Suicide rates and support for the gun control initiative

The gun control initiative was rejected yesterday by more than 56% of voters and in all but 6 cantons. One of the arguments advanced by advocates of the initiative was that stricter gun ownership rules would reduce suicide rates. So, was there more support for the initiative in cantons with higher suicide rates? Surprisingly, there is a strong correlation between approval and female, but not male, suicide rates. The relationship holds after controlling for language region:

Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
Suicide rate (females) 1.94 0.57 3.41 0.00
Suicide rate (males) -0.20 0.29 -0.68 0.50
German speaking -9.36 3.18 -2.94 0.01
(Intercept) 31.86 8.03 3.97 0.00

(OLS regression; dependent variable: % yes; N=26; R2=0.51)

Any ideas how we can explain the difference?

UPDATE: more analyses here.


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