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Random Conversation of Suicide

My gay friend Andrew, who has been the subject of other Random Conversations, is from Montana.  I decided to talk to him about a serious topic:

Sebastian: Is Montana depressing?
Andrew: I like the state in theory, but there’s not a lot to do and it can be lonely and frustrating.  As much as I like it here I kind of want to leave sometimes.
Sebastian: Do you ever want to kill yourself?
Andrew: Why do you ask? Are you feeling depressed?
Sebastian: I’m wondering why Montana is one of the leading suicide states in the country
Andrew: Because it’s almost all rural.  Even in Helena, even though there are people, there’s really almost nothing to do. For an awful lot of people the only thing to do on a weekend is drink.
Sebastian: According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, we need to take all your guns away so you don’t kill yourself so much
Andrew: Is gun the typical suicide in Montana?
Sebastian: CSGV says that guns make it easy to kill yourself
Andrew: I dunno.. I mean, it’d be easy and fast. but.. I would always be afraid the bullet would go on and kill someone else too in a freak accident.  Plus, what if you Didn’t kill yourself and only brain damaged yourself? Eww.
Andrew: The only people I personally know who have done it or attempted, none used guns
Andrew: Car is a popular one. and trains
Sebastian: What about covering yourself in honey and looking for a Grizzly Bear?
Andrew: Nah. If I ever did it it’d have to be a way where it’d be nearly certain death and quick. That way is neither.
Andrew: Probably a long fall down a straight mountain cliff in Glacier Park. Pretty view.
Andrew: As for banning guns… if they want to ban anything people can kill themselves with, they need to ban cars and level the mountains and outlaw pharmaceuticals
Sebastian: pretty much
Andrew: I just find it ironic that they use Montana as an example for why gun control is necessary. It’s not like a nanny-state city where everyone is anti-gun…  Montanans generally like being able to own guns

So there you have it.  Gays in Montana don’t seem to be contemplating suicide.  Don’t seem to be contemplating using guns to do it, or contemplating using honey and Grizzley Bears.  And before you say this isn’t a representative sample, how many gays do you think are really in Montana?  Brokeback Mountain nonwithstanding.

7 Responses to “Random Conversation of Suicide”

  1. countertop says:

    Don’t know about gay’s, grizzles, or suicide . . . but I’ve always heard Montana was where Men were Men and Sheep were scared . . . or maybe its grizzlies – which really puts a new spin on the whole gay Bear subculture. And thinking about that, well, I guess getting all gay and butt-like on an unwilling grizzle probably a pretty certain way to get yourself killed.

    So it all makes sense now, doesn’t it.

    btw, your email’s not working. keeps getting bounced back to me.

  2. Justin Buist says:

    “how many gays do you think are really in Montana?”

    Four.

  3. Brad says:

    Slightly off topic, but still about that suicide report you linked to earlier:

    One of the things that I found interesting about that suicide report is the relationship between male & female attempts versus actual suicides. According to the report, there were nearly 26,000 males who killed themselves versus 6,800 females, a ratio of nearly 4:1 . However, the ratio of male attempts to female attempts was 1:3! Women try more, but men are far more apt to carry out a successful suicide attempt. (I use the term “successful” because it’s the only word I can think of, there’s no real success in suicide).

    I’d be curious to see methods of female suicides and attempts versus methods of male suicides and attempts. I’d also be curious to see which methods were more likely to result in a failed attempt.

  4. BobG says:

    Women are less likely to use guns. They are also more likely to take a bunch of pills and then call someone on the phone. More of them are looking for sympathy than suicide.

  5. David says:

    More than four Montanans looking for a man-to-man relationship here: http://montana.craigslist.org/m4m/

    and looking for, err, something else here: http://montana.craigslist.org/search/cas/?query=m4m

  6. Brad says:

    Actually, I found the statistics on website of the gentleman who prepared their statistics, Dr. John Macintosh. You’re right that men are more likely to use guns – 57% of all male suicides are with a gun. Women were higher than I thought -31% of female suicides are with a gun. Women poison themselves at a much higher rate than men. I’m not sure if taking pills counts as poison – it probably does. These statistics do not account for failed attempts, but it does jive with your statement.

    Also surprising is that 71% of suicides by the elderly are with a firearm.

  7. Regolith says:

    Debunking the myth that guns = more suicides is easy, thanks to our Allmighty Overlords(TM) at the UN (bonus – gun haters are more likely to respond well to UN Stats).

    They keep a database of suicide rates by country. And by linking suicide rates to gun restrictions, its patently obvious that culture and the environment have far more to do with it than the availability of guns.

    For instance, Japan has a far higher suicide rate than the US, and yet guns are nearly unavailable. Suicide rates are also high in third world nations (which aren’t known for their lax laws on anything, let alone guns) and nations that have colder climates (which would explain why M0ntana and Alaska have such high suicide rates).

    Here’s the data:
    http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/suiciderates/en/

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