Over half of firearms-related fatalities are suicides. Gun control proponents combine firearms-related suicides with firearms-related homicides to sell the idea that there’s an epidemic of “gun violence” to justify their desire to disarm the civilian population (excepting police). This despite the fact that “gun-free” Japan has a higher suicide rate than the U.S., indicating that someone determined to take their own life will find the means to do so. Period. Here’s another data point from a CDC study [via cnn.com] . . .
In both 1999 and 2014, firearms were the most common method by which men took their own lives, although the proportion of all suicides in men that were firearm-related decreased from 61.7% to 55.4%. Among women, poisoning was the most common method in 2014 and accounted for 34.1% of suicides, down from 36% in 1999.
Despite the decreases in the proportion of suicides related to firearms and poisonings, these methods are still responsible for the largest number of suicide deaths, [National Center for Health Statistics statistician Sally] Curtin said. And at the same time these deaths have decreased, the rate of suffocation-related suicide, primarily hanging, has increased, from 16.3% to 26% among women and from 19.1% to 26.8% among men.
“While it is good that rates for firearm- and poisoning-related suicides are decreasing a bit, it is concerning that the rates of suffocation are increasing,” [CDC Division of Violence Prevention behavioral scientist Kristin] Holland said.
It’s impossible to identify any one variable responsible for the overall increase in suicides or the decrease in the proportion of suicides that are firearms-related. There are a farrago of possibilities; from increasing availability of opiates, to the effects of the economy, to gun owners removing guns from their homes when a family member is in crisis. We don’t/can’t know all the cultural, physical or technological reasons for changes in the suicide rate.
Here’s one thing we do know: the decrease in the proportion of suicides that are firearms-related coincides with a historic increase in gun sales. Faced with this fact, gun control advocates can’t say that “more guns = more suicide.” Well, they can and they will, but they’ll be lying. Again. Still.