I am glad that I did not have Professor James Doti for my college economics course. While his op-ed piece is interesting, ( https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-07-23/guns-state-laws-suicide-rates ) his conclusion is faulty. He bases his finding on suicide deaths in relation to state taxation rates and gun ownership. He did not specify if it is legal or illegal gun possession. We will let that fact pass. I will agree that , approximately 50% of successful suicides occur with firearms. However, he neglects to include unsuccessful or aborted attempts and the methods used.
Of the 129 suicides that occur daily, 22 are by our Military Veterans, who would have a higher probability of access to, or of gun ownership. A Harvard study on Lethality of Suicide attempts ( https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/means-matter/case-fatality/ ) states that:
"A number of factors are theorized to influence the lethality of a given method. The first is inherent deadliness. For example, car exhaust with a high CO level will be more deadly than car exhaust with a low CO level. The second is ease of use. A method that requires technical knowledge is less accessible than one that does not. The third is accessibility. Given the brief duration of some suicidal crises, a lethal dose of pills in the nightstand poses a greater danger than a prescription that must be hoarded over months to accumulate a lethal dose. Similarly, a gun in the closet poses a greater risk than a very high bridge five miles away, even if both methods have equal lethality if used. The fourth is ability to abort mid-attempt. More people start an attempt and abort it than carry it through; therefore, methods that can be interrupted without harm mid-attempt — such as overdose, cutting, CO poisoning, and hanging/suffocation — offer a window of opportunity for rescue or change of heart that guns and jumps do not. The fifth factor is acceptability to the attempter. Although fire, for example, is universally accessible, it is rarely used in the U.S. for suicide."
Per MentalHealthAmerica.net/suicide,"There is one death by suicide for every 25 attempts" therefore, it stands to reason, that individuals who employ a firearm as mode of attempt are more likely to succeed. Furthermore, the same site states: "40% of persons who complete suicide have made a previous attempt. Nine of out ten people who attempt suicide and survive, do not go on to complete suicide at a later date."
Poisonings/Drug Overdoses are the most preferred method of attempted suicide and have the highest rate of failure or interruption comprising 71% of all attempts. ( https://www.thetrace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Pie-Chart-Suicide-Attemps-vs-Fatality-2-e1473271148627.png ) So while 82% attempts by firearm are successful, only 1.5% by poisoning/drugs are successful. So, if we apply Professor Doti's logic, reducing access to drugs and poisons would be far more advantageous to preventing suicide attempts and aid in mental health treatments/therapies.
I can only personally conclude that Professor Doti's intention of his Op-Ed piece is to further the cause of the Gun Control policy wonks at the expense of our 2nd Amendment rights and freedom loving Americans.