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The Other Gun-Violence Problem: Suicide

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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:35 AM
Original message
The Other Gun-Violence Problem: Suicide
The Other Gun-Violence Problem: Suicide

The Newark Star-Ledger reports on the disturbing number of suicides among police officers in New Jersey -- sadly a national phenomenon as well. The unusual stress of police work and its effect on family life plays a large part, but so does availability of firearms. An opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine observed a few years ago:

In 2005, the most recent year for which mortality data are available, suicide was the second-leading cause of death among Americans 40 years of age or younger. Among Americans of all ages, more than half of all suicides are gun suicides. In 2005, an average of 46 Americans per day committed suicide with a firearm, accounting for 53% of all completed suicides. Gun suicide during this period accounted for 40% more deaths than gun homicide.

A study at the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed the elevated risk of death by suicide in households where firearms are kept -- even after controlling for "measures of poverty, urbanization, unemployment, drug and alcohol dependence and abuse, and mental illness."

<snip>

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/04/the... /
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. The only suicide problem related to gun ownership...
...is that it's messy.


Considerate folk find a way to minimize that problem.
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rl6214 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. I had one friend shoot himself in the head in the shower
not quite so messy to clean up. Had an employee of mine shoot himself in his car, quite a bit messier. Both of them would have found a different way if they had not had a gun. The second one had taken a bottle of pills the month before he shot himself but his mother was in denial that he had a problem no matter how much we tried to tell her.
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. Suicide is bad enough
guns make it horrific.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. So, some methods are better than others? Expound, please.... n/t
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. There's a difference
between finding somebody lying in a bed dead and finding somebody dead with parts and blood all over the wall.
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one-eyed fat man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Would you feel better if they jumped out the window?
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 02:24 PM by one-eyed fat man


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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I obviously
have different ways of enjoying myself than you do.
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #19
28. sure you do, like making asinine replies.
Your concern about suicide lies only in your selfishness about how it will affect YOU! You seem to have none for the person who feels they need to end their own life. Pathetic.
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Maybe a headsup for the squeamish?
Lots of people could use a dose of reality around here bus a little warning for the sake courtesy...?
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one-eyed fat man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Death is never pretty
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 03:51 PM by one-eyed fat man
Even those where they OD on pills thinking they won't make an ugly corpse. Even if aunt Gertrude just goes peacefully in her sleep she generally loses control of her sphincter and bladder with the attendant mess. Worse if she lives alone and the reason you are going in is because the mailman reports she has not picked up the mail for a couple weeks. By that time she's leaking through the mattress.

Those postulating about "finding somebody lying in a bed dead..." In August, in Kentucky, you get asked by the deputy Coroner to help, don't go. Not being squeamish is not much help.


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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Thats true
But this place is a lot more like broadcasting than personal conversation.
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Callisto32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. Wow....
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. Your point?
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 12:03 PM by gejohnston
I take it you are saying that the suicide rate would go down if we had stricter gun laws? Or is it only a tragedy if a gun is used? I read the public health study, paid for by the Joyce Foundation, which is kind of like the climate change studies paid for by the American Petroleum Institute. It never explained how it controlled for those other factors. It is also at least a decade old.
Japan rarely has a gun suicide. Does not change the fact that their suicide rate is higher than ours plus murder rate combined. Canada passed their gun laws in 1970s, suicided by firearm went down. By other means went up to compensate. Suicide rate stayed the same. Canada has a higher suicide rate higher than the US. In fact, a lot of countries that have lower murder rates have higher suicide rates.

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oneshooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
4.  Should police officers be disarmed at end of shift? n/t
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. No that won't do it. They will still be able to commit suicide on duty. n/t
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Tejas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. weird article (well, actually par for the course)
Started out concerning LEO suicides but after only one paragraph it shifted into Brady-gear.

Oh yes, by the way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suici...
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
6. There are few firearms in Japan but more than 32,500 Japanese committed suicide ...
in 2005.


Japan targets high suicide rate
Posted 5/29/200

TOKYO (AP) The hanging death of Japan's farm minister this week grimly illustrated the country's stubbornly high suicide rate and the government's struggle to discourage large numbers of Japanese from killing themselves.

***snip***

With that act, Matsuoka became one of the more than 30,000 Japanese who kill themselves every year the second-highest suicide rate in the industrialized world. Japan's suicide rate per 100,000 people stood at 25.5 in 2003, compared with Russia's 38.7, according to World Health Organization figures.

"We are facing a kind of crisis," said Takanori Suzuki, a Cabinet Office official in charge of suicide prevention. "Our previous measures were not effective ... and we will have to move quickly."

More than 32,500 Japanese took their own lives in 2005, up 0.7% from the year before, according to the National Police Agency's latest statistics.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-05-29-japan-sui...


That means more people in Japan in 2005 committed suicide than the total number of people who died because of firearms in the United States including those who committed suicide with a firearm.



Surprising fact: Half of gun deaths are suicides
Posted 6/30/2008 9:18 PM

ATLANTA The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens' ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons on themselves.

Suicides accounted for 55 percent of the nation's nearly 31,000 firearm deaths in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-06-30-38588636...


Japan had a population of 127,076,183 in 2009. In that year the U.S. was estimated to have a population of 307,006,550. It is also estimated that there are 300,000,000 firearms in the United States.

Guns do not cause suicide.


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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I remember a while back that DU had a big discussion about the suicide barriers
on the Golden Gate Bridge, and one of the things I recall was that, if people are stymied on their first attempt or choice of suicide, they give up the idea at a surprisingly high rate. So there's a case to be made for removing firearms from people who are at risk, although that still leaves the massive problem of identifying "at risk" people...
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Upton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. So what?
Your solution to cutting down on suicides is to restrict civil liberties for everybody? lol

Gun or not, if somebody wants to kill themselves bad enough, they'll find a way.
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lawodevolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. The Japanese suicide rate is higher than both our suicide and murder rate added together and most of
Their suicides don't involve guns. So firearm availability isn't a prime risk factor for suicide, suicidality is and the way to reduce suicide rate involves finding the underlying cause. You can try to ban all dangerous objects but you can't ban all suicide methods. A scan of suicide rates worldwide shows no correlation between suicide rate and gun ownership rate. I might do a study on this.
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Katya Mullethov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Drain cleaner and clorox is mighty painful
I'd say it's about as painful as shooting yourself in the head five or six times .
http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/Man_shot_multiple_ti...
That dude lingered for a week ! It was only about four days actually , but we can cut him some slack .
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one-eyed fat man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Had an acquaintance
He was a WW2 vet who'd gotten a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. He told no one, not friends, not family. He shot himself in the head with a .38 and placed the bullet badly. The bullet tore out the back of his eye sockets as it went transversely across the forward portion of his skull and out.

He was conscious when the neighbors found him. The paramedics came and while transporting him to the ER, they asked, "Do you know who shot you?" He said, "I did."

The bullet didn't kill him, cancer did...eventually. Can't say his original plan wasn't the better choice if he had a better handle on anatomy.

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Katya Mullethov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #21
30. I hereby claim my right
To one SBS "freebie" !

I survived 60 % second degree burns when I was a lad , and I bet it didnt hurt anywhere near as bad as that did .

We had a neighbor that pulled the same trick in an upward direction with a twelve gauge yielding similar results . What appeared to be both eyes on the same side and a vertical pie hole , a real life cubist pussy faced . It's been a good ten years since they tossed him in the pokey for making bombs.
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S_B_Jackson Donating Member (564 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. IIRC, one of the selling points of the last major gun-control effort in Canada
was a claim that by banning the general population from the ownership of handguns, the suicide rate would be decreased.

All that resulted was that suicides by firearms decreased, while the total numbers of suicides and the rates of suicide remained static. All that changed was the modes that persons took their lives. Women reverted to overdoses and slitting of arteries; men to leaping from heights, and using automobiles to ram trees, bridge abuttments, etc; and both sexes increased use of hanging.

In other words, guns, had little to do with the underlying issues.
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gejohnston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. some folks in Switzerland
tried the same BS. Did not go far.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. People have been killing themselves since long before guns were invented.
Amazing that you actually think taking away guns will stop people from suicide.
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ileus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
17. People volunteer for suicide....not a gun problem.
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rl6214 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
22. So what's your point?
You have one or are you just posting news again?
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
27. As usual, it's easier to blame the means than acknowledge the cause
"A study at the Harvard School of Public Health" invariably means some piece of pseudoscience produced by David Hemenway, Matthew Miller and/or Deborah Azrael, all of whom spend most of their time cranking out research that supports the predetermined conclusion that Guns Are Bad.

The simple fact of the matter is that the American suicide rate is entirely unremarkable compared to other developed countries, particularly those which aren't heavily Catholic. Yes, American rates of suicide by firearm are much higher, but that's because guns are available. In other countries, people hang themselves, or engage in BASE jumping sans parachute, or jump in front of oncoming trains, and they wind up just as dead. Suicide rates in Japan and much of the former Soviet Union are significantly higher than in the U.S. in spite of much tighter gun laws.

There are, very simply, certain events that occur--such as suicides, murder-suicides and amok killings--that are by no means confined to the United States (much as inhabitants of the countries where they occur would like to pretend they're an "American" phenomenon); what is remarkable about instances of such events in the United States is that they are more likely to be committed using firearms. They are not necessarily more likely to occur at all.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
29. Shouldn't people be free to end their lives if they see fit?
I don't approve of it but ultimately it is their choice.

And as many have pointed out: banning guns will only change the method, not the end result.
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mvccd1000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
31. I'm for euthanasia with a doctor's assistance...
... but I'm supposed to be against it with a gun's assistance?

I don't get it.
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