Friday, February 24, 2012

Anti-Gun Bait and Switch

We'll see how long before I get blocked from viewing a certain Facebook Group for this one, but, just read a very interesting post while doing the old "Keep your friends close, and your enemy closer." thing.  For the record, I'm a VERY strong supporter of the US Constitution (and it's amendments), so anytime people want to infringe on any of the laws set down in that document, I get a wee bit bent out of shape.

Anyway, the NRA doesn't want people to have to register/declare legally owned firearms.  Something we should all agree with for various reasons regarding the security and illegitimate access to these registries.  Apparently the anti-gun crowd feel that denying this declaration/registry is begging for more suicidal soldiers.  While I can't say I agree with their views, I give it this, it's a well written article... except for one small teensy detail.  The numbers quoted in it suggest that guns aren't the big issue in "suicidal actions" and don't really support the writer's story.

Anyway, here's the article:

Did you catch that too?
Hemenway and Miller explain that firearms availability increases the risk of suicide for three reasons. First, "many suicidal acts -- one third to four fifths of all suicide attempts, according to studies -- are impulsive," with the vast majority of survivors waiting less than 1 hour between the decision to commit suicide and the attempt. Second, many suicide crises are temporary, which is why "more than 90% of people who survive a suicide attempt... do not go on to die by suicide." Third, guns are extremely lethal; "A suicide attempt with a firearm rarely affords a second chance. Attempts involving drugs or cutting, which account for more than 90% of all suicidal acts, prove fatal far less often."

Let's read that last sentence again... "Attempts involving drugs or cutting, which account for more than 90% of all suicidal acts, prove fatal far less often."   So guns are used less than 10% of the time... and they're the biggest problem? Interesting...

As the "Coffee Talk" lady used to say on SNL... "Talk amongst yourselves."

Edit- And... After < 8 hours with my comment pointing this out I've been blocked from commenting on the CSGV Facebook group now.  Sadly... I can't even see the nasty comments I gained for pointing this out to them. *shrug* Oh well... I can still do the "share and comment" trick :D


  1. Those statements, taken together, support the (correct) idea that people who truly want to commit suicide, as opposed to -attempt- to commit suicide, choose the most lethal method available to them. As I recall the literature suggests that -attempting- suicide via a method unlikely to work is often a deliberate (if subconscious) psychological decision to "cry for help" convincingly. Which is why such suicides seldom die from suicide later in life, they didn't -really- want to die in the first place.

    If guns are not available "true" suicides choose hanging, jumping off bridges and other means unlikely to be interrupted and unlikely to fail.

    1. Very true Matthew, quoting suicide numbers's to show that "guns are bad" isn't the best move at all. People that really want to "end it" will go with the closest available means, whether that means a gun, pill bottle, a rope, or even their car.

      When I was a medic with Galveston EMS, we saw both the real attempts, and the "cries for help" and you could always tell at a glance which were which. It never failed either... the "cries" you'd never see again because they were getting the help they needed. The real attempts, would eventually be picked up by the coroner's office after try number two or three. Didn't matter what was done for them, they'd find a way.

  2. My favorite bit is the idea that a CO who knows which of his people has guns can short-circuit a suicidal soldier by confiscating them.

    Which completely ignores the fact that said sp;dier can just go out and buy another . . .