York PA’s ydr.com publishes a letter to the editor from a health care professional who thinks that gun show ads make suicide easier and more attractive.
Year after year, I have been disgusted with the blaring and offensive gun show billboards that show no respect to women and millions of victims of violence. I have been disturbed by the plethora of “Buy & Sell Guns” signs littering our streets when the gun show comes to town. Yet, I’ve bitten my tongue figuring there was something I just “didn’t get.” But I can’t remain silent any longer. There’s one thing I get: Guns serve one purpose – to kill. So why is anyone surprised that a man would take a life (his own) with a gun purchased at the York Fairgrounds?
The promoter of the show is quoted as saying, “If he wanted to commit suicide, there is nothing anyone in the world could do.” As someone with a masters degree in counseling, experience in mental health, and having faced my own demons during a very dark period of my life, I can confidently say that he is dead wrong. Making the means of committing suicide more difficult is half the battle.
It’s a lot easier to pull a trigger than it is to use alternative, and often less successful, means. Putting “guns, knives, and machine guns for sale” advertisements in people’s faces – especially those who are feeling hopeless, or worse yet, angry – is a recipe for death. So stop the suggestive selling because the bottom line is, you don’t know who’s responding to your advertising and what your ads may “trigger.” Or alternatively, expect that people will die, and don’t be surprised by it.