Typically for an author with a pre-existing anti-firearms ownership agenda, Dr. Lippmann goes to great lengths to establish causation for an inanimate object (firearm) incapable of independent action, with complex social problems such as suicide. In Australia the draconian imposition of gun prohibitions saw a decline of firearms-involved suicide, but no change in the thirty year gradual decline in suicide rates. In other words, guns cannot "cause" suicide. Much the same can be said for incidents of domestic violence involving firearms. Any study purporting to demonstrate causation must deal with the vast number of firearms in society which are not involved in any sort of violence. Any attempt to blame an object for medico-social problems is destined to fail upon closer inspection.
For the good doc's information, the V.T. shooter did indeed pass his background check when purchasing his firearms - because patient confidentiality forbade release of his records pertaining to mental instability. This has since been remedied by the Virginia Legislature.
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