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View Diary: Statistics, Guns, and Wishful Thinking (106 comments)

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  •  Suicide is a type of violent death (0+ / 0-)

    I purposefully included data on suicide because of the ugly and controversial nature of that injury.

    The little-known fact (and one the gun industry doesn't want the public aware of) is that for people who purchase a gun, suicide by gun becomes the leading cause of death for the next year or so after purchase of that gun.

    Many people kill themselves impulsively.  A significant  number of those who survive will later say they are glad to still be alive.

    Yes, some people who want to kill themselves will find a way, no matter what.  But removing guns, like putting fences on bridges, is a sensible idea that does reduce senseless death.

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

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 03:33:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So, you included gun suicides because they (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, hagagaga, theatre goon

      are messy?

      First of all, said studies of "suicide by gun becomes the leading cause of death for the next year or so after purchase of that gun" don't likely control for people who bought the gun specifically for the suicide, even if it is not effected immediately.  In these instances, the gun did exactly what it was intended to do.

      But underlying your comments is a patronizing, paternalistic notion that people don't have a right to take their own lives, that their lives are the state's property, or the community's, or theirs; and thus suicide not their decision to make.

      So, do you believe in putting 'sensible restrictions' on abortion to stop impulsive, scared people from making decisions they'll regret too?

      I mean, if you think everyone but you is too immature to make their own most personal decisions, why not?

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:40:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More specifically, guns purchased for a suicide (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hagagaga, KVoimakas, theatre goon

        directly invert the putative causal relationship claimed by those looking to restrict guns for people's "own good".

        That is, in the hypothetical case of someone having a bad day offing themselves because a gun was lying around, that would have ridden out the bad day had a gun been presence, puts the presence of the gun as the cause of the suicide. We will argue at the likelihood of this scenario, and precisely how insulting and belittling it is to those who struggle with suicidal thoughts, but for the sake of the scenario, presence of gun was a causal factor in the suicide.

        In the alternate scenario, not controlled for, where someone with a long-standing history of suicidal thoughts eventually decides to act on them, purchases a gun for that purpose, and - either immediately or in the near future - uses the gun for the suicide, the relationship is altered: the suicide caused the presence of the gun.

        This leads us two places.

        Firstly, restricting guns does little to impact the second scenario, since (as is easily shown) a multitude of other means exist to effect a suicide without one; and the impact of restricting guns affects those who will never commit suicide, and those who do so out of pure impulse.

        So we're trying to get at the people who are going to commit suicide by pure impulse, or those we imagine doing so, when we use suicide-by-gun rates in an argument against the legality of gun ownership.

        What does that say about the restrictionist, then? They think that there exists a subset of the population whose ability to make decisions for themselves is so impaired that the entire populace must be placed under prior restraint to prevent these impulsive persons from harming no one but themselves.

        This is a different argument than believing that there exists a subset of the population whose ability to make decisions for themselves is so impaired that the entire populace must be placed under prior restraint to prevent these impulsive persons from harming others; this at least an arguable point.

        But when you tell an entire population, "you're incapable of making this decision because you might hurt yourself", you have stepped outside the bounds of a free society.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 07:18:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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