Bloomberg, my, old, friend; you keep missing the target! True story. The de facto head of the civilian disarmament industrial complex has tried everything to kill gun ownership. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown for Gun Safety, The Trace. Assault weapon bans, high-capacity magazine bans, gun show loophole, terrorist loophole, gun violence restraining orders. Do it for the children! For victims of domestic violence! For minorities! Look at this baby! And now . . .

From cnn.com:

Quietly, and with little fanfare, gun control advocates are using stories like Pennebaker’s [ED: a Chicago gun control advocate whose mother committed suicide because of her “easy access to guns”] to try to subtly shift the debate over firearms policy by bringing the issue of firearm suicides more and more into the discussion. They hope that broadening the discussion will prompt the public to think about a different set of victims, not just those who are killed in inner-city violence, and that that will lead to broader support for gun control laws.

Translation: the vast majority of Americans suffering from non-suicide “gun violence” are inner-city Hispanics and African-Americans. It’s hard for white folks to a) care about gang bangers gunning each other down, and b) believe that gun control would stop them from doing so. So it’s time to talk about suicide!

In years past, gun control advocates focused almost exclusively on homicides, whether the mass shootings covered intensively by the national media or the inner-city murders that are a staple of the late local news. Now, groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, as well as public health researchers, are starting to emphasize suicides.

The shift is part of a broader change in looking at gun violence as more of a public health issue and less of a matter of crime.

Yeah sure. The anti-gun rights jihadis are changing their emphasis from homicides to suicides because “gun violence” is a “public health issue.”

Nothing to do with the fact that gun control advocates consider white middle-class likely-to-vote firearms freedom fence-straddlers to be too racist to care enough about black and Hispanic gang bangers shooting each other to disarm their fellow citizens. Regardless of their color, law-abiding Americans have bigger fish to fry than overly concerning themselves with criminals — again, regardless of their color — who regularly shoot each other over drugs and turf.

Hey. It ain’t just me saying this. It’s “some observers.”

Some observers say that talking more about suicides will change the focus of the gun control debate by bringing a new demographic of victims into the discussion. Where often the victims of firearm-related homicide are young black and Hispanic males, nearly 75% of those who use a gun to take their lives are white men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“From our perspective, it’s trying to break down the common misperception that gun violence only effects so-called bad people,” said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, a gun control advocacy organization.

Wait. Didn’t the Sandy Hook slaughter — where a psychopath murdered six [white] school teachers and 20 [white] children — get that point across? And didn’t Congress reject universal background checks in its immediate aftermath?

Once again, Bloomberg’s PR peeps are telling their boss to forget the last strategy and look at this one! And once again, it’s a losing proposition. Like this:

Gun rights advocates, however, counter that any shift in emphasis by gun control activists to suicides is happening because the country’s declining homicide rate is robbing them of the argument that the United States is undergoing an epidemic of gun violence. And, they say, looking more at suicides proves the point that the way to save lives is to focus on mental health issues, not restricting firearms.

“If you look at the data and the sheer number of increases in suicides, including suicides carried out by means other than firearms, it is very clear that a solution that would actually save lives is dealing with the mental health issue,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association. “Gun control is not the answer.”

If that’s not enough to torpedo the inherently fanciful “gun control stops suicides” shtick, one word: Japan.

Gun rights proponents scoff at such research, asserting that while there may be a correlation, it doesn’t mean causation. Writing in the National Review, Mark Antonio Wright notes that Japan has outlawed guns, and, as a result, has an extremely low homicide rate.

But, he continues, “Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, nearly twice the U.S. rate.”

All this flailing around is bound to warm the cockles of a gun rights advocate’s heart. BUT Bloomberg’s got billions. As long as he keeps flinging so much anti-gun you-know-what around, some of it’s bound to stick. You have been warned.

64 Responses to Gun Control Advocates Changing the Target to Suicide Prevention?

    • What is clear is that they want to disarm us. It is not important to them how they accomplish that mission, any excuse will do, except the truth.

      Whether they are simply hoplophobic and “hate guns”, or have made cold political calculations that people owning guns inhibit their power fantasies, it is disarming people that is their focus, not helping people.

      • ^^^ THIS!!! So much THIS!
        Very well put Dean. THIS, is the summation of all the gun control proponents wishes, fantasies, and dreams.

        They want to disarm us. They don’t really care the reason or the method.

        Thank you, Dean, for putting it so succinctly.

      • Dean, they’ve already shown their true hand clearly. Both California and Georgia have recently introduced bills to ban semi-auto type firearms and/or heavily restrict the rights of the owners to sell or transfer them.

        Now is the time to point out the desperation of the socialist Democrat party. With crime at all time lows they’ve given up any pretense of it being a “crime fighting” measure or promising it’ll reduce “gun crime” or “gun violence.” They want to push ahead to get rid of personal firearms, especially those that are the most effective at fighting a tyrannical government.

        As for the concern about suicides – I’m not buyin’ it until I see Bloomberg’s money buying large ads to advocate fences on top of tall buildings or background checks to purchase a rope.

  1. So, let me get this straight.

    We have to ban “assault weapons’ so people won’t commit suicide? Because the only purpose of an assault weapon is to commit as many suicides as possible in a short period of time? Is that it?

    Wow.

    • France has a higher suicide rate and more causalities from massive shooting than the United States, so it must be those lax gun laws.

      • Or South Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, Switzerland, etc. Countries with low crime rates, a high standard of living, and no carry permits for normal citizens. (Source: Suicide.org)

  2. I live in MA. I give the liberals about a week before the newspaper/online editorials start getting filled up with suicide prevention/gun violence articles. Then the usual suspects arrive with handy dandy charts and graphs that prove whatever point it is they are trying to make. Yawn. Same charts and graphs, different day.

  3. Suicide rates tend to be fairly constant. This is due to the phenomenon of means substitution where in people choose whatever effective means available to them. If they don’t have guns they will use rope bridges trains or pesticide.
    On a final note the US has a relatively low rate of suicide.

    • We also have a virtually identical suicide rate to England, where private ownership of firearms is heavily restricted.

  4. Did “pennebaker” listen to what she said. Her mother killed herself because of lax gun laws. So because it was easy to get a gun it compelled her to kill herself. As if the inanimate object drove her to it. Thats like saying because a noose is easy to tie I’m going to hang myself. Or hey there is a window open on the 15th floor now I’m going to jump out. I have found many poeple pick up a knife of mine and say “wow you can really do some damge to somebody with this”. I promptly take back the knife because the first thing on their mind is harming someone. I think hoplophobs are the same. That their impulse is to destroy and that they cannot control themselves.

  5. How about this? I bet Bloomberg wishes Robin Williams had committed suicide by firearm, to further the case of gun control. By his logic, if ropes and sharp objects were bannned, Williams would still be alive.

    Blaming guns for suicide is like blaming spoons for making people fat. People always find a way.

  6. I worked indoor firearms rang from 1990 to 1998 in all place in California went out business . After 8 years work at that firearms rang they had four death buy firearms suicide. What learn if some one want kills them self bad enough all but impossible stop them. First suicide buy firearms I personal had deal with older man who rent .Three handguns Glock 17 Browning Hi Power Sig 226 wait firearms rang was empty shot him self in head was quite dead before any one knew it., Being last that person see that guy alive I can tell at no point did make any action that let me know going do that. Second was young pregnant Japaneses women who was afraid face here family when she went back Japan because was marry when she got pregnant guy was Japaneses. So she went rent Smith Wesson 686 357 mag revolver did even wait she on rang when she killed her self as she walk on rang I was glade work that day see that. Than there was navy sailor who rent 1911 45acp handgun put in his mouth blew back head off with that handgun. If work at indoor gun rang long enough some thing like events above can well happen not saying there not rang that do not have these event happen but there many that do have type these events happen. All same people who did kill self in indoor firearms rang where I worked at time would have try kill them with or with out firearm. That firearms rang that work was called Shooters Emporium Escondido CA witch come and gone.

      • Ya know, MurrDog, I tend to laugh at comments like yours when they’re directed at someone who is being an ass or not contributing to the discussion. In this case, John had something relevant and important to say, and you were the ass.

      • That firearms rang closed do fact owner bought semi auto Ak47 rifles from Arizona from people he trust would sell them semi auto friendly state at time during great unfriendly assault rifle ban back than. The people he trust instead took those Ak47 rifles Mexico instead sold them drug runners down there. Sure enough when rifles where recover they where trace right back to owner firearms rang witch was my boss at time. The people he trust become star witness for ATF who finger him as master mind even after fact that he did sell those rifles to drug dealer they did they did get prosecute for that. Sad part story Murrdog my boss owner firearms rang killed him self swallowing handful sleeping pills right after ATF gave him altamadem roll over on your friends in firearms industry work for us or spend rest your life in federal prison. He wrote ATF you win note than killed him self.

  7. Again the Bloomies try to shift the focus away from mental health to further their agenda. From my years (14) of experience someone usually has a mental illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or severe anxiety), a substance use disorder, or significant pain (also causes depression) prior to suicide. Suicide has very little to do with the available tool.

  8. Is it that maybe some people are just insensitive, or don’t care if how you choose to kill yourself?? If gang bangers kill each other?? Nah…….I didn’t read it that way at all. If you take away all the implements that could be used to kill.
    There wont be much left for us to fix things with.
    So all these unnamed implements except my guns have got to banned………for the children right??

  9. I had a cousin who hung him self with his underwear. While in Jail. I don’t see how these people are going to weed out the truly motivated suicidal people through gun control measures.

  10. This isn’t a new thing, gun control advocates have been saying this for years, its just hard to argue against it because studies show this is likely true. There’s a lot of research that shows suicide is a crisis oriented and acute situation, and that if the person survives their suicide attempt they are MUCH less likely to try again (because the crisis has passed, etc.) Guns are an extremely effective method of suicide so it’s pretty well established that if fewer people had access to guns, there would be a significant reduction in suicide deaths, only because the initial success rate would fall fairly dramatically. Doesn’t make guns good or bad, it just is what it is. If it sounds like a new argument, it’s probably just because it’s an argument that gun rights activists have avoided because it’s not really one we’re going to win. The better argument is that this simply supports better efforts at suicide awareness and intervention, and that ultimately you can’t ban something simply because some people may abuse it (which is another reason gun rights advocates should be advocating for marijuana legalization, if only from an ideological consistency basis).

    • Except that none of these studies take into account the substitution effect. It’s highly possible that a more effective method would take its placing rendering the gun removal part moot.

    • CB, the argument positing the unacceptably high effectiveness of a handgun as a means of suicide omits the most obvious analysis, one with which the Japanese are very familiar:

      It is likely that determined would-be suicides in the US seek out a gun, for example renting one at a gun range or borrowing one from a relative, or stealing one, or buying one. Those less absolute in their decision, commitment, may well seek a less certain, less loud, and less bloody solution, such as carbon monoxide.

      We can expect that upon the tight restriction of gun availability that “most determined” fraction of would-be suicides will seek out other proven highly effective means, such as jumping in front of a high-speed train or tractor trailer. In Japan trains are the favored means.

      So no, we gun rights supporters have not been avoiding the issue, and yes, we do have an answer for the “but guns are so effective!” crowd.

    • After working in mental health, a 900 bed inpatient hospital, your assertion about the “crisis” passing and a person being far less likely to try again is incorrect. Might a few suicides be stopped? Yes, but only a very few. It is far more common when a person fails there will be a delay, a wait period, then they try again, and again.

      Your argument is an opinion and not fact. There are too many variables to prove out. To test you’ll be testing whether someone manages to kill themselves or not if you provide them a firearm. It’s all conjecture.

      • It’s not “my” assertion, it’s simply the results of many studies done on the subject. I’d also add that the manner and rate of suicides in other countries are irrelevant to the hypothesis that decreasing availability of guns would decrease the overall suicide rate.

    • “and that if the person survives their suicide attempt they are MUCH less likely to try again”

      That is silly on it’s face. “Less likely” than what? Less likely to attempt suicide than a person who has never attempted suicide before? I don’t think so. Less likely than their cousin? What is that ridiculous claim even supposed to MEAN?

  11. A quick look at Wikipedia puts USA at 50th in world in suicide rates and Australia at 65th
    Every so often the antis here try to blame easy access to guns for a this. As all of Australia now has a minimum 28 days waiting for a first time buyer I’m not sure how this can be a sudden impulse

  12. Maybe Mother Pennebaker killed herself because of her daughter. It wouldn’t be the first time that a parent did so. It won’t be the last.

    • “Suicide is Painless.
      I never liked MASH very much as I actually knew people who were on the front lines of Korea and most of the deaths were not because of suicide. Most people were actually trying to stay alive. I am sure that most of the front line people would have traded places with the REMF people.

  13. They should just call it pro choice suicide. Just like abortion but for themselves. Then the democrats will be all about a gun in every house.

    • It really does make sense to say that a person has a greater right to be pro-choice as to their own life, than to be pro-choice about killing the almost-born other person.

      • than to be pro-choice about killing the almost-born other person who has no say in the matter.
        I can deal with being pro-suicide easier than being pro-abortion.

    • I wouldn’t say I’m “pro suicide”, but I do believe that sovereignty over your own “person” includes the right to decide when to end your own life.

  14. Funny how this topic comes up, and here in Oregon LC 250 is being sent up the channels as an “emergency” bill like SB 941. The same folks that brought us that gem now want an anonymous penalty free way to report anyone, without proof, so that you can be blocked from purchasing firearms. The kicker is that if you find yourself on the list, it’s your burden to prove against the claim, which you can’t know anything about, at your dime.

  15. Abortion I’d legal, end of life termination gaining acceptance, do we have the right to interfere with self termination?

    • I don’t think we do, no. I consider suicide a fundamental human right, rooted in the idea that an individual’s life and their body are their property.

      It doesn’t matter that many people that attempt suicide and fail later come to regret their attempt; it doesn’t matter that it’s often extremely selfish, that it can have a profound impact on the lives of people besides the person committing suicide, that it can be a spur of the moment decision, or that the things that drive a person to do it are sometimes fixable and may get better with time.

      If you feel the need to use those arguments in an attempt to dissuade a suicidal individual from following through with their intentions, by all means, be my guest. That is your prerogative as much as killing themselves is theirs. However, I find the idea of attempting to stop them by any other means, should your arguments leave them unconvinced, to be morally bankrupt. This decision is the sole responsibility of the person whose life is in question, even if it turns out to be a mistake. People are allowed to make those; sometimes they’re fatal.

      • Well, it’s one of our big bugaboos on this site, but I have to support an exception for the children. I have gotten entangled with 3 children committing suicide, and it really hurts. An adult, fine, but I’m talking about the oldest was a beautiful 15-year-old daughter of a friend from high school, who put a bullet in her brain which killed her after 40 years as a vegetable, and her little brother of 12 who hung himself a week later. There is nothing a kid that age could have experienced that wouldn’t be forgotten 20 years later. The 3rd was much later, a 12-year-old girl who had attempted several times before, whose mother was a wonderful lady and doing her damnedest to keep the child safe, she was in custody in an institution after a previous attempt when she found a way to hang herself. If we could find a way to stop suicides before the age of, say, 25, we should do so. After that, you’re good to go, but kids just cannot understand how hugely their lives could change in a couple years.

        • Children are a special case. A lot of research indicates that the human brain isn’t fully developed until at least the mid 20s, and young (preteen) children definitely don’t have the ability to fully understand the ramifications of making a decision to kill themselves. Teenagers may understand, but, as you mentioned, often they aren’t really capable of keeping things in perspective.

          That said, I think this may create the potential for a logical inconsistency. Specifically, what do you do with say, children that have terminal leukemia or another fatal disease? I’ve watched people die in hospital; it’s not something that I would consider humane in the slightest. Do you make an 8 year old child suffer through an inhumane death because they’re ostensibly not mature enough to decide an appropriate time to end their lives? Do you let the parents decide? Do you make an exception and let them decide?

          If you let the parents decide, how do you reconcile that with the fact that the child’s life is its property? I can make a logically sound case for abortion (not that everyone will agree with it, just that it’s consistent with my belief that an individual’s life is their property) up to the moment of birth; making one that justifies parental control over euthanasia is harder.

          If you make an exception and let the child decide, how do you justify it? Is it simply a matter of making a value judgement where something like terminal cancer is sufficiently bad to allow the child to make such a decision whereas something like clinical depression is not? What if the child could have lived another year and a gene therapy that turns out to cure the type of cancer they had enters clinical trials three weeks after they commit suicide? Unlikely, certainly, but it’s possible that even terminal cancer… isn’t.

          Personally, my inclination is to say that if a child has a terminal illness with no realistic chance of a cure, an exception should be made and they should be allowed to decide this for themselves, hopefully with help from their families. If whatever is making them suicidal isn’t terminal, they get to suffer through whatever it is because they’re not old enough or mature enough to make a rational decision. Then we just chalk up the very rare cases where it ends up that a terminal child that ended their own life could possibly have been cured to “life isn’t fair and the universe isn’t a nice place.”

          I do think that there needs to be a single age of majority that encompasses everything, though. Make it 18, 16, 21, whatever, I don’t really care. But there needs to be a single delineating line between adulthood and childhood, for legal purposes, above which you have all the rights and privileges of an adult-including suicide-and below which you do not. It’s irrational to do things like try a 14 year old as an adult for murder on the one hand while saying you’re not mature enough to buy alcohol until the age of 21 on the other. Either you’re an adult or you’re not.

    • Funny that the typical anti is for single payer healthcare which I believe if given the chance to run it’s course will promote euthanasia.

      • Some people with terminal cancer would probably be better off going to the Vet than the hospital. My Malamute died a much better death than my Mom.

    • Thanks to OBDII (1996 and newer cars) a properly maintained vehicle with no check engine light codes will run out of gas before it will displace enough oxygen to kill.

    • Only person I ever knew who committed suicide used a running car in a closed garage.
      Yes.
      Or pills.
      Laying in a cold creek did not work well for my neighbor.
      Some people who commit suicide had terminal cancer.
      Suicide is means independent.

    • We can only hope. But isn’t it fascinating how the new talking point, never heard of before yesterday, is absolutely everywhere, today? In almost the exact same words? If that does not clarify that someone is deliberately pushing an otherwise inconsequential agenda, complete with published talking points, you have your eyes closed.

  16. If someone brings the suicide angle, I will be sure to ask a question about assisted suicide laws being promoted by liberals in Oregon and other states.

  17. Japan has outlawed guns, and, as a result, has an extremely low homicide rate.
    But, he continues, “Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, nearly twice the U.S. rate.”
    See, Japan should be the new model for the USA when it concerns suicide prevention. Progressives need to adopt the Japanese philosophy and technique of shippoku immediately.

  18. Sure. We should raise our voices to join the chorus against suicide.

    “Waaay more white people are dying by suicide.”
    “Suicide is a scourge among whites.”
    “Whites are x more likely to die by suicide.”
    “We need a lot of outreach on this problem in the white communities.”
    “We need to raise awareness of this issue.”
    “White Lives Matter. Stop Suicide.”

    Enough quotes like that out of pro-gun quarters, every time the issue comes up, and maybe threaten a PR campaign or two…

    …and the leftists will drop this issue and never speak of it again.

  19. I have worked in the MH and Crim Justice field for 30 years (good God am I that old?) I have seen all types of suicide, and if they are intent on the act they will do it regardless of guns. From barbiturates and plastic bags to razors, ropes and guns. Suicide will be a constant regardless of the access to guns. And do not think a gun is the most terminal. I have seen a person blow off half their face and survive.

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