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View Diary: Some Truth About Switzerland and Guns (121 comments)

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  •  Your post (0+ / 0-)

    Is simply full of factual inaccuracies, but you did write one meaningful thing:

    "When people intend to kill themselves, they pick the most effective method available."

    As suicide is often an impulsive act, this has a tendency to be true. When guns (~80-90% effective) are available, they are chosen. When they're not, suffocation/hanging (~60-70% effective) or falls from a height (~30% effective) are.

    This is borne out by the Australian experience which you cite but somehow manage to get completely wrong.

    "Considered nationally, the falls in suicide were due to significant reductions in shooting, gassing and poisoning, and occurred despite an increase in suicide by hanging....[] . These results are consistent with the hypothesis that that measures to control the availability of firearms, the requirement for new cars to be fitted with catalytic converters and the decline in the prescription of tricyclic antidepressants have resulted in a decline in total suicide rates." This study found that while suicidal ideation and even attempts did not fall, the drop in suicide rate seen for Australia was due to the decreased lethality of the available options after firearms less available.

    (Large MM, Nielssen OB.Suicide in Australia: meta-analysis of rates and methods of suicide between 1988 and 2007.Med J Aust. 2010 Apr 19;192(8):432-7.)

    The odds of unsuccessful suicide attempt are increased when guns are not available. This is FACT, unlike most of what you have posted here.

    Gun laws can and do reduce the success rate of suicide attempts. I realize this is an uncomfortable fact for some but it is best to be honest.

    Certainly, improved access to mental health is important but in the presence of guns fewer people will ever make it to the psychiatrist's office. The authors of the above paper put it better:

    "The limited capacity to predict who will commit suicide is evident from the statistic that more than 2% of the Australian population experience suicidal ideas in any given year, but fewer than one in 10 000 complete suicide. Hence, the intervention that would be most likely to further reduce the rate of suicide would be to further limit the availability of lethal means"

    •  Nielssen's paper used data through 2007. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Suicide rates have since rebounded (although not to the levels seen in decades past.)  Then there's also the fact that suicide by firearms was a small percentage of total suicides as far back as 1997 (PDF)

      There's also the fact the decline of this relatively small segment began well prior to the implementation of tighter gun control (PDF)

    •  Again. Most "failed" jumping and hanging (0+ / 0-)

      attempts weren't attempts.  They were parasuicide.  

      You're simply pretending that this does not exist.  You're dedicated to the proposition that the person who leaps from a second floor window is just as intent on comitting suicide as the person who leaps from a 200 foot office tower.

      The overwhelming majority of suicide "attempts" are parasuicide.  They are not suicide attempts.

      Australian suicides by year -

      2010: 2,359
      2009: 2,284
      2008: 2,340
      2007: 2,227
      2006: 2,118
      2005: 2,101
      2004: 2,098
      2003: 2,213
      2002: 2,320
      2001: 2,454
      2000: 2,363
      1999: 2,492
      1998: 2,683
      1997: 2,720
      1996: 2,393
      1995: 2,368
      1994: 2,258
      1993: 2,081
      1992: 2,294
      1991: 2,360
      1990: 2,161
      1989: 2,096
      1988: 2,197

      It took 5 years for them to get back to normal after the severe firearm restriction laws went into effect.  Now, you might argue that's got to do with compliance, or that guns were still out there, or....

      but here are gun suicides.  They went down, while suicides went up.

      2010: 162
      2009: 169
      2008: 183
      2007: 190
      2006: 181
      2005: 147
      2004: 167
      2003: 193
      2002: 217
      2001: 261
      2000: 222
      1999: 269
      1998: 235
      1997: 329
      1996: 382
      1995: 388
      1994: 420
      1993: 431
      1992: 488
      1991: 505
      1990: 486
      1989: 450
      1988: 521

      That's the gun suicide rate.  You can see that it was already tanking drastically, and kept right on tanking.

      80% of all firearm suicide deaths in the US are white males.  White women have an almost identical degree of access to firearms.  They rarely use them.

      If access to firearms changes parasuicide into suicide, why does this only apply to one gender?

      Why are white males 12 times more likely to kill themselves when they "attempt" suicide than white women?  They live in the same homes, the same distance from the gun cabinet.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:37:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have no idea (0+ / 0-)

        what you're talking about.

        How are you able to conclude that "failed hangings and jumps were "parasuicide""? Did you examine the patients afterwards? Did you read a study in which this was done? Are you even board certified in psychiatry (like I am?)

        Your easy dismissal of suicide attempts that are unsuccessful as "must be parasuicide" ignores what actual data and mental health professionals have shown over decades of actual research: suicide is most often an impulsive act. When a gun is around, many (mostly men, as they're more prone to the violent methods) use them. When they're not, they may try less lethal methods.

        I am enjoying the hubris that has you pretending to know better than the editors at NEJM and so on, though.

        I will also point out that you posted numbers, not rates. The suicide rate in Australia has decreased with strict gun control. As one would fully expect with substitution of less lethal methods, some but not all suicide attempts were converted into failed suicides. This is consistent with what I have been explaining to you, and the opposite of what you proposed.

        If what you claim were true, you would expect no change in the overall suicide rate with fewer guns because anyone who is "really serious" will always manage to kill themselves. And yet, the overall (non-firearm) suicide RATE in Australia fell by 27% by 2006!

        It is true that men are more prone to violence (including self-violence) than women. You're hardly breaking new ground there.

    •  If you'd like to question any of my facts, please (0+ / 0-)

      point what you've got a problem with.

      I can back them up.

      You're left hanging with the proposition that a person who slits their wrist side to side and shallow has the same intent as a person who jumps from the Brooklyn Bridge.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:42:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your "facts" (0+ / 0-)

        You claim to somehow omnisciently know which suicide attempts are "real" and which are "parasuicide", when even trained professionals don't know (and usually the patients themselves don't know). That is not "fact", it is your self-serving supposition.

        You posted raw numbers but not rates, which do in fact show a drop in Australia's OVERALL successful suicide rate by nearly one-third in the decade following strict gun control.

        So, yes, I have a problem with your "facts".

        •  You're now arguing with claims not made. It took (0+ / 0-)

          five years for suicide rates to get back below the pre-restriction level.

          I haven't argued at all that it has not fallen.  It has.  And it's because of a massive national effort to reduce it.

          In the US, the rate of homes with guns has been falling for thirty years. It peaked in 1977 at 54% and in 2011 was at 32.2 .

          What has happened to the suicide rate?

          From 13.2 in 1980 to 10.8 in 2003.  This, even though we've had massive demographic shifts.  Whites, who commit suicide at twice the rate of some other ethnic groups, now make up much less of the population.

          Gun fetishists think a gun is answer to every problem.  Their mirror images think guns are the cause of every problem.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 01:21:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

            The data supports my position, and refutes yours. Just as you posted it. Are you just unable to understand it? I know most people lack education....

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