Sander- with regard to suicide rate- there is a widely held belief that many of the people who commit suicide do so because they feel despondent, and that such feelings are treatable in many instances, allowing the person to have a meaningful life. But the response to Gwydion- yes, the problems is that guns are a form of easy empowerment. The problem is insecurity among people and that too has an economic cost. Insecurity is wasteful of money. That money could be utilized for higher end, more productive uses. Furthermore, people are willing to use guns for quick profit (through theft or to secure their participation in illegal trades). If you are able to limit their access to guns, then you less willingness to participate in those trades. The problem is economic. But Gwydion, I am not against gun ownership per se. I just think it needs higher regulations. Guns are used to kill, that makes them inherently dangerous. That should make them more regulated. Things that are inherently dangerous (like explosives and dangerous wild animals) are usually held to a higher standard. One of the arguments about gun regulation is a poor comparison with cars. But ok, lets start there. We regulate cars, we register them each time they are sold. Much of our law of tort has involved the issue of cars, including issues of strict liability. So why not apply similar rules to cars. If a gun manufacturer is selling guns to a straw man whom he has reason to suspect is reselling those guns without properly going registration, and those guns later are used for a crime, than he should be liable for what those guns do because he profits from that sale, and indirectly from the sale of weapons. This is not to make the manufacturers liable for every transaction down the line, but rather the next step down the chain of commerce. At the same time if a lawful citizen owns a gun and then tires of it, sells it to his friend, then what is the deal with registering that sale with a local state or federal authority? This way the hunter still get can his gun, the owner can still have a weapon in his house, and the career criminal will have a harder time getting weapons. Cost? yes, but also compare the high ownership of guns in Canada with the low use of guns in homicides. Which is more, the finances used for registration or the savings in the value of lives saved. I concede your point, that the cops will never be able to come to scene of a crime before the crime occurs. This is especially true if the cops are eating donuts. I doubt they will ever be able to stop the spouse from killing her cheating spouse who has been using match.com a bit too much. But police can be used to deter crime and those who commit crimes with guns should be held to a higher punishment. The long term problems are usually socio-economic. But in the short-term a lot more could be done just by controlling guns and making the punishments for misuse more harsh.