To the Editor: According to Drs Ludwig and
Cook,1 the Brady Act should reduce suicide
rates the most among those with the lowest gun ownership rates and the highest
suicide rates. Thus, the authors predicted that after passage of the act suicide
rates should decline most rapidly among people older than 54 years. However,
polling data show that gun ownership rates are at least as high for this age
group as for others.2- 4
Furthermore, disaggregating the authors' age categories yields results that
contradict this hypothesis. The data reveal that the reduced incidence of
firearm suicides for persons older than 54 years is primarily affected by
the change for the group aged 55 to 64 years; however, this subcategory has
the lowest suicide rate for those older than 54 years. The different age groups
experienced apparently random increases and decreases in firearm suicides
after enactment of the law: the groups aged 35 to 44 years, 45 to 54 years,
and older than age 85 years, for instance, all show increases in firearm suicide
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