Good News About Guns

Finally!  A ray of hope for the sane majority.

A series of recent reports reveal that guns are by far the tool of choice by American suicides.  As the New York Times concluded, “Nearly two-thirds of the 30,000 gun deaths each year are not the work of deranged mass shooters but the suicides of troubled individuals with easy access to firearms, often in quiet family homes.”

Furthermore, guns are ‘way more effective: “Firearms are a far more lethal means of suicide than other options. They are fatally effective in 85 percent of cases, while pill overdoses succeed only 2% of the time, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.”

from-my-cold-dead-handsAnd finally, in states where guns are more prevalent among its residents, so are suicides: “Another Harvard study, from 2007, found that on average states with the highest firearms ownership rates suffered twice as many suicides as states with the lowest gun ownership.”

What these cheerful statistics indicate is gun owners are doing a better job of policing themselves than even the most extreme paranoid fantasy scenario, where black-booted government thugs descend on innocent citizens in the dark of night to confiscate weapons.  By offing themselves at such remarkable rates, they make society a safer place one lunatic gun owner at a time.

True, it doesn’t get the gun itself out of circulation.  But as the National Rifle Selling Association (NRA) has insisted for decades, Guns Don’t Kill Themselves, People Kill Themselves.  Either way, after a suicide, there’s one less unstable person with a weapon to brandish.  And one more parking spaces, too!  Win Win!

While the image of a nation of trigger-happy nut jobs blowing their own brains out doesn’t quite inspire national pride, think of it instead as an entire army of citizens — that “well-armed militia” again! — so passionate about its Second Amendment rights it’s willing to die for them.

I think the NRA should promote this method of gun control as a productive alternative to gun buy-backs or limiting magazine size.  Wayne Le Pee-Air was right: The only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a suicide with a gun.

Cold Dead Hands — that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

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12 Responses to Good News About Guns

  1. Cold Dead Hans says:

    You’re welcome.

  2. Lois Terms says:

    Think of them as extreme pro-choice.

  3. syrbal says:

    My family’s personal statistics verify it: my father suicided by gun in 1997.

  4. Red White & Blue says:

    Why do you hate America?

  5. Elemenno P says:

    Not for a moment do I buy NRA’s bumper-slogan wisdom of “Guns don’t kill people People kill people”, but you’re going too far the other way if you’re suggesting that guns, not individuals, are somehow responsible for suicides and similar tragedies. I accept that guns make tragedies and crime a lot easier, but the responsibility belongs to the perpetrator.

    • Squathole says:

      @Elemenno P: No, I don’t suggest that. Nor am I making fun of personal tragedy. The point of this post was that despite the garbage spewed by gunnies, there is ample statistical evidence that having guns around makes one less safe and secure, not more so, and that this is particularly true in the case of persons who are mentally unstable and/or suicidal. It’s exactly the opposite of what gun fetishists would have us believe.

      There are no suicides in my family, but I have close friends who have lost loved ones, including siblings, this way and it’s devastating. See Syrbal’s comments, above. The guilt, despair, fury, and helplessness endure forever. But no it’s not the guns’ fault. The problems had many roots, but in all cases involving firearms, having the gun around at all was not a good idea.

  6. Libby Rae Shone, Ph.D. says:

    There’s a well-documented study from Britain about the cause of suicides that is relevant here.

    The most common method of heating the British home for generations was a stove powered by coal gas, which emits very high levels of deadly carbon monoxide. People would commit suicide by sticking their heads in the oven. In the late 50s, there were 2,500 suicides annually, roughly half the nation’s total.

    When the British started phasing out coal gas in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas in the 1970s,, the suicide rate started dropping as well, by about a third, where it has remained ever since.

    What this shows is that suicide is often an impulsive act, not one that is carefully thought out or meticulously planned. When the means to suicide are easily accessible — the coal stove was darkly known as “the execution chamber in the kitchen” — the rate will surely rise. Just substitute guns for the coal stove and you see the principle working in contemporary America.

    This is why the medical profession, which includes mental health practitioners like myself, has a clear stake in gun control issues. In a very real sense, guns are health hazards. This is not to deny the validity of the 2nd Amendment’s protections, but once again, to emphasize the urgency of responsibility.

  7. odtley says:

    last i counted i knew more people who tried to kill themselves than succeeded but there were countless others who would have if they werent as fucked up on meds and who figured theyd be dead soon enough anyway from the same meds that was supposed to keep them from killing themselves on their own time and dime but if they had guns theyd be dead for sure

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