Saturday, June 9, 2018

Suicide is not painless

The recently reported suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have caused me to pause and think about suicides that have happened close to me.

The theme song of M*A*S*H is a sad song that states, in part, that "suicide is painless". No, it is not. The one who leaves has apparently had much pain, and those left behind experience tremendous pain for a long time.

I have had two co-workers opt-out. Also, my wife lost a friend as a teenager, and we had a schoolmate who checked out in middle age.

Three of those were some of the biggest surprises ever, though one had spoken of it beforehand. I do remember being dumbfounded upon hearing about them.

Why do people do this? Others with much more education in this have not (to my mind) figured it completely out yet. I will not attempt it here.

Source: World Health Organization
I will tell you what I know, though:

Suicides cross all national and cultural lines. Look at this chart. One area with the highest rate is the former Soviet Union, which, for a lifetime asserted there is no God. (a clue?)
...and I will tell you what I think:

Gun-grabbers in the United States will use these suicides (Spade and Bourdain) as a springboard to demand more bans of firearms. Note that these two celebrities were reported to have hanged themselves. Sad, but no firearm involved.

A couple of years ago, I had a back-and-forth dialogue with a lady on the other side about guns, published at Ammoland. As I wrote there concerning suicide,
The CDC reports for 2013 that there were a total of 41,149 suicides, of which 21,175 were listed as firearm suicides. So, about 58 of 113 suicides (51%) per day were committed with a firearm. 
While suicides are certainly tragic, if you were able to totally eliminate firearms from the civilian populace, the other 49% would still be there, and I suppose some of those who would have used a firearm will resort to some other method as they do in other countries where firearms are not readily available...
Societies with very low private gun ownership, such as India have a much higher suicide rate than the United States, so they can't blame guns there. Hanging, poisoning, and jumping are used more internationally. So, it seems that those who are serious about it will find a method/tool to accomplish it.

Well, suicide is not painless; nor is it the fault of the necktie, bridge, insecticide, or gun.

....and peaceable gun owners need not feel guilty....

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