“Almost half of those at risk of suicide surveyed by an Alabama researcher said they would consider placing their names on a list that temporarily bars them from purchasing guns,” al.com reports. Before addressing the potential problems with this voluntary, “temporary” Do Not Sell list, know this: the survey’s sample size is so small that only an anti-gun rights crusader would pay the slightest bit of attention to the findings.
Fredrick Vars [above], a professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, said about 46 percent of the 200 people involved in the survey said they would be interested in voluntarily participating in the program. Vars presented the patients with two options: A voluntary sign-up and removal from the list with a seven-day waiting period, and an option that requires a judicial hearing for removal. The option without a judicial hearing won the most support.
If I’m reading this right, Professor Vars’ study asks his suicidal survey takers to assume they’re going to lose their gun rights. Their choice: surrender your right to keep and bear arms “voluntarily” or face a judge and lose it involuntarily. Presumably, permanently.
In other words, we’re going to stop you from having access to firearms. We can do this the easy way or the hard way. Half of the 200 survey takers chose the easy way! Wait. Is it the easy way?
If an individual voluntarily submitted his name to the Do Not Sell list, it would appear whenever a licensed gun dealer runs a standard background check, Vars said. The only cost for implementing the program would be in creating a system that allows people to submit their names to the list.
Question: whose Do Not Sell list is this anyway? Are we talking about a state-run program or simply adding — and then subtracting — “voluntary” gun ban info to the FBI’s NICS process?
A federal Do Not Sell list would be enormously expensive, prone to errors and tempt the feds to slide down the slippery slope to a permanent gun ban for its “voluntary” participants.
Let’s face it: Professor Vars’ voluntary gun ban list is a stupid idea on a lot levels. It’s the same old stupid, too.
Research shows that suicide is often an impulsive act, and small barriers can successfully reduce the number of deaths.
Vars also said that suicidal people often don’t switch to other methods of suicide if they are prevented from purchasing a gun. People who can’t get access to guns who still attempt suicide would probably resort to less-lethal means, Vars said.
“Guns are so much more lethal than alternative methods,” Vars said. “If you attempt with a gun, there is an 80 to 90 percent chance you’ll die. Switching people from a very deadly method to a less deadly method will save a lot of lives.”
Don’t you just love it when a news org parrots a propagandist’s anti-pistol prognostications without linking to the “research” upon which his or her house of canards rests? Neither do I. Especially when the agit-propmeister in question conflates purchasing a gun with “access to a gun.” In Alabama, no less.
Suffice it to say, Japan. The “gun-free” Island nation is number 17 on wikipedia.org’s list of suicide rates by country. While we’re at it, the country with “the world’s strictest restrictions on civilian gun ownership” (South Korea) is number two on the international suicide rate per capita list. America sits at position 50.
It would be heartless of me not to say it: one suicide is one suicide too many. And it’s true: thousands of Americans are exiting stage right via a firearm each year. But those who believe that gun control can stem the tide of firearms-related suicide are like the drunk looking for his keys under a streetlamp simply because the light’s better.