(The punishment for the game of  our IELTS studying group.)

Are gun owners more likely to kill themselves? Two doctors who think so are asking lawmakers and psychologists to take a new look at the risks of firearms.

Matthew Miller of the Harvard School of Public Health studied four years of data in the US and found higher rates of suicides involving firearms in states with more gun owners – up to four times higher for men and eight times higher for women. The numbers of suicides not involving firearms, on the other hand, were the same.

This contradicts the common assumption, says Miller, that anyone serious enough to use a gun would find another equally effective means of suicide if a gun were not available. He argues that suicide is an impulsive action. "If people reach for a gun, they don't get a second chance; if they reach for pills, they do." says Miller.

A dozen smaller case studies have all shown a two- to 10-times greater risk of suicide in homes with a gun, both for the owner and for the spouse and children. Like smoking and cancer, the effect increases with exposure. A gun kept unlocked and loaded increases the risk even more than a secured gun.

Co-author David Hemenway, also at Harvard, calls on healthcare professionals to both assess the intent of patients and to restrict access to guns. "Change the environment so it's hard for people to do stupid things, and people will do fewer stupid things," he says.

Karen Norberg of the US National Bureau of Economics Research in St Louis, Missouri, worries that the strong emotions surrounding this issue may be distorting the evidence.

"These studies all show a strong correlation, but they do not prove causation," says Norberg. She says that other differences between gun owners and non-gun owners unrelated to firearms may explain the differences in suicide rates.

In 2004, Norberg helped to write a National Research Council report arguing how difficult it would be to conclusively prove a connection between guns and suicides. "The ideal experiment would be watching suicide rates in many different places that all changed their gun-control laws at the same time," says Norberg. Recent comparisons of gun laws and suicide rates between countries show no clear relationship.

Contradict

vt.

1. 否定(陳述等);反駁;提出論據反對

The eyewitness contradicted earlier testimony.

目擊者駁斥了早些時提出的證詞。

2. ...矛盾;...抵觸

vi.

1. 否認;反駁;發生矛盾

Assumption

n.

1. 假定,設想[U][C][+(that)]

The facts proved her assumption wrong.

事實證明她的設想是錯的。

2. 擔任;承擔[U][C]

3. 奪取;篡奪[U][C][(+of)]

4. 僭越;自大[U]

5. 假裝[U][C]
pill

n.

1. 藥丸,藥片[C]

2. (有時大寫)【美】【口】(女用)口服避孕藥[the S]

3. 無法避免的討厭事,屈辱事[C][S1]

4. 【俚】討厭的傢伙[C][S1]

5. 【俚】炸彈,砲彈,子彈;棒球,網球[C]

vt.

1. ...製成丸劑(或片劑)

2. 使服用藥丸(或藥片)

3. 【俚】投票反對
spouse

n.

1. 配偶[C]

vt.

1. 【古】和...結婚


correlation

n.

1. 相互關係,關聯[C][(+between)]

the correlation between climate and vegetation

氣候與植物生長之間的關係

2. 相關性[U]
causation

n. 

1.      引起;因果關係 

comparison
n.
1. 比較,對照;類似[C][U][(+between/with)]
2. 比喻[C][U]
3. 【文】(形容詞或副詞的)比較[U][C

 

 

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