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“Keep your guns. Keep a dozen. I don’t care. But please make sure they are locked and out of the reach of someone who’s in crisis. I’m not asking any gun shop owner to be a psychologist. I’m asking them to be their brother’s keeper.” – Meghan Francone in Colorado gun owners band together to prevent suicides by firearms [at oregonlive.com]

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56 Responses to Blue Force Gear Quote of the Day: Enlisting Gun Shop Owners in Suicide Prevention

  1. I’ve never liked the “my brother’s keeper” ideology.

    I’ve found in my short time on this earth that most people who need “keeping” are not worth keeping.

    Suicide, sickness, and old age, withstanding. Most of the time I hear about being my brother’s keeper, it involves me dishing out resources for someone who isn’t my brother and doesn’t do for themselves. YMMV.

    All that being, who am I to stand in the way of someone’s choice of death. That might be the only thing in life we are truly, 100% sovereignty in control of anymore. And sometimes we don’t even get that.

    • “Most of the time I hear about being my brother’s keeper, it involves me dishing out resources for someone who isn’t my brother and doesn’t do for themselves.”

      -Brilliant observation, +1

      • Wtf are you and rockonhellchild talking about? The article was a simple request/reminder not to let people in crisis get ahold of your guns. It sounds simple enough, but even the mostest experts make mistakes, Crisis Kyle comes to mind.
        No one is asking you to give any extra taxes or even drop a dollar in a hat so save the “waaaah I don’t like socialized welfare,” arguemnts for the anti-Bernie articles.
        No one is asking you to “stand in the way of someone’s choice of death. That might be the only thing in life we are truly, 100% sovereignty in control of anymore. And sometimes we don’t even get that.” Who gets 100% sovereignty in death?
        Holy Wtf your comments are asinine and make you sound like you are trying to humble brag about what a hard-ass you are. Read the article, don’t let people in crisis have access to your shit! That’s it.

    • I don’t like the way “brother’s keeper” is used either, as if it is a good thing. Comes from misreading the story of brothers Abel and Cain.

      For those who don’t know the tale, in the story, Cain was jealous of Abel, so Cain killed his brother. God confronts Cain, giving him the opportunity to repent: “Where is your brother Abel.” Cain responds, “I don’t know”, and follows it with a rhetorical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

      The unstated rhetorical answer is, of course, “No, you are not.” But God wasn’t implying that Cain was his brother’s keeper: He was implying that Cain was his brother’s murderer.

      No, we are not our brother’s keeper (jailer, guardian, custodian). But we should not be our brother’s murderer, no matter how jealous we become.

      • Nice biblical rant, but what in the holy fuck are you talking about? Did you actually read the article?

    • I think the main point is, if you have a friend or family member who has access to your stuff, and they’re going through some sort of trouble where they might misuse your stuff…

      It’s a good idea to secure your stuff from said person. If they go ahead and do something stupid, at least they won’t do it with your stuff.

      This can be rationalized for purely selfish reasons, if you like. Your stuff won’t end up mistreated into an evidence locker. You won’t get sued by a family member, or brought up on charges from an overzealous politically motivated prosecutor for allowing access to a “clearly” deranged individual, etc.

    • It takes a village??

      How about we just leave this newage “brother” BS in the getoe for da bros. Have one brother and some brothers-in-law. I’m not adopting just because you what a hug. You need hugs or fistbumping go to Eurp.

      • Painfully one admits (after reading this comment and a number of others above) that for their innumerable mistakes and bad faith… even in their worst fantasies liberals really have it right about some certain subsegment of the “gun culture”.

        There really are those hateful and stupidly loutish men, indifferent to life, hiding out among free men that want to defend their families, freedom, and the innocent.

        I guess every group has bad apples, but it’s always rough to smell them so distinctly right on your side.

    • apathy isnt a virtue. that is joshuas point.
      if someone needs help, then that means they can’t do something by themselves hince the word HELP. if they could “do for themselves” then they wouldn’t NEED help. see how that works?
      its kinda like that episode of Family Guy were Chris goes to the Young Republicans meetings:
      Chris: What do you do at a Young Republicans meeting?
      Alyssa: We help those who already have the means to help themselves. ….
      Chris: I don’t know why, but I feel safer already.

      don’t you see how ass backwards that is?
      thats like giving food stamps to millionaires.

  2. Each individual is their own “keeper.” And suicide is nobody else’s business in the long run. You can attempt to offer help, but it is stupid to think that locking up guns is the most important. Only individuals can decide whether or not that applies to them.

  3. “Keep your prescription drugs. Keep a dozen bottles. I don’t care. But please make sure they are locked and out of the reach of someone who’s in crisis. I’m not asking any pharmacist to be a psychologist. I’m asking them to be their brother’s keeper.”

    • Keep your tall buildings. Keep a dozen. I don’t care. But please make sure they are locked and out of the reach of someone who’s in crisis. I’m not asking any property manager/architect to be a psychologist. I’m asking them to be their brother’s keeper.

  4. Nothing is as final as a gunshot

    The story about the girl in the first paragraph killing herself with anti depressants seems to disagree.

    In either event, it’s not a horrible idea. I just think they’ll be kidding themselves about how effective they’ll be.

    • But they get to feel as though they’re ‘doing something’ without actually, you know, doing something.

      If they’re committed, you aren’t gonna stop them. The rest are just attention seeking, and will only succeed by accident. I’m ambivalent about actively saving the attention seekers, it seems to fulfill their wishes, rather than leave them with some appreciation of life for having actually narrowly escaped death.

      It’s your life, and if you really want to end it, that’s up to you.

    • In college a friend walked straight of the balcony of a 16th story dorm room. That was pretty frickin’ final. Oh, he may have had some regrets on the way down, but it was already final.

      Next day I saw them hosing down the sidewalk outside the dorm (a sadly fairly regular occurrence at that dorm) but I didn’t find out who it was until some days later.

      A couple of years later, the younger brother of a good friend took a dive off of the Lions Gate Bridge. Also real final.

      These were both good guys in their early 20s. Some drug use involved in the latter one, but that was more an attempt to self-medicate the depression that was also the main driver behind the suicide.

      I am fully supportive of all reasonable measures to reduce suicides, but curtailing gun rights isn’t the right approach. Awareness and intervention by family, friends and medical personnel has to be the cornerstone. Your local gun dealer is not the right guy for this.

    • Yup, a few weeks ago an acquaintances of mine killed himself. First he shot himself in the head with his .243 hunting rifle. Lost an eye, and ear, and part of his face. After getting out of he hospital, about a month later, he walked into traffic. That did the trick.

  5. “Keep your children. Keep a dozen children. I don’t care. But please make sure they are locked up and out reach if they are in crisis. I’m not asking any parent to be a psychologist. I’m asking them to be their children’s keeper.”

    Damaged people are made, not created.

      • I meant that I believe “bad” people are rarely “born that way” or genetically disposed towards evil. Most shit people are usually wrought in the fire of crap parenting; with “crap” covering, neglect, abuse, etc.

        Read the history on famous serial killers and psychopaths. Rarely did they grow up in normal, well adjusted households and go on to be what they are.

        They background check for adoptions, but not for reproduction. How’s that make sense?

        • Except Bob, there are lots of people who have horrible childhoods, and do not turn into serial killers. Or robbers. Or rapists.

          There are definitely things a bad parent can do to encourage those with a predilection, but when you actually do read the stories of a bunch of serial killers, you do learn that they very much aren’t right in the head. I remember when I was about 8, there was a kid a few houses down that used to catch small animals, torture them, then stuff them down the drain – which necessitated frequent roto-rooter visits. He turned out to be a murderer to no-ones surprise.

          I know it’s the fashion to pretend biology isn’t real, because it can have very unpleasant unintended consequences like eugenics. I get why we pretend, but do know, it’s just pretend.

      • They harbor the naive notion that bad, crazy, insane people are just good people that had bad things happen to them.

        We know that’s just not genetically accurate, there are those hardwired to be violent and anti-social. Not to mention our prison system is now the de facto nuthouse, as we have shuttered and defunded most of the state institutions that used to warehouse the nutters. Right around half of those incarcerated have mental issues.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/more-than-half-of-prisoners-are-mentally-ill/389682/

        There are bad people in the world, they very much are born that way, it’s part of how we evolved. Doesn’t matter if they were raised perfectly, they would still be beholden to their nature. How we continue to thin them from the gene pool is the important issue.

        (Don’t get me wrong, we have waaaayy too many people in prison, for things that they shouldn’t be, and that itself is creating more criminals. But that’s for another post.)

  6. My sister committed suicide with 10 feet of flexible hose and a pickup truck. So, should Home Depot and Ford Motor Company do more to control their buyers?

    • Well, according to the anti’s logic Ford, Home Depot and the hose company should be held liable for their deadly product…

  7. The two big factors driving success of a suicide attempt, particularly a first attempt, are the lethality of the means selected and the likelihood of post-attempt discovery/intervention. These factors are measurable on a scale. Combined, they suggest the overall seriousness of the attempt. Yes, I’m aware that there’s more to it than just this. There’s more to every issue than be covered in a single comment post.

    Those who choose firearms, a highly lethal means, tend also to choose low likelihood opportunities for being saved. That is, they’re serious, not impulsive, and they will succeed in their goal. You aren’t going to save them by locking up a gun.
    Really, the impulsive suicide-by-gun scenario is largely a myth.

    What campaigns like this do, however well intentioned, is just further demonize firearms as menaces to society with a persuasive, pernicious will of their own. Since everybody gets sad (which is not at all the same thing as being clinically depressed), the desire here is to frame firearms as deadly traps under whose fatal spell we all could fall if the timing us right. That’s B.S. imitative magic, contending that a tool capable of and even designed to deliver death will produce that result all on its own. Suicide is a serious matter. It shouldn’t be wrapped up in propaganda and superstition.

  8. If some gun shop owners want to post brochures and flyers, I have no problem with them doing do.

    If they want to have a “conversation” about mental health before they sell me a gun, I have no problem with that either, although I likely won’t be a repeat patron.

    In either case it’s not the store owner’s job to protect me from myself, if he or she chooses to try they’re welcome to but I don’t think it will be good for business.

    I have a serious problem with mandating that all gun shops do either or both, however. And I worry that voluntary steps pushed on store owners from outside, can over time morph into legislated measures. After all, it’s common sense and if it saves one life…

    • “worry that voluntary steps pushed on store owners from outside, can over time morph into legislated measures.”

      It’s what replaces actual governing, elected representative creating a useless benign bill, so ineffective in scope and sold as a solution yet has no measure.

  9. It’s hard to argue with the request to keep our guns secure. We all should take every reasonable step to prevent unauthorized access. Of course the specifics are going to depend on whether there are kids in our home and a few other factors.

    However, that won’t stop suicidal people from getting guns, any more than it stops evil thugs from getting guns.

  10. Some of the time people are making calls for help. Depression is a medical condition where you can’t think differently at the time.

    I noticed this in the article:
    “In the past, people shut up about this issue because they thought raising it meant raising the issue of gun control,” she said. “It makes so much more sense to look at gun owners as part of the solution.”

    What could explain this lack of empathy?

    It’s hard to imagine if you don’t have these issues or don’t know someone who has them. 25 vets from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars commit suicide a day. Are they supposed to just “man up”?

    • I appreciate the comment but just a point of fact, it’s not 25, it’s 22, and it’s not veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, the statistic includes all veterans.

      • Thank you.
        Facts is facts.

        Just a mention. Most of my son’s platoon have committed suicide successfully.
        They were in Fallujah during the surge.

        • This is a serious question: were your son’s comrades killed in action in Fallujah, or did they commit suicide after returning from theater?

          In my final years in the Army, suicide prevention became a huge topic, but it gradually emerged that a majority of suicides were not carried out by combat veterans but may have been the result of overprescribing of antidepressants.

          I hope your son is alive and well & I thank him for his service.

        • Herb, this is my experience as well. The VA says “Having a little trouble adjusting? Ok, here take this trazadone, Lexapro, diazepam, and adderall. Oh, you’re back is still hurt, here’s some cycobenzaprene, tramidol, and vicodin. We’ve got you a 6 month supply of all of that because we probably can’t get you back in until then. GFY and have a nice drive home.”
          What could possibly go wrong?

  11. My primary responsibilities are first, to my Wife and Children – next are my Mother and Father, Brothers, Sisters and their families, finally, if there is any time and money left – my Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.

    I have no obligation to “help” people I have never met. Our family does donate to charity and I volunteer to coach a kids baseball team – but that’s as far as that goes.

    If we hadn’t replaced the family structure with government support checks, maybe we wouldn’t have the social issues we currently have.

    • So welfare recipients are committing suicide?
      In the burbs the family has been replaced by parent lead Tball & Soccer. (Kids don’t learn to play and take mild insults and be left out or chosen last and you win when you lose.) Video games. (Love them myself but I have teen employees who don’t know how to take a hose off an outside faucet.) Bailing kids out.(Parent takes instrument to school that kid forgot when it’s a weekly occurrence.)(Complaining to teacher about kid’s bad grade when it’s his job.)
      Rescuing kids from disappointment.(Here, eat something, cheer up, instead of it’s sad you got dumped. Broke toy, jump to toy store to replace it.)

      This has given us an unprepared middle class white workforce. They don’t know where anything is in the world. Wonder what maps are for and don’t care about others. They think girls are receptacles for their sexual desire and girls think they have to be to be popular.
      The school system is told two things. Don’t talk to my kids about sex and you talk to my kids about sex.

      So let’s forget income and subsistence checks and talk about are parents really parenting?

  12. I don’t see anything wrong with what the people in the article said. They are not advocating for forceful measures. They are handling their grief and concern more rationally than most we usually hear about.

  13. Let’s say I have a lot of experience “up close and personal” with mental health issues and leave it at that. Also, I have done a fair amount of reading on it. Here are my problems with this issue:

    1. A mental health issue that can threaten the life of the person with the issue, or can create a risk that person might threaten someone else, is tricky enough to determine for mental health professionals. It is definitely not a diagnosis to be made by amateurs. CA now has a law that lets family and friends call the cops and say a person is a danger and that person loses their gun rights for up to a year. Overnight. No due process. As this site asks all the time: What could go wrong? Now Gabby Giffords is trying to get this in all states and she has a lot of money behind her.

    2. Paradoxically, the mental health associations do not want professionals calling the cops even if they think there is a danger, because 1) It stigmatizes people with mental illness (their words, not mine), 2) It would keep people from seeking treatment, and 3) They are afraid of legal liability (my assertion, not theirs).

    3. Some of the same libtards that are for laws that restrict gun ownership to prevent potential suicides are also out campaigning for laws to allow assisted suicide for people who want to die for whatever reason. Sometimes the assist comes for mental health and other medical professionals.

    4. Even though a lot of people commit suicide with guns in the US, it does NOT mean more guns cause more suicides. It’s just an efficient option for someone who has decided to commit suicide. The US is 50th in the world in per capita suicides. I can almost guarantee all 49 countries with higher rates have less guns and tougher gun laws. They include countries like India, Russia, Japan and France.

    It’s not about guns, folks!!! The campaign described in the OP is just a sneaky way to make the public think it is, and these gun groups that are getting behind it are not helping the gun rights cause by playing into the idea that it is.

  14. One comment earlier mentioned the risk of voluntary measures becoming legislative. While that is a concern, this initiative seems more focused on awareness – having information available, something that never intersects with the 2A but would likely run into similar 1A issues as tobacco warnings. And I’m fine with having material available.

    I don’t think the speaker in the quote is asking people to do anything more than keep an eye out. If someone is morose or out-of-sorts, take the time to talk to them. If you aren’t comfortable, don’t give/rent/sell a firearm.

    This isn’t any different than if someone sketchy comes into a gun shop to buy a gun, constantly looking out the window to a guy standing outside – it looks like a straw purchase and looking a little more closely before making the exchange isn’t going to hurt anybody. It may just be innocent nerves, but why not take a moment to breath.

    Are we not commended to look after the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the sick, and the imprisoned? For many of the suicidal, especially the depressed, are they not sick?

  15. Nothing is as final as a gunshot.
    I’m pretty sure gabbie Gifford (gilfford? Not sure which) would disagree. Hell 50cent would definitely disagree. Guy got shot what 13 times and he still walking.

    Also they’re not asking gun sellers to be psychologist when you need a psychologist… great plan. And yes there is a difference between know the signs of depression psa and somebody with a degree dianogosing you

  16. interestingly, a guy walked into a local gun shop about 15 years ago, picked up a box of shotgun shells as if he were going to purchase them, walked into the back of the shop with racks of shotguns on display, took one down as if inspecting it, loaded up, swallowed the barrel, and blew his brains all over the wall. I thought he should have done this in the privacy of his own house or in the woods, as it made it hard on all those who had to see this and clean up after.

    • Had the same thing happen in PA. Local automotive store that sold sporting goods. They had loose shotguns shells at the counter from broken boxes. Guy walked in, grabbed a shell out of the bucket, walked back to the shotgun rack, and blew his head off. Must have been 25 years ago. At that time though, no cried out for gun bans.

  17. Nice of her to let me keep all dozen, property I already own, as long as nobody else ever commits suicide.

  18. Because there is no other way to commit suicide. That’s why suicide rates are so low in Japan and Russia. Statist propaganda like this just detracts people from looking for real answers to a real problem.

  19. Reducing suicide by any means is a good thing. Putting an emphasis on firearms as a means to prevent/reduce has some value to POTG, but also risks tacitly endorsing the notion firearms are a significant enabler/driving force for suicide, which plays into the gun grabber’s meme. That is objectionable in my opinion.
    Firearms in the home should be safely and securely stored by the firearms owner. The specifics would vary by household situation and that, too, is the responsibility of the owner to determine and implement. Even so, there will be suicides by firearm and that is a hard fact we just have to accept.

  20. Lock up guns?
    I get a knife, or bleach, or narcotics and alcohol.

    Not available?
    I’ll find a balcony, roof or bridge.

    Scared of heights? Piss off a cop, walk into traffic, bathe with appliances, dance in fire after a fuel bath.

    Point is, someone looking to stop walking terra firma, has numerous options outside of firearms. Each one of these variations leaves you just as dead as a gun can.

    Some who attempt suicide, live on. Others just seek out a more terminal way than the last. A determined person will find a way, irrespective of how it makes others feel.

    • Everyone seems to be forgetting that guns make you way more deader than any other means of suicide (or murder, for that matter).
      If the gun is black, semi-automatic and/or is equipped with a magazine that is able to contain more than seven bullets of ammunition, it makes people even deaderer than that.

  21. I tend to keep my guns secured (note I did not say locked up, big distinction) just as I would anything else like my car keys, dangerous chemicals, prescription drugs and other stuff that not everyone else needs access to. That being said it is dubious that it will keep anyone from harming themselves who is bent on doing it however it keeps small prying hands out of stuff they don’t need to be in.

    In terms of suicide, guns aside I think paying attention is important. We tend to think of technology etc. as a magic bullet where we can talk to anyone anywhere but we forget to understand how isolating it can be. We stare at our screens instead of talking to one another. If you know someone and them going for a gun is the first sign you have of an issue with suicide I doubt you’ve been paying attention.

  22. Firearm safety never goes out of style, regardless of what your particular concerns (suicide, mental illness, etc.) are.

    I perceive the originator is encouraging basic safety, not restricting gun rights.

    There was a good article in my newspaper, about this topic. It was primarily focused on the use of firearms in 63% of all firearms-caused fatalities.Montana,especially, has the highest rate in the nation.

    Let’s face it, there probably isn’t a gun store owner in the world who wants his customers to commit suicide – It’s bad for business. Most gun owners aren’t too keen on the idea of it either. It’s so messy and somebody has to clean it up. We had an elderly couple who utilized one of their guns to kill themselves. It’s been a hot topic in our little neck of the woods for weeks.

  23. Some, maybe most, gun shop owners like me already analyse purchasers and transferees to some extent. You come into my shop to get a gun and start spouting trash talk about shooting somebody or somebody’s property or yourself, or exhibit signs of being drugged or drunk, you don’t get a gun from me…ever. Most of my customers are respectful, somber or happy, normal looking/acting people. How am I as a shop owner supposed to know that the overly somber or overly happy customer is going to off himself? Suicide poster and counter cards-sure, i’ll allow them. But don’t expect much else. To me, this is another example of pushing their problem onto others, then criticizing when we don’t do what they expect us to do…for the good of their loved ones.

  24. According to Christian tradition I AM my brothers keeper. But if some poor soul wants to off him(her)self they’ll find a way. A tall building,a bottle of pills,a razor or exhaust fumes will do the deed. And I fail to understand how selling a legal product(protected by the 2A) makes a gun seller responsible. Yes-this is anti-gun at it’s core. THIS strikes me more as a nanny state thing. Yeah don’t make it EZ for depressed folks to kill themselves. Secure your gunz…

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