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Over at The Trace, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitprop “news” service, Christen McGinnes tells about her unsuccessful attempt to kill herself with a .357 revolver. As you’d expect, I Shot Myself in the Head and Survived is a harrowing tale. Like this:

desantis blue logo no back 4 smallSo I decided that I really did want to die, and I put the gun underneath my chin and pulled the trigger again. This time there was a huge explosion.

I heard my roommate scream, “What the hell was that?!” I didn’t know he was home. That’s what saved my life — he called 911.

I can only imagine what he saw because I blew my face off. I lost two thirds of my teeth, all of the right side of my face, a third of my tongue, and my right eye. I wasn’t in pain. I was just surprised. I had been waiting to see my life flash before my eyes, to see the white light, and none of it happened.

I heard sirens. I remember a man putting his hands on my shoulders and saying, “You’re going to be OK. I’ve got you.” And then I blacked out.

The Trace doesn’t add the usual anti-gun animus to Ms. McGinnes’ account — except to point out that “about 85 percent of people who attempt suicide with a gun will die.” Past history tells us that The Trace reckons that removing guns from the homes of potential suicides is a preventer if not the answer to suicide. Slippery slope and all that.

For about a year, any time I saw a gun in front of me, I felt compelled to pick it up and shoot myself. I am around guns because I have several friends who are ex-military and they own guns, and I also have a lot of friends who are pro-gun, so when I visit their houses, I know there are guns in the house. But that’s OK, I’m fine with that now. It’s not a risk factor for me anymore.

My dad asked the detective who worked on my case to have my gun destroyed so it would never hurt another person. I will never own another gun again.

The question here: what’s the point of this story for you? What’s your takeaway?

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  1. The takeaway is someone should have intervened as she would have found a bus, rope, knife sleeping pills or something else.

    • In a manner of speaking the noise of the method alerted her room-mate and thus saved her life. A quieter method would have gone unoticed and she might be dead.

      That’s all conjecture, but its as equally logical and valid as The Trace’s implication.

    • And then there’s this:

      “For about a year, any time I saw a gun in front of me, I felt compelled to pick it up and shoot myself.”

      How often did this happen? Were loaded guns laying around the house, office, poolside? Who allowed this to happen?

      But it’s the GUN’s fault.

  2. People who want to commit suicide will succeed. People who want to scream for attention will fail.

    There’s a reason why men comprise the overwhelming majority of suicide deaths. We don’t use a suicide attempt as a form of emotional extortion.

    At the end of the day, suicide is a human right. If somebody wants to end their life, nobody else has any business using force or legal coercion to stop them.

    • All mental health professionals will say that someone who has decided to commit suicide is very likely to succeed, and the method is just a path of least resistance.

    • “At the end of the day, suicide is a human right.”

      So much this.

      I thought the left was all about the right to do with your body as you see fit.

      Who am I to tell you you have to live?

      If you live with others, have the common courtesy not to leave a gristly mess for them to clean up, go to a golf course or something, OK?

      (And right before you pull the trigger, call 911 and tell them where to find your corpse.)

      • For God’s sake, man! Please advise them to have the common decency not to blow their brains out on a green and screw up a short putt!

          • billy-bob – Well, you sent me a-Googling the Rules of Golf for that poser. It would appear that a ball with pieces of brain, skull, etc., adhering to it must be played as it is, as the rule states “A ball is not unfit for play solely because mud or other materials adhere to it, its surface is scratched or scraped or its paint is damaged or discolored.” Hmmmm …..

            On the other hand, it would appear that removing bits of brain matter, skull, or other foreign matter from the green would be considered “caring for the course” and not a violation of the rules subject to penalty. “2. An action taken for the sole purpose of caring for the course is not a breach of Rule 1-2.” (Pertaining to actions taken which alter the movement of the ball in play.)

            Sure glad we got THAT cleared up.

    • The Federal Government should give out free suicide pills to anyone over the age of 18 who wants them.
      The planet is horribly overpopulated and anyone desiring to leave should be helped out.

      • Reducing the population of Americans would not help at all with any so-called population problems. We’re virtually at zero growth. The problem is in Africa.

      • We get closer to SOYLENT GREEN everyday . In the movie the government ran nostalgia themed euthanasia clinics, they called it GOING HOME.

  3. The vast majority of gun-related deaths are suicides. These people have chosen a tool that will get the job done – most of the time. This lady is, perhaps, a little intelligence challenged or too lazy to do her due diligence.

    Firearms are useful tools, in the right hands.

  4. What do I think…

    Well, if I’m to believe what I’ve been told directly and through many stories, her father had absolutely no right to remove her options to do as she pleases with her own body.

    Maybe I shouldn’t believe everything I read and that I’m told.

  5. The takeaway? Put that 357 in your mouth and point up if you’re going to off yourself. NOW the rest of your miserable misbegotten life will be horrible…

  6. The father of a good friend of mine attempted suicide two years ago with a .40 cal pistol. Gun under the chin just like this story. Today he’s back to driving and living an almost normal life, but for the hole in his tongue and pallette. Several surgeries to put his face and jaw back together, but all in all, he’s ok. My take away is most attempts by firearm are successful, but a few are not by the grace of dumb luck or a higher power. He sold the pistol, but won’t sell any of his other guns.

    • My takeaway is under the chin is a stupid way to try to commit suicide. In the mouth, or back of the neck aimed at your brain stem.

  7. “about 85 percent of people who attempt suicide with a gun will die.”

    I would have guessed 99.9%. Probably only that low because of people shooting themselves with .22LRs. Anyway, it takes a whole lot of fail to try to kill yourself with a .357 magnum and not succeed.

    • Meh, I can see people who have never hunted, and don’t know all that much about anatomy not being too successful. If you base your suicide attempt on whats been portrayed in film/TV/literature etc, odds are you’re going to end up poking holes in some very painful, but not necessarily fatal, places. Back when i was seriously contemplating the big SPLAT! myself, I did my research. Best I could determine, the ideal spot would be to the back of the head, muzzle up against the brain-stem, angled slightly upwards to take out as much grey matter possible on it’s way out. Brain stem shot should be insta-death, shutdown of cardiovascular system. Any other damage after that was extra insurance. Since I’m typing this now, obviously got my shit together and quit playing the “woe is me, life isn’t fair” game. But I’m guessing most people with little exposure to firearms and actual experience with the damage they do, assume that any gun, hitting you anywhere in the head, will kill you right there.

  8. Indeed, had she been determined to commit suicide, she would have found other means. What disturbs me is the fact that she found a loaded firearm “because I have several friends who are ex-military and they own guns, and I also have a lot of friends who are pro-gun, so when I visit their houses, I know there are guns in the house”. That reveals a “truth about guns” which cannot be denied: Sometimes we firearms owners are our own worst enemy. One of the reasons that two-thirds of the firearms deaths in this country are suicides is that far too many of us are careless or downright irresponsible with loaded guns. Concerned that you may become the victim of a home invasion (even if you aren’t a drug dealer or otherwise a target for the nefarious) and feel you need a firearm at the ready? Good for you. Now spend less that what a gun costs and buy yourself a small coded gun safe or two or three to put those firearms where they are accessible easily ONLY to you. We responsible firearms owners will thank you.

    • Before we panic, I’d like to know what percentage off themselves with *somebody else’s* firearm. And, if I discovered that a visitor in my home was prowling around looking for a gun, the person would never again be a visitor. Story sounds fishy.

      • My roommate a while back was going through a pretty bad bout of depression that I didn’t know about. I only had a single pistol in the house for defense at the time, but when I found out, I made sure that it wasn’t around for a while. In the particular instance, I was more concerned for my friend’s frame of mind than a potential break in while I was home.

        As with all things, it is about risk assessment. In this case, it was my risk though. What scared me the most was how clueless I was to my friends emotional health.

    • She used her own gun. It is in the Trace article. Quoted below so you don’t have to drive up their traffic:

      ” And then I loaded the gun I had for protection, a .357 revolver, with hollow point bullets, because I knew that would kill me. I didn’t want the bullet to go through me and through the ceiling because the guy living above me had a dog I adored. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt either of them. So I decided to shoot myself on the balcony, which was made of thicker wood.”

    • “My dad asked the detective who worked on my case to have my gun destroyed….”

      Sounds to me like she owned the pistol she shot herself with. The owner locking it up wouldn’t have stopped her.

      Mental health counselling might have Helped.

  9. My takeaway? The story is bullshit, if you just blew your face off with a .357. you won’t be hearing anything for a long time, if ever. Which means the whole thing is the figment of someone’s imagination, most likely has no more meaning than the things Gabby Giffords supposedly says.

    • Not the case at all. I knew a guy that lived for about 6 months after the shot himself in the head (under the chin) with his service shotgun, a Mossberg 500A1 in 12 gauge, while on duty. He heard just fine, right up to the point that he died of the cancer he was trying to run away from in the first place.

      • Wow… and I thought it took an impressive amount of fail to unsuccessfully attempt to off yourself with a .357. A 12 gauge under the chin? God, I wouldn’t have even guesses that was possible. What did he do, angle it out to an absurd degree so that it blew off his jaw and nothing else or something?

        • Indelible memory from cop days: Two street cops eating a pizza, elbowing each other, pointing, and snickering as an Evidence Tech takes photos of a guy who had “Krazy-Glued” his brain to the ceiling with a 12 gauge in his mouth. The object of their amusement? The half of a brain lobe slowly but sure becoming unstuck from the ceiling, right over the Evidence Tech’s head.

  10. The point of the story? Not sure.
    I will deduce that she can’t play hockey, as she’s already had a face-off…

    • You sir are way too good at this! You win the interwebs today. (I believe you’ve won several times before!)

      • If that amused you (as it did me), then I must relate this cop story to you. A bunch of us were in the squadroom perusing some photographs of a hobo who had attempted to jump a moving freight train, failed, and fallen on the track rail, resulting in his being cut in half and instantly expiring. An officer commonly known as “Rat” came in, glanced at the photos, and remarked, “He looks really, really angry, doesn’t he?” We were all mystified and asked “Rat” how he came to that conclusion. “It’s very obvious”, he replied “That guy’s beside himself.”

        I was no good for the entire shift. A cop who keeps breaking out in schoolgirl giggles has no credibility whatsoever.

  11. Good role model for anti-gunners. Hopefully though, they won’t be so lucky.

    They really need to ‘take-one for-the-team’. And by that, I don’t mean “us”, I mean their “satan’s evil house of blue (D)bags” team.

    Suck fire.

  12. There is no point, other than if you’re planning to kill yourself, aim better.

    I’ve seen the aftermath first hand of too many people shot in the head (self inflicted or otherwise) to be fazed by this.

    • A former commanding officer, superb soldier and leader, distraught over an affair he had with a woman not his wife. put his Colt pocket pistol. 32 ACP under his chin and fired. The 32 projectile lodged in his brain but did not instantly kill him. He spent months in a care facility before he died. Guess who showed up daily to mop his brow and help care for him? His wife or ” the other woman”? You guessed right. It was his wife who showed up daily. Heartbreaking situation. Ironically, 14 years earlier, in an aid to civil authorities situation, I was at the Ohio Penitentiary , then in Columbus OH. My combat engineer unit was assigned to blow the entry hole into which law enforcement and Guard entered to quell the August 1968 riot. After order was restored, hardened recedivists were herded into the O.Henry baseball diamond, stripped naked as a security measure to prevent the secreting of homemade weapons. I and others were assigned in rotation to two Browning M1919 cal 30 MGs. One was aimed down third base, one down the first base diamond line. Every fifteen minutes we were ordered to squeeze off bursts which were stopped by multiple mattresses stacked against the stone prison wall. Any recedivist who crossed the white base line would be shot.
      It was August, hot and humid, only adding to a vision from hell. My CO turned to me , pulled out his .32 Colt pocket auto, tapped it to his temple, and said , ” If I ever have to go to prison, let it be a federal prison. A state prison is pure hell and I’d kill myself before going to one. ” He was experienced with firearms and was a former police officer with sensitivity and compassion. We all looked up to him. When he put the muzzle of that .32 to his head in violation of every safety standard, my heart was in my throat, tears in my eyes with sadness and fear for his well being. Eight years later he shot himself.

      • Tommy, it appears that your CO had issues long before his suicide.

        Seems to me that an affair, or some other remorseful incident, is probably not the reason people commit suicide. It might just be the excuse, or the trigger, or the final straw, but not the primary reason.

  13. My takeaway is threefold.

    1) The headline suggests that the author is either very well versed in irony or, conversely, doesn’t know what it is.

    2) She eventually got the help she needed.

    3) The Trace has no morals and is using this poor lady the way Code Pink used Cindy Sheehan.

  14. My takeaway is there is a lot to be done about the stigma of mental health and making sure care is there for those in need.

  15. Two takeaways.


    any time I saw a gun in front of me, I felt compelled to pick it up and shoot myself

    Guns talk to crazy people and tell them what to do.

    2) Too many crazy people walking around in the general population.

    • No.. No.. No…. She changed her FACE….. she missed her mind.. If she hit her mind, then she would be dead. Thats the point of the article (the old sniper rule) aim for the brain not the face.

  16. Well, at least a couple of take-aways are: the face is mostly a crush-zone to protect the brain(hence not vital to survival), and modern medicine/surgery is pretty damned amazing.

  17. The point is it must be a slow news day for Bloomberg if they resort to calling attention to the opinion of a suicidal person that obviously has no respect for others or themselves.

    This person was about to blow their head off and let their roommate, neighbors, or police find the mess and be emotionally or psychologically scarred.

    What a waste of space. If you are going to kill yourself at least have the decency to not make a huge mess for others to clean up.

    I like Japan’s approach to suicide. Litigation and fines.

        • Cloudbuster – I’m hoping that will be no time soon – but when my time does come (be it via an incurable and debilitating disease or Obamacare) I hope that we will have realized that assisted suicide to end incurable suffering is a humane option. Like everybody else, I’ve had a few hard knocks in my life. The worst? Watching the love of my life waste away in terrible pain as incurable cancer ravaged her. Did that massive dose of morphine I administered at the end kill her? Maybe so, maybe not. I have not the least doubt that I have no regrets having done it.

  18. So let me get this straight: it isn’t her fault she wanted to kill herself and tried, it is the gun’s fault. Typical Liberal avoidance of responsibility or accountability.
    She wouldn’t have tried to commit suicide if that gun hadn’t talked her into it.
    Demon Guns Again possessing people and making them shoot themselves or others!
    We must ban Demon Guns! For the children and the suicidal!

  19. IMO, we do gun rights a disservice when we glibly dismiss every suicide by firearm as one that would have happened by other means. Like it or not, many people see a gun as a totem of death, not a useful tool for self-defense, and the prospect of a quick death by bullet may be more appealing to some than a slow death by hanging or exsanguination. My wife and I have agreed that were we genuinely concerned someone in our household was suicidal, that person would be denied access to our guns — safe combinations would be changed and bolts would be removed from recreational guns. The same would go for pills and other potential suicide engines. Our rights come with responsibilities. Better we take care of them than some bureaucrat.

    • Folks choose guns to kill themselves for the same reasons we choose guns for self defense and hunting. Most effective tool for the job.

    • ” Like it or not, many people see a gun as a totem of death, not a useful tool for self-defense”
      Well a lot of people in 1950s Georgia saw Blacks as second class citizens like it or not.
      A lot of people in the 1800s didn’t think women were smart enough to vote either.
      A lot of people believing something doesn’t make it right nor legitimize action they take on that mistaken belief.

      • Danilushka, I never said it was right because it was popular. But if you don’t understand a suicidal person’s POV, you can’t help them.

      • “A lot of people in the 1800s didn’t think women were smart enough to vote either.”

        In the late 1700’s women did indeed have the right to vote. In fact the original NJ Constitution specifically mentioned the voting rights of women (as did many others). In the 1790’s and 1810’s many states women voluntarily gave up the right to vote by voting to have that right taken away from them.

        At the time it was thought that a woman with the right to vote gave rural farmers two votes because his wife, having the same interests as her husband, would vote the same way he did in nearly all circumstances. This was viewed as unfair to city folk where the wife might vote differently than her husband due to city life not encouraging her to vote exactly the same way as her husband for the good of the farm.

        By the 1830’s the views on this had changed and the woman’s suffrage movement began to restore women’s right to vote.

        You really need to get away from that revisionist history.

    • Rokurota,

      And would you also secure the bedsheets since they could hang themselves? How about the car keys since they could simply drive into the pillar of a highway overpass at 100 mph? Would you lock up their shoes to prevent them from walking to a tall structure from which they could jump and die … or walking to a location where they could jump out in front of a semi-truck on the highway? Would you lock up every sharp/pointy object (including tools and blunt objects that they could fashion/sharpen into sharp/pointy objects) so that they could not threaten to kill a hostage and effectuate “suicide by cop”? Would you take their money away so that they could not call a cab to take them to a location to purchase a death-inflicting instrument? Would you remove their Internet access so that they could not summon evil people who want to help them commit suicide?

      A person who is truly suicidal will succeed. Unless you commit them to a padded cell in a mental hospital, they can kill themselves if they want to. Rather than thinking about how to lock everything, put that effort into preventative measures so that your family member never gets to that point.

      • There must be a name for this kind of fallacy, that if you can’t make the situation perfect, you should do nothing.

        I’m going to be blunt here. We gun folks get very defensive when we hear about suicide by guns, and want to cover it up with the old saw that if not guns, then cars, trains, pills, whatever. While that’s true, guns don’t get a pass. As Swilson pointed out, they are the most effective tool for the job. There’s a reason TTAG has a suicide hotline link on the homepage. OK, so the gun grabbers have some ammo in their corner. That only means we treat the issue with honesty and action (like the NSSF partnership with the anti-suicide group), not brush it off as something that can’t be dealt with.

        Nirvana fallacy — just looked it up.

        • Everything that has a benefit has an opportunity cost. If you believe it could be beneficial to lock up guns, pills, keys to cars and the balcony, for the sake of a suicidal person, not that i agree with it, but fine that’s your life choice.

          The opportunity cost of locking up the pills and the keys is low, because you don’t need quick access.

          The same cannot be said for a defensive weapon. When you need it, you need it fast. You are sacrificing a critical ability for a person that has a bazillion other means to kill themselves anyway. Worth or not? You decide.

          I still believe it’s a human right to choose to off oneself instead of being tormented by a painful life, simply because it’s a free country. The attention seekers? Nah, they don’t use guns.

          Instead of falling for the antis’ ploy of linking guns to suicide and accepting their gun control schemes, how about just telling the world that suicide is not a bad thing when a person willingly choose so, and ridding property owners of their liability when a person uses their property to commit the act?

          • James – Have you ever wondered how different the attitudes and laws concerning firearms in this country would be had the late Nancy Lanza recognized the mental illness afflicting her son Adam and either changed the locks on her gun safes or removed her guns from the residence she shared with her son? Would Adam Lanza still have been able to slaughter his mother, all those children, and their teachers? Maybe so, maybe not. It’s one of those things we’ll never know. However, I DO know that there was a plethora of draconian laws restricting our Second Amendment rights passed in the wake of that horrific slaughter of innocents, where I live in Maryland among those states whose “blue” legislatures ran roughshod over the Second Amendment with scarcely a peep of protest from the electorate as a whole.

        • James, why do families with small children lock up their guns? For the same reason — the potential for mischief is greater than the harm you may encounter in the extra second it takes to unlock your bedside safe. Are there other things in the house that can hurt children? Yes. But that does not mean I don’t lock up the guns.

          As to your last paragraph, I don’t know how clearly I need to address it, as I did above. I never said anyone should be able to take away gun rights, so you can stop saying I’m “falling for the antis’ ploy” and “accepting their gun control schemes.” Then again, since you believe suicide is a human right to be exercised at will, you don’t feel the need to take steps to prevent it. Since I don’t agree with that view, I will sacrifice that extra precious second or two to punch in my combination. I repeat: I and not the state.

        • Mike Betts,

          “… had the late Nancy Lanza … either changed the locks on her gun safes or removed her guns from the residence she shared with her son … [w]ould Adam Lanza still have been able to slaughter his mother, all those children, and their teachers?”

          Anyone who is deranged enough to murder his own mother is capable of anything and everything … like murdering a neighbor or police officer to take their firearm. And note that A. Lanza did not need to murder his mother to access the gun safe: he did it just because.

          Both you and Rokurota seem unable to come to terms with the principle, “where there is a will, there is a way”. Rather than working the objects or methods, we need to work the problem, which is the person. And that starts with a stable, mentally healthy, loving family that instills confidence, value, respect for self and others, and discipline when necessary. It also requires instilling faith in our Creator. Without faith in our Creator, everything is meaningless including life itself. And if life is meaningless, why not end it on a whim for any or no reason? Only through faith in our Creator do we recognize the indescribable value of human life and the corresponding reason to protect human life. And faith provides an immeasurable source of comfort and hope during dark times … times that would drive some to suicide. Look at people who grow up in the environment that I described above and you will find what is effectively a zero suicide rate.

          • uncommon_sense – Oh, that the solution to such evil were so simple! You know who Timothy McVeigh was, of course. From his Wikipedia entry: “McVeigh was raised Roman Catholic.[91] During his childhood, he and his father attended Mass regularly.[92] McVeigh was confirmed at the Good Shepherd Church in Pendleton, New York, in 1985.[93] In a 1996 interview, McVeigh professed belief in “a God”, although he said he had “sort of lost touch with” Catholicism and “I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.”[91] In McVeigh’s biography American Terrorist, released in 2002, he stated that he did not believe in a hell and that science is his religion.[94][95] In June 2001, a day before the execution, McVeigh wrote a letter to the Buffalo News identifying himself as agnostic. However, he took the Last Rites, administered by a priest, just before his execution.”

            Can religion prevent evil? As I said in my posting in a different context, “Maybe so, maybe not.” The human mind is the most inscrutable of things, and it may be that “Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men? The Shadow knows” is a great old-time radio tagline, but the real Shadow has never existed and never will. We are left with the choice of sometimes dangerous liberty as our forefathers envisioned it or with Franklin’s warning of “Those who would give up essential Liberty for the sake of Security will end up with neither.”

        • Thanks for the lecture, Uncommon. I’ll assume you meant it in a constructive way, as we are brothers in Christ.

          No one, not even the most devout believer, is immune from the fallenness of this world. Thomas Kinkade and the Warrens’ son both took their own lives (Kinkade by drinking himself to death). So not a zero suicide rate. People in my own family struggle with depression, which is why we’ve had the conversation. You seem to think that that conversation means I am negligent in raising healthy kids in a whole family. We all do the best we can. If you have some foolproof method of ensuring children never grow up to have suicidal thoughts, please share it.

          Again, I call up the Nirvana fallacy. Of course a person driven to suicide or murder will find a way to do it. But not with my gun. In the same way I won’t hand my car keys to a drunk friend (because, you know, he’ll just find another car), I won’t let anyone who may be suicidal have access to my guns. I really don’t see why that’s so controversial.

        • Rokurota,

          I appreciate your replies: I do read them and I do understand them.

          First, let me say that I am not trying to be a “tool” or berate you. Rather, as you inferred, I am sharing my thoughts in the hopes that they enrich your life and are helpful. Saying it another way, I welcome perspectives from other people and I “pay it forward” sharing my own perspectives with others as well.

          I am not suggesting that you fail to invest enough time/effort to keep your family healthy. I am merely pointing out what I believe is an emotional decision on your part and possible oversights … as well as alternatives.

          Everything that I have stated is analogous to a frequent statement on this website: if a free person in society is too dangerous to possess a firearm, they are too dangerous to have access to hundreds of other items (and should never have been let out of prison if they are a convict). Why? Because it makes no logical sense to attempt to prevent access to “deadly” firearms when a person has free and easy access to “deadly” knives, cars, gasoline and matches, etc. Along the same lines, if someone is truly suicidal, shouldn’t that person really be in a secure mental care facility receiving treatment until their suicidal ideation has passed? Again, it makes no logical sense to eliminate access to “dangerous” firearms if you do not eliminate free and easy access to all alternative “dangerous” items that a suicidal person can use to end their life.

          Is there any harm in locking up firearms to prevent suicide? Only if you need them for self-defense. Regardless, locking up firearms is not a panacea that will eliminate suicide.

          /End of rant/soap box.

          P.S. I truly wish and pray that no one ever has to endure the suicide of a family member or friend.

        • Mike Betts,

          I have no detailed knowledge of the family, mental, and spiritual health of Tim McVeigh’s life so I cannot comment as to whether he is an exception to the rule.

          Best practices are always best practices. The root cause of violent crime is human beings who succumb to darkness. A stable, loving, concerned family with appropriate discipline and life-affirming faith in our Creator is the best “formula” to minimize human beings who succumb to darkness and, in turn, violent crime. Attempts to minimize violent crime by attempting to eliminate access to items which human beings can use for violence is a losing game of whack-a-mole. As soon as you eliminate one distribution channel for a particular item, another distribution channel will appear. As soon as you eliminate a particular item that humans use for violence, humans will identify an alternative item that they can use for violence.

          But don’t take my word for it, simply review history. How many millions of people have died prematurely from wounds that they received from fists, rocks, clubs, spears, arrows, knives, swords, fire, poison, and suffocation? How will eliminating access to firearms stop evil people from using fists, rocks, clubs, spears, arrows, knives, swords, fire, poison, suffocation, and myriad other items/methods to murder people? Regardless of the item or method, everything comes back to the hand that wields that item or method. That is the problem that we should be working.

          • uncommon_sense – Indeed, Man has been slaying his fellow man (and sometimes himself) since Cain and Abel with whatever instrument which comes to hand. Man’s bloodlust may be tamped down in a variety of ways including religion, strong family interaction, psychological intervention, and a plethora of other means. Yeah, maybe even pizza. However, the objects you listed as instruments of death do not have organized, vociferous, and very well financed groups clamoring for their elimination from society. Firearms, on the other hand, unfortunately do. We cannot eliminate every means of murder, nor should we eliminate firearms because they are a source of protection for the physically weak against those much stronger than they. But every time a gun owner is careless or irresponsible in keeping a firearm out of the hands of anyone who would or could misuse it, it is providing the antis with another rationale for the prohibition of firearms.

            I would like my so-called “assault weapons” to be thought of as something I simply can take to the range and not have to reload every ten rounds fired instead of a nefarious weapon for the mass murder of children. I can’t change that perception of the firearms. What I CAN do is make very sure that none of MY firearms are ever used for ill-intentioned purposes by the simple expedient of keeping them locked up in sturdy safes when not in use.

      • What preventive measures do you propose for ensuring one’s life is happy? Healthy people who exercise, eat right, and hold down fulfilling vocations can suffer from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I don’t know why you assume I do not work mightily for my family’s happiness. I also don’t know why you think it’s a choice between one or the other. False dichotomy — you win the fallacy sweepstakes for the day!

        • Rokurota,

          “I don’t know why you assume I do not work mightily for my family’s happiness.”

          I never made any such assumption. I simply pointed out that a suicide prevention strategy which fails to address all possible methods is a losing strategy and a waste of limited time, energy, and resources. Why put forth any effort into a strategy which is a guaranteed loser? Why not invest that effort into family health, mental health, and spiritual health? Instead of spending $200 on a biometric firearm safe to stop a suicidal person from accessing your handgun, what if you use that $200 to pay for 10 pizza dinners … which frees up 10 nights of dinner preparation … which means 10 nights of playing for 30 minutes with your children that would not have happened otherwise? There is a really good probability that those 10 extra play sessions with your children put them solidly on the road to mental health such that they never become suicidal in the first place.

          “I also don’t know why you think it’s a choice between one or the other. False dichotomy …”

          I am not creating a false dichotomy … I am totally discrediting the choice of suicide method elimination strategy because you cannot eliminate all suicide methods unless the suicidal person is locked in a padded room on suicide watch.

          What you are proposing is no different than gun-grabbers who pass laws that criminalize one distribution channel at a time, such as the law that says federal firearm licensees cannot sell firearms to convicted felons. How many felons will walk out of an FFL and say, “Gee, I cannot purchase a firearm from an FFL … I’ll never be able to acquire a firearm.”? None. They simply find another way to acquire a firearm. Trying to stop methods is legal “whack-a-mole” and doomed to fail. Just as it is doomed to fail with firearms acquisition, it is doomed to fail with suicide method elimination.

          Here is a totally different way to look at it. Perhaps you have heard that all interactions fall into one of two categories, either:
          (a) voluntary, persuasive, mutually beneficial, cooperative
          — or —
          (b) involuntary, coercive, exploitative, adversarial

          My approach — invest all effort for a mentally and spiritually strong and healthy family — falls under the voluntary, persuasive, mutually beneficial, and cooperative category.

          Your approach — eliminate access to certain objects and hinder the suicidal person’s actions — falls under the involuntary, coercive, exploitative, and adversarial category.

          Which approach do you think is most likely to succeed?

        • I can see this is a big waste of time since you don’t seem to be reading my comments. Never do I advocate abjuring your a) in favor of b). B) is a failsafe against a); it is both-and, not either-or. We will have to disagree on whether a) always obviates the need for b). I reserve the right to deny my wife or children access to any tool they would use for suicide regardless of whether they could acquire another, and I hope they would do the same for me. I don’t feel the need to tell you how much time I spend with my family, either. You go ahead and make your judgments.

    • There’s the rub… You would take action in your home to minimize the risk to someone in your home.

      The anti-rights crowd want to take action in everyone else’s home to minimize the risk people you have never met.

    • Sorry, pal, I don’t buy it. Our argument is as valid, if not more than yours. Fact is that someone who has reached the end of their rope IS going to check out. Witness Japan where they had to pass a law to fine the survivors to stop people throwing themselves in front of trains. Every time we buy into the ‘guns = suicide’ narrative and start checking ourselves, we play into their hands. Fact is that they aren’t concerned about suicides anymore than they are about homicide victims or rape victims. They want all blame to point back at the tool rather than the fool committing the act. I refuse to play by their rules. I won’t ridicule this person, but I shed no tears for her (if she exists) and refuse to accept her behavior as a reason for me to change my behavior.

  20. My dad had a very good friend, elderly gentleman, wife had passed on years before, no children, no immediate family left, most of friends had passed on, was losing his eye sight. Left the 357 revolver he used, believe it was a S & W, to my dad. Everything else probably went to local church or school.
    If you are smart and don’t want extraordinary measures taken to keep you alive, execute an advanced medical directive. I see suicide, most of the time, a long term solution for a short term problem. But sometimes for those with intractable pain, terminable illness or an elderly man whom did not want to be a burden, it should be a choice

  21. My TAKE? Where to start? Hummmm…. I UNDERSTAND, but I just don’t care. Hope you love your daddy now that he emptied his 401K to rebuild your face.

    What we have here is utter complete failure of this generation to do ANYTHING correctly including killing themselves. They have a false sense of their importance, their value to society and when reality whacks the melon bucket, a small percentage get brain crush and go for the gun. That option is additional evidence replacements, with all this country has to offer, can neither think for themselves and value victim status over productive citizens.

  22. To me it appears that the only point of this story is tickle the “feelz” of the Trace’s target audience. This is a story for them to either share on Facebook* and feel like they’ve somehow done something about evil guns, or somehow make the reader feel responsible for stopping strangers from committing suicide by taking guns away from everybody.

    *Of course sharing on FB or other social media would lead to more people visiting the site, driving up click count and artificially legitimizing the site.

  23. “… any time I saw a gun in front of me, I felt compelled to pick it up and shoot myself.”

    What did she feel compelled to do when she saw a tall bridge? A rope? A bottle of sleeping pills? A railroad track?

    The point of the story is, no matter what means you choose to end your life, stupidity can lead to failure.

    • Yeah that’s actually a real thing. These are desperate people in pain that see the gun as the object that will end their pain. They actually do tend to focus on that one particular object. For some people it’s guns, pills for others. I knew a guy that simply did not go to high places. Everyone thought he was afraid of heights. He was afraid he’d jump. Compulsions are weird things. But compelled is compelled, it doesn’t make sense.

    • Comes with “Don’t point gun at anything you are not willing to destroy” 😉

      But yes, succinctly put.

    • Too refine that message – make sure you have a sufficient understanding of anatomy before shooting yourself.

  24. This could have just as easily been:

    I drank drain-o
    I hung myself
    I stepped in front of a bus
    I jumped out a window (auto-defenestration!)

    In each case a friend, roomate, passerby could have also saved her with other terrible disfigurements.


  25. “Woman Shoots Herself in the Head, Becomes Gun Control Supporter. ”

    Kind of like Gabrielle Giffords, “Congresswoman Suffers Major Brain Damage, Becomes Champion of Gun Control.”

  26. Self-ownership is not only the right to live life as you see fit, but it also includes the right to end it when/if desired.

    Now the takeaway I got from the story is that if you want to end your life, to be sure to hit critical gray matter, not just blow your face off.

    • yeah, I agree that free people have the right to end their life. but people who are suicidal are often suffering from depression or other temporary issues clouding their judgment. they often recover from their issues, IF they don’t off themselves first.

      the problem with suicide is that it is a momentary decision that cannot be undone.

  27. My takeaways:

    Just because you are shot, doesn’t mean you are dead. Keep fighting.
    Just because you shoot someone, it doesn’t mean they are dead or even immediately disabled. Keep fighting.

  28. Personally, I’m tired of a society that enables weakness. 1 I have experienced depression, 2, I have had good friends and relatives commit suicide, 3, I’m well aware of the various psychological reasons why people don’t seem help when they should. I care and it saddens me, I have a great deal of empathy. No sympathy however. Your emotional problems don’t dictate my life. I am pleased when a person fails at suicide and becomes a better person, but I am not that bothered when they succeed. We are too inclined to coddle and console the weak among us. I fail to see the point, even if its me. Those who live without hope or faith should see the honest result of their folly, not be told that everything is ok. If we do that, we validate their self pity. The world has no room for those who think that theirs is the worst pain, and the gene pool suffers from their inadequacy.

  29. Boy what a bunch of bullcrap. It is proven statistic fact from the Center for Disease Control which recordes all deaths weather done by a lawnmower a rope a handgun rifle shotgun or you jump off a building they record it and have for many years. And it has been proven that if you are that effed up in your head that you want to die you will do so whether you have a gun or you just jump in front of traffic if one option isn’t available to you you will choose the next easiest way to commit suicide this is a proven fact. Story is a bunch of horseshit. Like guns caused her to kill herself give me a FN break. This clinically depressed or clinically insane person should have had a mental health facility to go to. But we know what happened to all the state-run mental health facilities that would help someone like this they all went private so that if you don’t own a small fortune or have the best insurance money can buy you’ve got nothing no help nothing. This really hits home I lost my cousin Gregory to a suicide an overdose of narcotic medication by one of those pill Mills the state finally closed down in Florida after hundreds of deaths were involved. Banning guns is not going to stop suicide mental health counseling is the only cure and medication to keep people from killing themselves and basically if you really want to die this is a free country you can do it you can just step out off the curb into traffic and that’s it game over tilt.

  30. My brother has a saying when he is describing someone who is really incompetent. He says, “So and so couldn’t find his ass with both hands.” I’m not sure I get the image, but I get the meaning. So this lady puts a .357 to her head, a contact shot, and fails to kill herself? I think that’s in the same category.

    Isn’t this why the NRA was formed? To promote civilian marksmanship? The country is in dire need of that again. This is sad. We have people who are such bad shots, they can’t even take themselves out. How can we ever defeat an enemy?

    I propose a course, “NRA Basic Suicide.” If it’s as boring as most NRA courses, everyone will certainly find a way to off themselves by the end of the syllabus.

  31. She had already been an alcoholic on depression and anti-anxiety meds even before her whole world collapsed. Clearly she lacked coping skills a normal person has. There’s no way she could have recovered from all of that on her own.

    Once the suicidal thoughts kicked in and she declined to seek help, there was really no other way this could have ended. So my takeaway from this is that when you’re in over your head, get some help. The gun is as irrelevant as the balcony she could just as easily have hung herself from.

  32. Phrasing!

    “about 85 percent of people who attempt suicide with a gun will die.”

    That’s 100% incorrect. 100% of people who attempt suicide with a gun will die.

    • No, it is phrased correctly. 100% of the people who attempt to kill themselves using a firearm do not die, only about 85% do.

      • Everyone dies sooner or later. The correct phrasing might be “85% of people who use a gun to kill themselves die in the attempt.”

  33. I’m glad they ran the story as such. Only the slowest, most brainwashed folks will come away from an article like this thinking guns are the problem. It’ll also make potential suicides think real hard about the fact that if you try and fail, someone you love will be burdaned by your care forever.

  34. I thought we were all modern and liberal and could go to the doctor and get an overdose of sleeping pills or whatever in Washington, Oregon, California, and Vermont maybe Montana!?

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