Annotated Bibillography

  1. Paul S. Appelbaum, M. D. . author. (2017). Does the Second Amendment Protect the Gun Rights of Persons With Mental Illness? Psychiatric Services, (1), 3.
    1. What- The source covers whether or no the 2d amendment protects someone who has a mental illness.
    2. Who- The author has an Md and is a professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law at Columbia University
    3. Why- I choose this source because it deals with the issue of mental health and if they are able to own a gun and mental health and gun control is a main topic.
    4. When- the article was written in 2017 so the article is rather new and relevant to me
    5. Where- I found this source through the osu library
    6. How? I found this article by searching in the osu library database “mental health” and “gun control”. I also limited by results to those within the last few years.
  2. Kegler SR, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA. Firearm Homicides and Suicides in Major Metropolitan Areas — United States, 2012–2013 and 2015–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1233–1237. DOI: icon.
    1. What- The source covers firearm homicide and suicide rates
    2. Who- Some of the authors have written previously about topics similar to this one such as a paper about the trends in suicide rate in the United States
    3. Why- I choose this article because it had some statistics I would like to use in my paper, those stats being related to the portion of people committing suicide by firearm, the ratio of homicides to suicides committed by firearms, and others similar to those.
    4. When- This article covers the time from 2015-2016 so the data is still relatively new and relevant.
    5. Where-  This article comes from the CDC
    6. How? I found this article y searching Google for “firearm suicide statistics CDC”
  3. Firearms Licensing. (2018, February 27). Retrieved from
    1. What- The sources explain what is a Possession and Acquisition Licence or PAL and some of the restrictions and requirements that go into that
    2. Who- N/A No authors it is on the Canadian Mounted Police website
    3. Why- I choose this source because it will help me to understand the differences between the USA gun control laws and Canada. This may allow me to find some alternatives to the United States system which could improve things here
    4. When- N/A no published date but I am assuming that they keep it up to date because it is a government website
    5. Where- Article comes from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police website
    6. How- I found this source by looking up “Canada Pal” into google
  4. Gold, L. H., & Simon, R. I. (2016). Gun violence and mental illness. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.
    1. What- This book talks about gun violence, mental illness, and suicides. It also talks about how to reduce  suicide by firearm and gun violence as a whole
    2. Who- The author is a Georgetown University Clinical Professor and has 30 years of med-legal experience
    3. Why- I choose this article because during my interview with my expert he said this book would be a good choice for the topics of suicide and firearms.
    4. When- Published n 2016 so it would still be relevant as not much time as passed
    5. Where- This book is available in the Thompson Library at osu
    6. How- I found this book by the recommendation during my expert interview.

Expert Interview answer

This interview was done with Charles Smith.

  1. Do you consider your self more liberal or conservative for gun policy?
    1. Politically I consider my self more conservative but I tend to be more libertarian for a lot of issues.
  2. School shootings have been talked a lot with gun control to make changes. Do you think there needs to be a change and if so what kind of change?
    1. You need to first figure out what problem you want to solve. Like any sort of policy What are we hoping What do you want to fix. So if the question is how to fix school shootings, that would be a different answer than how to fix suicide by gun, how do you fix gun homicides because they are very different things. You are not going to have one answer that fixes everything. Right now school shootings are so infrequent and so far in-between. That right now the biggest issue is gun suicides.
  3. Do you think gun suicides are the biggest issue?
    1. Yes… Yes because they take far more lives every year than school shootings and homicides combine
  4. Do you think mental health issues is the cause?
    1. I do think mental health plays a big role in it. But we have to be cautious when we talk about mental health because of all violent crime that is committed only 3-5% are caused by individuals that have a mental illness so you are looking at again a very small group. So the ones that is mental illness you have to ask your self is there a particular illness that you can point to and you look at the usual suspects bipolar disorder, manic depression. The one that tends to be more of an issue tends to be bipolar. Induails that tend to be depressed are more likely to hard them self’s while bipolar harms others. So now we are talking about less than 1% so it is still a little tiny number.
  5. So if we took away guns do you think there will be fewer suicides?
    1. Yes, there is hardly any correlation between other items and suicides. If you take firearms out of the equations you have the opportunity to reduce suicide by about 70%. There is a historical over in our history department, Randy Rock, that has data that shows an almost perfect correlation between firearm in the home and suited if you remove the firearm then you have a lower instance of suicide by other means. Some folks call it substitutions affect if a firearm isn’t available they will find another way they will take pills, cut their wrist, hang themselves but that doesn’t seem to be the case
  6. So was that a paper he wrote?
    1. He has a book called American Homicides and the idea of firearms and suicide is a topic that he will sometimes cover in his course on the American Justice System History 2015
  7. Do you think the issue is with mental health or that guns make it so much easier?
    1. There is with firearms the instrumental effect. Firearms are more lethal than just about any other device. If you attempt suicide with a firearm you are 9x more likely to be successful in killing your self as opposed to hanging or cutting your self or taking pills. As there is this inherent lethality, yes. So that brings up the issues that suicide is a spur of the moment idea and in that moment if there was access to a firearm you will be 9x more likely to kill yourself. absent access to the firearm you are more likely to live. So that brings up the question how do you know if an individual is suicidal. What factors can you make that lends you to believe that someone may be suicidal and then if you think they are what can you do to make sure they do not have access to firearms. This is the big issue surrounding the red flag laws where the sate law enforcement can do in and can temporarily remove firearms from their home if It is reported that an induvial might be going to harm others or themselves. This is something that our governor, Dewine, has proposed and they have been chatting about at the state level.
  8. Do other states have such laws?
    1. Yes, Rhode Island was the first state to create a red flag law. So you have individuals that displayed certain behavior that causes law enforcement to be concerned then they can go in and temporarily remove firearms from that home. Then the individual has to go through a process to get the firearm back. Civil libertarians don’t like this because it is a seizing, where is the crime that has been committed. You are entering a home, you are seizing private property. Some folks call this a risk warrant that if they can go into a court and say here are the facts we have and we would like a warrant to go seize these firearms. But for the folks who think highly of the 4th amendment protection against illegal searches and series they take a dim view of this. I have not committed any crimes and you are punishing me by taking away something I believe I have a constitutional right to have.
  9. Any policy to reduce gun suicides?
    1. Certainly more mental health check. I think the simplest way here, and a lot of folks disagree with me on this, there should be universal background checks on firearms purchase. I would like to see certain elements of the Canadian background check system introduced here. In Canada, in order to have a firearm, you first have to have what’s called a PAL license. Stands for possession and accusation license. So if you want to purchase a firearm or if you want to process a firearm you have to have a license.  It is a long process to get the PAL license it requires a background check, it requires a training certificate, you have to have your current and former spouse to sign the form, two references who are not related to you indicate that it’s okay for you to process a firearm. This has to be renewed every 5 years for you to continue to process that firearm. Which means that if something would happen a change in your life circumstances. The next time you go to get that pal license it might be picked up and caught to by the background check. Now this possession and acquisition, when you go to actually buy the firearm there is a separate background check that has to be completed. So every 5 years you are guaranteed to go through a background check but if you purchase a firearm it is going to happen sooner.
  10. Do you know any good papers or articles that relate to suicide and gun issues?
    1. Yes … (proceded to show me a book on his bookshelf called Gun Violence and Mental illness)

This interview was done in person with me writing notes about what he said and also recorded the interview. There are a few places where I paraphrased but I tried to keep that at a minimum.


Gun control is a right under the 2nd amendment but regulations are needed for mental illness because those with mental illness could bring harm upon themselves and others if they owned a gun.

Expert information

I would like to interview Charles Smith. He is a professor and advisor here at OSU in the Political Science department. he also created the Gun Politics class which means he is likely very knowledgeable about my subject, that subject being gun control.

Questions for the interview

My questions will be based on the topic of gun control

  1.  Would you consider yourself more liberal or conservative?
  2. What do you believe are the biggest issues relating to gun control?
  3. Do you think we need new gun legislation?
  4. If so what do you kind of new policies do you believe we need?
  5. Do you think there is any reasonable way to reduce the amount of mass or school shootings?
  6. Many people have brought up the idea of an assault rifle ban, do you agree with this?
  7. After the Vegas shootings in 2017 people wanted to ban bump stocks do you think this will actually solve anything?
  8. Do you agree with the 2nd amendment interpretation that comes from the supreme court case Heller v. D.C.
  9. If no do you think people in the USA should be able to own guns at all?
  10. What are some possible good papers or sources to use when writing a paper about this subject?

3 Sources

  1. Authors -Fabio, Anthony, et al Name of the article- Gaps continue in Firearm Surveillance: Evidence from a Large U.S. City Bureau of police. Link-
  2. Author- The Supreme Court of the United States Name- District of Columbia v. Heller Link-
  3. Authors Kochanek, Murphy, et al. Name of the article- National Vital Statistics Reports. Link -   ( This article has the total deaths/injuries caused by firearms.)

Potential Experts

For potential experts, I think Dr. Charles Smith would be a good option. He is a professor and advisor here osu in the Political Science department. He also teaches a class called Gun Politics so it seems like a good match.