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Speaking of Suicides

You can actually find out what states have the highest suicide rate per capita here.  By the looks of it, Montana, Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, and Wyoming are pretty depressing places to live, since they are 1 through 5 respectively.  Rounding out the bottom?  New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii.

Is it really a surprise that the states VPC mentions have high rates of suicide using a gun, given they have high rates of sucides?  Also, how else are you going to kill yourself in Montana and Alaska?  There are few high bridges, few trains, no tall buildings.  I mean, I guess you could smother yourself in honey and go try to find a grizzly, but seriously, this is about as surprising as finding out that New York leads the nation in suicidal dives off tall buildings, or that San Francisco leads the nation in bridge suicides.

That’s not even getting into whether taking things away from people because they might kill themselves with it makes sense as a public public policy measure.  I don’t think it does.  I suspect most Americans would agree.

7 Responses to “Speaking of Suicides”

  1. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    I thought murder and suicide rates were, in some way, inversely proportional.

    Now, I just need the numbers to back up my theory.

  2. Jay says:

    Whenever the anti’s lose on the issue of crime and self defense they automatically turn to suicide to make their case for more gun control. Sorry, but the state does not have a compelling interest in making people safer from themselves. I don’t want to see anybody kill themselves because frankly, I don’t think there’s anything that can happen to a person that is so terrible it justifies taking your own life. But why should my rights be infringed because some person in Montana might become unstable to the point where kill themselves?

  3. Nomen Nescio says:

    Montana, Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, and Wyoming

    big states with very low population densities and huge empty spaces between people. lesson? most people aren’t fit to be alone all the time; we’re social animals who have an instinctive need for living in groups.

  4. Turk Turon says:

    A lot of academics study suicide and suicide statistics and, except for gun-controllers, they uniformly find that suicide is not correlated to gun ownership. It IS possible to find sub-categories of populations in the U.S. in which there is an appearance of a connection, but there are just as many counter-examples. And international comparisons of suicide rates provide some of the most striking counter-examples; Japan for example, with no civilian gun ownership AT ALL, and a suicide rate about double of the U.S. rate. How is that possible, if the easy availability of guns facilitates suicide?

  5. Sebastian says:

    we’re social animals who have an instinctive need for living in groups.

    Japan is very population dense and has a higher suicide rate. Europe does too, and also has a higher population density. I wonder how much study has been done on this, because it’s interesting. Japan is probably easy to explain because of culture, but you’d imagine Europe and the US should have relatively similar rates of suicide.

  6. Gary says:

    Sorry Sebastian, I don’t believe the data. I live in Billings, MT…the largest city in MT and can’t recall the last time I heard about a suicide here. And I listen to the morning talk-radio-news on my way to work 5 days a week.

  7. Sebastian says:

    Suicides are pretty common. They don’t usually make news. At least not around here.

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