D.C. McAllister (courtesy thefederalist.com)

“Ultimately, government would have to ban everything to prevent suicide—cars, cliffs, water, you name it. Instead, we must realize that the means to kill ourselves are not really the problem—the grief that causes us to think suicide an appealing option is.” D.C. McAllister in No, Goldie Taylor, Gun Control Won’t Reduce Suicide [via thefederalist.com]

[h/t MK]

84 Responses to Quote of the Day: The Depressing Truth About Guns and Suicide

  1. Unfortunately, the current political climate will force gun owners suffering from said grief to avoid treatment for fear of being banned for life.

    • That’s bullshit, and extremely selfish if you really believe it.

      I am a passionate defender of my 2A protected rights, I will do anything in my means to defend my family from someone who wishes to do them harm, and hunting is one of the few activities that keeps me on an even keel.

      That all said, I would give all of that up in a heartbeat if it meant the difference between me getting the treatment required to keep me healthy and keep me around as the father to my children and husband to my wife as opposed to trying to white knuckle my way through depression so that they don’t take my guns away.

      So no, I wont fistbump this or +1 or like or anything, not getting help because it is inconvenient or requires sacrifice is lazy and selfish.

      I’d rather take my chances figuring out how to get my guns back once the ship is upright again, rather than taking the risk of the all too predictable outcome of struggling in silence with depression or mental health issues.

      • Well, that’s you. Good for you.

        But, the statement made was what is happening, even now. People are refusing treatment for various mental health challenges for exactly this (and similar) reasons.

        Or, have you missed what is going on with the VA?

        • I am aware of what is happening… I am just calling it like I see it. Not getting help because it requires personal sacrifice is lazy and selfish. Doesn’t matter if the decision involves guns or anything else.

      • Tex300BLK, While I completely understand your argument in the abstract, the reality is, well, reality.

        Faced with the reality of not only never getting your guns back, and not being ever able to purchase another, I’m pretty sure of the choice that will get made. I applaud you for wanting to do the right thing, which I would hope to be transferring to a friend/relative. So at least they get your guns.

        Perhaps you don’t appreciate the severity of this, perhaps you do. Bottom line, darn near any interaction at all with a mental health professional will bar you from owning guns. In the (very) near future any mental health issue whatsoever will have the PD over to your house, coming for the guns. CA is almost there (they wait for a judge, but that won’t last).

      • Hey Tex300BLK,

        I understand your sentiment about getting the help you need, however, you say this: “…I will do anything in my means to defend my family from someone who wishes to do them harm…”

        If you do seek treatment and are thereby disarmed, you have just surrendered one of your best means with which to defend your family. And that would be merely because the government has decided that anyone, who, at any point in their life, just needed a little help to get over a rough time, would no longer be eligible to purchase, own or possess a firearm.

        • If someone puts a bullet in their brain because they were too arrogant/selfish to get help then it doesn’t really matter does it?

          Its all about managing risk. We (people of the gun) carry guns as a means of self defense, not because there is danger lurking around every corner, but to tilt the odds in our favor. However, if you struggle with mental health issues/depression you have to re-evaluate that risk. The odds of getting shot to death assuming all 30k firearms related deaths in this country are bad guys shooting good guys thats only 0.09% chance. Each person has to weigh their risks and make their own decisions.

        • “If someone puts a bullet in their brain because they were too arrogant/selfish”

          That statement itself is pretty harsh considering depression (and a whole host of other reasons someone might consider suicide or seek help) is generally a person not thinking as a “healthy” person would.

          If the cultural reaction to them even considering suicide as a solution to their problems (real or perceived) is how you are reacting, is it any wonder people are hesitant to talk about it?

          Maybe consider walking a mile in a man’s shoes, even if just in your imagination, before being quite so one-dimensional in your thinking.

        • Before you criticize, walk a mile in the other person’s shoes. Then, when you criticize, you are a mile away, and….you have their shoes !

          Leave suicidal people alone. They know best how to conduct their lives. If they reason that the best option going forward is to no longer participate, who are we to judge? Guns are a messy means, and we have no moral obligation to make guns easily available for people seeking to check-out, but guns do provide a service to the departing. Let them go, is it really compassionate to tell them that MAYBE things will work out one day? (when we don’t know if that is even possible).

      • That’s bullshit, and extremely selfish if you really believe it.

        It’s not bullshit. This is happening. Some people enjoy their guns and shooting sports, and if they get mental help, they can’t even enjoy that anymore.

        It may be selfish to risk your life in order to keep your guns, but certainly not to believe others would do so. I am in agreement with the article in that taking people’s guns away absolutely will not stop suicide and thus disagree with the premise that their guns should be confiscated. Why blow your brains all over the wall when you can take a nap in the garage with your car running, etc. Go buy a nitrogen bottle or an argon bottle from the weld shop. Go into your car or a small room and open it up. Get sleepy and take a little nap. No reason to make a big mess for the cops and your family to clean and lament over.

        If you really wanted to go out in a real bang you could do something similar to what “Anaxis” describes here:
        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/01/robert-farago/question-of-the-day-what-kind-of-firearms-related-send-off-would-you-like/#comment-2429151

        There is no reason not to fistbump Peirson for stating this occurrence. He never stated he agreed with it – only that it was happening. Come on. We need this fistbump. Give him a fistbump.

        • I realize that it isn’t immediately clear, I meant using that as an excuse for not getting help is BS not the fact that it is actually happening.

          I never said that taking people’s guns away actually helps them. I said that being so afraid that someone might take your guns away that you refuse to get help is at the very least shortsighted.

      • False dichotomy/False dilemma.

        The point of this piece is that you shouldn’t have to choose. The only reason your either/or scenario exists is because State Governments are enforcing criminal/illegal statutes.

      • You’re assuming continued rational thought if you were ever in a mental state leading to you being suicidal. This suggests a limited, at best, understanding of how mentally ill brains work (or rather, don’t).

      • Like the man said,”good for you”.I happen to have a different opinion,My life is my life and if I decide to do away with myself,I’ll do just that,I don’t need the government or anyone else trying to control or manipulate “my” life.Suicide is not necessarily an insane or selfish act. If I were a miserable human being and didn’t see any other way out,I would consider suicide,if I were looking at a long stretch in prison,I would consider suicide,If I had a terminal disease and the doc said I had months or weeks to live,I would consider suicide.What I would consider selfish is someone wanting you to hang around so they wouldn’t be miserable.If I had family,and I won’t say if I do or not,they would just have to deal with it,they would have a home paid for and a fat insurance policy.Other people’s civil rights trump my minuscule life and that’s the way it should be.Everybody is going to die sooner or later and if push comes to shove,I’ll decide what’s best for “my” life.

      • That’s pretty pathetic, but it only shows that you don’t have any real idea about “mental health.” Most of it is the product of the brainwashing that produces all the tyranny we face, not something inevitable. And the modern western medical model of “treatment” for any sort of mental or emotional problem that does develop is probably the worst. There are healthy and natural alternatives that don’t involve becoming a second or third class citizen, and doped up on the “approved” drugs either.

        Do some study of actual “mental health” and the horrific results of so much of the “therapy” being given for it. I am a retired health care professional, with extensive background in “mental health,” and I wouldn’t see a psychiatrist or submit myself to the system if I had a gun to my head.

        But that is a purely personal decision, of course. Each one of us must make up his/her own mind and do what they think is right for them. The problem comes when they want to decide for everyone else as well.

    • It goes farther than that in some states. A friend of mine was involved in a car accident in rural Illinois. He was admitted to the hospital following the ER visit. The only problem was that the hospital was a small hospital and didn’t have any free medical beds. They put him in a psych bed until a medical bed became available. Flash forward a month later. Illinois state police send a letter that his FOID is revoked. He transfers all firearms to local family members the next day. Cook county sheriff’s police come to the house with a warrant within 48 hours of his receipt of the letter from ISP. That was two years ago and he is out $24,000 paying for a psychological evaluation and lawyer fees with the case still in appeal.

  2. The thing is, banning firearms outright would certainly reduce the number of suicides per year. There are certainly a multitude of ways to kill yourself, but few are as easy and effective as a bullet or some buckshot to the head. Very few suicide attempts with firearms fail whereas many suicide attempts by other means fail. People often vomit when trying to poison themselves for example. However, that doesn’t justify banning guns. It justifies family members and friends looking out for one another and removing means when necessary, and it justifies better access to mental health care and ideally less stigma about mental health crisis.

    • Japan has a higher suicide rate than the US and no civil gun ownership; how do you reckon that given your first sentence?

      People who fail at suicide, with a few rare exception, didn’t actually want to kill themselves; it was just a cry for help.

      • The abrupt stop at the end of a long fall is really bad for the soft parts of humans. Lots of skyscrapers/ high rise apartments in Japan. You do the math.

        But that misses the point that the original poster was trying to make. Family should be looking out for family, friends for friends etc. We cannot argue that guns are the most effective tool for self defense or stopping a threat and then suddenly act like “oh well gee they are no more dangerous than cars/hammers/poison/bombs etc etc etc.” when presented with the tragic evidence of their misuse. Which is it? I hate it when firearms owners/advocates assign some duality to guns where they are “the most effective way to end a lethal threat” when it serves our own purpose, but “just a tool” when misused. Why not instead acknowledge them for what they are (firearms are the result of nearly obsessive development over centuries born out of man’s desire to more effectively impale each other with sharp objects), but then move beyond that and talk about why a teenager decides swallowing a hollow point was the only choice left to them.

        People chose to kill themselves with guns not because guns are evil or somehow entice us to do harm, but because they are brutally effective and there is very little opportunity to have second thoughts once you pull the trigger. That doesnt mean we should ban them or more closely regulate them, but if a kid survives trying to OD on pain meds the first thought shouldnt be, “oh thank God they didnt have a gun” it should be “what the hell got them to the point where this was the only option, and how did we (their family/friends etc) not see what was going on?”

        • “We cannot argue that guns are the most effective tool for self defense or stopping a threat and then suddenly act like “oh well gee they are no more dangerous than cars/hammers/poison/bombs etc etc etc.” when presented with the tragic evidence of their misuse. Which is it?”

          False dichotomy, a gun is a tool. An effective one for self-defense and it is no more dangerous than anything else, used properly.

          And the Japanese don’t generally throw themselves off buildings. They step in front of trains, jump off mountains, poison themselves, and a host of others. Building jumping is pretty low in popularity, last study I read.

        • Go back and read the whole post, I think we are in agreement on the high level points, ie. lets treat the underlying cause rather than blaming the method used.

          However, I take issue with the fact that an overwhelming majority of gun owners will talk all day long about how a gun is the most effective tool for self defense, but then try and deflect away from the issue when presented with the tragic examples of the misuse of the tool.

          The fact is, many things can be lethal when used with the intention of causing harm, but you (or at least I) don’t carry around a sharp stick a hammer or a bottle of prozac for self defense. So yes, don’t blame the tool, but don’t turn around and act like the tool is not suddenly less effective when it doesn’t suit your personal narrative.

        • Tex300Blk, I guess I’m not sure where it is you’re going. A firearm is a great tool for taking a life – yours or that of someone else. And? I’m not wafflin’ on that, and I don’t know anyone who does. It is still merely a tool.

          That it is available does not change suicide rates – people who use a gun aren’t ‘crying out for help’ – they’ve made the decision and want to make damned sure it works the first time. No gun? They’ll jump off a building, step in front of a bus, whatever.

          I guess I’m just not sure where you’re making an argument – there really isn’t anything contradictory contained in the post. Yup, people kill themselves with guns. So what? It’s better than some deaths, worse than others, but really, dead is dead. I don’t see the problem, or really what it even has to do with guns.

          Suicide is cultural and, occasionally, groupthink. The means is irrelevant, if you have the motivation, you will always find a means.

      • “People who fail at suicide, with a few rare exception, didn’t actually want to kill themselves; it was just a cry for help.”

        And how many firearm suicide failures compared to other means? A gun is designed to efficiently dispatch living creatures and a half-hearted suicide attempt with a gun will likely me more successful than on with a knife, a rope, pills, etc.

        • “A gun is designed to efficiently dispatch living creatures”

          More crap. Do you ever stop?

          A gun is designed to launch a projectile. That’s all it is designed to do. Stop giving guns agency and ability beyond what they are.

          There is nothing ‘efficient’ about dispatching living creatures in the design. In fact, if you actually knew anything about hunting, self defense or warfare, you’d know that the lion’s share of “killing efficiency” is on the BULLET design, and not the gun itself.

          I have investigated numerous suicides, and dealt with it directly in family and friends…suicides with firearm, rope, pills and other methods. It is the will of the human involved that “causes” suicide, and nothing in the “tool” makes it more or less efficient.

        • Dave: So, your argument is that by banning guns there will be less successful suicides?

          Basically, I cannot have a gun because the lack of guns might create more incompetence with suicide attempts.

          Weak argument, friend. I’m not beholden to adjust my life or rights based on someone giving up on theirs.

        • “People who fail at suicide, with a few rare exception, didn’t actually want to kill themselves; it was just a cry for help.”

          I totally agree with this. A person knows that a bullet to the brain will kill them. If that is their means they are absolutely serious about making it all end – not getting attention. Taking a gun from them absolutely will not stop them from killing themselves. They could eat a tablespoon of dry cinnamon, sit in their garage with the car running, open a bottle of nitrogen or argon from the welding shop in a small room or in their car, a tiny cut to the wrist in the bathtub. There is an endless multitude of methods to achieve it.

          And how many firearm suicide failures compared to other means? A gun is designed to efficiently dispatch living creatures and a half-hearted suicide attempt with a gun will likely me more successful than on with a knife, a rope, pills, etc.

          What is a half-hearted suicide attempt with a gun? Shoot yourself in the brain and you die. Super effective – not half hearted. Anyone who thinks they can survive a bullet through the brain is a moron of the nth degree. Moreover, if a person is serious about it, using a knife or a rope, or a belt, etc is equally effective.

        • Agree.

          People are sovereign in their decisions about their lives. Why do we waste so much time trying to prevent people from removing themselves? Unless we all tacitly agree that the individual is not sovereign in their lives, and the collective has greater call on their usefulness to the hive.

      • There odd one exception (seemingly) that I’m aware of. People jumping from bridges sometimes survive against the odds and from what I’ve read when this happens, someone serious about suicide can change their mind on the matter. However I’ve not read any detailed research on it, just from the accounts of people who have, and I would consider a bridge jumper to be serious about ending it.

        But for the most part I agree.

        • There’s a lot of research on this actually, a Google search will turn most of it up. Basically it shows that suicide is a crisis oriented and acute situation, which means 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 everyday 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.

        • Suicide for some is a ‘permanent solution to a temporary problem’. But I’m afraid what you’re looking at is people who didn’t really want to die in those studies – hence why they’re back again, to sell that story.

          You are making a huge (fallacious) assumption – that people who actually succeed in killing themselves, are the same pathetic attention seekers that the “survivors” are. They aren’t.

          Which puts all that “data” where it belongs, in the rubbish bin.

        • That “cry for help” crap is psycho-babble from the ’60s. Suicidal people do not think like that. They have an altered reality where departure is THE only logical, rational decision/action. While it may be nice and touchy-feely to believe those “crying for help” will be cured by talk therapy or a big hug, fact is we are seeing next to nothing about the number of people who go on to succeed after being rescued earlier.

          Don’t fall for liberal/left-wing eyewash. Our culture has lost the ability to successfully cope with adversity, believing that inconvenience is an anomaly to be avoided or fixed by government.

          Just like people who are chain smokers in spite of decades of easily available (if not just pushed in your face) medical proof that cigarettes are killers, suiciders are not ignorant of all the help available through hundreds of outreach efforts, everywhere. Let them go.

        • “so it’s pretty well established that if fewer everyday people had access to guns, there would be a significant reduction in suicide deaths only because the initial success rate would fall fairly dramatically. “

          Japan called, and she begs to differ with your non-factual statement that reduction in access to guns leads to reduction in suicide deaths.

          It’s a nice hypothesis; however, it does not stand against the evidence.

    • “…There are certainly a multitude of ways to kill yourself, but few are as easy…”

      Right. Because the decision to end your own life is so easy.

      • …few are as easy and effective as a bullet or some buckshot to the head…

        I don’t doubt that a gun would certainly work effectively. But who would want to use it?? A gun is a amazingly messy method. A closed casket method. It is not known what you feel with half your brain on the wall and half your brain still in your head while you bleed out and jiggle around on the floor. It is not an ideal method at all in my opinion.

        Inert gas asphyxiation. A noble or inert odorless, tasteless gas released in large quantities in a small room. You get sleepy and pass out and never wake up. There you go suiciders – don’t make a mess with a gun.

        • Go to your local welding supply store.

          Pay the deposit on a cylinder of Argon, Helium, etc.

          Plastic bag and a rubber band and off you go…

    • For those wanting a 99.9% guarantee of success taking away the gun only changes where and how they kill themselves. For those dedicated to dying as swiftly and with as little pain as possible using a gun gives them a fairly intimate way to do it that (other than the cleanup and grief of loss) hurts nobody. Take that away and you are left with things like stepping in front of a train, driving your car the wrong way up the freeway into a bus, jumping off a tall building, etc. These all have a very high chance of instant death with little to no suffering. Know what else they have? A near guaranteed need for psychiatric help for the unfortunate train conductor/bus driver/dog walker who now suffer from a form of PTSD because they were forced to be party to or witness to their catastrophic and messy death.

      While I am not condoning suicide using a gun or any other means, suicide using a gun is much better for everybody than other commonly available methods that meet the instant/painless requirements. Taking away the tool does not stop the person. It just redirects them. Make sure the alternate paths aren’t worse.

      • So, by your logic, the data about female suicides should fit your thesis, right?

        Only it doesn’t.

        Your entire statement is based on incorrect beliefs about suicide.

        Actually, in 2014, less than 1/2 of suicides (both sexes) are committed by firearm. So, literally over half the people killing themselves didn’t get your memo regarding how they “should” be doing it.

        Data: https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures

        Looking at 2001, 2012 and 2014 data, there seems to be a trend of firearm suicide decreasing as a percentage.

        • As gun ownership has increased, interesting. Did you trip over the trend ing three overall suicide rate during the same period?

        • I think you misunderstand the point I was making. Disregarding statistics entirely there are people who choose suicide using a gun because it is quick, painless and can be done in private. Whatever portion of any statistic that is, those who choose suicide in a quick and painless way will still find a way. The point of the post was that the newly found way may very well be an unintended increase in public suicides. Suicides that have a profound impact on the people who end up involved through no fault of their own.

          I didn’t bother looking up statistics because they were not relevant to the context. You are correct though if that was the point I was trying to relay.

        • “Disregarding statistics entirely there are people who choose suicide using a gun because it is quick, painless and can be done in private.”

          Those criteria are not unique to firearms.

          Still, though, the whole discussion…your point…is focused on the method rather than the underlying motivation.

          A suicidal person will find a way, and the rational “rules” to the decision making process simply may not apply to someone so motivated. Take their gun, they will use something else. It simply has no bearing on the decision, or there would be no “non-gun” suicides (or very few). That’s why that “Statistics” matter: because those numbers convey information about what is happening.

          I’m sensing a WHOLE lot of lack of understanding of suicidal psychology here in this comment section. Not that I’m extra-knowledgeable on the subject myself, but I do recognize that one simply cannot measure a depressed (or otherwised suicidal) person through the same lens as someone looking at life non-depressed.

        • “As gun ownership has increased, interesting. Did you trip over the trend ing three overall suicide rate during the same period?”

          ???

          Sorry. I’m not parsing that correctly. Not sure what you are asking.

          What I noticed from the data:

          (1) Total suicide rate is increasing.

          (2) Percentage of suicides that used a firearm is decreasing.

          Further, there is also no correlation found in studies (*) that analyze rates of gun ownership to suicide rates. So, data suggest that attacking gun availability as a bogeyman in “the suicide problem” is very much a red herring.

          (*) Thanks to Jason’s post below:

          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2016/01/robert-farago/quote-of-the-day-the-depressing-truth-about-guns-and-suicide/#comment-2431119

        • If the mentality remains the same and one method is removed a different method will simply be used. If the method removed is a private one an unintended consequence will likely be an increase in the use of public methods.

        • “If the mentality remains the same and one method is removed a different method will simply be used.”

          We agree.

          I only assert that you “should have” stopped there. The rest of the comment is, so far as I have observed, irrelevant in the real world of “suicides.” I’ve seen people shot, od, hung and others.

          I’m not convinced that in many cases they give “method” much thought. Well, some seem to, but that cuts both ways. For example, some seemed to not want their kid/wife/whatever to find them; others did and did so in as splashy way as possible.

          There are trends in the “method” data, but nothing that I’ve seen that indicates method is much beyond some simple rationalizing, not deep though and planning in most cases.

          I maintain “method of suicide” as a gun control topic is a HUGE red herring; the anti’s will focus on the firearm rather than the will of the suicidal person, just like they do in every other area they think they can make the case “guns are bad.”

          So, my point is let’s not even let them set the narrative by entertaining which methods “work” or are more “efficient” or whatever. Let’s take the discussion back to “the real world,” and force any discussion on suicide to be a “human will” discussion rather than a “method” one.

          Don’t give ’em ‘air time,’ in other words.

    • There are plenty of other methods with about the same success rate. Cyanide, jumping in front of a train, jumping from height and hanging are right up there with gunshots.

  3. Sometimes suicide is called “euthanasia” and is a perfectly rational response to a terminal illness. I suspect that the many of the older white males included in the suicide statistics are just doing their last bit to take care of their families and prevent the “healthcare” industrial complex from consuming all the assets that they had built up over the years to provide for their children.

  4. Here illustrates the concept of useful body count. If you kill yourself with an implement other than a gun, the antis don’t care. The demanding mommies, nanny billionaire, opportunistic couple milking her trauma for personal gain, and cornucopia of initialed coalition; they’re nowhere on suicide prevention. They’re only about the gun.

    Asphyxiate yourself, fine. Intentionally OD on meds, yawn. Lie on the train tracks, boring. Shoot yourself in the head, that damned 2nd Amendment, gun lobby, and gun nuts. We must “do something”.

  5. I would think the Progressives would be just fine with suicide.

    As one ages, medical costs skyrocket. Severely depressed people can be less productive, making them a burden on society. Save the money to treat the young.

    That 70’s movie ‘Logan’s Run (1976)’, where everybody voluntarily ‘renews’ at age 30 should have been a ‘Statist Utopia’…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan's_Run_%28film%29

    • They’ll get there.

      When human life itself is subject to social utility arguments, such as many of those made pro-abortion and of course the details underlying Obamacare, the Proggies will see suicide as both useful and desirable….THEN they’ll push for “a law.”

      We are in essence repeating the German Eugenics program from the 1930’s, just spreading the ‘argument’ over a few decades rather than a couple of years.

  6. Preventer of Suicides??? Fdat.
    I don’t give a rat’s a _ _ if it’ll cure cancer, hairlip, baldness, foot fungus and bad breath, gun-control goes against the only known cure for facism, despotism, communism, liberalism, progressivism, and generic evils.

    • The only reason someone has the time and opportunity to consider suicide, is that someone isn’t immediately in hot pursuit of them and beating them to within an inch of their life. Maybe then they’d fight for it.

  7. If someone wants to smoke themselves, I say, go for it.

    As a society we have way more pressing issues than worrying about people who do not want to be part of society anymore, given they don’t want to take people with, which most do not.

    • Ah, but to the Collectivist, it sounds like a good idea to keep everyone around. Gotta have worker-bees, right? And taxpayers.

  8. Having a close family member who committed suicide, I am quite familiar with this subject. Sure, it is easy to commit suicide with a gun, but it is just as easy with other means. Some people choose methods to give fate a chance to save them, such as poison or small slits in the wrist. People who are serious about committing suicide use methods that are more effective, such as guns or jumping off a tall building. If they are committed to suicide, they will do their research. In Britain, they banned the purchase of Ibuprofen in large quantities because people were using Ibuprofen and alcohol to commit suicide. When a British guy proudly stated to me that Britain is better than the US for this law, I asked him what do people in his country now use to commit suicide, and that ended the debate right there. My relative used a vacuum hose connected to the exhaust pipe of a truck, fed the pipe into the cab of the truck, and breathed her last. She wanted it, and there was nothing anyone could have done to stop her. She planned every last detail including the effectiveness of the method. No cries for help, because she didn’t want help. Should we ban vacuum hoses, and trucks? How about the other items used in suicide such as rope, water, medications, sharp objects like knives, scissors, and sharp rocks, tall buildings, or whatever? As far as I know, there is only one kind of place where all instruments commonly used to commit suicide are highly restricted in America, and that is prison or institutions that operate like prisons. Is that how we want to live? Not me. I would rather die than live my life in a prison.

  9. Simple stats: UK, France or even worst with Japan (that have very restrictive gun laws) have a suicide rate per capita that is higher than the US…

    • Sort of. The UK’s rate is lower than the US’s rate ..but France and Japan ares notoriously bad among westernized nations. I’d wager that that rate would be even higher if more of those failed attempts had been attempted with a firearm.

      • ” I’d wager that that rate would be even higher if more of those failed attempts had been attempted with a firearm.”

        No rational person is interested in fantasy wagers. You have no basis to make this statement, other than you believe it’s true.

        How about we keep our feet here in the real world?

      • Can you come up with a better argument for your stance, one which doesn’t hinge on how competent or incompetent suicidal people are?

        You’re avoiding the real issue in order to solidify your own bias.

  10. WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE?
    A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE
    DON B. KATES* AND GARY MAUSER**

    “The non‐correlation between gun ownership and murder is reinforced by examination of statistics from larger numbers of nations across the developed world. Comparison of “homicide and suicide mortality data for thirty‐six nations (including the United States) for the period 1990–1995” to gun ownership levels showed “no significant (at the 5% level) association between gun ownership levels and the total homicide rate.” Consistent with this is a later European study of data from 21 nations in which “no significant correlations [of gun ownership levels] with total suicide or homicide rates were found.” –

    KLECK, supra note 8, at 254. The study also found no correlation to suicide
    rates. Id.

    Martin Killias et al., Guns, Violent Crime, and Suicide in 21 Countries, 43 CAN. J.
    CRIMINOLOGY & CRIM. JUST. 429, 430 (2001). It bears emphasis that the authors, who are deeply anti‐gun, emphasize the “very strong correlations between the presence of guns in the home and suicide committed with a gun”—as if there were some import to the death being by gun rather than by hanging, poison, or some other means. Id.; see also infra Part III.

    • “..Even more poignant are the suicides of many young Indian women born and raised on the island of Fiji. In general, women are much less likely to commit suicide than are men. This statistic is true of Fijian women overall as well, but not of women in the large part of Fiji’s population that is of Indian ancestry. As children, these Indian women are raised in more‐or‐less loving and supportive homes. But upon marriage they are dispersed across the island to remote areas where they live with their husbands’ families, an often overtly hostile situation the husbands do little to mitigate. Indian women on Fiji have a suicide rate nearly as high as that of Indian men, a rate many times greater than that of non‐Indian Fijian women. It also bears emphasis that the overall Fijian suicide rate far exceeds that of the United States.

      The method of suicide is particularly significant. Fijian women of Indian ancestry commit suicide without using guns, perhaps because guns are unavailable. About three‐quarters of these women hang themselves, while virtually all the rest die from consuming the agricultural pesticide paraquat. The recommendation of the author whose article chronicles all these suicides is so myopic as to almost caricature the more guns equal more death mindset: to reduce suicide by Indian women, she recommends that the Fijian state stringently control paraquat.Apparently she believes decreased access to a means of death will reconcile these women to a life situation they regard as unendurable. At the risk of belaboring what should be all too obvious, restricting paraquat will not improve the lives of these poor women. It will only reorient them towards hanging, drowning, or some other means of suicide.”

      References deleted.

  11. Here we go….another fact-filled refutation of the utility/effectiveness of tighter gun control. The author is on the right track, coming from an emotional perspective on suicide. The facts are well known, and fit neatly into the author’s explanation of a suicidal mindset.

    But it doesn’t matter.

    The anti-gun gangsters DO NOT care if a person dies of suicide…so long as a gun is not used !

    Anit-gunners will tell you, “Maybe a person will decide to not kill themselves if a gun is not convenient.” Wonderful words, but we do not have many reports of suicide attempts where the killer was just about to die, than thought, “Uh, like, I don’t have a gun; may as well go to work this morning.” Faced with a demand for proof that suicide rates will fall if there were no guns available, the anti-gun gangsters will fall back on, “Well, we just don’t know. If it prevents even one suicide, gun confiscation is worth it.” Asked how we will discover this mythical “one”, the gun-grabbers have no coherent response. Because they don’t really care that the suicide was successful by other means. They only care about using gun-assisted suicide as a justification for confiscating guns.

    Point ?

    You can’t talk sense to gun-grabbers; they have none.

    • If it prevents even one suicide it’s worth it. Not to me,if it prevented a million suicides it wouldn’t be worth it,my civil rights are not for sale at any price.

      • You imprison everyone and feed them all a strict diet, you’ll save millions of lives.

        I don’t see anyone jumping to be in line for this societal panacea.

  12. Kitchen garbage bag over the head, one rubber band. Helps if you down a bottle of booze before you exit stage left. Can we ban garbage bags then?

  13. Brutally honest opinion incoming:

    People who truly want to kill themselves will not give up if guns are removed from the equation, they’ll just find another method, so we might as well just let them get on with it. Look at the Japanese. Their gov had to fence off bridges near train tracks two times, the second with barbed wire. People still climbed through it all and jumped, and they don’t have private gun ownership either. The vast majority of people who try to kill themselves, fail, and stop after one attempt are just doing it for attention anyway.

    The mental health “issue” is also one of the most insidious slippery slopes in existence, and it doesn’t just apply to guns. There is no surefire way to keep anything “out of the hands of crazies” without also torching the 1st and 4th amendments among others. It also wasn’t that long ago in world history that simply voting for the wrong political party or expressing a dissenting view within earshot of the wrong people got you put on the “crazy” list and much worse. Given the recent tendencies of American college students to Hulk out and form rabid mobs when they encounter non-progressive opinions, I strongly prefer keeping what shreds of freedom we have left by letting suicidal people off themselves in the corner than legislating the country into a padded room in one giant psych ward.

    • I have thought about suicide once or twice in my life and I didn’t even think about guns,my ideal way of doing this would be hanging myself,not only would it be quick,there would be no mess to clean up.Some people will answer my statement with “sometimes it takes 15 minutes to die from hanging”,I think not,once the oxygen is cut off from your brain,you pass out,then it’s irrelevant how long it takes to die.

    • “The mental health “issue” is also one of the most insidious slippery slopes in existence, and it doesn’t just apply to guns. “

      +100,000

      Been sayin’ that for a while m’self.

      It sells, though, because it sounds “compassionate.” Anyone saying, “Wait. Is this REALLY the door we want to open?” gets labeled as heartless against the mentally ill.

      Which is, if you think about, quite intriguing considering the ‘heartless’ person is the one advocating for the mentally ill, while the ‘compassionate’ ones are the ones talking about limiting rights. Again. Still.

  14. Make suicide by gun a felony punishable by death. That will deter those criminals. [sarcasm off]
    People set on ending will find a way.
    After Australia confiscated legal guns, suicide by gun went down. But not the total number of suicides.

      • While that sounds pointless and stupid, the reason behind that kind of legislation is what I call “a legal hook” put in place to enable The State to take certain actions in cases where “proof” against other statutes is hard to come by. For example, it’s similar to the case a few years ago where an “Illegal Drug Dealing License” was being considered, so prosecutors that lose drug cases on technicalities could still fall back on “Well, he didn’t have the license, so BAM.” Of course, a lot of firearm possession laws fall into this category, as well. (The action the state gets to do could be ‘enhanced sentencing,’ for example).

        This particular example is a “hook” to let The State take certain actions in the case of ‘attempted suicide,’ such as (but not limited to) involuntary commitment, etc.

        Or, it’s just plain stupid and there is no “reason” for it. I can buy that, too.

  15. “…the means to kill ourselves are not really the problem—the grief that causes us to think suicide an appealing option is.”

    GOOD GRIEF

  16. Maybe legalizing assisted suicide will lower the number of mass shootings. I think in most cases, those shooters want to die, but they are too cowardly to commit the violent act of gun suicide in the eerie privacy and silence of one’s own home. When they walk out that door with their guns and magazines, they know how it will end. And it’s possibly not as scary or nerve racking pulling that trigger on themselves after murdering others.

  17. White males accounted for 70% of all suicides in 2014:

    http://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures

    They kill themselves with guns because that’s the American way of taking yourself out. Take the gun out of the equation and the substitution effect kicks in with something else uniquely American filling its place. It’s much more productive to work towards getting these people some help instead of worrying about the method they use.

  18. The good news is that only the most determined tend to use weapons with predictable results.

    There are many more who are chronically depressed and despite our best treatment modality, remain depressed and suicidal with ongoing, tho less lethal durations and attempts

    Till we find solutions for these mental illnesses, we will have to live with the problem

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