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New Brady Study on Gun Suicide

To be honest, with crime dropping as precipitously as it has been, suicide is about the only argument they have left, so I can’t blame them for using it. Suicide is also a pretty big pool of grief from which a gun control group can mine funds from. Suicides affect families more broadly across the income spectrum, so not everyone affected by it has a thin wallet. This may seem cynical, but regardless of how much our opponents might really believe they are trying to usher in a better world, at the end of the day if you run any non-profit organization, bills must be paid, and paychecks written, and that means thinking about where to get money.

I have little doubt that people who commit suicide by firearm tend to be more successful than those who, say, swallow a handful of sleeping pills. But the fad among kids in my area these days seems to be throwing themselves in front of an Acela, which is probably even more sure than a gun. Indeed, that is a popular means of suicide in Japan, which has a far higher suicide rate than the United States, despite largely prohibiting firearms.

10 Responses to “New Brady Study on Gun Suicide”

  1. Alpheus says:

    I remember a comment once made that the combined murder/suicide rate across countries seems to remain pretty constant. The person making the comment suggested that there is a certain amount of violent “chaos” seems inevitable, but the specific causes of death seems to be the result of cultural mores.

    But it’s been a long time since I’ve looked at thes specific data, so my recollection could be wrong.

    Indeed, Switzerland may be an outlier to this analysis, because I seem to remember Switzerland being an example of a country being low-murder, low-suicide, high-gun ownership. (But then, I could be wrong about the low-suicide element…)

  2. MattW says:

    “In 2013, gun-related injuries were the second most common cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 19.”

    Oh those poor 18 and 19 year old children! Many of which are involved in “gun violence” because of gang affiliation, drugs, etc… Something must be done!

    What if, just throwing out a crazy idea here, we actually take the focus away from the METHOD of violence and rather focus on efforts to address the SOURCE of the violence? Community programs to help youth focus their time and energy in positive ways. Taking away the social stigmas around depression that lead to the further isolation of people prone to suicide.

    Maybe, just maybe, if we keep focusing on the method and not the source people will find alternative ways to commit violence. Can’t get a gun easily? No problem, jump in front of a train. Or drive your low-rider through a crowd to take out a rival gang member.

    Of course, then these people would have to find other creative ways to direct their hate towards something or someone else instead of the gun or the evil NRA.

    • Kirk Parker says:

      That, PLUS find some way to end the War On (Some) Drugs, or at least scale back its worst excesses, as another way to alleviate the violence inherent in enforcing “contracts” etc in a black-market system.

  3. Alpheus says:

    And, come to think about it, the funny thing about both suicide and murder is that banning guns is attempting to control one act (that of killing someone, whether other or self) by controlling merely one means of committing that act (eg, guns). Doing so ignores the fact that an individual is making the decision to kill themselves or someone else, and taking a mere object away isn’t going to change the motivations of the individual.

    If there was no easy way to substitute for the object, and if it were easy to limit access to the object, then it would make sense to ban it. But it’s easy to murder or kill yourself with something other than a gun, and guns are notoriously easy to get on the black market, so it’s hard to see how banning guns is going to reduce suicides.

    Of course, as far as the Brady Campaign is concerned, if suicide by gun drops, but people still commit suicide, they can proclaim success! Never mind that if the goal is to prevent suicides, (and we should have this as a goal!), we should be taking steps to helping individuals and their families recognize when they are at risk of suicide, and helping them to reduce that risk.

  4. beatbox says:

    Put the argument back at them. For some reason, every anti-gunner thinks we should be like England. Okay, England and the US have similar suicide rates..although almost none of them are with guns. Are they saying that if guns were added to the mix England would have the highest suicide rate in the world?

    • Archer says:

      Yes.

      Don’t forget that they see humans as mindless automatons, with no capacity for creativity, innovation (“you didn’t build that”), or substitution. They believe that if a genuinely suicidal person searches for a gun to do the deed and can’t find/get one, he/she will do like your internet browser: throw a “404 Not found” error and quit the attempt.

  5. fknauss says:

    It strikes me that depression, as the cause of suicide, is a horrible disease.

    Addressing guns does nothing to address the disease. Providing relief for the disease (through, god forbid, socially available mental health care) would obviate the perceived need for gun control.

    (Also, props to the 2AF for winning Mance v. Holder.)

  6. dwb says:

    “people who commit suicide by firearm tend to be more successful”

    No, just pretty determined. The suicide rate in French Canada, and other parts of Canada, is just as high if not higher than as the US. Does that mean people are making multiple attempts until they are successful? No, just means they are picking taller buildings, faster trains, higher bridges, or taking more narcotics. The VA says 25% of suicides are veterans, not really surprising. If you look at the suicide stats, it is generally not who people think: It is middle age or elderly people, not people under 30.

    It’s a myth perpetrated by the gun prohibitionists that people who try to kill themselves with firearms are more likely to succeed. The fastest growing method in the US is drugs. People who make unsuccessful attempts are crying for help. Once someone is determined, there are dozens of 99% effective means listed on the internet.

    It is sad too: It means we only care about 1/2 the suicides in the US. firearms-related suicides are on the decline as a share of total suicides, which drugs and other methods are on the rise.

  7. Here’s why the gun haters will fail. They lack sympathy for the actual victims and everyone can see it.

    The gun grabbers like to talk about “teen suicide” and “teen firearm deaths” as if they were somehow related. Here’s the problem. Teens basically don’t kill themselves. The only age group with a lower suicide rate than teens in children 13 and younger. Every single other age category has a far higher rate of suicide, and that rate increases with age.

    We all know that “teen firearm death” = “gang violence.” Let’s be honest when we say that no one really gives a shit that Ice Dog popped Ray Ray over a “dispute” about timely payment of moneys owed. Another dead criminal doesn’t really bother anyone but the criminal and maybe his mother. But “teen suicide!!!” is something that every parent worries about. Teens get to be about 15-19, develop their mental issues as they are becoming adults, and check out because they can’t deal. But did everyone here know that half of all suicides are white males 35 or older?

    The gun grabbers are Leftists. As a group, they’re all Obama voting, Prius driving, haters of the patriarchy. So explain to me how they could possibly give a shit about white males 35 or older who own guns. These are their political enemies. They want white males 35 and older to kill themselves. For them, this is a double plus good thing. First there is one less “gun toting white male oppressor,” and second, they get to add one more body to their “GunDeathâ„¢” body count.

    If they actually gave a damn about suicide, they’d be trying to figure out why white males over 35 were killing themselves in such large numbers. They don’t. If they do ever figure out, they’ll do whatever they can to exacerbate the situation.

    They hate you and want you dead. And then they’ll use your dead body to support their political position. Never forget that.

  8. MrApple says:

    I always wonder where the “My Body, My Choice” people are when it comes to suicide. The Left is all about Pro-Choice when it comes to killing the unborn but apparently they get bent out of shape when people make the personal choice to end their own lives with a firearm.

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