gun suicide study comparison
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Driving back from a family gathering in Colorado, my phone beeped. I had a text. I assumed it was my mother checking on the progress of our travels. The text was from my sister and I pulled over to read it.

On Christmas night, she and her husband had a friend stay over in their home. She made him a bed in their home office. During the night, he found one of their guns and killed himself. She woke up to a loud bang, and when she opened the door to the office, saw only blood.

“What ifs” raced through my mind.

My sister has no children, so locking up her guns seemed redundant. She had no indication that her house guest was suicidal. If she had, she would’ve locked her gun away before he arrived. (I’m not sure where she had stored the gun involved; she’s not yet ready to discuss the details.)

Last night, I woke up at midnight after coming to a stark realization.

I own guns to protect my life and the lives of my children. My sister owns guns for the same reasons. My husband uses guns to hunt. He only hunts for meat; we have no trophies hanging in our home. He hunts with his guns to sustain our lives.

This time, a gun meant to protect was used to destroy.

Guns will always be used to destroy innocent life, no matter how many laws are written to “control” them. The effects of firearms-related criminal violence and suicide are horrific. But however preventable, the bloodshed does not diminish or outweigh the positive aspects of owning firearms. Which is, after all, an individual right.

If my sister’s house guest hadn’t been able to commit suicide with her gun, he no doubt would have made an attempt later in some other way. I don’t blame the gun or my sister for this tragedy. Call me insensitive, but my primary concern was for her safety — because of her proximity when her visitor fired the fatal bullet.

I also feel anger. While I wish the victim had received help, his act was unforgivably selfish. Thanks to his actions, made of his own free will, my sister will have a horrifying image in her head as a Christmas memory. She has seen what no one should have to see.

If you are considering suicide, please get help. Take it from a gun owner: all life is valuable.

Nation Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255

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  1. My closest friend (and one of very few) shot himself just last October with a gun he got from me. I’ve been reeling since, and his parents are understandably shattered. He was only 24. There is a disconnect between logic and the persistent feeling that I could have prevented it somehow. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to reconcile his loss, but I know damn well it wasn’t the gun’s fault. Still, I have a new understanding for people that do blame guns after a meaningful loss; the strongest logic can not compete with such powerful emotion.

  2. I use to think suicide was a selfish act. I no longer view it this way. I wonder if the guest knew she had a gun and where it was and that was the reason for his stay.

    • Suicide in itself may or may not be a selfish act, but splattering your brains all over someone else’s house is extremely selfish. Take it out into the woods where at least the coyotes will eat well for a couple of nights.

      • They say guys will kill themselves with whatever is available, but girls will predominately use pills, or the “slit wrists in the bathtub” thing, or something else similarly “not messy.” Apparently the “cleanliness” of the method is not due to rational thought in most cases, but just a reflection of the difference in how the brain works between the sexes. There are, of course, always outliers.

        All I know is, while I’ve never had meaningful suicidal ideations, I’d like to think I’d do it in such a way as to minimize the fallout for those left behind. It’s just who I am.

        • I realize that people who commit suicide are generally not thinking rationally and probably never think of the mess behind, either the physical mess or the emotional mess they leave for their friends and family. But it’s still a selfish act.

        • It’s been shown that women are more likely to ATTEMPT suicide, whereas men are more likely to succeed. It’s actually an interesting fact, and theories on it range from brain chemistry to social conditioning to vanity.

      • As I understand it, and I have NOT done a thorough study on the subject, Suicides often act to intentionally shock those they leave behind who they believe are responsible for their psychological condition. These are the people who will hang themselves where they are sure to be discovered or use an otherwise messy and shocking method for their demise such as stepping in front of commuter trains.

        It seems unlikely that someone who simply discovered a pistol unsecured would suddenly decide to shoot themselves. But then again, I can’t wrap my mind around the idea of suicide in the first place. How in the world can taking a non-reversible step into the totally unknown be better than trying to make the known better? Inconceivable. (YMMV, unfortunately)

        • I considered the ‘revenge’ factor, but still deemed it to be incredibly selfish. Giving your body as nourishment to the coyotes is downright noble in comparison.

        • Generally folks who commit suicide have tried and failed to find to make their problem/s go away. There are very little resources available to people despite what the feel good politicians say. Sure they can call a phone number where someone will give them information on where to find help groups but simply telling someone it’s going to be ok doesn’t change anything. It’s sad, this country has an epidemic of suicide but when it comes down to the nitty gritty nobody wants to pay more taxes to fund the help and with all the other things taxpayers are responsible for assigning money to help folks with psychological issues is always pushed to the bottom of the list.

          While agree that the person who killed themselves in a friends house, and especially on Christmas, was a shytty thing to do, suicide is far from being selfish in itself. If anyone who says so traded shoes with one of these people and lived their lives for awhile I have no doubt they would realize the foolishness of such a statement. There are a whole lot of people out there who are living in their own private hell 24/7 and let’s be realistic, there’s nobody out there helping them other than a few poorly funded programs who can’t do anything other than tell them it’s going to be ok.

    • Suicide itself isn’t necessarily selfish, but “horribly selfish” seems like the perfect way to describe the act of blowing your brains out all over someone else’s home.

      • Definitely. I’ve never heard of one like this before — if it happened to me, I’d probably have to move, the memories would be so haunting. For that matter, of the half dozen people I’ve known who killed themselves, none was in the house — back yard, front yard, back woods, but never in the house or even the garage. I don’t think I;d even be able to go into someone’s house if I knew someone who’d committed suicide there.

  3. I had two friends who committed suicide. One jumped from the roof of the dorm back in college. The other hung himself with a coat hanger. A fvcking coat hanger.

    I’d like to think that my college friend had at least a brief thrill before his lights went out. As for my other friend, the thought of him slowly strangling to death makes me wish that he had a gun.

  4. A friend of mine committed suicide with a pistol. I know it’s irrational, but I refuse to own or use that brand of pistol anymore. Then again, it’s not a make that ever fit my hand especially well.

  5. Recently a 12 year old girl live streamed her suicide. She had a journal that talked about her life. To call her selfish would be to ignore the serious issues that push people to suicide. To kill oneself is to go against our most powerful urge, the urge to live. Something serious must have gone on to cause it.

    • Sometimes it doesn’t take something major, just an ongoing level of agony that becomes intolerable because it doesn’t quit. I’ve gone suicidal three times, and only once was it a major thing (PTSD episode). My docs have said I’m unique, because even though every time I had guns around I never even considered using one of them; it’s too deep in me that guns are for protection, not harm.

      In fact sometimes the tipping point can be someone saying they care but pretty clearly aren’t ready to step beyond their comfort zone to actually help. So if you know anyone who seems suicidal, if you offer to help be ready to go to extremes to do so. In college a friend got suicidal and a couple of us caught on; the other guy asked our friend what he could do, and the answer was “Don’t leave me.” He replied, “Then I want to be sure you won’t leave me” — and they handcuffed themselves together. It took two days before our suicidal friend broke down under the realization how committed this friend was, handcuffed to him while I stayed with them every moment for those days. That’s pretty extreme, but if you say you’re going to help when someone is suicidal, be ready to go that far.

      BTW, saying “You need a professional” can sound to someone suicidal like being pushed away.

      And never, EVER take away someone’s guns without permission — when I was between sessions of college, it was that action by some well-meaning friends that tipped the scales and drove a guy to jump off a bridge (fortunately, the seventy-foot drop “only” broke an arm and ripped up one leg on impact). ASK first!

    • Because personal survival is such a basic and driving instinct in almost every living thing, and a brief perusal of the comments on TTAG will show how seriously some people take this, I am forced to presume that the act of suicide is a non-survival flaw similar to other natural abnormalities. As devastating as it may be to those who have (hopefully) devoted significant effort to nurturing an individual who them commits suicide it seems that in may cases, other then intentionally inflicted psychological and physical pain from which the person can foresee no reasonable escape, suicide may be an inevitable, unavoidable, unpredictable natural selection of a defective organism out of the gene pool.

      As painful as that may be when it is someone you know and/or love, sometimes Nature is a bitch. And as can be seem from the many inventive ways people find to end their own lives, sometimes there is not a damn thing you can do to prevent it.

      My reaction to the “suicide by cop” video from Ft. Collins: This guy was so screwed up that he thought his whole life revolved around this one woman who didn’t want him and the solution was to hurt or kill her, regardless of consequences to himself, which he had to know would be severe. Under those conditions, what possible motive (other than protection from prosecution) could the police have to attempt to save his life after he forced them to shoot him? Could they possibly really believe they would be doing him a favor?

      One of the main reasons I got out of the medic business – sometimes people die, and sometimes saving them is not doing them a favor. Unfortunately the law sometimes requires that medical personnel and other “first responders” act anyway.

      • If you don’t understand that life is sacred and that evil exists, you either haven’t lived long enough or you’re hiding your own brokenness behind an ersatz intellectualism.

        Either way, you need an editor.

    • Sacrifice your self for others, that’s noble. But killing your self on live TV is just trying to get attention. Very sad. Very wrong.

  6. “Guns will always be used to destroy innocent life, no matter how many laws are written to “control” them.” I understand what you are trying to say but it’s statements like this that the liberal left normally make and we know that to be false. I also hunt and I also have trophy’s hanging on my walls and have never wasted any meat nor am I ashamed of any of my trophy’s.

  7. Oh man this one hits home. My
    auto mechanics 23yr old son just killed himself last week with a handgun. He was buried yesterday. Over a girl…and I talked to him awhile back about him joining the service. And guns. Advice? Life gets better. I’ve been married more than once and been heartbroken too. I also have a 39year old son teetering on the edge of reality. I think I’ll call him…

    1. Are you depressed?
    2. If “yes”, have you ever had suicidal thoughts?
    3. If “yes”, have you ever attempted suicide?
    4. If “yes”, did you succeed?
    5. If “yes”, how do you think your decision to commit suicide has affected your relationships with others?
    All answers will be kept strictly confidential.

  9. I consider suicide distasteful but sometimes necessary. People who try to be helpful and foolishly say things like “life will get better” or “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” must be detached from reality. Life doesn’t guarantee solutions to your problems or promise to not give you more than you can handle.

    The reality is that some problems are not solvable or temporary. Have you ever seen an amputee or a burn victim or a quadriplegic suddenly resume their former state of physical wholeness ? For some people the problem(s) will never be resolved because they CAN’T be.

    Despite the media image, elderly people, not teenagers, make up the largest suicide demographic. From what I’ve read this is mostly due to the fact the elderly rarely use suicide as a “gesture” and there is presently no cure for being old.

    I do agree that anyone who decides to kill themselves should make an effort to minimize the psychological damage to bystanders by attempting to isolate themselves from witnesses at the moment of their demise.

    • I got lucky and asked just the right question of a friend who came and told me he was planning suicide: I asked, “Can you imagine it being worse?” He stared at me, then punched me, glared, and finally answered, “Yes. So since I haven’t hit bottom….”

      “Stay alive.” So we went and built a huge bonfire, got drunk, screamed at the universe, and talked about what was so agonizing. When we were done suffering through nasty hangovers, he decided he could keep living — and he told me, “If you’d said things will get better, I would have knocked you out and gone and driven off the lookout.”

      Platitudes are like gun control — they make the people handing them out feel better, but have little to bad results for the recipient.

      • I could not agree more. IMO the worst is “everything happens for a reason.” Now if the person suffering says that and actually believing it helps them get through whatever it is they are suffering from, more power to them and I would support them in that thought process. But a “friend” that tells someone suffering through a tragic situation that “everything happens for a reason” is no friend. Figure out a way to help or stfu.

  10. I had a close friemd and teacher who committed suicide by an exhaust hose struck thru the rear car window. Left behind a wife and kids. If someone is determined to do it they will find a way.

    • Or sometimes a failed attempt will provide a different view on the world (I speak from experience, having survived a triple dose of meds, two of which should have killed me according to the doctors).

  11. Every time I think about my brother’s suicide, I thank God that my he did not do it that way. He did have guns in the home he was renting and did not use them.

  12. A house guest committing suicide in your home with your gun. Jesus. That’s fucked up.

    On the one hand it’s beyond discourteous but on the other the person clearly isn’t thinking in a way most of us would consider straight and clearheaded.

  13. No, not all life is valuable. All life may start out that way, but as people make choices and as people experience things that others can’t even comprehend or understand, that changes.

  14. If a person is committed to it the outcome is likely inevitable. As I’ve said in the past I had a cousin hang himself with his underwear in jail. It’s certainly something that can happen. Part of concealed carrying is being aware the value of life, and of those around you. As such we must keep ourselves aware that our tools of defense can be used to destroy. It doesn’t change the fact it’s a sad situation. My condolences to you and your family.

    • No it is not painless.It leaves you with more questions than answers.And you will forever have a case of what its.Suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem.Reach out to someone,anyone.

  15. I too agree that was taking bad advantage of friends, real nasty!

    But, if someone really wants to do away with themselves, there isn’t much any one can do.
    And I don’t think friends, etc should blame themselves, virtually at all.

    I lost a good friend many, many years ago, he bungled it the first time, and finished the job about 4 months later. I had just moved half way across the country prior, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. It weighed heavily at first, but finally came to my senses, you are gonna play hell stopping someone determed!

  16. One of the many reasons I bought a few firearms was because my inlaws took me to the range a year ago. I don’t recall why the topic came up, but the range officer at that indoor range stated that they had a customer rent a handgun and then blow his brains out in their range. Almost as screwed up as the above story.

    Another small reason I took up shooting is because I was curious about how bad the regulatory environment for shooters was in California. Some of the regs. are as onerous as most of you suspect that they are. There is a suggestion (not a requirement) in the regs. that says you should keep the firearm and ammo widely separated when stored in the home. (Not happening!) The salesman for my first handgun (an Army Ranger) said he keeps a loaded 1911 in his bedside stand since his kids are out of the house. (Hmmm.)

    I follow the CA regs. and store my handguns in a fingerprint safe along with a couple loaded mags not inserted. I’ve practiced many times in the dark and can get my gun ready to fire in under 12 sec. (I never chamber a round in the house.) I know this is not fast enough for many people in many different situations; but I feel pretty good knowing that some random kid or adult nut-job is going to have a very difficult time accessing a loaded firearm in my house.

    • We had a guy do the same thing at a store I used to manage. Rented a gun and then killed himself. It happens (suicides at gun ranges) a lot more than you would think.

  17. There are demons in this world. Both from shit circumstances of life and mind and also those that come from a more shall we say determined source. The Devils greatest victory in modern society is that no one believes in him.

    • +1 Evil exists, yet politicians who control the free exercise of our rights wish to lazily address evil through the consent of government as a buffer between the people and it’s monsters. Perhaps my home state’s actions unduly influence my perception, but they do constrain the breadth of choice that other states aren’t plagued by.

      Suicidal ideation and depression are evil parasitic things that lie on top of your brain, suck the joy from your life, scrubs the color away from your world, and leaves you bereft of all feeling except for the acute sensations of mental anguish and pain. My sincerest condolences to the poor man who took his life, his family, and my best wishes to your family given the horror of that pained man’s act, Mrs. Tipton.

  18. Sara, why? Sorry but you are a serious buzzkillington and this article sounds like it would be better suited to huffpo or cnn. And just when I thought you had stopped writing for ttag…

  19. I’m not an expert, and I don’t pretend to be — based on my personal experiences, I can only imagine that people whom commit suicide understand to a degree the pain others will feel from their death, but the pain and depression in their mind is even greater. My deepest condolences, Sara.

  20. In earlier times, before gunpowder, those of any age who sensed the end of life went out alone to die. On the African savannah, they might face a pride of lions as the sat leaning against a tree. In the frigid north, they might drift away on an ice flow or drift into an eternal sleep. People have long used poisons (or the bite of an asp) when all seemed hopeless. In more modern times, guns, razor blades, pills, “suicide by cop”, and other means not available way back when. The difference is the means, and the only reason for that is the advancements in the means available. Ridding society of guns, pills, or razor blades will not stop or even slow the suicide rates. Those who feel helpless and hopeless will still take the “easy way out”. These people are not thinking rationally because they are out of hope and see no other way out of their situation. Quite often, the act is unexpected by others; there is no advance warning. Unfortunately, they are not thinking about those they leave behind or those who have to find them.

    Many years ago, one of the best liked men on my law enforcement shift committed suicide. We had completed our shift and were going on our “weekend”. I noted a slight change in his demeanor and talked to him right after work. He said nothing was wrong; that he was just having a down day. I told him that if he needed anything to call me or just come by my house. I later learned that he had returned to his dorm room and hung himself because his long time girlfriend had declined his marriage proposal. All who knew him were totally shocked. Thirty plus years later I learned that the girlfriend had turned to alcohol. His friends are still impacted by his sudden death.

    He had guns available, as well as other means, and he chose hanging. There is no way to know, no matter how much anti-gunners claim, that having a gun available and being suicidal will result in the gun being used. Suicidal people suffer from depressive mental illness which may be temporary or long term. In some cases, there are warning signs such as prior attempts. In others, it appears suddenly, and may be gone just as suddenly without a loss of life. Much depends upon how the individual is able to handle the ups and downs of life.

    (RIP Jack. No one is truly gone so long as a single person remembers them.)

  21. between the 11yr old nephew rope trick, and the mother in law’s best friend stabbing herself with kitchen knives (plural), i can think of nine other close (to me) individuals taking their lives. three of those were with firearms, one obtained from me.
    a couple of them described to me a crushing force that constantly squeezed, unrelenting.
    it leaves everyone involved with the what ifs, and they don’t fade much.

  22. Sara, if one person reads this and seeks help, now or years from now while rummaging in the TTAG archives, and gets help, then you have saved a life. Good job.
    Your sibling’s act of hospitality had a tragic consequence. We can and should pray for comfort and understanding for the living. I will.
    I’ll vote for each human life being very precious. Off topic, but that, ironically as it may seem, is the only justification for governments having the power of the death penalty for the great offense of taking an innocent life.
    Deep depression is just not a rational state. If one is very alienated from the rest of humanity then what effect the manner of one’s own death has on others is not something the one suffering so much can manage to think about.
    It is most immediately an attempt to escape from what seems like unbearable and inescapable pain.
    After the act, the departed one is in the hands of God, the righteous judge.
    Folks, if we know, if someone trusts us enough to hint he/she is so very distressed, try to say something, don’t be silent. Ask a question. Take a chance and say you care. If you pray, pray for that person.

  23. Better to use a gun than to drive head-on into an oncoming unsuspecting vehicle, as happens fairly regularly. Do it outside to lessen the mess to be cleaned up.

  24. I live with dogs and other than my daily carry P229, my guns are locked up. I wouldn’t have anyone stay in a room that had a gun in it, I don’t care who it was. My weapons are all locked up. Easy to access, but locked up. That being said, I also am a survivor from a person I was close to who committed suicide. It sucks. God it sucks bad. That’s the worst thing ever. I don’t wish that on anyone. I also got the call in the middle of the night. The person swallowed a entire bottle of Ritalin. They didn’t last long enough to finish a note. I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t know until it was too late.
    A very selfish act. It’s saddens me to even touch on this again while I write about it here for TTAG.
    It’s difficult to adequately relate the massive storm of emotions that constantly torment you without warning.

  25. Come on people it’s 2017. Can we not all afford the $2 worth of vent it would require to get from the exhaust to your driver side window? Why are we still shooting ourselves? If you just have to check out, don’t leave a mess in someone’s home…

  26. I had a friend who’s little brother attempted suicide. He was being bullied at school but never told anyone. He let his depression build and build until he couldn’t take it anymore. Tried to hang himself. Fortunately my friend came home and found him before it was too late.
    I remember something profound that was said that night while we were talking with him and his little brother… ” life may suck, but the alternative is unacceptable.” That phrase has stuck with me ever since.

  27. “He only hunts for meat; we have no trophies hanging in our home.”

    What is the point of this line? To virtue signal your “superiority” over trophy hunters? What does it have todo with suicide?

    • I also fully agree with you. I hunt for meat, but if I can get a trophy, and honor the animal by hanging it on my wall all the better. I’m sick of Mrs. Tiptons West Coast Higher than thou attitude. Whether be it President Elect Trump (your welcome Sara), or this new anti animal trophy dribble.

    • I personally have never tried to take the life of an animal larger than my thumb, but even so, this line annoyed me. A trophy takes a lot of work to get and may bring happines to its owner in equal measure to the meat Tipton eats.

      Trophy hunters are good, not bad. They’re supporting the naturalism and conservation markets far more than I do with my photography and marksmanship hobbies, and they control herds.

      Does the deer care if you eat it? If you use the antler for something more practical, like a knife handle or something, will the deer suddenly be happy to get shot? Does it matter how much the antlers would sell for compared to meat?

      How pious and ridiculous.

  28. Now I can’t get the folk rock theme from M*A*S*H out if my head.

    Anyway, inconsiderate move by the friend, but hey, always control your machinery. I’m not saying lock it up, keep it on the coffee table if you like. But if your machine gets used in a way you don’t want, unless you can point to a criminal who took control from you, don’t play the blame game. You had control, you let go and things didn’t automatically go well on their own. Oops.

  29. “we have no trophies hanging in our home.”
    Well, then, you’re obviously just a better person than those who do.

    “He hunts with his guns to sustain our lives.”

    There’s always Kroger.

  30. If you have visitors to your home, lock up your guns.
    You say to know them? But do you really know them?

    • This is an issue that has to be solved before we turn our basement into a B&B. At the moment one of my home defense guns is lightly hidden at the bottom of the stairs, and if we’re going to have guests that has to change.

      Thanks for the unintended reminder!

  31. Any time we have house guests, including family members, all guns except mine and my wife’s carry guns are locked up.

  32. I completely agree with this woman’s view of the incredible selfishness of this act. Why in the hell is it ok to leave this horrible image for the person who discovered you?

    I knew two people when growing up who came home from school to find their mother’s dead by suicide. One hanging in the closet and one sprawled on the couch from a gun shot.

    First off, I’m highly doubtful that suicide brings about the escape the person is looking for, but if you insist on doing it leave a note and take your business to the woods.

    • “First off, I’m highly doubtful suicide brings about the escape the person is looking for…”.

      From an emotional /psychological standpoint you are probably correct but the fact remains that for a desperate person the only available choices are:
      A). Life
      B.) Death

      There is no third option.

    • Before I commented I looked up who Chesterton was ( via Wikipedia for expediency ) to provide some context to the the quote. I am not a Catholic nor a philosopher so I may be at a disadvantage. I simply fail to see the distinction between murder and suicide the way Chesterton sees it.

      All human deaths are tragic in a broad sense but one would assume that the victim of murder was not ready to give up their life and that their death was forced upon them unwillingly. The life of a murder victim was STOLEN from them.

      The victim of suicide on the other hand forfeits their life WILLINGLY. Their death, as tragic as it may be, is still in accordance with their own decision. No one took it from them, they chose to give it away.

      I view murder as morally repugnant and suicide as tragic.

  33. What an asshole. My life sucks so I’m going to go over to a friend’s house and splatter my inside all over the wall so they can be eternally traumatized. Prick. I hope you regretted it the moment you pulled the trigger.

  34. I just think the suicide, the events leading up to suicide and the method and place of suicide are entirely private and unknowable by those other than the one committing or considering committing suicide.

    Because I think that I also think that 4th quarter quarterbacking isn’t appropriate as we’re unlikely to gain any understanding or express any meaningful emotions or formulate any worthy recommendations. We just know so little about it as we’ll never fully understand the whys, wherefores, and the choice of how and where.

    It’s private…forevermore afterwards. So, I’d only feel pity, remorse, loss and confusion…without being judgemental.


  35. Yep. I had 2 friends commit suicide with guns. I was there for one. I was a teenager, this is probably the only time i have written about it online. Drew was the first one, a little over a year later, Jake followed suit. Drew had some real serious personal issues he couldn’t overcome. Jake was just a loose cannon. We took the steak knife out of his hand one time before. This time is was really bad. He tried to kill a friend when he “snapped” and we had to wrestle him down and restrain him. I threw the gun across the room, it landed under a table or dresser or something. Somehow he saw it and got it and shot himself while i was in the room trying find something to calm him down after i took the friend to a car and had someone take him to the hospital. During the struggle Jake had stabbed him the throat, doctors said it almost came out the other side of his neck. Amazingly enough, he survived. Lucky for me, Jake used a .22 pistol to shoot himself so i didn’t have to see my friends’….you get the point.
    The gun was in a gun cabinet, which he just broke to get. If he hadn’t used a gun this time, it just would have been something else the next time. Most likely he would have OD’d on something down the road. I also watched him shoot meth for the first time, told him he could have my turn. I believe i was around 19 at the time. Suicide is a CHOICE that person makes, yes its most likely the wrong one but its still their choice.
    And if we can not choose whether to live or die by our OWN hands, are we really free?

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