglehold on legislators and U.S. policy, and a politician who calls for gun control may be targeted for removal from office in a future election by a gun lobby.”

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