Sunday, March 17, 2013

Because I don't like to let keystrokes go to waste...

Y'all're getting stuff from Away games this morning, at least until the coffee kicks in. I promise these are lightly-used words, only read once on Sunday, and still covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

From a post in response to a forum member who suggested that we can demonstrate our willingness to confront the suicide problem by tightening restrictions on the access of the "mentally ill" to firearms, including "safe storage" laws:
You know, I really doubt that.

There are countries whose suicide rate eclipses ours where firearms are effectively impossible for the average citizen to access.

Firearms are used so often in successful suicide attempts in the U.S. of A. because firearms are A) Effective, and B) Relatively Accessible.

Someone who uses a firearm in a suicide attempt is not crying for help; suck-starting a Mossberg is not the same as taking a couple Darvocets with a pint of Stoli and calling a 1-800-HELP-MEE hotline (or texting a friend and getting them to do it for you.) Someone who uses a gun is serious about checking out of the net.

Sure, there is a percentage (and I would submit that it is a small one) of suicides who snatch up a heater with no forethought and cap themselves in a sudden fit of depression, but I would wager that the majority of suicides who currently use firearms would, if firearms were somehow magically disappeared from the American landscape, go jump off bridges or play "Kiss The Locomotive" like their foreign cousins. (And how is your screening going to capture the "sudden fit" ones anyway?)
On to a different topic, this is from an email response:
Demographic shrinkage is an almost inevitable result of a prosperous technological society. When the author of the column bemoans that we aren't breeding enough serfs to stoke the furnaces of our entitlement programs, the problem is the entitlement programs, not the birth rate in the slave cabins on the tax plantation.

Social Security and Medicare cannot continue as currently constituted in a society where the average lifespan is creeping toward the nineties and the birth rate is dropping, but no politician of any party is willing to confront it, guaranteeing a catastrophic failure rather than a controlled shutdown.

(There is a concomitant problem, which is that countries that are still on the upslope of the industrialization curve have populations that are still breeding like rabbits and are steeping in a doctrine based on violent envy of the declining West, but the fix isn't to spawn more X-box-playing iAddicts to interpose their flaccid selves between the teeming heathen and our fair shores.)


staghounds said...

The first thing people buy when they can afford it is smaller families.

Paul said...

"...if firearms were somehow magically disappeared from the American landscape, go jump off bridges or play "Kiss The Locomotive" like their foreign cousins."

Up here in Canukistan, that is exactly what happened during our "long gun registry" fiasco. Australia too.

Yes, suicide by firearm decreased, but overall suicide stayed the same.

It seems that suicide, like crime, is a socio-economic phenomenon, not something "caused" by guns. Go figure.

John said...

The peoples on da Empire bus keep going roun n' roun', till 'days use up their founding tickets -- happens alla time in de His-try books, eh?

Tam said...

No, John, I don't think it's that at all.

Anonymous said...

My father-in-law demonstrated his sincerity of intent by committing suicide with a .22 pistol. He had to shoot himself twice in the head to finish the job, because he had only ratshot to use for ammo.

I had to explain the autopsy report to my physician wife, his daughter, sho did not understand the "multiple small pellets" described.

He was 85 years old, blind, diabetic, and about to become totally bedridden. He kept his intention secret from everyone, including his caretaker wife.

I think if he could have overdosed with insulin he would have, but his wife gave him his shots. He used the only means available to him that he was sure would work, and even then had to go to an extreme to complete the job.

If he had not had his old revolver around, I think a knife or razor cut to the wrist would have been his next alternative.

We all were very upset that he could not express his needs and despair with us, but my wife and I at least among the family understand his intent not to be bedridden for the rest of his life.

Firehand said...

Just read 'How Civilizations Die' a couple of weeks ago. If his numbers are correct, even most of the muslim world is dropping in birthrate; in many places like that lead balloon.

One reason he thinks so many of the leading nuts are so nutty: they see their population about to fall through the same trapdoor most of the West has, only in one or two generations instead of four-six. And FAR less way of dealing with an ageing population than in the west.

Anonymous said...

Gallup indicates that Democrats have an edge when it comes
to registration of gummint workers as voters:

Democrats Lead Ranks of Both Union and State Workers

I think it's a bad idea to increase the opportunities these people have to define what qualifies as "mentally ill". It's smelling too much like the Chicago Way around here as it is.

Hope you're feeling better.

Mike James

Steve Skubinna said...

Japan. Much higher suicide rate, and almost no firearms. And before somebody jumps in, almost no Samurai swords either - they are very tightly controlled.

Justthisguy said...

I concur with your sentiments, Tam. I write as one who has known three people who offed themselves, two of whom were blood relatives. My Unca Wilson used the Hemingway method. There was a lot of revolting splatter. His son, my favorite cousin George, used the car-exhaust-in-the-garage method.

I really cannot understand why people kill themselves, unless they are dying of bone cancer, or about to be interrogated by the Secret Police, or something. I mean, I am depressed as hell most of the time, but killing myself just seems silly. Some people, it seems, when they get depressed, well, suicide is the first thing they think of. I am glad I am not one of those people.

Also, I want to stick around and see what happens. It looks like The Collapse is coming right soon, and we all love a good disaster movie, amirite?

Mike_C said...

Sometimes when rational (to me at least) arguments about guns and suicide aren't making headway with the progressive "but we're doing this to keep YOU safe" crowd, it's time for some sociological ju-jitsu. Taking guns away to reduce suicide is RACIST and SEXIST.

Yeah, that's right. Have a look at the federal government's own Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website on Suicide Rates by Demographics and Suicide Mechanisms. ( Note that suicide by firearm is considerably more prevalent among men than women (who seem to favor poisoning). Note also that Hispanics and Asians are less likely to use firearms than wbites (or blacks, to be fair).

So, if you're the sort of person who thinks we should emphasize targeting firearms to prevent suicide, you're really saying that male suicide is more important than female suicide, and that white folks killing themselves is more important than brown and yellow people killing themselves. RACIST! SEXIST! Shame!

Incidentally, I know of a guy who committed suicide by bananas. Dialysis-dependent patient, went home and ate a lot of bananas, stopped going to dialysis. Cause of death: heart arrhythmia due to hyperkalemia (high potassium levels in the blood from all those bananas). He knew what he was doing, left a suicide note explaining the scheme and everything. Perhaps we should demand a doctor's note and recent lab tests showing normal renal function before we let people buy OMG bananas!!!

Chem said...

The other way to deal with negative population growth is immigration. Allowing young people to immigrant, prefereably letting them bring their children with them, has been a historical way to counteract the problem.

Not passing judgement on anything one way or the other but it has been a method.

Cheesy said...

Have they considered the end result of all this; A world so full of rules and regulations that NOBODY wants to LIVE in it?