On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that regulations on firearms such as assault weapons bans and other kinds of regulations have been shown by research to have an “underwhelming” effectiveness “in actually preventing violence and crime.” But the research also shows that gun regulations “can really make a difference” in preventing people from committing suicide.
Brooks stated, “I think, if you look at the history of gun regulation, assault weapons bans, and other things, and if you look at the social science research, it’s underwhelming. The effect of these is not nothing, but it’s underwhelming in actually preventing violence and crime. The one area where I think the research shows that gun regulation can really make a difference is on suicides. A lot of people commit suicide because they have a mood crash and there’s a gun right there. And if you can make it harder to have a gun right there, then they will not commit suicide. A lot of people who attempt suicide never attempt it again. And so, I think the evidence is that that’s the sort of thing where you can really have an effect.”
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