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We each have our own tolerance for risk and we all make numerous risk/reward decisions every single day. In this diary AndyT will join us to discuss his very touching personal diary in which he shared his personal experience with major depressive disorder and his thoughts about the risks of gun ownership.

Join us for a chat with AndyT.

This is an Open Thread.

I can't own a gun


by AndyT
(November 15, 2010, republished with permission)

Has nothing to do with the law, I've got a clean record. I can afford a gun, so that is not it. I've been to shooting ranges on several occasions and apparently I'm a decent shot. I have friends who love their guns and would probably really enjoy if I joined them going shooting.

Nothing against hunters who use their kill whether for food, for the coat. I have no respect for "hunters" who kill animals and leave their carcass behind, antlers sawn off for others to find the disfigured corpse. And if I ever find the sonofabitch who shot Sampson...

But people who advocate for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) never have good answers or suggestions for people in my situation. I don't think they much like discussing it at all.

Continue reading I can't own a gun below the fold.

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The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. We also cover the many positive aspects of gun ownership, including hunting, shooting sports, and self-defense.

To see our list of original and republished diaries, go to the Firearms Law and Policy diary list. Click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to our group name to add our posts to your stream, and use the link next to the heart to send a message to the group if you have a question or would like to join.

We have adopted Wee Mama's and akadjian's guidance on communicating.  But most important, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

I can't own a gun continues:
I'm suicidal and I think that if I owned a gun I would kill myself.

I'm not suicidal all the time, right now I'm not. But I am diagnosed Unipolar Depressive. That means that if I take my meds as prescribed, exercise, sleep right, avoid drugs and alcohol I'll be suicidally depressed less than I would be otherwise. But I will go through depressive episodes and during those episodes I will likely be suicidal.

Somehow it seems wrong to me that I am this way and yet I can just go buy a gun and there is no mechanism... no nanny state, if you will, that will stop me when I am at my least rational. Because people like me might benefit from a nanny state that looked at our history and said, you are a danger to yourself, maybe you don't need a gun.

My mom is a psychologist. She had a small collection of guns, none of which were hers. She would take them from suicidal - and on occasion, homicidal - patients. She never kept ammunition for any of them around but I used to take them out of her drawer and pretend to play Russian Roulette with them. Barrel in the mouth - you want to destroy the medulla oblongata not the cerebellum. No vegetation for me, thank you.

Mom still went to funerals for at least two patients I'm aware of. Both did it with a gun.
Had a really good friend in high school, Clay. He was an amazing guy, scholar, athlete, popular with everyone because he was such a good guy. One day he took his father's Smith and Wesson and blew his brains out. To this day I don't understand why. Clay did seem to have everything. Here I am, twenty two years later, missing him terribly as I write this.

But fuck it, you know, I'm not that important. Nor was Clay or a bunch of mental patients. People like us, well, really probably just natural selection at work, right? That's one suggestion I have gotten from a progressive RKBA fan. But I can concede the point. I don't think I'm worth all that much otherwise I would not have the problems I have.

What about these guys? Seems to happen somewhere every day:

Man kills girlfriend and daughter before killing self

Husband shoots wife and children before killing self

Wife and kids die in apparent murder-suicide

Maybe, just maybe, it's worth having some sort of discussion of the nanny state's role in regulating the ability to take a life so quickly, so effortlessly.

Nah, that's just stupid talk from some liberal nut, right?

To add AndyT’s original diaries to your stream, click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to Andy's name.


Group member and Editor Hugh Jim Bissell is reporting on firearms and suicide from a public health perspective. To add Hugh Jim Bissell's original diaries to your stream, click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to HJB's name.

Center for Disease Control Addresses Gun Violence
Guns and Suicide: Introduction
Guns and Suicide: Gun Suicides Rise and Fall with Gun Sales
Guns and Suicide: The Whos, Whats, and Whys of Guns and Suicide

Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:03 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and notRKBA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for frank talk about risk (32+ / 0-)

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 04:39:43 PM PST

    •  Subthread on defensive gun use (for new readers) (2+ / 0-)

      Downthread there is a discussion that gets way into the weeds on a topic we have previously studied and reported on:
      Defensive Gun Use

      We published a series of diaries on the topic that might be of interest to new readers. The FLAP group examined in detail several studies of DGU, including the high and low estimates cited in the CDC report. You may read those diaries and disagree with our  analysis and/or disagree with the conclusions drawn. If you think there is something we missed and you decide to write a rebuttal diary addressing an issue you see, please send the group a Kosmail so that we can participate.

      Another Look at Estimates of Defensive Gun Use (Part VI) - Open Thread
      A closer look at DGU numbers
      Defensive Gun Use (Part V) - A Comparison of Two Studies
      Defensive Gun Use (Part IV) - The National Self Defense Survey
      Defensive Gun Use (Part III) - The National Crime Victimization Study
      Defensive Gun Use (Part II) - You Decide
      Defensive Gun Use (Part I) - The CDC Report on Gun Violence
      Center for Disease Control Addresses Gun Violence

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 01:08:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for providing links (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, Glen The Plumber

        Thank you LG, for publishing the links to these articles.

        This makes it easier for those people who would like to educate themselves further.

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

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:56:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're welcome (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          I learned a lot from your diaries and DailyKos' collective effort to make sense of the methods and the results, and you really helped by breaking down the advantages and disadvantages of each study and then taking the extra step of comparing them side by side.

          Ozy's analysis was also very insightful.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 07:08:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  For New Readers, the subthread on DGU or (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theatre goon

      Defensive Gun Use is appropriate in any "OPEN" Diary.

      Even if it's been discussed before.  

      What is clear here, the issue has two sides that rarely agree.

      -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 07:01:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Participating in someone else's diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero

      The "Don't be a Dick" metaphor of how to Participating in someone else's diary. See also  DailyKos FAQ.

      The topic of the diary was Frank Talk About Risk, and it featured one Kossack who had the courage to talk about their own experience with depression. An Open Thread indicates that the conversation may go wherever it leads, but it is not an invitation to obsessively attack someone's  work that was presented in other diaries.

      Gerrilea - 14 comments; Theatre goon – 13 comments; together more than a quarter of the 106 comments. Both have a history of complaining about the quality of discourse in gun diaries, yet here attempts by others to acknowledge points of agreement were rebuffed and false accusations were repeated ad nauseum.

      Group dynamics are very interesting and individuals self select to contribute in different ways. We can thank these two for this educational demonstration of what persistent dickishness looks like. Everyone can have a bad day once in awhile, and most people self moderate once they vent their frustration. Perhaps these two will find the courage to write their own diaries instead of pissing all over someone else's living room.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:14:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagreement is not "dickishness." (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kasoru, gerrilea, MertvayaRuka

        It's a common enough tactic to make that claim, but it does not make it so.

        I do hate to break it to you -- pointing out where false assertions and/or dishonest debate tactics are used are not "dickishness."

        It is becoming  more and more clear that you don't want those who disagree with you to participate, but that disagreement is not a violation of site rules, no matter how many times you falsely accuse others of doing things they haven't done.

        "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

        by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:25:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would you care to explain (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero

          why someone would publish 43 diaries and delete all of them, and then complain about the quality of discourse at Daily Kos? I confess it's difficult to see the logic behind such a creative and unconventional approach to dialogue.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:45:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kasoru, gerrilea

            Now there's a reasonable question, which I am more than happy to respond to.

            I had put into many of those diaries personal information which could have been -- and, in fact, was -- used to harass me, personally.

            Rather than going through each and every diary, trying to find which links and media went to information I would prefer not to be public, I simply deleted them all.  It was much faster and easier to do that than trying to edit them.

            Granted, it was my own mistake to include much of that information in the first place, but, in my defense, I was still under the impression that DailyKos was a "community."

            "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

            by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 01:01:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Admin is the appropriate venue to express your (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coquiero

              concern and request help to resolve your personal matter, especially a problem that predates the existence of the Firearms Law and Policy Group.

              Threadjacking and personal harassing comments such as those you posted here may have been a form of sport in your former "community" but they are certainly not welcome here in this community.

              I'm sure you know that; this comment if for the benefit of others who may not be clear about the goals of the group, which are posted in each group diary and in more detail in our group profile.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 01:29:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And, there we go... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kasoru, gerrilea

                My comments were in direct response to other comments made in this diary -- if I was "threadjacking," then Hugh Jim must have necessarily been doing so as well.

                It was, after all, his comments I was directly responding to.

                How is it "threadjacking" in one instance, but not in the other...?  He took the discussion in a particular direction, and I responded to that.  You can't have it both ways -- either the discussion is allowed, or it is not.  Actually, we both know that such discussion is, in fact, allowed on this site.

                Pointing out the failures in the arguments in others is not "harassment," in any meaningful usage of that word.  You may not like it when those arguments are shown to be wholly without merit, but that does not make it "harassment."  Calling every comment you, personally, don't like "harassment" removes all meaning from that word.

                Continually falsely characterizing simple debate as "threadjacking" or "harassment" will not make it so.  Falsely accusing others of poor behavior, while defending such actual behavior in others does nothing but show your own hypocrisy.

                You may like to think that actual debate is not welcome in this "community," but that has absolutely no bearing on the site overall -- unless, of course, you can provide a reference that shows a rule against disagreeing with unsupported assertions made in these diaries.

                Tell you what, I'll go one further -- I'll abide by your own, personal rules for these diaries (even those that are in direct contradiction to actual site rules) just as soon as I see you consistently call those who agree with you out on such behavior.  Can't get more fair than that...

                "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 02:15:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  On a different note... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kasoru, gerrilea

                I am wholly baffled by this:

                ...especially a problem that predates the existence of the Firearms Law and Policy Group.
                At no point did I say that it had anything to do with this particular group, or any other.

                The comment is completely and wholly irrelevant to anything I said about the subject.

                "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 02:19:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  14th comment? Master class (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero

        in doubling down, tripling down, quadrupling down on dickishness, all while ignoring the freedom and opportunity Kos provides to publish your own diary on any topic that concerns you.

        That's right. It's easier to attack others who dare to speak their own mind about guns than to publish your own argument and let it stand up to scrutiny.

        Please proceed. This educational example does have value.

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:41:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yet when I did exactly this.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, MertvayaRuka
          .....speak their own mind about guns
          YOU DEMANDED I PROVIDE EVIDENCE FOR MY POSITION!

          And then claimed I said something I didn't AND then you never actually addressed any point I made!

          Who's being the dick in their own group diary?

          Kos made it clear, the diarist sets the tone in their own diaries and you made the tone obvious.

          And now you're saying we should write our own diaries????

          Come now Lilith, either 99% of all "threadjacks" are legitimate or their not!

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          7. Threadjacking.
          This is a fun one, because it truly is subjective on a variety of levels. Threadjacking is diverting a comment thread from its original focus. Based on this definition, it's actually hard to find any comment thread with more than 10 comments that doesn't have some threadjacking involved. Our diaries are less of a dictate on what to discuss, and more of a starting point for a free-wheeling discussion. So 99 percent of threadjacking is fine, and actually is what makes our comment threads so much fun.

          You are not allowed to set special standards for your group diaries that are contrary to our site's standards.

          -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 05:03:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Quality of discourse has been you and HGB (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, MertvayaRuka, Kasoru

        moving the goal posts, misrepresenting facts, bringing up old arguments and then making false accusations against me!

        I came here to honestly discuss suicide.  Something I know very well.

        I've presented verifiable links, evidence, contrary opinions and my very own explanations to counter the repeated false meme that "gun control will reduce suicides"!

        And you've not, at one point actually talked to me about these things.

        When I'd point out how one of the claims made is wrong, you move the goal posts, ignoring the point, creating some other "point".

        And then repeating this bad behavior, ad nauseam.

        When it comes to suicide, I will make this point clear: GUNS ARE JUST A TOOL USED TO ATTAIN THE VERY PERSONAL GOAL OF SELF DESTRUCTION.

        I will not participate in any future diaries you post, I expect the same courtesy from you.

        We must all walk away from this, you do not wish for constructive public policies to be initiated that don't include your "PRECIOUS"!

        I've had enough.

        -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 05:17:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  First thing I want to say is... (26+ / 0-)

    they changed my antidepressants and I am doing much, much better.

    And I still don't own a gun!

    If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel

    by AndyT on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:05:10 PM PST

  •  There really is no system in place to prevent (15+ / 0-)

    mentally ill people getting guns. The very, very minimal obstructions currently in place are easily circumvented by simply taking a gun from a relative. For suicidal people, access to firearms is simply too easy.

    If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel

    by AndyT on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:11:53 PM PST

    •  It's really incumbent on the family to (11+ / 0-)

      notice and to either take the guns away or keep the guns under lock and key, but that still won't prevent someone like Gus Deeds from walking into a gun shop and just buying a gun. So sad No Beds Available The Subtext of the Creigh Deeds Tragedy.

      I've been plotting CDC using the WISQARS mapping tools, breaking out firearm homicide and suicide at the county level. I think it's easy for things to get lost in averages, but if people can see the data for their own county, they may be able to help push for local measures, such as increased funding for healthcare, a bond initiative for a new community hospital, etc.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:23:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, there isn't. And there doesn't seem to be (9+ / 0-)

      any way to prevent stories like these:

      Beverly man kills self inside Salisbury gun store

      Man leaves gun range with rented gun and commits suicide  Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/23509640/2013/09/23/man-lives-gun-range-with-rented-gun-and-commits-suicide#ixzz2lKkVYzOw

      Milpitas: Man shoots self in apparent suicide at gun shop next to police department

      There are some organizations that are trying to help:

      Suicide Prevention: A Role for Firearm Dealers and Ranges

      Mission

      The project’s overall goal is to share materials, developed by and for firearm retailers and range owners, on ways they can help prevent suicide. Its objectives are to:

          Develop and share guidelines with gun store/firing range owners about how to avoid selling or renting a firearm to a suicidal customer
          Encourage gun stores and firing ranges to display and distribute suicide prevention materials tailored to their customers

      Tennessee has a similar or the same program:
      TN Gun Safety Project

      But the underlying issue is mental health treatment and support.

      "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

      by BadKitties on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:36:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great links! (6+ / 0-)

        Hi BK, those are great links for a diary. It might be just as good as installing emergency hotline phones on bridges.

        Have you seen anything about waiting periods. Do those laws work?

        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

        by LilithGardener on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:45:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, that is some great stuff there. (6+ / 0-)

        Thank you for sharing the links.

        If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel

        by AndyT on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:52:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're welcome! (10+ / 0-)

          Thank you, Andy, for sharing your story. And I agree that it's too easy. Once, when my heart was broken and my parents were out, I looked for my father's carry piece. It was on his dresser, but the clip was not in it. There were many, many guns in his library, but no ammo. I really wonder if he had some instinct....I was in my early 30's and the only one living with my parents, as we waited for a certain apartment to become vacant.

          Normally, the clip was left in the gun. So that was very peculiar. By the morning, I'd decided that I could carry on.  The thought of shooting myself was an impulse, and possibly a drunken one. Can't remember, but it seems likely. I really, really do wonder what made my father hide the clip...I could never ask.

          I haven't been suicidal since, but we do not own a gun. I would have gotten one when I was single, but I couldn't afford the one I wanted. And now I'm married and my husband fears them, so...no gun.

          "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." -Susan B. Anthony

          by BadKitties on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:15:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is (8+ / 0-)

      If you have been committed for more than 30 consecutive days against your will under federal law you are blacklisted from firearms ownership and its illegal to knowingly sell you a firearm.  It will also show up in a NICS check if the state submitted the records as they should.  

      I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

      by DavidMS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:49:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "No system in place ..." What kind of system ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... could even identify people who shouldn't have guns for their own good ... and for the rest of ours', too! Identify, that is, much less "prevent."

      Andy is an inspiring example of self-imposed restraint in the face of very bleak times. While I agree family members may not be entirely reliable to diagnose and intervene effectively, they are more likely than others to recognize signals of suicidal - and homicidal - tendencies. Teachers and school counselors? Maybe, but ... (witness James Holmes, the Aurora CO theatre shooter).

      That said, what are they to do about it?  A suicidal person has to accept intervention. It takes a court order in most states to deprive someone of her or his freedom, which may be beyond what's doable (witness Gus Deeds).

      Of course, mental illness is a factor in some, maybe much, gun violence. And undeniably, we need to put more resources into the fields that provide mental health care services. But I think we are a far distance away from being able to rely on that to diminish gun violence in America!

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:50:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Andy, first off, congratulations on making it (8+ / 0-)

      through to the other side.  Someday I may have the courage to share the details of my life, all the gory details.

      Life rarely is apple pie and rainbows.

      The second issue, I'd like to address is this opinion that mentally ill people's access to firearms makes them more likely to attempt/commit suicide.

      I've written a couple diaries that have addressed this that you may not be aware of.

      My most recent one was on those "minimal obstructions" you claim we have.

      The second touched on the stats that get obfuscated when we blame an object for human limitations.

      In the more recent diary, we've found that the even the NYS Psychiatric Association understands the limits of our science:

      “'Likelihood’ isn’t a standard that we work with. We are not very good at predicting violence at any point in the future,” said Dr. Glen Martin, president of the New York State Psychiatric Association. The association has submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, charging that the New York law may violate HIPAA.
      I'll share this detail of my own life, firearms were in our home and my attempts a suicide took the form of cutting my wrists.  The second time, I jumped off a bridge and was clinically dead for almost 8 minutes.

      Suicide by gun is gender specific, males are more likely to use a firearm.  As a transgendered woman, even in suicide, I was that woman.

      I know many wish to boil these societal issues down to some simple "fix-it-all" solutions.  Pounding that proverbial square peg into a circular opening won't help more than half the population.  IMO, your suggested solution is sexist to the core and I take personal offense to the naivete.

      The second diary I wrote last year shows us that over 600,000 Americans attempt suicide each year.  Since 1999, that's over a 15% increase.

      This is what I said then and I still stand by this:

      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.  

      I'll ask you to review the materials I've provided and the links I've shared.

      Then I must ask you to answer this:

      Why are we creating more suicidal people?  Keep in mind those 633,000 people that gun control will never help.  75% of those are women!

      Please understand that my personal evolution leaves me questioning whether your "political" solution will ever address the societal problems we face.

      I hope to hear from you soon.

      ~Gerri

      -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 Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 06:31:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you forgetting the 100,000+ shot yearly? (3+ / 0-)

        Every year in America, over 100,000 people suffer a gunshot injury.  Only 19,000 or so are suicides (self-inflicted).

        That means the other 81,000 people who get shot every year ARE SHOT BY SOMEONE ELSE.

        The fact is that suicide (as rotten as that is) is only a MINOR portion of the toll gun violence inflicts on Americans.

        Gun control advocates such as myself point out that limiting the availability of guns will NOT ONLY reduce the number of gun suicides (as happened to two other populous industrialized multi-cultural countries that implemented limits of gun sales and use), but will also reduce the number of gunshot injuries that have nothing to do with suicide.

        We as a society know how to reduce the number of shooting injuries: we should act on that knowledge.  

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

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 08:36:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We weren't talking about total gun victims, were (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PavePusher, DavidMS, Kasoru, theatre goon

          we?

          We have, individually and as a group, discussed that aspect.

          This diary was specifically about guns & suicides.

          I'm sure Lilith would agree that the specific topic you mention is not being discussed today.

          Maybe we could re-examine that side issue sometime.

          -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 Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:29:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK - let's talk about suicide (3+ / 0-)

            Very good - we will confine our conversation to suicide.

            In America, roughly 32,000 people are shot dead every year.  19,000 of these fatal gunshot injuries are self-inflicted.  The remainder of those fatal gunshot injuries are criminal homicides, police shootings, accidental shootings, and "defensive" gun uses.  

            Though gun enthusiast like to talk about how important guns are for defensive purposes, it turns out the vast majority of the fatal shootings in America are NOT defensive gun uses, but are instead suicides.

            Rather than protecting gun owners, guns end up killing gun owners.

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

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:12:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Disingenuous, at best. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kasoru, gerrilea, MertvayaRuka

              Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities -- which makes a direct comparison to suicide extremely misleading, since suicide, by definition, must involve a fatality.

              You are, at best, comparing apples and oranges, in an attempt to make a point related to neither.

              Further, you are crafting a strawman argument:

              Though gun enthusiast like to talk about how important guns are for defensive purposes, it turns out the vast majority of the fatal shootings in America are NOT defensive gun uses, but are instead suicides.
              Yes, firearms are important for defensive purposes, but since no one claims that all or even most defensive gun uses do or even should involve a fatality, you are attributing to others arguments that they have not made -- an inherently dishonest tactic.

              I do go with the word "disingenuous" rather that "erroneous," because such points have been pointed out to you repeatedly, yet you continue to use such intentionally misleading tactics.

              That being the case, your post here is in no way responsive to the point brought up.

              "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

              by theatre goon on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 07:41:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It really is possible for intelligent adults (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Glen The Plumber, coquiero

                to look at the same data and disagree about what it means.

                Do you think you could participate without the tedious refrain of accusing people of lying in some way? You've accused me of lying so many times I stopped counting. It's your signature comment style and if fails the "don't be a dick" rule.

                Can't you simply state your assertion, or your opinion, and explain your reasoning without making personal attacks and  complaining that the level of discussion doesn't meet your standards?

                "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                by LilithGardener on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 08:38:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hey, if he wasn't being dishonest... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gerrilea, Kasoru

                  ...there wouldn't be any need to point it out.

                  You could mention that fact, instead of attacking me for pointing out the intentional dishonesty.

                  It's pretty straightforward stuff here -- if people don't make false statements, there wouldn't be any dishonesty to point out.

                  Of course, I neither made any personal attacks nor did I "complain that the level of discussion doesn't meet" my standards.  That being the case, maybe I'm expecting the wrong person to respond to what I actually said, instead of falsely accusing me of saying things that I didn't.

                  "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                  by theatre goon on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 12:15:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  By All Means - show us the data!! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener, coquiero

                Gerrilea insisted that we limit our discussion to guns and suicide.  I was making my statements within the bounds set by G.

                I myself think that arbitrary limitation is "disingenuous", so I am happy to discuss ALL gunshot injuries - not just fatal ones.

                Your claim:

                "Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities.... "
                I assume you are not simply saying this off the top of your head.

                So please, show us the data that supports your claim.

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

                by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 03:35:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here's a good overview... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gerrilea

                  ...of quite a few different studies:
                  Nifty Little Table

                  You'll note that even the lowest numbers of estimated defensive gun uses are much, much higher than the one you prefer to cling to, showing that your claims are erroneous.  Additionally, if you find a study or two in there that you don't like for some reason or another, there are plenty more that show your assertions here as simply wrong.

                  In fact, such information has been provided to you often enough that such claims are no longer erroneous, but can only be intentionally false.

                  Now, try not to hurt yourself, lugging that goalpost around:

                  I myself think that arbitrary limitation is "disingenuous", so I am happy to discuss ALL gunshot injuries - not just fatal ones.
                  You don't seem able to even keep to your own arguments to one set of assertions, changing them to try to dodge whatever set of facts come along that don't support your false assertions.

                  You forget, we've had this discussion before -- you use all the same tired old dishonest tactics.  You should try some new material, this set is getting pretty threadbare.

                  "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                  by theatre goon on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 04:29:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Kleck 1995 Defensive Gun Use (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero

                    Have you actually read that paper?

                    Since that study was cited in J. Breyer’s minority opinion in Heller and in the CDC report, we assumed it was an important paper and have studied it. IIRC there were a number of problems with the sampling method and the way Kleck dealt with false positives. Extrapolation of the results to the general population lead to some absurd projections.

                    The DOJ National Institute of Justice tried to replicate the study and is worth a careful reading  Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms

                    Can anyone explain why the nearly 20 year old Kleck study is still considered by some to be a gold standard for estimates of Defensive Gun Use?

                    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                    by LilithGardener on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 10:40:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I have read it, yes. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      gerrilea, Kasoru

                      The conclusions of that study really have no bearing on the fact that the table I referenced is listing the results of numerous other studies.  The table shows the results of those studies, not the conclusions of the Kleck paper -- the same source data, in other words.

                      That being the case, you seem to be ignoring the information I actually referred to, choosing instead to argue against claims that I didn't bring up at all.

                      Even with that in mind, though, the reference you provided shows that Hugh Jim's assertions are simply false -- so thank you for that, at least.  Now, if he would only use accurate data and dispense with the dishonest debate tactics, perhaps he could engage in a serious and adult conversation on the topic.

                      "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                      by theatre goon on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 11:36:50 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Something still doesn't make any sense to me (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Glen The Plumber

                      In the paper cited above, (Kleck 1995, Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun, School of Law, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 86, issue 1, 1995.)

                      Dr. Kleck asserts that his study, published in 1994 IIRC, was the first ever study to examine defensive gun use. Yet here you appear to claim that studies from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s are accurate estimates of defensive gun use, Nifty Table of 20 and 30 year old studies.

                      That's a contradiction I can't resolve.

                      Is Kleck correctly asserting that all those other studies were fatally flawed in some way?

                      Or is Kleck simply mistaken and his study was not the first, and was rather, just the latest, and largest study, that used similar methods, to confirms those prior (smaller) estimates?

                      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                      by LilithGardener on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 01:00:51 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Take it up with Kleck. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        gerrilea

                        I never made any such claim, so asking me to respond to it seems rather pointless.  I can't even see why you're bringing it up now, since it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the points being discussed.

                        I mean, surely you're not just trying to divert the discussion away from a set of points that you don't like...

                        "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                        by theatre goon on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 03:27:38 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Table does not support your claim (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero, LilithGardener

                    In a previous comment, you made a claim:

                    "Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities.... "
                    I asked you to show us some data that supports your claim.  You have replied showing us a table "Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses in Previous Surveys".  The table purports to show the results of studies on defensive gun uses - tho' I point out it is impossible from the table presented to identify the original studies.

                    Worse still (for your claim), the table presents NO (i.e. ZERO) evidence to support your claim that "most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities".

                    So it appears to me that you have failed to present evidence supporting your claim, and we can therefore ignore your claim as UNSUBSTANTIATED.

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

                    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 05:57:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Kasoru, gerrilea

                      You are either intentionally misrepresenting both what I stated and the data I provided to support that claim, or you do not even have a rudimentary understanding of even your own assertions, much less the pertinent facts.

                      One way or the other, your "debate" here is sorely lacking.

                      Nice try at deflection, though.

                      The fact is, your claims have been shown to be false, and you have been caught out in several intentionally dishonest tactics -- either of those would show that your "argument," such as it is, is completely without merit.

                      Both of them, though... well... that's just icing on the cake.

                      "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                      by theatre goon on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 08:04:27 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Please show us where..... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LilithGardener, coquiero

                        In the comment titled "Disingenuous, at best", you made the claim:

                        "Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities.... "
                        Do you deny these are your written words?

                        I then asked you to show us evidence that supports your claim.  You replied (in a  comment titled "Here's a good overview...") with a link to a page from GunCite.com, showing a table of surveys.

                        Do you deny that you referenced this table when asked to provide evidence that supports your claim that "Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities.... "?

                        After looking at the table I wrote the following

                        "Worse still (for your claim), the table presents NO (i.e. ZERO) evidence to support your claim that "most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities."
                        .

                        Now you claim that I have misrepresented your statements and the data to which you have made reference.

                        So put up or shut up.  Please show us where or  how I have misrepresented your statements, and please show us what data present on the table you have referenced backs up your initial claim that "Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities.... "

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

                        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 11:54:39 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Really, this is the best you have...? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          gerrilea, Kasoru

                          That's... well... that's just kinda sad.

                          What's even sadder is that the only person still supporting you also provided the data that shows your assertions are utter nonsense, but she either can't or won't admit it, either.

                          It would be funny if it weren't... no... scratch that -- it is pretty funny.

                          "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                          by theatre goon on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 01:04:55 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Sadness = not being able to back up your claims (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener, coquiero

                            I noticed you have failed to back up every claim you have made in this thread.

                            You claimed

                            "Most defensive gun uses do not involve fatalities.... "
                            to back up this claim, you provided a table that says nothing about the number of fatal and non-fatal defensive gun uses.

                            You then claimed:

                            "You are either intentionally misrepresenting both what I stated and the data I provided..."
                            and when asked to show where I made such misrepresentations, you fail to provide any statement made by me in this thread that misrepresents your posts.

                            You have failed to back up any of the claims you made in this thread.  Quelle dommage.

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

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 02:45:37 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's it -- stick to your guns! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea

                            If you keep making the same false statement enough times, maybe someone will actually believe it.  It seems doubtful, but even Republicans do tend to get some votes when they use that tactic -- and it's a favorite of Rush Limbaugh's, and he's still on the air, after all.  Not the people I would emulate, but I'm not you...

                            I mean, anyone can plainly see that I have responded to each and every one of your requests, and your continued insistence to the contrary is simply ludicrous, but it's a tactic, I get it.

                            To be completely honest, this is my favorite tactic of yours -- the pretending not to understand basic, straightforward points.  It makes my argument for me.

                            The simple lying just doesn't take you as far, it really does help when you pretend that you just can't quite grasp what's going on.  It does take dedication, though, and for that I have to give you some credit...

                            I do have to say, though, that when you are claims are so thoroughly debunked, you do look a bit silly to continue insisting that they haven't.  But, hey, if that's what works for you, you work with it!

                            Peace!

                            "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                            by theatre goon on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 03:25:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You still have not substantiated your claims (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener, coquiero

                            I noticed that you STILL have failed to provide any factual proof to support any of your claims in this comment thread.  

                            And yes, I will continue to say it for as long as you continue to make unsubstantiated assertions.

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

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:39:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He won't, either (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener

                            HJB, you'll get nothing from this poster.  It's his MO--make accusations, dodge counter-accusations, make back handed insults, claim they're not insults, tell you you're mean because you have no argument...

                            Rinse and Repeat, ad nauseum.

                            I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

                            by coquiero on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:43:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  I do understand that you wish to place blame (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kasoru, theatre goon, MertvayaRuka

              on an inanimate object but I find such extremely dangerous, one-dimensional and frighteningly dehumanizing.

              Your square peg in a round hole does not address the problems our society is creating...DESPERATE PEOPLE.

              Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S.

              In my diary quoted previously.  My math was off...way off by 50%.

              From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.

              The most pronounced increases were seen among men in their 50s, a group in which suicide rates jumped by nearly 50 percent, to about 30 per 100,000. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.

              WHY???

              That is my question.

              In the most free, most powerful, most wealthy nation in human history.  WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?

              It ain't the gun doing this.

              We know the male suicide rate is 400% higher than female.  And 70% of those committing suicide saw their doctor within the past 30 days.

              There is a common perception that suicide rates are highest among the young. However, it is the elderly, particularly older white males, that have the highest rates. And among white males 65 and older, risk goes up with age. White men 85 and older have a suicide rate that is six times that of the overall national rate.

              Why are rates so high for this group? White males are more deliberate in their suicide intentions; they use more lethal methods (firearms) and are less likely to talk about their plans. It may also be that older persons are less likely to survive attempts because they are less likely to recuperate. More than 70 percent of older suicide victims have been to their primary care physician within the month of their death, many with a depressive illness that was not detected.

              We know that Police commit suicide at 150% higher rate than the general population.  And 91% are male.

              While the data suggests that men should be forbidden from owning weapons. Especially if you're a retired white male police officer. Should we "go there"?  I know we've been divided by race, age, economic class and politically.  What's one more division, male vs. female, right?

              If, as you've continuously suggested for years, you want to reduce gun violence by restricting them and here, more specifically, reduce suicides.  Shouldn't we be focusing on who does it the most then? MEN, right???

              Restrict firearm ownership to women only.

              Isn't this a bit absurd? It won't solve the problem(s) of why our suicide rate has gone up 50%.  It won't solve the other 14,000+ suicides each year where Americans don't use a firearm.

              What your factitious argument for numbers misses, gun ownership has gone down by 16%.

              How's that possible? If your argument were truly valid then suicides should be going down NOT UP by a whopping 50%!

              Maybe some day you'll have an honest discussion with me on this.  You see, I think 1 suicide is 1 too many!

               

              -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 Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 04:05:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Rising suicide rates (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coquiero

                Has it occurred to you that one of the societal reasons there are more suicides in recent years is society's permission attitude towards guns?

                Here is an interesting piece of research that shows that the increase in US gun suicides correlates at a very high level with the increased sales of guns in the USA: (here: http://www.dailykos.com/...)

                And you must be familiar with those studies that show having a gun is a risk factor for gun suicides - maybe that is why we see a greater incidence of suicide among members of the police.

                And there are those studies that show for people who bought a gun in the previous year, the most common cause of death is a fatal gunshot wound.

                It is true that prudent limits on guns will not end all suicides and will not even end all gun suicides.  But placing prudent limits on gun sales and use WILL reduce the number of suicides (see cited study above) the incidence of suicide.  And we both agree that is a good thing.  Limiting gun sales and use is wise social policy.  There are no real downsides, and many benefits.

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

                by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 03:58:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, gun ownership has gone down. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theatre goon

                  When you say this:

                  But placing prudent limits on gun sales and use WILL reduce the number of suicides (see cited study above) the incidence of suicide.
                  Your saying so to attain a political/personal goal, not to actually address why Americans are so desperate or to help people in any meaningful way.

                  When we compare our suicide rates to other countries, we're #33 on the list.  Of note these countries stand out:

                  #1- Greenland
                  #10- Japan
                  #18- Belgium
                  #19- Finland
                  #23- Poland
                  #26- France
                  #29- Austria

                  Greenland has your "prudent limits" on firearms and they're #1 in the world in suicides.

                  Japan has virtually no private gun ownership and their still #10.

                  Belgium's gun laws are what I've heard many in your group suggest as a model to be implemented here.  Their suicide rate is almost double ours.

                  Ditto for Finland.

                  Ditto for Poland.

                  Ditto for France, with the caveat that fear and social taboo push their personal gun use.

                  And lastly, Ditto for Austria.

                  These countries all seem to have the same or similar gun controls in place like universal background checks, needs requirements, age restrictions, usage restrictions, prohibitions on violent persons, including domestic violence, ammo limitations, etc, etc, etc.

                  AND they all have higher suicide rates.

                  Gun control is obviously not the answer.

                  Can you understand why I don't believe you want to actually help anyone yet?

                  You can spout all the agenda driven studies you wish.  If someone is suicidal, they will find a way, with or without a firearm.

                  Did it ever occur to anyone that suicidal people will seek out the means to kill themselves? Correlation does not equal causation.

                  -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 Nov 24, 2013 at 05:14:32 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Could we look closer to home? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero

                    I'll agree that a gun is a necessary but not sufficient factor in gun suicides. Other factors are necessary. If I understand your argument, it's the shitty economy and other social factors that have created desperate Americans who are taking their own lives.

                    Could we look for a moment at the scatter plot I discussed in last week's open thread?
                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    What do you see when you consider the data in the lower left corner. How do you explain the very low gun suicide rates in states like NJ, MA, and DC? Are those locales somehow less susceptible to our economic down turn?

                    Are NY, CT, MD, IL, CA, RI also somehow immune to our depressed economic conditions?

                    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                    by LilithGardener on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 10:39:03 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Straw argument, one I never made here. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      theatre goon, Kasoru
                      it's the shitty economy and other social factors that have created desperate Americans who are taking their own lives.
                      Hey, but since you've brought it up.  Not exactly.  Yes suicides go up when economies collapse.  See Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain.  Hell, see most of the former Soviet Union.

                      As for your "scatter graph", immaterial.  I've spent the better part of the past 30 minutes looking for a study I just read that gives a legitimate analysis of why there's such a huge difference between the four regions of our nation but no luck.

                      The study pointed out the obvious reason.  SUPPORT.

                      In rural areas there are very few social or public supports in place.  You're on a farm after you wife just passed away, and the kids are in other States, you might be more likely to commit suicide.

                      Farm accidents are a huge problem. 200 people a day get hurt on equipment, by animals, etc.  You've just lost your arm and part of your leg, you're useless, you can't support the family.  Suicide becomes the only solution.

                      SHAMEFULLY.

                      You just lost your farm to Monsanto, you might be more likely to commit suicide.

                      BEING ALONE makes all the difference in the world and in the Midwest, where the suicide rate is much higher, their stalwart rugged individualism plays a very important role.  Asking for help is weakness, period.  It means you failed.

                      In larger urban areas there are many places people can get help from.  Extended family, friends, co-workers, public services, the public Librarian, the local waitress or waiter, etc, etc. Asking for help, here in New York where I live, it isn't a social taboo.

                      Georgians are very similar.  They help one another and asking may be a bit painful for many but they know when they do, help is on the way.

                      Now that I think about it, your scatter plot tells me that Big Agra has decimated farming communities, as they intended and we're seeing the trail of bodies they're leaving behind.

                      -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 Nov 24, 2013 at 01:38:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Do you have a reference for this claim? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        coquiero
                        BEING ALONE makes all the difference in the world and in the Midwest, where the suicide rate is much higher, their stalwart rugged individualism plays a very important role.  Asking for help is weakness, period.  It means you failed.
                        I'm sorry if I incorrectly summarized one of your arguments from a prior thread. I've tried to find points of agreement and your comments are pretty far ranging. It's hard to keep track. Perhaps you could focus some of them into an outline and write a diary.

                        Have a nice evening.

                        "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                        by LilithGardener on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:43:20 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Thanks for the half-assed apology. Now will you (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          theatre goon, Kasoru

                          address the points I've made or not?  Or is honest discussion not part of your groups agenda?

                          And btw, my quote you're using is a paraphrasing of the study I read but could not find, I did explain this already.  That study made it clear, SUPPORT was the biggest difference.  Add into the mix the Spartan attitudes and voila!  I expanded on that simple understanding when I was writing it out.

                          I'm still looking for that study however but I did find this:

                          Suicide Causes

                          Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.

                          Many people die by suicide because depression is triggered by several negative life experiences, and the person does not receive treatment – or does not receive effective treatment – for the depression. (Some people need to go through several treatments until they find one that works for them.)

                          So, while you guys claim you want to"help" reduce suicides from a specific method, the actual experts in the field already know what needs to be done to actually help millions.

                          Effective mental health services, not mandatory health insurance products.

                          Someday I'll write that diary exploring my personal experiences with suicide and the real help that was freely available in this nation at one time.  Help that saved my life.  Help that gave me tools I still use to this day.

                          -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 Nov 24, 2013 at 05:15:24 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Insufficient data (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coquiero, LilithGardener

                    Your argument (that suicide rates are higher than in the US even tho' guns are more restricted in those other countries - therefore gun restriction has no role in preventing suicide) is demonstrably incorrect.  It is true that there are other countries that have suicide rates higher than in the US, but the only thing that proves is that suicide rates vary by country - not a big surprise.

                    If you look at the rate of suicides using a gun by countries (something you have not wanted to look at) you will find that the USA has a higher rate of gun suicides than any of those countries you listed.

                    Moreover, the clear and obvious fact here is that when you take guns away from suicidal people you reduce the incidence of suicide.  This is why a common practice when identifying someone who is thinking about killing themselves (here in the USA and in those other 33 countries) is to put them in a hospital or other secure place where there are no guns.  This is a very common practice that has been repeatedly proven to reduce suicide attempts and suicide deaths.

                    Now there have been 2 western industrialized multi-cultural nations (similar to the US) that recently implemented restrictive gun laws, allowing researchers the opportunity to examine suicide rates before and after the change in gun laws.  In both countries - Australia and Canada - after the implementation of greater restrictions on gun sales and use there were significant reductions in gun suicides.

                    It is probably not possible to prevent ALL suicides, but it is possible to reduce the incidence of suicide and save lives.  This is a worthy goal, and limiting the availability of guns is a proven way to do that.

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

                    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:24:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Where do you come up with this? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      theatre goon, MertvayaRuka
                      but the only thing that proves is that suicide rates vary by country - not a big surprise.
                      Then you conclude with this:
                      In both countries - Australia and Canada - after the implementation of greater restrictions on gun sales and use there were significant reductions in gun suicides.
                      The logical failure is ridiculous.

                      When your "prudent gun measures" were well established in other countries, their suicide rates were higher than ours and we're not to look at that  BUT believe that Canada & Australia's "gun measures", if implemented here will somehow magically reduce suicides...but...but...but...we're not supposed to compare country to country because "suicide rates vary by country".

                      Who you zooming???

                       

                      -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 Nov 25, 2013 at 02:56:37 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's almost funny, really. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        gerrilea

                        I mean, with these sorts of "arguments," you have to wonder if some people are even really trying any more.  They know some people will jump on the bandwagon to any anti-gun claptrap, so they don't even try to pretend it makes any sense.

                        And they wonder why they just can't get the things done that they want done, no matter how many times they say it's about to happen...

                        "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                        by theatre goon on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 03:29:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Here is the evidence (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LilithGardener, coquiero

                        Please, read for yourself - you don't have to take my word for it.  There are more research studies that have examined suicide rates before and after changes in gun laws, and I am happy to provide references (after you have read these five.)

                        Chapman S, 2006

                        Baker J, 2007

                        Lester D, 1993

                        Leenaars AA, 2003

                        Bridges FS, 2004

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

                        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:51:54 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Hummm.....I guess you didn't "fact check" (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          theatre goon, Kasoru

                          your studies.

                          1 & 2, Debunked:

                          http://www.factcheck.org/...

                           Yet another analysis, from 2008, from the University of Melbourne, concluded that the buyback had no significant effect on firearm suicide or homicide rates.

                          On to "O, Canada":
                          Suicide in Canada

                          Rates of suicide in Canada have been fairly constant since the 1920s,
                          averaging annually around twenty (males) and five (females) per 100,000 population, ranging from lows of 14 (males, 1944) and 4 (females, 1925, 1963) to peaks of 27 (males, 1977, 1982) and 10 (females, 1973 During the 2000s, Canada ranked 34th-highest overall among 107 nations' suicide rates, and 17th among 34 OECD countries.
                          Take some time, review the numbers, you'll notice that n 1950, their suicide rate was 7.8/100,000, it went down to 7.0/100,000 in 1955, the lowest it ever was and went up every year after that. Fluctuating in double digits ever since 1969!

                          The highest years were 1977 & 1980 at 14/100,00, then up to 14.8/100,000 in 1983...this was 6 YEARS AFTER gun control went into effect in 1977.

                          Seriously, the gun isn't the problem...

                          Maybe it our "modern society"...

                          Maybe their MEDICAL CARE ACT that went into effect in 1984, made the difference.

                          In 1984, the Canada Health Act was passed under a majority Liberal government, which prohibited user fees and extra billing by doctors. In 1999, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and most premiers reaffirmed in the Social Union Framework Agreement that they are committed to health care that has "comprehensiveness, universality, portability, public administration and accessibility."[35]
                          Statistically speaking from 12.0 per 100,000 in the United States down to 11.5 per 100,000 in Canada is a difference of 5%.

                          MAYBE you need to look at this subject without the colored glasses you're wearing.

                          Because when we look at the rate of increase since 1950, Canada's suicide rates INCREASED 60%!!!

                          And have stayed there ever since!  With and without your precious gun control!

                          Oh, and BTW, I'm still waiting for that honest discussion.

                          -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 Nov 25, 2013 at 10:04:39 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You'll be waiting a while... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            gerrilea, Kasoru

                            If you scroll way up-thread, you'll notice they've put in a couple of comments trying to steer people away from us pointing out the emptiness of their claims.

                            It must be really problematic, knowing that the only way you can sway anyone with your arguments is to make sure that no one sees any response to them.

                            It would be sad, if I thought for a second they believed their own blather...  As it is, it's just kind of amusing.

                            "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                            by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 05:00:16 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, I did notice that.... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            theatre goon, Kasoru

                            So much for our "reality based" community.

                            -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 06:57:26 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Apparently... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kasoru, gerrilea

                            ...some realities are more equal than others.

                            "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                            by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:01:02 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're correct: I do not use "fact-check" (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener, coquiero

                            You are correct: I do not use "Fact-check" or Wikipedia as my sources.

                            Instead, I use data and findings of original research published in peer-reviewed science journals.  

                            You are welcome to cite Wikipedia and other "fact-less" sources, if you please.  I point out the danger of arguing from made-up number is that your opposite may also decide to use made-up numbers, and then you are simply debating thin air.

                            Can you cite any published peer-reviewed sources to back up your arguments?  Or do you prefer to debate thin air?

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

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 06:26:11 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Clearly I'm debating thin air here, sadly. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            theatre goon, Kasoru

                            Your credibility and that of your sources I've never questioned. I questioned the interpretation of these things and the false conclusions you've arrived at.

                            I did present links for your review, to find the answers you need to HONESTLY understand the issue of suicide.  Throughout this thread.

                            The one benefit for Wiki, they provide links to their data sets at the bottom of every page.  Maybe you didn't scroll down???

                            Ditto for "FactCheck.org".

                            Besides are you NOW denying the historical suicide rates for Canada in the table linked to Wiki is in error???  Do you have evidence of this???

                            Since you're making the claim, present the evidence.

                            -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 06:53:38 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please, enlighten me (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener, coquiero

                            It is YOUR job to provide the sources to support YOUR arguments.

                            In support of MY arguments, I provided you with the original sources (not summaries or reviews) from articles published in peer-reviewed science journals.  You are then free to view those original sources and tell me in what way I have mis-read, mis-quoted, or over-interpreted the findings therein (and I point out you have done none of that).

                            If you want to argue the facts, then please show me the facts (not the summaries or reviews of those purported facts).  And yes, I reject Wikipedia: Wikipedia has been repeatedly shown to be erroneous, too often intentionally so.

                            I am not surprised you prefer a fact-free argument on this topic.  Where guns and human health and safety are concerned, the facts are biased against guns.

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

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:00:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've done so, just because you wish to claim (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            theatre goon

                            otherwise denies us honest discussion.

                            The historical suicide rates are facts.  Whether they come from God™ or Wiki.

                            But here's the "original sources":

                            For Australia, from 1921 to 2009, almost 100 yrs of records:

                            http://www.aph.gov.au/...

                            For Canada, from 1950 to present:

                            http://www.who.int/...

                            And I do not need to provide anything more to you.  The facts show us suicides rates have gone up despite your "precious".

                            -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:41:21 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Very Good - Public Data is Best (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener, coquiero

                            Very Good.  You have provided public data, the best kind of data to work with.

                            Restricting my comments to the Australian data, we see that (from Table A) the total age-standardized death (by suicide) rate in 1970 was 13.7 suicides per 100,000 population, in 1975 was 12.0 / 100,000, in 1980 was ii.6 / 100,000, in 1985 was 11.8, in 1990 was 12.7 / 100,000, in 1995 was 13.0 / 100,000 (the new more restrictive gun laws in Australia went into effect in 1997), in 2000 was 12.4, in 2005 was 10.3 / 100,000, and in 2009 was reported as 9.7 / 100,000.

                            So it would appear that the suicide rate was decreasing after the new more restrictive gun laws went into effect in Australia.  This appears to contradict your statement (above) that

                            "The facts show us suicides rates have gone up despite your "precious"."
                            How do your reconcile the facts as presented in the data you cite with your conclusion that suicides are on the rise in Australia?  

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

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 09:17:08 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  STOP PLAYING GAMES!!!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            theatre goon, Kasoru

                            Yearly variations prove nothing.

                            Let's do some math!

                            Australia's numbers:

                            1920's- average over the decade = 11.74
                            1930's- average over the decade = 11.5
                            1940's-average over the decade = 8.76
                            1950's-average over the decade = 10.91
                            1960's-average over the decade = 13.73
                            1970's-average over the decade = 11.96
                            1980's-average over the decade = 12.14
                            1990's-average over the decade = 13.2
                            2000's-average over the decade = 10.6375*
                            (*2000 thru 2008 only)

                            We see that in Australia, rates have gone up since the 1940's!

                            Canada's numbers:

                            1950-average over 5 yrs = 7.7
                            1955-average over 5 yrs = 7.1
                            1960-average over 5 yrs = 7.6
                            1965-average over 5 yrs = 8.8
                            1970-average over 5 yrs = 11.3
                            1975-average over 5 yrs = 12.4
                            1980-average over 5 yrs = 14.0
                            1985-average over 5 yrs = 12.9
                            1990-average over 5 yrs = 12.7
                            1995-average over 5 yrs = 13.4  
                            2000-average over 5 yrs = 11.7
                            2004-average over 5 yrs = 11.3

                            We see that in Canada, rates have gone up since 1950!

                            WHY?????????????????????????????

                            -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 11:57:27 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Careful, there. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kasoru, gerrilea, MertvayaRuka

                            Bringing up data that doesn't fit in with the accepted talking points might well be considered "dickish."

                            The outright falsehoods, dishonest debate tactics and personal insults thrown at us are, clearly, acceptable -- but pointing out facts is "dickish."

                            I'll grant that it's a radical interpretation of the text, but they keep repeating it, over and over, so it's gotta be true.

                            That's how it works, right?  Repeated falsehoods become true...?

                            "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                            by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 12:27:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Australia's gun laws only went into effect in 1997 (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            coquiero

                            Australia's new gun restrictions only went into effect in 1997.  It is not possible for the gun restrictions to reduce suicide rates prior to 1997.  

                            Even from looking at your averages, we can see that the suicide rates after 1997 are lower than they were in the previous five decades.

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

                            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 06:34:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  False point. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            theatre goon, Kasoru

                            You're claim is that GC reduced suicides, it didn't.  Suicides were lower in the 1940's, lower than they are today, with GC.

                            Why's that?

                            And this is only Australia.

                            What about Canada???

                            Are the facts inconvenient so you'll just ignore them?

                            Yet again?!!!!!!!

                            This is the last reply I'll make in any of your diaries...good day.

                            -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 07:02:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, and BTW, you're wrong on this! (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            theatre goon, Kasoru
                            Where guns and human health and safety are concerned, the facts are biased against guns.
                            Maybe you missed my reply here:
                            Suicide Causes

                               Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.

                                Many people die by suicide because depression is triggered by several negative life experiences, and the person does not receive treatment – or does not receive effective treatment – for the depression. (Some people need to go through several treatments until they find one that works for them.)

                            -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 Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:45:07 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And now the demands... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Kasoru, gerrilea

                            ...that you provide, yet again, the evidence to support your claim, that you just provided.  And even if you were to provide yet another bit of information, you can just bet that one won't be quite good enough, either -- that, or the repeated insistence that you didn't provide anything at all.

                            That's my favorite -- the repeated insistence that nothing whatsoever was provided, even in direct response to exactly what was being asked for being provided.

                            It is... intriguing... how the onus is always on someone other than themselves -- and even when they can't respond to the facts, well... those facts aren't the right facts.

                            It's the online equivalent of sticking one's fingers in one's ears and shouting "Tralalalala!"

                            Hugh Jim is quite a devoted user of that one...

                            "No amount of belief makes something a fact." --James Randi

                            by theatre goon on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:08:37 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  It's an open thread (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber, coquiero

            - see the 4th sentence in the introduction. Those who actually read the diary would easily notice that.  

            The title is Frank talk about risk - "I can't own a gun."

            As both Andy and other commeters have noted, while a gun is (by definition) necessary for a firearm suicide, it is not sufficient. Other factors must coincide before the presence of a gun becomes a fatal outcome of a gun suicide.

            Andy recounts his personal experience and mentions 6 specific ways he reduces the risk of fatal self injury. Not owning a gun is merely one of them. I'm sure there are others that he didn't mention.

            "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

            by LilithGardener on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 08:30:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  agreed some people should not own guns (13+ / 0-)

    which has no effect upon my personal decision to own a gun.  A good many of mine are wallhangers which are demilitarized models which are of interest either as an art form (yes, some guns are actually art) or of historical interest (such as my 1913 German infantry pistol which was probably carried by a Prussian officer into Belgium, sparking WWI)

    I get suicide and retain the right to commit suicide should my present condition become so unpleasant that oblivion is preferable.  Over the years, I have avoided the impulse by paying attention to my life tasks, those duties I have to others.  I have always promised myself that should I check out, it will be with minimal muss and fuss and with the smallest possible footprint in the lives of my survivors.  Trying to keep things neat and tidy usually took long enough that, by the time I had reached an acceptable stage of completion, the impulse had passed.

    For that reason I would never use a gun.  Think of the grandkids discovering my body with the head blown off.  No dignity there.  Much better ways to check out.  I would never use a gun as I prefer a bit of dignity, even at such an undignified juncture as dying.  There is no danger in my owning a firearm.  Actually, an auto "accident" makes far more sense, in both legal and practical terms, if one would think this through, and I have considered the issue in depth several times over the decades.  

  •  Repeal the 2nd Amendment was the suggestion (7+ / 0-)

    of a FB friend of mine not that long ago. I was initially shocked at the idea but as time has gone by it has grown on me. Never happen in my lifetime but maybe over time...

    Perhaps that is something that needs discussing.

    If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel

    by AndyT on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:30:37 PM PST

    •  Well it has created a lot of confusion (7+ / 0-)

      and I do think we are in the throes of a constitutional crisis, for other reasons.

      There is a similar doctrine in the vast majority of state constitutions, so I don't see the 2A going away, ever. What I see is that states and localities will pass regulations on time, manner, place, and who....

      ... and when we start to sanction sloppy gun handling people who do own guns will take much more care of the responsibilities that come with ownership.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:52:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Honestly, I'm torn Lilith. (4+ / 0-)

        Part of me wants to respect that my friends and family love, enjoy and use their firearms regularly. It's fun to go shooting. I talked a little about that in the diary.

        But part of me says, hell with it, they are too dangerous and we should ban the lot of them.

        When I visit England, I can't say that I've noticed the lack of guns has a negative effect on their quality of life.

        As far as it being possible, well, getting rid of slavery was impossible - until we did it. Gay marriage was impossible in my lifetime, yet here we are gradually achieving it.

        But I am very much up in the air about this.

        If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? Rabbi Hillel

        by AndyT on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:05:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  thank you AndyT for sharing your thoughts. (5+ / 0-)

    this is a part of the gun debate with no clear line.

    if we lessen the standards would we scare away gun-owners in need of help...I believe a direct threat to self or others before being sent to a judge is what's needed currently.

    We are not broke, we are being robbed...but we can fight back...#KosKatalogue

    by Glen The Plumber on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:38:06 PM PST

  •  I can't imagine killing myself (13+ / 0-)

    I think I can safely say I've never seriously considered killing myself. Possibly with an incurable illness but here in OR we have assisted suicide for people in that condition. I have thought about killing a few people over the years but it was always just a passing fancy.
    I also have wallhangers, collecting bolt operated WWI rifles. I have 6 of them hanging on the walls, its kind of a western/pioneersy motif. I don't have ammo for most of them.
    My other stuff I keep secure. There's no one in my house but me and mrs e, who never handles guns but rarely. She is not suicidal either and saved my life 4 years ago when I was having a heart attack so I don't think she'd try to kill me. (I checked this out very closely before marrying her.)
    If you factor out the more important variables we're a lot safer than most city dwellers: Neither of us  drink alcohol or do dope other than smoke the occasional doobie. I'm in my mid 60s, she's mid 50s. Spotless criminal records, both of us. Never a suicide or shooting in  either of our families and no one in our immediate families has any criminal record. we live in a rural area with a low crime rate
    Factor out those and you see why I don't lose much sleep over guns in the house

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 05:40:43 PM PST

    •  Thanks for a warm and funny post (5+ / 0-)

      on this serious topic.

      ...so I don't think she'd try to kill me. (I checked this out very closely before marrying her.)
      Made me smile. You mention an important point. There is a strong intersection between alcohol/drug use and firearm suicides.

      I suspect we can do a lot of prevention with public education separating alcohol and guns.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:00:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, AndyT, for sharing so openly. (6+ / 0-)

    And for being here!

  •  Self awareness (7+ / 0-)

    AndyT, I am  glad that  you have the self awareness to take steps to protect yourself from reasonable risks associated with depression.  

    In my case, I keep my firearms ownership away from my sister.  She has high functioning autism but very poor self-monitoring skills so am concerned about her ability to safely store, maintain and shoot a firearm.  

    Keeping everyone safe from themselves is impossible.  It is possible to reduce known risks.  I can see a black list of people who have serious depression or other conditions that make them a risk to themselves or others being problematic because such a list would be too easy to get on and too hard to get off.  We don't have the tools to adequately evaluate people's individual risks.  Until we do, such a black list is rights-infinging and unconstitutional.  If such tools exist their use to deny someone their rights is getting into creepy authoritarianism (not that we don't have enough problems with no-fly lists and the NSA's window peeper tenancies).  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 06:47:40 PM PST

    •  This is a problem for a couple reasons (4+ / 0-)
      I can see a black list of people who have serious depression or other conditions that make them a risk to themselves or others being problematic because such a list would be too easy to get on and too hard to get off.  We don't have the tools to adequately evaluate people's individual risks.  Until we do, such a black list is rights-infinging and unconstitutional.

      I've written a little bit about this problem of trading away our privacy in 2 prior Open Threads, here, and again a few weeks ago here.

      All adults are expected to surrender medical privacy for their whole lives and have their most vulnerable moments subject to inspection and submission to a state and federal databases, even though the vast majority of people who suffer from mental illness are not violent and most will never seek to own a gun. I believe that fear of being in some government database keeps people from seeking healthcare that they both need and have a right to receive.

      Some will say, OK, then we should be screening people who want to own guns, but that has a whole different set of problems, but I'll leave those for a future diary.

      Have you noticed this case percolating up to SCOTUS, Tyler v. Holder, about this problem? As you point out once you are on the list there is no appeal process by which you can have your rights restored. Mr. Tyler was suicidal and committed when he was 20 years old, was treated and released. Should he be barred for life even after decades without another episode of major depression?  

      Tyler v. Holder, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11511 (W.D. Mich. Jan. 29, 2013. The appeal to the 6th Circuit Ct. was filed June 27, 2013.

      Any chance you might be interested in writing a diary on the issue and this case?

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 08:32:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes but access to medical data is strictly limited (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        43north, AndyT, gerrilea, LilithGardener

        And mental health records should be particularity so.  

        Look up HIPPA, CAP and FDA regulations.  Records may be kept but access to them is strictly limited both by statute and technical means implemented to follow the statute.  They are protected by a verity of technical and non-technical methods.  I work within these regulations professionally.  If it becomes a law enforcement matter, I think that such records have less protection but I don't know as I don't work with that end of things.  

        I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

        by DavidMS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 09:33:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True, but the public doesn't know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber

          that it takes involuntary commitment for at least 30 days before your name can be submitted to a federal database for use by the National Instant Background Check system. And that's only if your state actually submits that data.

          Am I correct that some states refuse to submit that data? (I'm not sure which ones and am not sure where to find an answer to that question)

          There is a lot of confusion about this area. Does a voluntary commitment for a week get your name on a state registry? Does that boundary vary from state to state.

          Look up HIPPA, CAP and FDA regulations

          A few links and more specific search terms would help readers follow this argument. Thanks in advance to anyone who knows.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:32:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Quickly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gerrilea, LilithGardener

            I'm at lunch so I only have a few minutes.

            Google the following:
            * CAP
            * cap laboratory accreditation
            * College of American Pathologists
            * HIPPA
            * PHI
            * PII
            * clinical laboratory improvement act
            * CLIA

            Am I correct that some states refuse to submit that data? (I'm not sure which ones and am not sure where to find an answer to that question)
            Yes, Maryland refuses to submit the data.  I don't know about other states.  
            There is a lot of confusion about this area. Does a voluntary commitment for a week get your name on a state registry? Does that boundary vary from state to state.
            It depends on the state.  Voluntary Commitments count in MD,  IIRC.  

            I know that I have answered this before.

            I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

            by DavidMS on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:27:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And a bit more (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerrilea, LilithGardener

              http://www.hhs.gov/...

              Here is a good primer.  

              I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

              by DavidMS on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 10:33:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  One more question about Maryland (0+ / 0-)

              Is that why Maryland opts to be a POC for NICS background checks?

              I understand that if a Maryland resident goes to an FFL to buy a gun the Maryland mental health information is included in the background check even though MD doesn't submit it to NICS.

              But suppose I was involuntarily committed when I lived in Maryland and then later I move to a state that relies on the national databases at NICS for background checks.

              Am I understanding it correctly, that in that case my mental health history won't be in NICS and there will be nothing stopping that FFL from selling me a gun.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 08:51:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  a friend of mine had a few guns (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north

    he hung himself from a door-nob.

    yea, I'd never heard of that either,
    but apparently, its all the rage...

    Who is mighty ? One who turns an enemy into a friend !

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:11:14 PM PST

  •  On Sucide (7+ / 0-)

    Many years ago, long before I was born, I had a Great Uncle who committed suicide in the  1950s.  He grew up in Vienna and was given some money to come to America because at the time it was though that any fool could go to America and make something of themselves.  In Hamburg he gambled the money for passage away and telegraphed his father for more or he would kill himself.  My Great, Great Grandfather telegraphed him back "Kill Yourself."  He did not and instead worked passage and jumped ship in New York, his first night he slept in an abandoned ice cart.  He did end up making a life but always said that he would be dead by 50.  In his late 40s, financially wiped out, he committed suicide off a bridge into the City.  

    From the stories that I have heard I doubt that the presence or lack there of a firearm would have made a difference.  Modern mental health care might have made a difference.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Thu Nov 21, 2013 at 07:29:44 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure how it is in other places (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    43north, gerrilea, Kasoru, Joy of Fishes

    But the 2 different states I have applied to and gotten permits to carry a firearm, both make you sign a release regarding your mental health records.

    The process in NYC was 20 years ago and the process in Minnesota was last month.  They also ask a bunch of other questions, along with the release, regarding institutionalizations and medicinal treatment.  These documents need to be signed in the presence of the head sheriff of your county, under the penalty of perjury.

    These procedures at least preclude a person with known mental illness history from being prohibited from ownership.  Beyond that, both NY and MN both require in person meeting to at least get their eyes on an applicant.

    I'm not sure what Andy is requesting.  Is he really requesting the government become more intrusive in determining who gets to excercise their rights?  Because those rights won't be limited to just the 2nd ammendment.  It will ultimately filter down to who can vote, or not and maybe even who can get an abortion or even scarier, who MUST get an abortion.

    I'm in no hurry to cede my rights away to government agents who may be operating with less than wholesome intentions.  And I'll resist even more thoroughly you doing it for me.

  •  6AM on Friday: (6+ / 0-)

    4 people have a serious case of teh not funnies:

    just shut up and shoot yourself already, will ya?
    4 votes
    Look in the mirror.  Repeat what your voting choice was.
    Positively hilarious, right?

    I can appreciate the structure of the entire poll, just not the choice of those persons, choosing that option, as a reply.

  •  AndyT (9+ / 0-)

    I voted for: topics irrelevant.

    I believe in the right to procreate, or not.
    I believe in the rights of the profoundly mentally handicapped to enjoy as much of a fulfilling life as possible.
    I hesitate to encourage parenthood for the profoundly handicapped, as they haven't the means for taking care of themselves, let alone an infant or child.
    I also hesitate to endorse, or encourage any form of eugenics.
    Does this require some form of Nanny-state intervention?
    Means-testing prior to reproductive rights for all - so that the application of a Right is uniform and without stigma or prejudice?

    The finding of our pre-trial investigation:
    a) you're dirt-poor
    b) your SAT scores are really low on math and we're a STEM nation now
    c) you're a celebrated artist, but that's no excuse for failing to comprehend Calculus.

    Therefore it is the opinion of the licensing board that you be sterilized and prevented from adding to the societal burdens by reproducing more in your own image.  Bailiff, secure and deliver this person to the medical staff forthwith, my orders to be carried-out within 48 hours.

    Child bearing by the incompetent, the drug dependent, the complications of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, are all evident to the medical and social services community. The societal burden of children who are in poor health, poor care, poor academic achievement, and who often become wards of the State, either through foster-care, or incarceration.

    We talk of the societal burden of suicide.  How guns, and suicide are linked.  How a decision to shoot oneself is irreversible in most cases.  Thus guns should be banned, or chained to a licensed, bonded, shooting range in such a manner to prevent other use - much as a carnival arcade.

    In my experience, equally fatal with poor second chances is hopping in front of a commuter train.  700v plus crushing injuries.  
    Same for leaping from a bridge, either into traffic below, or the Hudson River.

    What we have, in all such examples given, are a crossroads between rights, responsibilities, and our societal professionals.  

    We need to have serious Tort reform, to fix the ailing medical system.  We need to put responsibility onto each and every one of us.  Both for your health, and your actions.

    "I can't stop eating, and it's killing me" is no different than "I can stop having thoughts of suicide".  
    Chorus: "I'll be dead in a year."
    Someone needs to know, and there needs to be mechanisms for medical intervention.

    There needs to be a Tort-free review process, on the deprivation and/or restoration of firearm access.
    Lest we continue to face this enduring issue:

    "In 1968 their father contemplated suicide, when he was informed he'd go back to Vietnam.  
    The Army discharged him, and he was barred from having a gun, until a judge overturned that in 1991 with the review and consent of your client, Doctor Jones.  
    Riddled with cancer, (rumored to be after-effects of Agent Orange exposure, a claim the DoD denies), he shot himself to death last year.
    We believe your client committed malpractice, in advising the Court on restoring his firearm rights; and seek punitive and compensatory damages in the amount of 7 million dollars."
    After all it's the gun, not the Dioxin, which killed the veteran.  Courts and the Veterans Administration have "proven" the Dioxin and Monsanto® are "blameless", and the DoD to be held harmless.
    So someone, somewhere, is going to pay.

    Why not Smith & Wesson, Remington, or Winchester.
    They killed the father of these children.  Deprived the grandchildren of his benefit and company.
    Greedy godless gun and ammunition makers.

    That's who killed that man - not the actions of a "patriotic" maker of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, nor the Government which for reasons of "national security" has no option but to deny the link between military service, exposure to environmental hazards, and shortened life expectancy.

    Nope.  It was the GUN and AMMUNITION makers.
    Says so on the Death Certificate:  
    Cause: Suicide by Firearm.

  •  I too voted "topics irrelevant" (7+ / 0-)

    Andy T, I applaud you for having the wisdom to know and act upon the knowledge that you should not have a firearm.  I believe whether to own one or not to be a personal decision, one that should not be taken lightly, and one that has significant consequences.  You have made the correct decision, for you.

    That being said, I am not a fan of the Nanny State, as 43north puts it above.  I grow weary of the level of govt intrusions into my life that has done things like limit the amount of cold medicine I can buy and tell me that I must wait >27 days to get a prescription refilled. I find that I am not willing to be limited because of the idea that someone else might misuse or abuse something.

    I also believe that suicide is an issue that is independent of guns and the 2nd amendment.  My reasoning is that if guns didn't exist, we would still be having the same discussion about a different object.  

    •  I must disagree, respectfully. (3+ / 0-)

      I understand your concern, blackhand. I also bridle at the idea that an authority, government, religious, paternal, familial, or in any other capacity of power does not have the wisdom or flexibility to understand my personal situation and act in my best individual interest.

      We are not, however, in a democratic society, engaged in allowing a paternal authority, or a legal authority to dictate our personal behavior when we create laws for the common good. We are coming to a consensus by persuasion and fact about what is good for all of us for the balance between personal autonomy and the common good. I think that one man's decision to not own guns in the face of suicidal ideation is an idea applicable to many, considering that the US has the highest rates of depression and isolation in the Western World. Many who should make that decision do not do so, because they have been taught politically that it is somehow Un-American to be unarmed. No idea can be more harmful to our internal politics at the moment.  

      When we consider that fact, we are faced with a personal and societal decision; should we limit the degree of depression or should we limit the number of weapons which make depression deadly? My answer would be both. And I would do it in the least intrusive way possible, by merely asking people to wait for a gun purchase for a time, and make sure there is training and resources available in the moment in case the person who wants it can find ways to relieve their depression by means other than a gun.

      You are correct in saying that suicide would occur if there were no guns. You are correct in saying that guns are not a cause of suicide. But you are in my view not correct in asserting that there is no link at all between gun ownership and suicide by depressive ideation. There is some link. And that link provides the greatest majority of gun deaths by suicide, or suicide by cop, or suicide by armed family member, or self-directed suicide.

      We can have, for the common good, Constitutionally, even according to the most conservative legal scholars, very unobtrusive and limited regulation of this most efficient means of harming yourself, or more importantly, others, in the attempt to commit suicide without damaging the Second Amendment. We must be able to hold in each hand the truths of each statement; personal autonomy FOR the common good. It is a balancing act which  causes us much consternation, but which has always been required of freedom-loving people.

      Thank you for adding to and listening to this. I welcome any thoughtful rebuttals, as usual.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 06:18:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What do you wish to see done? (11+ / 0-)

    There's already a mechanism in place to deny firearms to those who have demonstrated that they can't manage their own mental illness.  It requires judicial review, you have to be involuntarily committed and/or declared mentally incompetent.  So there's that.

    You're right to worry about those who linger in the shadows, not having yet reached that point of legal no-return, but how do you stop them from legally purchasing firearms, or any other dangerous item for that matter?

    Do you wish to see a requirement that someone's Primary Care Provider sign off on their gun ownership?  The UK does this.  I don't think it would fly here for a multitude of reasons and even if it would I think it's a seriously bad idea.  Requirements like that will discourage people from being candid with their PCP, which has the unintended consequence of pushing them further into the shadows, making it that much less likely they'll get treatment.

    The same complaint can be made of purposed requirements that people open up their medical records for firearms licensing.  Even New York State doesn't go that far, for our "may issue" pistol licenses.  They'll go through any records you have with the County/State Department of Mental Hygiene, and can disqualify you based on those, but they don't compel you to open up your private medical records.

    Candor with one's PCP is important, particularly for mental illness, and we ought to be leery of any public policy that would discourage it.  That's the whole argument for Doctor-Patient privilege, as everybody knows.

    I could make the comparison with drivers licenses, where you're asked to self-disclose any conditions that may interfere with your ability to safely operate a vehicle.  No State that I'm aware of compels you to sign a HIPAA release before they'll issue a drivers license.  Instead they rely on your honesty, and the community obligation that your family and friends have to take the keys away from you if you're no longer able to safely drive.

    The last point is the one that I would make for firearms, and an area that society seems to be failing miserably at.  If you know someone is a danger to themselves or others, you have a moral obligation to intervene, both for the sake of your friend/family member, and the sake of society as a whole.  Intervention by family and friends would have stopped some of the mass casualty events we've seen in recent years.  It wouldn't have gotten all of them (nor would a total firearms ban, incidentally) but it would have stopped quite a few.

    There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap box, ballot box, jury box and ammo box. Use in that order.

    by Crookshanks on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:32:53 AM PST

  •  Thank you all for participating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Glen The Plumber

    and for being willing to share your personal experience in this session of Frank Talk about Risk.

    There are many engaging today comments that deserve more than a cursory reply. I'll be back later tonight or early tomorrow morning to respond further.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 02:52:42 PM PST

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