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Guns and Suicide

** Please understand before reading that whether current gun laws need to change is NOT the topic of this post.  It is about understanding something about suicide and how using it for political purposes is offensive and totally ignores the victim and those left behind . If I offend anyone, which I very well may, I apologize now. 

Recently, I saw a post (not going to tell you where or who) that basically said

Studies into suicide have shown that a gun being present increases it chance of use

I suppose that is probably true, however it is a worthless observation because it ignores one fact about suicide. That hard fact is:

Once a person chooses suicide, they will find a way.

There is so much misunderstanding and stigma about mental health and one of its extremes, suicide, it is easy to see why people might not see, let alone truly understand that hard fact. I doubt that most people want to understand something as extreme as suicide.

Seriously, in the grand scheme of things, why does it matter how a person kills themself?  I understand that, sometimes, the method may try to send some sort of “message”. And those that have been left by someone who used a firearm may take extreme exception to my stance. Again I apologize.

But, if I can put the emotion aside, the only reason that the method of suicide would matter, at least as far as I can see, is a political one. A political motive that is exploiting, not only the suffering of those left behind, but also of the victim themselves.

I find that truly disgusting.

If there is a gun there, it may very well be used. Quick, easy, lethal. But if not? Some other method will suffice. Pills, exhaust fumes, step in front of a truck, or, as in my case, insulin.

Looking at the method really ignores the victim. It minimizes the act to the point that it doesn’t matter that the person is gone.  It doesn’t matter why. It doesn’t ask “How did this happen?” It only matters that a gun was used.

Ignoring the victim, the person, those left behind who have to live trying to answer that question I couldn’t answer.

Why would they rather be dead than with me?

Focusing on the method as opposed to the loss and helping those that care is cruel. Simply cruel.

PS: I understand this is an emotional and very politically charged issue. If you feel the need to flame me, go right ahead. I’m a big boy, I can take it.  However, I will not allow comments here to become a flame war where commentators are insulting or threatening each other.  Hate on me all you want but be respectful of each other.

© 2012 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and

  • michelelp

    I think that’s a bullshit statistic that politicians like to throw around to try and prove their point. I would assume studies would also show that when a gun is not present, but a knife or razor is, there is an increase in their use.

  • Thanks for opening up on a subject that is so hard to talk about.

  • johnny

    Perhaps the effectiveness of each of the methods available is at the heart of this. I’m thinking if the gun isn’t available to use, assuming the use of a gun leads to a sure kill in an overwhelming # of suicides in which a gun is used, then any one of the alternative methods chosen yield a higher chance of “attempted suicide”?