Quote of the Day: NYC Credits Gun Laws for Suicide Rate

“The health commissioner, Dr. Thomas A. Farley [above] attributes much of the difference to the city’s relatively strict gun laws: he noted that firearms were the chosen method in only 12 percent of suicides in New York in 2010, compared with 51 percent nationwide in 2009. In the three states with the nation’s highest suicide rates — Montana, Alaska and Wyoming — nearly two-thirds of suicides were by firearm. (New Jersey, the least suicidal state, has very strict gun laws.)” – via cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com

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Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

25 Responses to Quote of the Day: NYC Credits Gun Laws for Suicide Rate

  1. avatarTom says:

    As I stated earlier, a friend of mine stepped out in front of a semi-truck on a high way and killed himself. Death by truck.
    Is NYC going to have a truck ban?

  2. avatarBob says:

    So criminalize hundreds of thousands of people to make it harder for people to commit suicide by gun. Makes sense to me (%$#%^&#$^&%@%##$$#*$%#*$&^).

  3. avatarCharles says:

    Wow! So people pick up a gun and they just can’t help themselves. I guess in Dr. Farley’s mind guns are kind of like the Ring of Power.

    Of course this ignores the bigger picture: that countries like Sweden and France which have higher suicide rates than America have lower gun ownership rates.

  4. avatarAharon says:

    “the city’s overall suicide death rate is just over half the national rate (6 deaths per 100,000 in NYC vs. 11 deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S.), according to a newly released “NYC Vital Signs” report”

    The report attacking guns is simply brown nosing to NYC’s mayor who wants to ban all guns. Politicians have huge egos that demand stroking and never cease from vomiting up on people their own propaganda.

    BTW, Japan has strict gun control and an out of control suicide rate.

    • avatarFrank says:

      All of Asia has an insane suicide rate. In Korea, the preferred method is jumping off a cliff. So they need to ban people from going to seaside cliffs.

      • avatarRopingdown says:

        The good doctor is obviously just trying to take our eye off the fact the NYC failed to build high-speed rail like the Japanese, who favor stepping in front those to end it all. Well, I saw through that one, Dr. Farley!

  5. avatar9MM&4WD says:

    Like Aharon said: Japan. End of gun/suicide correlation debate.

  6. avatarLumpy says:

    So what does the doctor recommend new yorkers use to commit suicide with?

  7. avatarChad says:

    Maybe they should consider the source of the problem rather than a symptom. Making it harder for people to buy guns doesn’t mean that less people are going to kill themselves. Guns don’t cause people to have suicidal thoughts. What a moron.

  8. avatarBLAMMO says:

    This is such Bravo Sierra I wouldn’t know where to begin. Of course availability to firearms would have an effect on the rate at which firearms are used in suicides. DUH!! But they’re “suggesting” that it has an effect on the actual suicide rate itself, offering no scientific basis.

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/25/why-the-happiest-states-have-the-highest-suicide-rates/

    http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&page_id=05114FBE-E445-7831-F0C1494E2FADB8EA

    Of course, they do not say what is the most common method of suicide in NYC, for those who make the attempt. I’m gonna take a guess and say prescription narcotics. There’s that “culture and availability” thing again.

    Even with one of the highest suicide rates, I doubt anybody has ever committed suicide in Helena, MT by jumping out of the 40th floor window of an office building. Admittedly, I have no scientific data to back up my assertion.

    • avatarBuuurr says:

      I don’t know where these people get the ideas from. The U.S (according to Wiki) has a 19.0 for men. Canada (according to Wiki) has a rate of 17.3.

      I’m no stats guys but it seems to me that Canada has a lot of messy deaths and guns (according to broken NY Dr’s logic) had nothing to do with them in Canada. If you think about it. What he is saying is that the gun laws stop suicides in NY but gun laws have no bearing on a relatively comparative rate in Canada.

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      Missed this originally. The Times link mentions 4 of the top 5 methods:

      But it’s not as if New Yorkers lack access to means of self-destruction. There are many tall buildings here (jumping was the second most common suicide method, after hanging), and a 468-station subway system that runs round the clock (death by train was fifth, behind guns).

      Again, I’ll assume #3 is pills.

  9. avatarchris says:

    Again with statistics, correlation /= causation.

  10. avatarBuuurr says:

    Canada (at least the province I grew up in) has a pretty nasty suicide rate in the Jan/Feb months. Choice of death is usually hanging ( a lot of fun there) or driving off a cliff into the ocean. Great times. We have a standard suicide rate and the lack of guns doesn’t seem to stop them. I remember growing up one lady walked right into the ocean at a park called Cape Spear (most Easterly place in North America – kinda touristy) everyone got to watch her being smashed on the rocks for an hour before the S&R fished her out. Good times.

  11. avatarRobert says:

    I am an NRA member and CCW holder. Everything that anti-gun people say shouldn’t be disputed otherwise we look foolish. When the Sullivan law was enacted in NYC to prevent supposed undesirables like Blacks and Italians from having guns, the suicide rate dropped by half. There is statistical data to support the contention that reduced access to firearms reduces suicides…at least among men. Women, apparently, prefer poison to firearms to commit suicide.

    Nevertheless, it doesn’t make any more sense to me to limit access to cars to prevent suicide by car than it does to limit access to firearms to prevent suicide by firearm. Limiting everyone’s rights for the behavior of a few is just wrong and impractical. Didn’t Prohibition prove that?!

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      “There is statistical data to support the contention that reduced access to firearms reduces suicides.”

      Let’s see it.

      People who are suicidal will find a way to kill themselves. You would be amazed some of the ways I saw as a medic.

  12. avatarJohn Fritz says:

    I guess if I’m ever in New York and I decide to kill myself (both statistically improbable events), it’s gonna have to be the ol’ Hefty bag / helium route.

  13. avatarRalph says:

    Treating depression before it gets out of hand is the key to reducing suicide, and there are approximately seven bazillion doctors in New York and hospitals galore. The availability of firearms, or the lack thereof, has nothing to do with it. Farley knows that, but saying so would not advance the Fuhrer’s Mayor’s agenda.

    BTW, a person is considered legally insane if he believes anything that comes out of the mouth of a New York politician.

    • avatarMadDawg J says:

      “BTW, a person is considered legally insane if he believes anything that comes out of the mouth of a New York politician.”

      Fixed

  14. avatarBeninMA says:

    If you look at suicide rates by county, there are clear geographic trends that don’t correspond to state boundaries (for example, Northern California and Appalachia): http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/suicide/statistics/suicide_map.html

  15. avatarGS650G says:

    Sales of cigarettes plummeted after Mikey raised the price with tax to 8 bucks a pack. He marveled at the reduction in smoking and how easy it was. Trucks carrying tax avoiding cigarettes from elsewhere idled in traffic as he gave his interview.

    These are brilliant people who can’t even grasp any alternatives.

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