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  •  Obfuscation (25+ / 0-)
    It's clear that with a 25 to 1 ratio, the gun is meaningless piece of metal, we do have over 300 million firearms. Think about it, that's 633,000 attempted suicides each and every year in this "great" Nation.  The CDC tells us there were 38,364 suicides (in 2010), that's 6.06%, throw in the guns and that's 3.06%. (19,392).

    What about the other 97%? What about the ones that don't use a gun and get maimed, left in a coma from drugs, suffocation etc? What about the other 16,093 suicides? They're meaningless chattel? They don't fit into the current meme so we must not talk about them?

    We have bigger problems than the gun.

    To address suicide specifically, I think that you have abused these statistics, to make guns look innocuous. But having also looked into the problem of suicide re: guns, I understand that the vast majority of suicide attempts are not via gun. Because most of the time, those who choose a gun do manage to kill themselves.
    Some suicide methods have higher rates of failure than others; e.g. wrist-slashing has a much higher failure rate than use of firearms, which has only a 10% failure rate. 75% of all suicide attempts are by the use of drugs, a method that is often thwarted by using nonlethal drugs or nonlethal dosages. These people are found alive 97% of the time.[2] About one-third of people who attempt suicide will repeat the attempt within 1 year, and about 10% of those who threaten or attempt suicide eventually do kill themselves.[3]
    So many survive an attempt, get help, and many of those go on to live rather than try again. But we'll never know about the ones who used guns, because they're just that effective at killing folks.

    Meaningless piece of metal, indeed.

    I realize that this is the standard RKBA argument, that is, create an American utopia and then guns won't matter anymore. I suggest we flip it around; until we achieve utopia, restrict guns.

    “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

    by tytalus on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 06:35:33 AM PST

    •  Wiki says suicides 5x more likely in a house with (8+ / 0-)

      a gun.

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:00:50 AM PST

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    •  Those who choose a gun are trying to kill (11+ / 0-)

      themselves.

      Many of those who cut their wrists or take a lot of pills are not.

      You can't have serious conversations about the subject until you understand that most "failed suicide attempts" (by far) are Parasuicide.

      Australia took the guns away - and saw suicide rates continue to surge until they got serious about investing in a national suicide prevention strategy.

      That's not a case for or against any regulation.  12,000 people who aren't making a choice to die are killed with guns every year in this country.  We ought to be working to change that.

      But if we want to tackle suicide, we're also going to have to tackle suicide.  Because it's not the same issue.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 07:13:14 AM PST

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      •  Can you cite the source for Australian suicide (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyvwyr101

        rates that "continued to surge" after the gun ban? All I'm seeing is that they slowly declined after the ban. And this was from a pro-gun site

        "Be that as it may, Australia’s overall suicide rate has remained essentially unchanged. According to the study data, the rate of suicide (any method) per 100,000 people was as follows:
        2008: 10.2229
        2007: 8.93
        2006: 8.70
        2005: 10.30
        2004: 10.44
        2003: 11.1424
        2002: 11.81
        2001: 12.64
        2000: 12.34
        1999: 13.17
        1998: 14.34
        1997: 14.69
        1996: 13.07
        1995: 13.10
        1994: 12.65
        1993: 11.78
        1992: 13.11
        1991: 13.65
        1990: 12.66
        1989: 12.47
        1988: 13.29"

        A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. - Greek proverb

        by marleycat on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:10:29 AM PST

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    •  Guns and suicide (6+ / 0-)

      I think we should applaud the author for raising the issues of despair in the land of plenty, the for-profit prison industry (and by extension the system of government that favors profits over people), and the mental health industry, among others.  These are big topics, and it would be hard to write about any one of them.  Sadly, in trying to write about so many topics, the author can only give superficial treatment to them.

      On the issue of suicide:
       - According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 38,000 Americans kill themselves every year.
       - Accordng to the same source, a gun is the means of 50% of completed suicides.
       - There are empirc studies that provide evidence suggesting that suicide is generally an impulsive act
       - There are empiric studies that provide evidence that counseling for people thinking about suicide reduces the incidence of suicidal behavior.

      So I agree that the author has abused the statistics by reasoning from the (estimated) number of guns, rather from the (known) number of suicides caused by guns.

      Given that suicide looks to be largely impulsive, it makes sense to limit easy access for impulsive acts - high fences on bridges, removing guns, etc.  Such barriers will reduce fatalities.   Making counseling available identified as potentially suicidal will also reduce fatalities.

      Bottom line is that if we wish to reduce fatalities, we should be limiting the availability of guns.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 08:11:43 AM PST

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      •  Indeed, that's what I found (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lyvwyr101, Smoh

        and why I wrote the diary that I linked, to debunk the specific myth that suicide is somehow inevitable.

        “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

        by tytalus on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 05:40:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I waited to respond for various reasons but now I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon

      will explain a bit further where I am and what I see.

      For me, the gun is immaterial, how someone goes about killing themselves doesn't address the why.

      The total attempted suicides shocks me.  To get a perspective on this, I imagine things I'm familiar with when trying to understand the size of something.

      I've lived in Buffalo for the past 30 yrs, the population is 262,000 or thereabouts.

      The actual number of all attempted suicides is not known,  estimates go as high as 935,000.  We do know how many people ended up in the hospital for it, that's 600,000+

      That's more than double the city I live in. That's huge. Imagine everyone in your city twice over attempting suicide, that's insanity.  What I remember reading years ago that many suicides don't get recognized as such, that the actual number is probably 20% higher and has increased over 16% over the last 20 years, WHY????

      These hidden problems get lost when we talk about just numbers.  Formulating public discourse to iron out a plan of action isn't easy.  If we only focus on the how and ignore the why.

      Let's talk about the real issue: Why do so many Americans want to kill themselves?  Obviously we're doing something wrong, my answer to that question was and still is: Despair, I think I typed it out quite a few times throughout my diary.

      And I think the framing on HOW is the false premise we're being fed is the only way to fix it.  Like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  No baby, no dirty bathwater, right?

      I tried to elucidate that false premise disguised as "success" in the UK's conversion from coal to gas.  Sure they cut death by oven by 30% and then said, "See job done", unless of course you're the other 20% that still found other means.  

      For us that total is over 16,000 that will get ignored with this gun restriction and/or banning scheme.

      Keep this in perspective, I was born and raised in Johnson City New York, population is 15,000.  That means my entire hometown is wiped off the face of the Earth every year.  The gun didn't do that.

      Let's save those people in my hometown, okay?

      After all, we are the richest most powerful nation in human history, surely we can do this, right?  We won't if we don't address the issue and end the false framing.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 01:12:58 AM PST

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