Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Have you considered suicide? If so, you were probably drunk, possibly armed

Unfortunately the statistics don’t lie and they tell us that the person is likely to be drinking and may use a firearm to take his or her life.  Guns and booze obviously don’t mix so why is the National Rifle Assn. (NRA) lobbying so hard for its members to be allowed to carry guns into bars across the country?  Just one more of those ideas that common sense tells you is stupid but Wayne LaPierre, head of the NRA, apparently suffers that distinguishing characteristic.

55% by firearms

From 2003 to 2009, around 20 percent of U.S. citizens committing suicide had blood levels that satisfied the standard definition of intoxication, according to family Practice News.  Shocking?  Not really when you consider 72 percent of those age 35-54 drink; same for 18-34; 59 percent for 55+, and the fact that there are 270 million guns in the hands of U.S. civilians.  That’s 88.8 firearms per 100 people, close to one per person.

Suicide and alcohol
The U.S. is number 41 in the world in the number of suicides with 11.8 per year per 100,000 population.  In a 2011 study of suicides by city, Business Insider listed the top 15 with Las Vegas, NV as number one.  Interestingly, Arizona with the loosest gun laws in the country was the only state to have three cities listed: Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa.  According to the American foundation for suicide Prevention, someone commits suicide in the U.S. every 14.2 minutes.

Interesting video on suicide prevention:

Mitchell Zoler of Family Practice breaks it down by gender with 24 percent among men and 17 percent for women.  But the possibility increases among young adults where suicide is more impulsive.  As Zoler puts it, Alcohol serves as the “disinhibitor.”  And alcohol is also the number one instigator for abuse because it is so readily available.  Drinking reduces inhibition and increases aggression which is present in both domestic abuse and suicide.

Here are some more startling statistics from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention and Suicide Awareness Voices of Education:

  • Recent data puts yearly medical costs for suicide at nearly $100 million (2005).

  • Men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women. Women attempt suicide 3 times as often as men.

  • Suicide rates are highest for people between the ages of 40 and 59.

  • There are twice as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.

  • Suicide rates in the United States are highest in the spring.

  • Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.

  • Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.

  • The strongest risk factor for suicide is depression.

  • 80% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully.

  • There are an estimated 8 to 25 attempted suicides to 1 completion.

  • 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.

  • Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.

  • An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes.

These are raw, startling facts re. how suicides occur in the U.S. and some of the avenues taken to achieve the act.  What is really alarming is the fact that over half of suicides are accomplished using a firearm.  What is equally alarming is how many guns are available in this country (270,000,000) that gives the person the means to do harm to themselves.  At some point the gun public must realize just how much the 2nd Amendment infringes on the right to live of non-owners.


  1. You directed me to this article following a comment I made here:

    This article is laughable. If you find any of these statistics to be valid for the argument against gun ownership, you are flat out delusional.

    Suicide is a personal and social phenomenon. I have had several friends commit suicide in the thralls of drug addiction. (Drugs are illegal yet this had little effect on their ability to obtain them.) One of my friends used a gun to end his life.

    Being a rational and educated person, I cannot responsibly blame the gun for his death. It would be nice if I could push the hurt I have over this incident onto an inanimate object, but the truth is that the only thing that killed my friend was my friend. He wanted to die and he used one of the many options available to accomplish this task.

    I’m beginning to see a trend of inaccurate facts, and socially heated shock-tactics as the basis for your articles. As a responsible and well trained gun owner, I actually find myself relieved if this is the level of opposition I am up against to preserve my rights.

    1. As usual, your "NRA mind" missed the point entirely which might just question your educational level. Certainly your intelligence quotient. My point, which is clear to thinking individuals, is that guns are available to literally anyone who wants them, thus, making it easier for potential suicide victims to complete the job. You people just never learn.

      Jack E. Dunning
      Nasty Jack Blog

  2. Thank you for insulting my intelligence. I guess I'm just one of those "crazy hill people" that somehow managed to accomplish a 4 year degree and land a job in a fortune 50 company. It must have been blind luck considering how retarded I obviously am.

    You have added nothing more to the discussion with your rebuttal. Repeating yourself and talking down to me does nothing for your cause.

    Suicide victims are a victim of mental illness and societal factors, not the method in which they use to end their life.

    How about this; if alcohol is the primary contributing catalyst for these suicides, why not ban alcohol? History has taught us that this is a most effective deterrent for social deviation (obvious sarcasm intended).

    By your method of logic, we should probably regulate the sale and distribution of rope and razor blades too. I mean, these objects also contribute greatly to the execution of a suicide.

    1. You are welcome. And once again you make ludicrous statements that completely miss the point. Alcohol isn't the primary factor. Any thinking individual can clearly see that the primary factor is the proliferation of guns. Gun control works, as you can see in this post on Canada:

      Jack E. Dunning
      Nasty Jack Blog

  3. "And alcohol is also the number one instigator for abuse because it is so readily available. Drinking reduces inhibition and increases aggression which is present in both domestic abuse and suicide."
    -quoted from your article

    It would appear that your article states otherwise. People do some pretty irresponsible things under the influence of alcohol.

    In fact...
    Drunk drivers account for over 2,000 deaths a year more than firearm related homicides.

    homicides a year by gun: 8,775
    death by drunk drivers: 10,839

    In a suicide case, only the suicide victim dies. In a drunk driver case, innocent people, including children, are wiped out.

    Drinking and driving is illegal and heavily enforced, so how could this statistic be so high? It would appear once again, that writing a regulation on paper and making it law doesn't always deter the general public from doing what they want to do.

    If you want something to blame for suicides in America, attacking firearms is "barking up the wrong tree". Social pressures and easily accessible mind altering chemicals is a more relevant topic of blame.

    I will read the blog post you recommended, but please be ready to rebuttal my comments with something relevant and factual.



Is Joe Manchin a Senate plant serving Chas. Koch's conservative group?

  Joe Manchin is naive, possibly, but is there another underlying reason he is opposing President Biden's flagship programs like elimina...