Categories
irony alert MRA suicide

Could gun control drastically cut male suicide rates?

gunback

Men’s Rights activists like to remind people that men commit suicide far more often than women.

But that’s not because men are many times more miserable than women. In fact, women are far more likely to attempt suicide than men. They simply don’t succeed at it as often as men do.

The reason for this is simple: men tend to choose more lethal methods of suicide than women. And that often means guns. Indeed, most gun deaths in the US are the result of suicide, not murder.

Could we reduce the number of suicides by making guns harder to get hold of? A new study in the American Journal of Public Health suggests the answer is yes.

Researchers Michael D. Anestis and Joye C. Anestis from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg looked at the effect four different kinds of gun control legislation — waiting periods, universal background checks, gun locks, and open carrying regulations — had on suicide rates, finding that

[e]ach law was associated with significantly lower firearm suicide rates and the proportion of suicides resulting from firearms. In addition, each law, except for that which required a waiting period, was associated with a lower overall suicide rate. Follow-up analyses showed a significant indirect effect on overall suicide rates through the proportion of suicides by firearms, indicating that the reduced overall suicide rate was attributable to fewer suicide attempts, fewer handguns in the home, suicide attempts using less lethal means, or a combination of these factors. States that implemented any of these laws saw a decreased suicide rate in subsequent years, whereas the only state that repealed 1 of these laws saw an increased suicide rate.

This isn’t the only study suggesting that restricting access to firearms could dramatically lower suicide rates.

A 2013 study by researchers Justin Briggs and Alex Tabarrok at George Mason University found that in the United States from 2000 to 2009, each “percentage-point decrease in household gun ownership leads to between 0.5 and 0.9 percent fewer suicides.”

And the effect has been seen in other countries as well. Australia saw an 80 percent reduction in suicides by firearm after adopting stricter gun control laws and instituting a large-scale gun buyback program in the 1990s; there was no rise in suicides by other means.

This last finding may strike some as the most puzzling one. If someone is intent on killing themselves but no longer has a firearm in the house, wouldn’t they just attempt suicide in some other way? Surprisingly the answer is generally “no.”

As Briggs and Tabarrok noted in a Slate piece explaining their findings,

contrary to the “folk wisdom” that people who want to commit suicide will always find a way to get the job done, suicides are not inevitable. Suicides are often impulsive decisions, and guns require less forethought than other means of suicide—and they’re also deadlier.

MRAs who are serious about reducing the number of male suicides — not just using male suicide stats as a cheap debating point — need to start talking seriously about gun control.

Here’s a video from VOX with more information on the subject:

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

174 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

Glockslinger: You could at least tell us a bit more about that ‘landmark’ study you cite, since David cited several that came to different conclusions.

He also seems to forget that the suicide rates in Japan are, on some level, culturally-based as well.

Hara-kiri functioned as something of an “honorable death” and was essentially ritualistic suicide. The power of reputation still holds a lot of influence and thus some will react to the threat of gaining an infamous standing with self-inflicted death.

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

We have a strict no ableist language policy so of course someone is going to mention it, like the one person who noticed.

Which is why I conceded and will avoid its usage from now on. I’m fine with “gun-fetishist” or whatever alternative is preferred.

But, yes, some discussions on here get a bit fixated on terminology and I’d just like to avoid that.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ freemage

Whilst I did get a whiff of concern trolling from that commentator, it is true to say that that image originated as a joke.

freemage
5 years ago

NickNameNick: Thanks for the proper response to the comment about “gun-nut”. I rolled right past it when I read it at first, but yeah, it does fall under the policy. So thanks for the retraction. “Gun-fetishist” is better.

Now, that said, re: your comment…

The pro-gun contingent consists, from what I’ve seen, of three elements:

NRA Leadership: The NRA is a gun-manufacturer lobby, not a gun-owner lobby. The leadership therefore opposes any regulation of guns the same way most industry lobbyists do. They’ve just managed to whip up a fervor among their membership.

The Gun Fetishists: These are the folks (mostly but not exclusively white and male) who have bought into the notion that their guns are a symbol of their toughness. They believe every myth the first group propagates, including the notion that personal firearms will be necessary when the time comes to overthrow a tyrannical government. Because the NRA uses a lot of appeals to toxic masculinity, these folks are also usually very politically conservative. This was not always the case–there was a time when the Black Power movement embraced gun-ownership as a way to stand up to the police, and there’s still a bit of that culture left over in many urban minority neighborhoods–the belief that you need a gun because you have to be responsible for your own protection. This group is a minority, but a very FOCUSED minority. Remember, if one person in a thousand believes something fervently, that means you’ve got 300,000 people willing to write their Congressional Representatives about the latest proposal.

The Plain Folks: Pretty much anyone who wants to be able to own a gun. Some are hunters, some are sport-shooters, some live in areas with poor police protection and feel the need for self-defense, some are even collectors, owning far more guns than they would ever practically want to use for about the same reason I own fiftybillioneleventy polyhedral dice. This group is usually amenable to reasonable gun restrictions. I talk to them, about registration and storage and training requirements, and they usually are just fine with most stuff, and willing to consider other elements as “unnecessary, but an acceptable compromise” from their point of view. Plain Folks, from what I’ve seen, actually make up the bulk of the gun-owning community.

The problem is that the NRA has made gun-control such a third-rail issue in this country that anyone willing to advocate for gun control is frequently one of those folks who really and truly does want to ban all guns. At best, they’re woefully ignorant about gun owners and gun ownership.

Consider the “assault weapon ban” that serves as a focal point of so much debate. The law, as written, is silly. If a weapon fits a basic description, there’s a list of additional features that turn it into an ‘assault weapon’ for the purposes of the law–IIRC, any two features from the list makes the grade. Some of these are sensible–I think an extended magazine is on there, for instance. Others… not so much. No one, in the history of modern gun violence, has ever said, “Look out, he’s got a bayonet!” When confronted with a law with such absurd elements, the Plain Folks group starts giving the gun-control advocates the side-eye.

What’s needed, then, is an advocacy movement that both supports gun ownership AND reasonable regulation. We just don’t seem to do good with middle-ground issues like this.

freemage
5 years ago

Alan: I’m not familiar with the origination of the image. I’m willing to be corrected.

Shaenon
5 years ago

Glockslinger: You could at least tell us a bit more about that ‘landmark’ study you cite, since David cited several that came to different conclusions.

A quick Googling reveals a landmark 1970s study on suicide called “Where Are They Now?” The researcher tracked down 515 people who had survived attempts to kill themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge (America’s most popular suicide spot). Only 35 of these people had gone on to commit suicide by other means.

From this and other data, he estimated that 90% of survivors of suicide attempts will not ultimately kill themselves. More recent studies have supported these results.

http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/2013/07/05/suicide-attempt-survivors/

I won’t even get into the repulsiveness of trying to shame people for failing to kill themselves or claiming suicidal people are just doing it for “attention.”

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ freemage

Yeah, it originated as joke about poor design, and it’s being doing the rounds since. You’ll see it as “Microsoft launch new handgun” and similar.

As for the NRA, I’m actually a card carrying life member. Now before you all duck for cover, let me explain how that came about and why I think it’s relevant to the points Freemage has just made above.

Some years ago I was after a particular torch. These torches were quite expensive. However the NRA were doing an offer where if you took out life membership you got one free. You could pay the membership fee in instalments. Essentially you paid annually for (I think) 5 years or so then that was it.

So I sent paid the first year and subsequently got my torch (and also a Charlton Heston baseball cap for some reason).

I didn’t pay the next year’s fee. I didn’t think it was very likely that they’d come over to England though and demand their torch back.

But here’s the thing, not only did they not even request the fee, they kept sending me the three magazines I’d signed up for (that was part of the deal) and all their other bumph, including the offers and that was still going on years later. The magazines probably still got to my old place for all I know.

So as far as the NRA go I’m still a member. I wonder how much of their claimed membership is like that?

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

May I suggest gun fellator as a non ableist alternative? It’s actually more accurate than nut anyway.

JM
JM
5 years ago

Just to pick you up on one thing, men have higher suicide rates than women across the world, with more women attempting suicide than men-that’s correct, but in countries where guns are had to access, the means of attempting suicide are very similar across gender lines (Hanging and poisoning by drugs or other means) and even in the US, suicides my firearms are the most common method for women.

This suggests that the previously held view that “Men attempt suicide less but use more severe methods” is incorrect and actually the gender disparity comes more from women being more likely to seek support, and more likely to have their warning signs responded by Doctors, other medical staff and friends, than men. Other theories state that women are more likely to consider the feelings of others when they plan a suicide attempt, and leave room to allow a change of heart, whereas men may stick to their decision once made.

However, as the research quoted suggested, making stricter gun laws would definitely result in lower suicide rates, even though it is likely the gender disparity will remain.

Daniel Ross
5 years ago

Weirwoodtreehugger: That’s not much of an improvement at all, in broader context. There are way too many misogynist and homophobic insults based on the idea that somebody performs fellatio.

katz
katz
5 years ago

I won’t even get into the repulsiveness of trying to shame people for failing to kill themselves or claiming suicidal people are just doing it for “attention.”

I hate both of those SO MUCH. Particularly the latter; if someone did indeed attempt suicide just for attention, wouldn’t that be a sign that there was something wrong and people should, I don’t know, try to help?

Mij
Mij
5 years ago

Weirwoodtreehugger: That’s not much of an improvement at all, in broader context. There are way too many misogynist and homophobic insults based on the idea that somebody performs fellatio.

Not to mention the cheap rhetorical tropes of implying that there is something fundamentally wrong with those who disagree with you, rather than leaving open the possibility that there is room for debate.

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

Alan – your reason for being a member of the NRA is hilarious, but what I don’t understand is how on earth did you know that the NRA were offering the torch that you wanted for free?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ Ellesar

Ah, let me take you back to a time shrouded in myth, when strange beasts roamed the land and at night we would gather around a magic portal called ‘AltaVista’ (a lost tome now)and cast such spells as “Surefire + torch + price”.

I should point out I quite enjoy target shooting so I’m certainly not anti-gun. When I was in London I was a regular at the Stock Exchange Rifle Club.

Ironically I am a member of the English NRA, but that’s less a political movement and more a thing for people who want to use the range at Bisley at discount rates.

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

I don’t know what alta vista is, but I am guessing you are saying you did the old fashioned form of ‘googled it’.
I didn’t know there was an English NRA, though I know we have shooting ranges somewhere. But the only time I am likely to see a real gun it will be being wielded by a gangsta wannabe (One was found in the bushes of my local park), so I am in no hurry!

katz
katz
5 years ago

I don’t know what alta vista is

You sweet summer child. (It was a search engine from the pre-Google days, when there were a dozen major search engines and they all kind of sucked.)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@Ellesar

You can tell all you need to know about the English NRA in that the homepage has a glass of beer and a plate of food on it and ‘bar facilities’ is listed before the description of the actual range.

http://www.nra.org.uk/common/asp/bclubs/clubs.asp?site=NRA&cid=59

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I looked at gun fellator as more like saying someone’s love for guns is so intense and beyond reason it’s like lust. But I can see how it comes off homophobic, so I’m happy to drop it.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Mij,
There’s no reasoning with people who think the most mild of regulation is a slippery slope to the government banning and confiscating all guns. They are unswayed by facts. What’s the point in treating them as reasonable?

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Maybe we can call them “extremist pro-gunners”? I don’t know.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@JM

I didn’t know that was a myth! I always thought it was because men had a harder time accepting help so they’d go for more extreme methods than women would or something. Not a good excuse but still.

Kagato
Kagato
5 years ago

Offtopic: Fruitloopsie’s table-flip gif compelled me to find the source. (Epic Tea Time on Youtube)

After seeing Alan Rickman first look up, I thought it deserved to be made into a gif too.

I present Disapproving Alan:

http://i.imgur.com/6v28AKW.gif

Anikom
Anikom
5 years ago

This is false causation. While restricting firearms may reduce suicide rates, there is no evidence that it will reduce the differential between the sexes. I believe the difference is wholly cultural and that a better (and more realistic) course of action is a reëvaluation of dealing with mental illness.

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

Gun fetishists…gun wankers…gun huggers…gun suckers…

Nitram
5 years ago

David, I just read this:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/this-california-law-is-helping-men-213035804.html

Article about a men’s rights group that goes around suing women’s organizations for “excluding men”, ultimately shutting some of them down after drowning in legal fees. Enjoy!

Sissy
Sissy
5 years ago

@Nitram: Yeah, I found that earlier, too (hence Fruitloopsie’s disgust earlier). It STILL disgusts me. I need to find a source, but regarding the incident where the two men were turned away, it turns out that the restuarant was filled and they couldn’t accept more people into the place, if I remember correctly.

Sissy
Sissy
5 years ago

Ah, here we go! From this link: http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/11/technology/mens-rights-activist-chic-ceo/

Burns told CNNMoney that men are allowed to attend her events, but that particular one was at capacity.

Yeah.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Theres a lot of things I want to say about men’s rights activists/misogynists right now but if I do I’ll get the ban hammer for sure.
So here’s kitties instead
http://youtu.be/zDmuMfMmFpQ

Shaenon
5 years ago

I hate both of those SO MUCH. Particularly the latter; if someone did indeed attempt suicide just for attention, wouldn’t that be a sign that there was something wrong and people should, I don’t know, try to help?

One thing the manosphere has taught me is that women getting attention for anything is the most horrible thing that can happen.

Felix Ray
Felix Ray
5 years ago

>>This is false causation. While restricting firearms may reduce suicide rates, there is no evidence that it will reduce the differential between the sexes.

If it’s true, as the article asserts, that “far more women attempt suicide than men”, but men succeed more because they use guns more, I’d call that pretty good evidence.

megpie71
5 years ago

Speaking as someone with chronic depression and long term suicidal ideation (or as I describe it, I’m someone who “lives with suicide”) I can give a straightforward testimony to the whole “ease of method” theory. Here’s some of the things I do in my day-to-day life to stop myself from giving into the exhortations from the sales-demon for suicide in my head:

1) The bathtub in our unit has the laundry basket, a bucket full of water, and a towel sitting inside it. (The bucket full of water is destined for the potted plants out the back once I’ve emptied the watering can and the drip bucket from the satellite aerial; the towel is because it’s easier to pick up a towel and wash it to keep the bottom of the bath dust-free than it is to constantly be either sweeping or dusting the bathtub). In addition the “headboard” area of the bathtub has a whole heap of containers on it. So in order to get to the point where I’m able to run a bath of hot water and slit my wrists, I’d have to do the following:

* Find somewhere to put the laundry basket.
* Find somewhere to put the bucket.
* Put the towel into the laundry basket.
* Clean out the bath (because I’m not going to kill myself in a dusty bath!)
* Move all the stuff at the head of the bath
* Find the plug (which is somewhere in the stuff at the head of the bath, I think)
* Run a bath
* Sharpen one of the kitchen knives
* Get over my “wimp about pain” tendencies which have stopped me cutting so far.

When I’m in a suicidal mood, that’s all too much damn effort. When I’m in the sort of mood where that sort of thing is possible, well, I’m generally not suicidal. (It’s sort of an “Arkansas Traveller” solution – the roof doesn’t leak when it’s not raining, and when it’s raining, I can’t fix the roof anyway).

2) We live in a unit which backs onto a major arterial road leading through an industrial area. It’s within walking distance of a freight railway line. I could choose to go out and play in the traffic, or I could go and lie down on the railway tracks. But over the years I’ve grown a set of ethics which basically say I’m not allowed to make someone else responsible for my death – and what did that truck or train driver do to me that I should be so horrible to them?

3) As mentioned previously, I’m a wimp when it comes to pain. This means I don’t cut to self-harm (I’m more likely to try to dislocate things) and this prevents me from trying to just cut my wrists.

4) I’m too well-educated about the risks of attempting suicide with drugs (the obvious one being, as P J O’Rourke put it, that I’d get the dosage wrong and just have a good time) to want to try my luck with those. There’s also the difficulty of sourcing a supply – about the only things we have in the house in any quantity are Nurofen (ibuprofen) and that’s not going to kill me unless I pretty much swallow the whole bottle (plus it’ll hurt all the way – and I refer you to the earlier “wimp about pain” thing).

5) I’m safe on the gun thing because firstly, I’m an Australian, and secondly I’m an urban Australian (like most of the people in this country). Don’t own guns, have never needed to own guns, have never been interested in owning guns. The only people I personally knew who owned guns were my grandfather and uncle; and the gun in question was a shotgun used for duck-hunting. Since duck-hunting season no longer exists in my state (or if it does, nobody publicises it) no need for guns any more, and I presume my uncle handed ’em both in during the amnesty in the wake of the Howard government’s tightening of the gun laws back after Port Arthur. (Said country town is an eight-hour drive away. It’s not like I can just drop by for a cuppa and check…)

Basically, if I want to commit suicide, and have it stick, I’m going to have to find myself a relatively quiet stretch of beach, and head off for a walk to South Africa with rocks in my pockets. Which is, as mentioned previously, too much damn effort. When it stops being too much damn effort and still sounds attractive, then I’ll start worrying.

On the positive side, I grew up with two depressed parents, a whole parcel of depressed aunts and uncles, and at least three of my grandparents exhibited depressive symptoms (one of them was actually committed for a while back in the forties), possibly all four. We’re a long-lived bunch, too – three out of my four grandparents passed ninety, and I think all of them got past eighty. You don’t do that if you’re prone to suicide. So I figure I inherited some pretty cast-iron survival instincts. Plus I’ve been doing the sensible thing and finding out what kinds of support networks are available for me as a mentally ill person in my particular state of Australia. Oh, and I’m female.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Does it even matter if reduces the gender differential if it brings down the overall suicide rate. Fewer dead people is still a good thing in my book. My aunt’s husband committed suicide by gun. I don’t miss him at all. He was abusive and racist. At the time we were glad he didn’t take my aunt with him. But she got depressed and stopped taking care of herself. She died because she didn’t bother to seek medical attention when she was very ill with an infection and by the time anyone found her, she was in sepsis and it was too late. So, effectively he did take her with him.

I believe both my aunt and her husband would be alive today if he hadn’t made that decision to shoot himself in their backyard one day. He had no previous history of suicide attempts. I think it was an impulse.

Flint
Flint
5 years ago

I hate to be that guy, but even if gun control gets passed, people (regardless of gender or sexual orientation) are probably going to still find a way to commit suicide. For example, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that hanging is the second most common form of suicide for men (not sure if that’s the case). If the gun restriction passes, then you might have a situation where suicide via guns decreases, but suicide via hanging increases.

While I agree that guns should be kept away from assholes such as the recent news shooter, I think people need to try to find a cause for these situations.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

Megpie71 and WWTH
Thank you both for sharing and I’m sorry. Hugs and kisses if you want them.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@Flint

Except studies have shown restriction to guns decreased suicide all around and no other forms of suicides raised at all.

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Megpie71,

Bless you for reason 2. As someone who has had nightmares of someone leaping in front of her ambulance, bless you for reason 2.

I hope that things get better for you, and someday you don’t have to deal with either the depression or the suicidal ideation, but in the meantime:

– Bless you for reason 2
– May every method you ever consider just be too much work to even bother with

Would jedi hugs sent your direction be acceptable?

contrapangloss
5 years ago

Just because I realized how vague that sounded:

No one’s ever been hit by my ambulance. We had one guy who ‘jokingly’ acted like he was going to leap in front of us, and then laughed and waved when we hit the breaks…

… but that was totally nightmare fuel.

History Nerd
5 years ago

@Flint

With hanging it usually takes longer to prepare and it’s harder to set up impulsively compared to loading a gun and pulling a trigger. A person has more time to think before going through with it. A few minutes versus a few seconds can make a big difference.

A.J. Simonsen
5 years ago

not just using male suicide stats as a cheap debating point

This kind of bugged me. Even if you don’t like who’s using them or how inarticulate their arguements are, male suicide rates are in no way ever a cheap debating point. It’s simply a fact. I don’t have a problem making gun control part of the discussion on male suicide. But we also have to look at how we treat men/boys in general. What are their options for services and therapy? Much of mental health is geared towards medication or talk therapy.

We’re overmedicating boys, in part because of how our schools have changed: more of a focus on testing, seated desk work and reducing/eliminating the kenesthetic and kenetic activies such as recess, PE, shop, etc. We’ve undermined vocation. And, talk therapy such as Dialectic Behavior Therapy, was designed for girls/women. Talk therapy isn’t often what boys need; they need structure, consequence and action based activity. I’ve found that men don’t often need endless analyzation, but acknowledgement and then solution.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Flint:

I hate to be that guy, but even if gun control gets passed, people (regardless of gender or sexual orientation) are probably going to still find a way to commit suicide. For example, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that hanging is the second most common form of suicide for men (not sure if that’s the case). If the gun restriction passes, then you might have a situation where suicide via guns decreases, but suicide via hanging increases

This is a common belief but it’s untrue when examined statistically. I’ll give you three examples.

Washington DC: When the anti-suicide screen was placed on the Duke Ellington Bridge, suicides by jumping dropped hugely. Suicides by other causes did not, however, increase. More people just stayed alive. Interestingly, there was not even an increase in suicides at the nearby Taft Bridge.

British Coal Gas: A common form of suicide in Britain in the early 20th century was to put one’s head inside a gas-powered oven and let the poisonous gas overwhelm one. When Britain converted their domestic gas supplies to natural gas (which is not lethal) instead of coal gas, suicides by this method fell to zero but suicides by other methods did not increase. Again, more people just stayed alive. Regions which were slow to introduce natural gas, like Northern Ireland, did not see this drop off and so can act as a control group.

Samoa: In Samoa a common form of suicide is by pesticide swallowing. In 1979 Paraquat was introduced as a new pesticide in Samoa. Paraquat is an excellent pesticide in many respects, but it’s more deadly to humans than the previous ones. As a result the suicide rate spiked. By 2001, when it was banned, 70 percent of suicides were by Paraquat poisoning. After the ban the number of suicides dropped off massively. Again, more people just stayed alive.

There are other statistics one can use to make the point. A good source is to compare the suicide rates of adjacent US states which have different firearms laws (but due to adjacency have otherwise-similar factors that might propel one to suicide.)

When examining data longitudinally, we find that when an opportunity for suicide is removed, there is an immediate drop off in fatalities as those people simply choose to live. Over time the suicide rate from other sources will creep back up but not to the same level (and this creep is often extremely difficult to tell apart from other factors.)

One more statistic to make the point: In Britain, the NHS found that of people who are hospitalised following a suicide attempt, only 3% ever go on to make another attempt serious enough to cause death or hospitalisation. Most suicides are simply reckless, spur-of-the-moment opportunistic things which are not planned and if they fail, are not reattempted.

I’m not going to discuss suicidal ideation because it’s too triggering a concept for me (though I thank everyone here for their courage in saying what they’ve said, especially megpie71); but statistics is something that I can weigh in on with some measure of safety.

Thank you.

Tessa
5 years ago

Flint:

I hate to be that guy, but even if gun control gets passed, people (regardless of gender or sexual orientation) are probably going to still find a way to commit suicide. For example, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that hanging is the second most common form of suicide for men (not sure if that’s the case). If the gun restriction passes, then you might have a situation where suicide via guns decreases, but suicide via hanging increases.

While I agree that guns should be kept away from assholes such as the recent news shooter, I think people need to try to find a cause for these situations.

From David’s very post:
“And the effect has been seen in other countries as well. Australia saw an 80 percent reduction in suicides by firearm after adopting stricter gun control laws and instituting a large-scale gun buyback program in the 1990s; there was no rise in suicides by other means.

Also from David’s post:
“A 2013 study by researchers Justin Briggs and Alex Tabarrok at George Mason University found that in the United States from 2000 to 2009, each “percentage-point decrease in household gun ownership leads to between 0.5 and 0.9 percent fewer suicides.””

Notice how it says “suicides” and not “suicides by guns”? This means there wasn’t an increase in other methods.

And from Freemage above:
“There’s also the Israeli Defense Force experience with suicide-by-gun. They instituted a policy that troops could not take their guns home on the weekends (previously, they’d permitted to do so). Weekend suicide rates plummeted, while weeknight suicide rates remained constant (resulting in a significant drop in overall rates, as well).”

Notice how the weeknights remained constant? So they didn’t even just pick another night. There was no increase to fill in the gap. Imagine if they never let people take them home. You are underestimating the ease at which guns make suicide.

Orion
5 years ago

Yes, depression ironically protects a lot of people from suicide because it makes suicide itself seem like too much work. I’ve had that experience, myself. A lot of interesting things follow from this

–This is why people sometimes commit suicide shortly after they start taking anti-depressants. They decided long ago to kill themselves, but were too sick to do it. The drugs give them enough health to carry it out before they give them enough joy to change their minds.

–This is one reason why bi-polar disorders are so much more dangerous than depression. When you’re depressed you lack energy, but when manic you have plenty. If you have a “mixed state” — the misery of depression combined with the restlessness of mania — you’re in grave danger.

–Successful suicides are more often the result of a sudden impulse than an elaborate plan, and thus suicide notes are very rarely the kind of eloquent or dramatic thing we imagine. When there is a note, it’s often heartbreakingly bland, to a sometimes surreal degree. People have left suicide notes reminding their partner to take out the recycling, and so on.

skybison
skybison
5 years ago

On the topic of suicide, a few weeks ago I was surprised to learn that the age demographic least likely to commit suicide was teenagers, and by a fairly wide margin. Instead suicide rates go up with age peaking around 40-60 (it varied a little between genders) then drops down a bit before climbing up again in old age.

I read more about it I came across another claim that appears to be true: it’s not middle aged people, it’s baby boomers. When Baby Boomers were in there 20s and 30s, that was the age range with the highest suicide rates, When they were teens, they had higher suicide rates then previous generations of teenagers and the ones that followed. So that’s the question here, why do baby boomers have the highest suicide rates?

Jack Remiel
5 years ago

Not to mention hanging is harder to do lethally than shooting yourself.

There is a ridiculously high suicide rate for young men here, and unfortunately our gun control is pretty good, so we need to look at other avenues. It’s so bad that if you get a single occupant, single car crash where the only casualty is a young man, it’s almost always suicide.

I’m going to assume that people have already mentioned the change from coal gas to natural gas in England and the subsequent reduction in suicides once you could no longer “stick your head in the oven.”

Jack Remiel
5 years ago

I been totally ninja’d there.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@skybison

I dunno. Probably lead in gasoline. More cars driving around in the 50s-70s that ran on leaded gas. Lead does stuff to your head. That’s why there was all those serial killers and Richard Nixon in office, too. Once we took the lead out of gas, violent crimes and shit went way down in the 90s and stuff. It’s still going down, too.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

I think we are all in need of good news.
http://time.com/4005165/women-vote-saudi-arabia-elections/

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

And more goodies if anyone wants to read books with poc and lgbt characters here ya go
http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2015/06/09/an-updated-graphic-guide-to-lgbtq-ya-literature-for-pride-month/

Bryce
Bryce
5 years ago

Depends on the level of gun control: apparently Australia saw a sudden drop in suicides but this was after implementing one of the strictest licensing systems in world (handguns are all-but prohibited BTW). Somebody mentioned Japan’s suicide rate as resulting from unique cultural influences, however, a number of developed nations with restrictive gun laws still rank well above the US: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-statistics.html . For gun control to be effective suicide reduction strategy there probably needs to be more than a ‘moderate’ law change, plus an extensive buy pack program to reduce the number guns already in circulation, sold second hand etc.

Tessa
5 years ago

Fruitloopsie:

And more goodies if anyone wants to read books with poc and lgbt characters here ya go
http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2015/06/09/an-updated-graphic-guide-to-lgbtq-ya-literature-for-pride-month/

It makes me sad they have The Miseducation of Cameron Post as “historical” when the main character was born around the time I was. I don’t see how a book set in the 90s is “historical” (*grumble*).
Other than that, good choices! (Though I wish they’d have also put up Sara Farizan’s other book, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel)