Skip to main content

View Diary: About that Conversation... (337 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Squeezing (5+ / 0-)

    a trigger, in particular when one has done so before and understands the implications and results of that action, is not a passive action. I wouldn't think it would be easy to do that to oneself. Of course, there are those that call suicide the "easy" way out in general. That bothers me.

    "Easier" suicide? No, I can't go there logically. Comparing is a pretty common denial pattern, though. It gets around the problem by minimizing it. I've done that myself.

    The action, the actual attempt, is going to happen every time in the presence of the compulsion and the impulse. A suicide (or the attempt) is a symptom. The tools are as varied as the people who take the action.

    At least, that is the understanding that I have come to, listening and learning from people who are a lot smarter and more experienced than I am. I have yet to hear a persuasive argument otherwise.

    •  Again, I'm not saying it is a passive action (10+ / 0-)

      in and of itself...I'm saying comparatively. To put a finer point on it (TRIGGER WARNING) if you want to hang yourself, you have to make the noose, find a place to hang it, get on a high surface (or chair), put the noose around your neck, then jump from that surface, or kick the chair away, knowing that the result will probably be a prolonged and painful death by asphyxiation.

      Compare that to loading a gun, putting it to your head and pulling the trigger-knowing that the result will be instant and painless death.

      I am not minimizing any method of suicide. They are all potentially lethal, and they should all be taken seriously. But firearms are the most lethal method of committing suicide, and the most common method by which people commit suicide in the U.S:

      Lethality of firearms relative to other suicide methods: a population based study

      Results: From January 1990 to December 1997, among individuals 10 years or older in the state of Illinois, there were 37 352 hospital admissions for para-suicide and 10 287 completed suicides. Firearms are the most lethal suicide method. Episodes involving firearms are 2.6 times (95% CI 2.1 to 3.1) more lethal than those involving suffocation—the second most lethal suicide method. Preventing access to firearms can reduce the proportion of fatal firearms related suicides by 32% among minors, and 6.5% among adults.

      Conclusions: Limiting access to firearms is a potentially effective means of reducing suicide mortality.

      There is also quite a body of evidence that suggests that the "success" of a suicide attempt has very little to do with the individuals urge or intent to die, and is actually more correlated to the method used than any other factor:

      Harvard School of Public Health: [Suicide] Method Choice and Intent

      Intent is a complex matter and falls along a continuum. While some attempters are probably at the low end of the spectrum with very little intent to die, and others are at the high end, many fall into an ambivalent middle ground. Still others have high intent but only during very brief episodes. It is these latter two groups for whom reducing easy access to highly lethal methods of suicide is likely to be most effective in saving lives.
      NYT-The Urge to End It All
      Put simply, those methods that require forethought or exertion on the actor’s part (taking an overdose of pills, say, or cutting your wrists), and thus most strongly suggest premeditation, happen to be the methods with the least chance of “success.” Conversely, those methods that require the least effort or planning (shooting yourself, jumping from a precipice) happen to be the deadliest. The natural inference, then, is that the person who best fits the classic definition of “being suicidal” might actually be safer than one acting in the heat of the moment — at least 40 times safer in the case of someone opting for an overdose of pills over shooting himself.

      As illogical as this might seem, it is a phenomenon confirmed by research. According to statistics collected by the Injury Control Research Center on nearly 4,000 suicides across the United States, those who had killed themselves with firearms — by far the most lethal common method of suicide — had a markedly lower history of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, previous suicide attempts or drug or alcohol abuse than those who died by the least lethal methods. On the flip side, those who ranked the highest for at-risk factors tended to choose those methods with low “success” rates.

      You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:33:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish getting rid of all the guns (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, notrouble

        was the solution. I also endorse getting rid of tools that can be utilized in suicide and getting them away from anyone who is at risk.

        But, getting rid of the guns doesn't solve the problem, sadly. And suicide by other methods is of no benefit to society.

        Please take a moment to click through this link. It is a really good read.

        Here's your Harvard study:

        F. Geographic Comparisons: Gun Ownership and Suicide Rates
        The mantra more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal
        less death is also used to argue that “limiting access to firearms
        could prevent many suicides.”141 Once again, this assertion is directly contradicted by the studies of 36 and 21 nations (respectively)
        which find no statistical relationship. Overall suicide rates
        were no worse in nations with many firearms than in those where
        firearms were far less widespread.142
        Consider the data about European nations in Tables 5 and 6.
        Sweden, with over twice as much gun ownership as neighboring
        Germany and a third more gun suicide, nevertheless has the lower
        overall suicide rate. Greece has nearly three times more gun ownership
        than the Czech Republic and somewhat more gun suicide,
        yet the overall Czech suicide rate is over 175% higher than the
        Greek rate. Spain has over 12 times more gun ownership than Poland,
        yet the latter’s overall suicide rate is more than double the
        former’s. Tragically, Finland has over 14 times more gun ownership
        than neighboring Estonia, and a great deal more gun‐related
        suicide. Estonia, however, turns out to have a much higher suicide
        rate than Finland overall.
        There is simply no relationship evident between the extent of
        suicide and the extent of gun ownership. People do not commit
        suicide because they have guns available. In the absence of firearms,
        people who are inclined to commit suicide kill themselves
        some other way.143 Two examples seem as pertinent as they are
        poignant. The first concerns the 1980s increase in suicide among
        young American males, an increase that, although relatively modest,
        inspired perfervid denunciations of gun ownership.144 What
        these denunciations failed to mention was that suicide of teenagers
        and young adults was increasing throughout the entire industrialized
        world, regardless of gun availability, and often much more
        rapidly than in the United States. The only unusual aspect of suicide
        in the United States was that it involved guns. The irrelevancy
        of guns to the increase in American suicide is evident because suicide
        among English youth actually increased 10 times more sharply, with “car exhaust poisoning [being] the method of suicide
        used most often.”145 By omitting such facts, the articles blaming
        guns for increasing American suicide evaded the inconvenience of
        having to explain exactly what social benefit nations with few guns
        received from having their youth suicides occur in other ways.
        •  Sorry but that isn't a study (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a2nite, gerrilea, tytalus, 43north, lyvwyr101

          it is an article, published in a student-edited publication and not subject to peer review. It has been widely discredited. It's authors are Don Kates, a 2nd Amendment lawyer who works for the NRA, and Gary Mauser is also a paid NRA consultant. They are the gun lobby's version of climate change denial "scientists"

          You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:07:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How can you ignore the data? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea

            The underlying data? Data self reported and published by the individual countries?

            Anyway, I think we are arguing at cross purposes. I want the problem of suicides and mental health addressed in our population. You appear to want a gun control. I don't think we are going to see eye to eye on this.

            I'm going to continue to address mental health problems in a causal manner. I'm going to ask my elected representatives to do the same.

            It's real and it's true.

            * Don B. Kates (LL.B., Yale, 1966) is an American criminologist and constitutional
            lawyer associated with the Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco. He may be contacted
            at dbkates@earthlink.net; 360‐666‐2688; 22608 N.E. 269th Ave., Battle Ground,
            WA 98604.
            ** Gary Mauser (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1970) is a Canadian criminologist
            and university professor at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC Canada.
            He may be contacted at www.garymauser.net, mauser@sfu.ca, and 604‐291‐3652.
            We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of Professor Thomas B. Cole
            (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Social Medicine and Epidemiology);
            Chief Superintendent Colin Greenwood (West Yorkshire Constabulary, ret.); C.B.
            Kates; Abigail Kohn (University of Sydney, Law); David B. Kopel (Independence
            Institute); Professor Timothy D. Lytton (Albany Law School); Professor William
            Alex Pridemore (University of Oklahoma, Sociology); Professor Randolph Roth
            (Ohio State University, History); Professor Thomas Velk (McGill University, Economics
            and Chairman of the North American Studies Program); Professor Robert
            Weisberg (Stanford Law School); and John Whitley (University of Adelaide, Economics).
            Any merits of this paper reflect their advice and contributions; errors are
            entirely ours.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/...
            Joyce Malcolm reviewed of the subject of crime rates and homicides in England[17] and found that, "data on firearms ownership by constabulary area,” like data from the United States, show, “a negative correlation...[that is], where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest."

            A 1990 study by Rich et al. on suicide rates in Toronto and Ontario and psychiatric patients from San Diego reached the conclusion that increased gun restrictions, while reducing suicide-by-gun, resulted in no net decline in suicides, because of substitution of another method—namely leaping.[18] Killias argues against the theory of complete substitution, citing a number of studies that have demonstrated, in his view, "rather convincingly", that suicide candidates do not consistently turn to other means of suicide if their preferred means is not at hand.[14] A more extensive study published in 1993, however, covering far more areas and controlling for the effects of many other gun laws, found that gun control laws generally have no detectable effect on total suicide rates.[19]

            •  Because that study has been widely discredited (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tytalus, 43north, gerrilea, lyvwyr101

              I don't refute the data, I refute the conclusions drawn from that data because they are absurd.

              The quoted stuff you are using as proof...one of those studies is from yet another NRA lawyer:

              Joyce Malcom-"Next Generation Scholar" for the NRA's Civil Defense fund

              The other one uses data from the 1980's, and IMO the methodology is flawed. They use data from two major cities. Urban areas not only have lower rates of gun ownership, they have an abundance of high-rise structures from which to jump. Not a good representative sample, IMO.

              Anyways, there are numerous current, peer reviewed studies that show a direct correlation between firearm ownership and suicide rates, but I'm not going to go back and forth with you on this. You can believe what you want. As for this though?

              Anyway, I think we are arguing at cross purposes. I want the problem of suicides and mental health addressed in our population. You appear to want a gun control.
              You don't seem to get it. I want both.

              You aren't the only person here who has been personally affected by this issue.

              You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

              by SwedishJewfish on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 04:13:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  We haven't tried to get rid of guns (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SwedishJewfish, lyvwyr101

          Because the gun makers/NRA don't want to collect the data. We are flying blind. Too many people benefit from the gun glut.

          Where's the data?

          It also doesn't help that the gun over people party is really loud & bi-partisan & over represented, IMO.

          •  Do we need a committee to analyze the (0+ / 0-)

            total number of suicides and their ever increasing rate?

            Take the NRA and the gun out of the picture and we're still left with thousands of deaths.  How many without a gun will go on to find other methods is debatable but it doesn't address the underlying cause, 600,000 Americans try to kill themselves each and every year and that's the low end estimate I provided.

            Despair and poverty can be addressed immediately, won't divide this nation even further, won't take amending the constitution, won't take anything but true leadership and commitment to help us all evolve into a peaceful more productive society.

            Then who's going to want or "need" a gun then?  

            We have to address the media's role in depicting violence as cool and glorious.

            -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 Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:56:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  OK, now you have gone and done it. (9+ / 0-)

        I don't write many diaries, but I think I will have to do one on the suicide matrix.  Think of an X and Y axis chart.  On the vertical axis we have intent.  On the horizontal axis we have lethality.  You can pretty much draw a line from the top right corner to the lower left corner to partial out just how serious the suspected suicide attempt is.  To the left of the line is the person who may not really want to die and the attempt is a cry for help.  To the right of the line are those who really intend to die and resist any attempt to save them.

        The mildest would be somebody who walks into the living room, announces they are going to end it all and takes a dozen Valium.  On the other end of the spectrum is the person who goes out in the woods, puts the muzzle of a shotgun in their mouth and pulls the trigger.  

        We have to think of a spectrum of lethality.  Mildest is the attempt that ranges from sometimes or even seldom fatal to always fatal.  Intent is based on whether the attempt is likely to be interrupted to no chance at all of being interrupted.  

        The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

        by Otteray Scribe on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:19:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Looking forward (7+ / 0-)

          to reading that one.

          •  The saddest thing in the source (6+ / 0-)

            you cited is this:

            Two examples seem as pertinent as they are
            poignant. The first concerns the 1980s increase in suicide among young American males, an increase that, although relatively modest, inspired perfervid denunciations of gun ownership. What these denunciations failed to mention was that suicide of teenagers and young adults was increasing throughout the entire industrialized world, regardless of gun availability, and often much more rapidly than in the United States. The only unusual aspect of suicide in the United States was that it involved guns. The irrelevancy of guns to the increase in American suicide is evident because suicide among English youth actually increased 10 times more sharply, with “car exhaust poisoning [being] the method of suicide used most often."
            Having spent some years in my life dealing with at-risk and adjudicated teens, and having adopted three siblings after their mother committed suicide, I've seen some serious hopelessness in the shadows of our oh so modern and supposedly 'civilized' society. Kids quickly approaching adulthood who feel that there is no future for them to look forward to. Adults who come to that realization late, but no less tragically for that.

            They instituted the ultimate edition of "No Future" before I was born, and that was the explicit threat by government to murder everyone - all of us, themselves included - to "protect and defend" our erstwhile "way of life." How absurd is that? To get past it, I had to muster some serious anti-oligarchic gumption during the Cuban Missile Crisis. "Drop It Or Shut The Fuck Up" is basically how I faced the fear down within myself. I realized over a period of three days that they never actually planned to kill us all in the first place. They were just drinking the fear, so I stopped being afraid.

            Now the astoundingly lucrative 40-year Cold War is over, the threat arises from an even more shadowy and suspicious threat. Threats are all they've got to justify their abuses of power, so they're never going to Shut The Fuck Up. There is no future. Too many people believe it today, and for too many people today, it's true.

            •  Thank you, exactly what I had hoped people (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau, fuzzyguy

              would understand.  Seems you were way ahead of me even.

              I understood that with the manufactured fears of the Soviet threat Reagan brought to the table.

              They weren't going to kill us and we weren't going to kill them, on that last part I could only hope though...wasn't truly sure for a time there with all the saber rattling.

              One of my professors on Russian History that just happened once to be a CIA "agent" in the Soviet Union made it clear we had to get through the next 17 years without a global war (it was 1983). If achieved, the rest would be slow peaceful deescalation.  I guess he didn't surmise GW's resource wars though.

              -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 Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 11:06:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Awesome (8+ / 0-)

          that was all part of my evil plan! But really, I look forward to reading it.

          Do you think we can actually have a substantive conversation on this topic without resorting to name calling and bickering? Wouldn't that be something :O

          You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 01:43:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, the last one's from my diary. It revealed (4+ / 0-)

        for me a framing that denies us honest discussion that will lead us to legitimate solutions, imo.

        -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 Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 03:04:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site