Firearms-Related Suicide – It’s All About the Guns! Or Not . . .

We welcome vox.com’s attempts to shine a spotlight on firearms-related suicides. Oh wait. No. No we don’t. They’ve got a single-minded, fundamentally flawed perspective on the problem: preventing suicides is all about “easy access to guns” which are “more lethal” than other forms of suicide (tell that to the Japanese) and inhibit “intervention.” Setting aside the eminently debunkable stats in this anti-gun agritprop . . .

common sense says that early detection and treatment for suicidal citizens is the best way to tackle the problem. Which is why Bloomberg anti-ballistic bully boys (and Moms) ignore the challenge of firearms-related suicide – letting the the death of thousands of Americans slide in pursuit of their goal of civilian disarmament.

comments

  1. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Why not just outlaw suicide and be done with it?

    1. I thought it already was. 🙂

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Not in California. But strangely enough, assisting a suicide is murder. The logic escapes me; I don’t understand how helping someone do something legal could be considered illegal. But maybe that’s just me.

        1. avatar WedelJ says:

          Trying to find logic in california’s laws is what you did wrong.

  2. avatar gp says:

    Why does anybody waste time responding to Vox? Everything they know is wrong. Life’s too short to waste on their clickbait.

  3. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    I wonder what the suicide rate in the UK would if they had easy access to guns like the Americans do. Our two countries have the same suicide rate.

    Americans reach for the gun because it’s there. Absent guns they would reach for something else.

    1. avatar Daily Beatings says:

      It’s a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument plus they ignore the substitution effect.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        Wow. That just brought me back to high school debate class. Been a while since I heard one if the logical fallacies named.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Logic + economics….substitution effect

  4. avatar Mark Lee says:

    It is pretty popular with the European “death with dignity” people to simply use a tank of helium and plastic bag to end one’s life. Very efficient – quick, clean and painless, allowing for easy self-administration by all but the physically infirm. Assistants help set it up and afterword is an easy clean-up to simply remove the tank and hoses if the decedent’s last wishes that “natural causes” be specified on the death certificate. Death with dignity.

    What about life with dignity? Give me back my constitutional rights, dammit!

  5. avatar Richard in WA says:

    Do they no longer teach math in schools? That correlation does not equal causation? Correlation does not even IMPLY causation.

    http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

  6. avatar Bobiojimbo says:

    So, guns are now a pollutant? Really? That’s how they’re going to drive this now?

  7. avatar Vitsaus says:

    A shocking number of people jump off the Golden Gate bridge every year.

    1. avatar SpecialK says:

      Outlaw bridges…

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    I had two friends who killed themselves. One jumped off the roof of the dorm back in college. The other hung himself in his bathroom with a wire about ten years ago. I only wish I could have stopped them. I tried, but I couldn’t. It broke my heart.

    But what broke my heart even more was knowing that the second friend died slowly and in pain from strangulation. He would have been better off if he had a gun.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      Apropos: My brother-the-dentist (when fresh out of dental school) took second jobs providing palliative care to two NJ state hospital long-term wards for the seriously brain injured. His impression was that most of the young wards resulted from failed “slow method” suicides or motorcycle accidents.

    2. avatar Yellow Devil says:

      I was in various units where a Soldier committed suicide. One jumped off the top of a four story barracks. Another overdosed on pills.

      Had a close buddy who was killed in a car crash, while on leave, as soon as we got back from deployment.

      Another unit had a Soldier killed by her husband (a Soldier in another platoon under us) who had his assailant use a knife to stab her to death.

      Interestingly enough, no firearms were used in any of those instances.

  9. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    Same ol’ same ol;. The progressive solution is to leave dangerously unstable individuals to their own devices, sans firearms.

  10. avatar Gunr says:

    Better the gun than a wire around your neck. I had a friend that picked up his gun one time, wrote a note, that he couldn’t handle the pain any longer, went out to his patio, and put one through his brain.
    I’m glad I live in a state that will let you end your life with dignity, if it should come to that.
    If your dog is suffering, and it is certain there is no cure, wouldn’t you want to have him put down. Why do most all states want to make their people suffer. Sure, hospice helps, but not always.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Totally agree. And the unanswered question is: “does the government have the right to make you suffer?” I guess it does. Which is yet another reason to distrust government.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        More than likely the opposite. See Aktion T-4

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          More than likely — either or both.

          How are you liking your new home?

    2. avatar anaxis says:

      While I haven’t included a DNR as part of my will in the event of injury or temporary illness, I’ve long planned on using the Hemmingway/Thompson method if my life was unable to be sustained without machines & heavy-duty drugs. I’ve watched loved-ones linger and suffer horribly because the state and medical system is unwilling to let people end their suffering on their own terms.
      When my father-in-law was dying from Agent Orange cancers, he began saving up every last bit of morphine & fentanyl that was prescribed, with the intent to simply take it all when the pain became too much and he could no longer eat on his own. Eventually the VA assigned him a hospice nurse, and one day she found his exit-stash. She promptly reported him to her superiors at the VA, confiscated all of his meds, and he was taken to the VA hospital entirely against his will. I watched him die in the worst possible pain & terror I’ve ever witnessed, and no amount of “palliative care” helped ease his passing in the slightest. And to make things worse, not long after his widow received a massive bill for keeping him on “life support”.
      That was the last straw for me, and there’s no way I’d subject myself or my family to the same hell, regardless of what the state or doctors say.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        One thing you can do is have a health care directive on file with the hospital and/or your doctor, or even among your papers that specifies no heroic measures/ dnr orders. Medical care providers are bound by these directives, afaik.

        1. avatar Kyle in CT says:

          Unfortunately it depends on the state. In some states having those orders in a will is enough and the medical professionals have to abide by those orders if they are aware of them (i.e. if you are brought into the hospital emergently and unconscious, they won’t know and will proceed with any available measures). However, in other states (CT included) your immediate family makes the call, regardless of whether or not your will explicitly says no.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          My stepdad had the DNR/no heroic measures in place and the hospital was informed, they called his daughter (not his wife) at 3 AM saying they needed to put him on life support only ’til morning, when his meds would take effect (he had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor) and she agreed to allow it while she was still asleep. The next morning my Mom arrived and demanded he be removed from life support, and was told she did not have the authority to do that, and neither did his daughter, he was going to stay on life support forever. Fortunately he awoke about that time, my mom explained what was going on, he yanked the tube out of his throat and said “Get me the fuck out of here!” to the doctor, and was out in 10 minutes. Don’t ever believe you are safe from that crap. That was 1995, BTW, he died about 10 days later.

      2. avatar ropingdown says:

        Six years ago, being an attorney fussy about paperwork, I recruited my half-brother and we arranged for my mother and step-father proper separate representation, and made sure wills, durable general and medical powers of attorney, and living wills…got drafted and finalized. This effort proved very worth the trouble when my step-father, long ailing from congestive heart failure (and having a DNR term) went from “hospital visit the ER thought unnecessary” to dying in hospice seven days later with massive organ failure. If a death can be completely peaceful, his was, with all his family around him to the end, with adequate morphine to kill the heart pain but not so much as prevented gentle conversation. He was 85 years old.

        I’ve spent the last six months battling cancer spawned either by agent orange in I Corp or my military-era smoking. I/we caught it just in time, a major neoplasm but no metastasis. Months of chemo and radiation, then surgery, then (now) some ‘insurance’ chemo. While I’m NED now, ‘no evidence of disease,’I have only one bit of advice: take those annual checkup x-rays. The checkup radiation is much much less than you’ll get if you find a tumor 16 months late, and by a factor of thousands.

        I can’t imagine, despite being a vet, letting the VA treat my illness. Easy for me to say, I realize. If I had no choice for financial reasons? I empathize with that case. My issue these days is vet health care and vet 2a rights: But for small bits of luck I could have been one suffering from both the weak VA system and the abuse of 2a disenfranchisement due to gov-solicited claims of PTSD.

      3. avatar JSJ says:

        Sorry about your Father in law. That’s no way for anyone to have to pass on.
        IMHO the suicide option isn’t so much about wanting to end it all per se as it is about having some form of control over your situation. “if the pain gets too bad”….that pain is likely easier to tolerate if you know you have an option to end it if absolutely necessary.
        Taking that away is cruel.

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          Agree.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          Not sure I understood your comment: My step-father was suffering multiple organ failure, the normal end as the heart loses the ability to pump vigorously. Rather than end up on a heart/lung machine and dialysis for a few weeks he passed on naturally and with enough morphine to assure he had little or no pain. He was aware of his circumstance, at peace with it, and able to share his last few days with his sons and wife. I should be so lucky when my time comes.

        3. avatar LordGopu says:

          Yup, it forces people to kill themselves prematurely while they’re still able rather than waiting until the last moment.

  11. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The two men I knew who shot themselves were both riddled with cancer, and the local rural hospital would not prescribe the necessary dosages or forms of painkillers to allow them to manage the pain. Once cancer moves into your bones, apparently the pain is unbearable.

    Since they knew they were going to die anyway, they were left with a choice of more pain and a (slightly) later death, or death now by gunshot.

    In these two instances, I blame the “War on Some Drugs” for the hesitation of MD’s to prescribe the necessary painkillers to allow those men to manage the pain in their final days.

  12. avatar Jacob says:

    If guns made me want to commit suicide. I probably would have killed myself a few thousand times. Probably most of you as well.

  13. avatar Misfit 2 says:

    If guns cause me to commit suicide. I probably would have killed myself a couple thousand times by now. So would most of you.

  14. avatar Ted says:

    To be truly free, you need to live life on your own terms – and end life on your own terms. So long as you don’t harm anyone else, government should not have a say in the issue.

    What gives anyone the right to demand that someone, who no longer desires to live, continue living?

    This issue is not a gun issue – it is a mental health issue that needs to be addressed by families and their medical professionals. Government intervention is not wanted or needed here.

  15. avatar Southern Cross says:

    I remember arguing with a “progressive” when I was studying at university. He was vehemently anti-suicide, which appeared to be a polar opposite of most arts-and-general-studies types.

    Being sarcastic I commented ” since our lives belong to the state, suicide is willful destruction of state property”.

    The sarcasm flew over his head at the altitude of a cruising U2. His reply was the punishment should be death or forced labour for the state until death. My first encounter with an absolute statist, who probably thought Stalin was misunderstood.

  16. avatar foo dog says:

    Amazes me how many clueless LIVs dont realize that vox is just a click-mill for revenue, following the progtard party line, and just rotating the same memes around the left echo-chamber, on purpose hoping to “trade it up the chain”.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-church/ryan-holiday-trust-me-im-lying_b_1715524.html

    You are as likely to get the facts there as going to Rolling Stones, Gawker, or PuffHos.
    Most of these faux articles are written to spec, for whatever the editors decide the “meme” of the day is, or sells, and some are paid for outright.

    Which comes down to propaganda for pay, and I think we know who pays the most for anti-gun propaganda…

  17. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Another group that gets a big F in root cause identification. It’s standard operating procedure for anti gunners though. Attack everything except the actual problem.

  18. avatar gsnyder says:

    There’s lots of BS the anti’s spew but this one makes me want to fight. Anyone who knows anything about suicide knows suicide is pretty much unstoppable. The use of a firearm is a matter of convenience for many, seeing it as the best solution to a quick painless end. My late Great Uncle attempted suicide at least once with a firearm, which failed. Suicide often does fail, more often than people know. His solution was the old vacuum hose taped in the car window to exhaust pipe trick. Worked better than a firearm.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      “Unstoppable”?

      No, it only appears so because too many people aren’t willing to step out of their comfort zone to help. Trying to keep up a normal schedule with a normal life will pretty much ensure a suicidal person will go through with it, because it basically says that “business as usual” is more important than the person’s life. The only suicides that are unstoppable are the ones where the person never gives an indication and just does it.

      I’ve intervened with three people who had a plan, went to effort to make sure their plan would work, but mentioned their intent to someone and word got to me. All three are still alive today. All three took intervention radical enough to demonstrate that I considered nothing in my life to be more valuable than helping: in one instance skipping a critical final in college, in another calling my boss and stating plainly I wouldn’t be coming in because I was sticking with a friend to prevent a suicide — got told, “You don’t show, your job is gone”, to which I replied, “Mail my severance”, in another refusing to leave when the plan would have killed me, too.

      Part of that approach I learned from a college friend who risked much of what was valuable to him to be there when I was on the edge, and part because after losing several friends to suicide I decided I’d had enough of that. I’ve been one of multiple interveners in some other instances, and those people are also still alive today.

      One thing I learned is that the standard advice to “leave it to a professional” is bullshit: suicidal people more often than not aren’t interested in anything that anyone “paid to care” has to say; in fact suggesting “professional help” can frequently be a way of saying, “I really don’t care, so I’ll pass you off to someone else”. In one instance in college, an acquaintance who was suicidal went over the edge at the suggestion of getting a professional.

      BTW, the people I knew who never told a soul all chose means that couldn’t fail, and only one used a gun. That one was a real mess; someone had slipped her some drug intending to help, which apparently had the effect of tipping her into obsession with her stepfather’s admonition that she should never, ever touch his shotgun because she’d just blow her brains out with it — she broke into his room, got the gun, wrote “I guess you were right” on the closet door, then went out and blew her brains all over his home-office picture window.

  19. avatar lowell says:

    I hate to break it to you all but this is absolutely true. Suicide by firearm is the most successful method by far. Okay, maybe jumping of the Golden ate Bridge is neck and neck, but shooting yourself in the head basically guaranteed to work. It’s also an overwhelmingly male method, because most women attempting suicide aren’t really attempting suicide, but desperately shouting out for attention. If men decide to kill themselves they just get it over with.

    And you know what? So what. If people want to quit fuck em let em go.The second amendment is a military duty imposed on the volunteer citizenry as a last ditch hail Mary to keep Washington DC in check, and that takes precedence over some whiny losers that decide to check out early.

    /yes, I’ve lost people this way.

    1. avatar JJ says:

      No it is not true. You have to realize that people who do statistical modeling – but who have zero background in suicide research — think and assert guns are more effective. But since the academics who are expert in actual suicide and the ways Medical Examiners and Corners rule suicide vs accident , know that most non gun suicide is ruled as accident.
      Only self-inflicted gunshot and self-hanging are per se ruled suicide by MEs in the western world. Absent evidence to the contrary self inflicted gunshot is always ruled suicide. The opposite is the case with other means, absent clear evidence of suicide, other means associated with suicide are ruled accident. If you take a 5x fatal dose of Percocet and there is no a suicide note, documented history of depression tc, you will be ruled accidental death.

      I had a friend in school who committed suicide with a barbiturate overdose. She had been dumped by her boyfriend. Her grades had plummeted and she lost her scholarship. She was profoundly depressed. Her death was ruled accident. The peer reviewed work shows coroners will do that unless forced to by the obviously – as in a gunshot.

      Look what happened in Australia. With their massive gun control and confiscation, which halved households with firearms and mandated safes in the rest, at first they thought suicide decreased. In fact self-caused death by other means associated with suicide skyrocketed and we now know overall suicide it did not decrease one iota:
      “These studies have shown that ABS has seriously been under reporting the number of suicides. The Queensland study reported that this under reporting had increased during the period under study and that the under count negates any apparent decrease in suicide deaths shown in ABS statistics.” http://www.aph.GOV.AU/~/media/wopapub/senate/committee/clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2008_10/suicide/submissions/sub42_pdf.ashx

      “AUSTRALIA has dangerously miscalculated its suicide statistics – by as much as 30 per cent in NSW and Queensland – leaving a silent and growing epidemic of mounting deaths.
      The figures are in stark contrast to years of backslapping by state and federal governments, congratulating themselves for reducing suicide rates from a peak of 2700 in 1997.
      The Herald can reveal the suicide toll is as high now as it was in the 1990s – if not higher.
      http://www.smh.COM.AU/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/revealed-australias-suicide-epidemic-20090820-es3p.html

    2. avatar JJChris says:

      No it is not true. You have to realize that people who do statistical modeling – but who have zero background in suicide research — think and assert guns are more effective. But since the academics who are expert in actual suicide and the ways Medical Examiners and Corners rule suicide vs accident , know that most non gun suicide is ruled as accident.
      Only self-inflicted gunshot and self-hanging are per se ruled suicide by MEs in the western world. Absent evidence to the contrary self inflicted gunshot is always ruled suicide. The opposite is the case with other means, absent clear evidence of suicide, other means associated with suicide are ruled accident. If you take a 5x fatal dose of Percocet and there is no a suicide note, documented history of depression tc, you will be ruled accidental death.

      I had a friend in school who committed suicide with a barbiturate overdose. She had been dumped by her boyfriend. Her grades had plummeted and she lost her scholarship. She was profoundly depressed. Her death was ruled accident. The peer reviewed work shows coroners will do that unless forced to by the obviously – as in a gunshot.

      Look what happened in Australia. With their massive gun control and confiscation, which halved households with firearms and mandated safes in the rest, at first they thought suicide decreased. In fact self-caused death by other means associated with suicide skyrocketed and we now know overall suicide it did not decrease one iota:
      “These studies have shown that ABS has seriously been under reporting the number of suicides. The Queensland study reported that this under reporting had increased during the period under study and that the under count negates any apparent decrease in suicide deaths shown in ABS statistics.” http://www.aph.GOV.AU/~/media/wopapub/senate/committee/clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2008_10/suicide/submissions/sub42_pdf.ashx

      “AUSTRALIA has dangerously miscalculated its suicide statistics – by as much as 30 per cent in NSW and Queensland – leaving a silent and growing epidemic of mounting deaths.
      The figures are in stark contrast to years of backslapping by state and federal governments, congratulating themselves for reducing suicide rates from a peak of 2700 in 1997.
      The Herald can reveal the suicide toll is as high now as it was in the 1990s – if not higher.
      http://www.smh.COM.AU/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/revealed-australias-suicide-epidemic-20090820-es3p.html

    3. avatar Roymond says:

      I can’t agree with the “(just) let ’em go” statement: I have never known anyone who expressed suicidal intent who wasn’t worth fighting for. In the end, it’s their life, yes, but the people I’ve known who were talked out of it or kept from doing it have all been amazingly grateful afterward, pretty universally making statements to the effect that “It wasn’t me wanting that” afterward.

      But I do agree that the importance of the Second Amendment right far, far outweighs the ease of suicide with a gun.

  20. avatar macgearailt says:

    What is the theory that the state invokes that says citizens don’t have the right too end their own lives? Is it based on a reduced tax base? What? The state has no compunction concerning the slaughter of the unborn, what if a independent,sentient being decides to exit the plane of the living ? Its none of their damn business.

  21. avatar Roymond says:

    If I remember my history correctly, laws against suicide have ALWAYS come from religion, whether it’s the idea that suicide is murder or that only God gets to decide when you die or something else. Societies that criminalize suicide almost always have a myriad other laws criminalizing personal behavior, regardless of harm to others. And these societies are also almost always inconsistent; a failed suicide rarely results in prosecution, though whether it results in help for the person or stigma is also variable.

    In some places, suicide has been seen as a noble act, the ultimate defiance of a state that claims ownership of its citizens (Japan comes to mind), in others it is seen as cowardice. In a few cultures it has been respected, though I recall reading in anthropology class of a society where it was respected if and only if the person gave everyone who wished and opportunity to persuade him or her to continue living instead. In some suicide by deliberate self-killing has been despised while suicide by great deed (i.e. attempting some feat likely to result in death, such as climbing a never-climbed mountain) — with the caveat that the great deed must seem within the realm of human accomplishment — was held in high esteem. Interestingly, as far as I can recall, in the societies where it was held in esteem, the manner of death had to be one that brought honor to the family or tribe; I can’t think of any instance where it was regarded as a purely personal matter.

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