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Gun industry &, suicide prevention forge unlikely alliance

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The fact of the matter is that mental heath is a crap shoot. Any honest psychiatrist will tell you that there is no way to meaningfully predict most homicidal or suicidal behavior. If you lock someone up for either, there is no way to predict whether they will do it again. Supposedly cops undergo fairly extensive mental evaluations yet a bunch still turn out to be crazy.

You cannot decrease suicide by trying to take away the tools. The only way to make a difference is to breed psychologically resilient people. "Safe spaces," "trigger warnings" and "microaggressions" will not lead to this resilience. Current social policies in places like NJ will only cause suicide to markedly increase.

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9 hours ago, Sniper22 said:

Here is where you and your friend, Greenday, go off the rails, blaming firearms for suicides.

In SUCCESSFUL suicides, a firearm was a popular choice. But when you look at total ATTEMPTED suicides, including the UNSUCCESSFUL attempts, firearms don't even make it into the top category.

@AVB-AMG see a problem yet with your and @Greenday narratives?

@Sniper22:

First of all, I have not, nor have I ever blamed firearms for suicides......
Why did you make that assumption from what I have written?
How can one blame a firearm for suicide? 
is that even possible...?  That makes no sense...  

Firearms are the tool of choice, selected and used by SOME people, mostly males, to commit suicide, since it is usually very effective with immediate results.

So no, I do not see a problem with my narrative.....

AVB-AMG

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sarcasm comes from being sick of the religious throwing their holier then thou bs on everybody, wich is generally where the "selfish" comments come from. so if i jumped the gun at you apologies, and get through the fist part of ranting here to get to some meet and potatoes. Incase no ones noticed i get testy at times.

This country has a massive mental health problem. big pharma makes a killing on it, religions just say they're going to hell screw em, and most people either dont care, or blame the inanimate objects

our society is screwed. our values are screwed. 

mental health is such a stigma its so hard to get help, everyone pushes you aside, its all in your head, your crazy, theres nothing wrong with you, just stop feeling that way.  those that do get help have a shit road to try and take. theres only so much help out there, and you become ostracized from people for trying. the meds are a hell rollercoaster ride before they can get the right cocktail. most people cant be bothered to take this journey, to understand it, to support it.

many have tried, some take the ride a few times, but it wears on you, and those that do get support or help, its really difficult to get humans to repeat some of the cyclical patterns it creates. to many its not worth it. to many they burn out before you find the end.

even worse is we as humans have no idea how the brain works, or how much of what we are exposed to effects it in the long run, and less of an understanding of how psychotropic drugs work.

so no, i dont prefer to blanket statement it. I prefer to be an advocate for mental health, which i have found to be extremely difficult from not being a liberal, because this stuff generally dosnt fly in conservative areas. Mental health is one of the few things both sides actually work together in, the left breads mental issues and sweeps them under the rug the right hates them, and the religious just want eternal damnation for all other then themselves. ok, yes that is general blanket statements, ya got me there.

Im convinced that there is only one way to understand mental illness, and thats to suffer. even being by the side of someone for their whole journey you never know what the experience is like untill you walk a mile in their shoes.One point ive found in many of my conversations is that people say they dont understand, and honestly they dont want to, because if you understand then you've already suffered too much in order to get it. Everyones case is different, The human brain is such a complex thing. No 2 are the same, and that makes mental issues so complicated, they're intertwined with what makes you you, your personality, your experiences, your beliefs, and somewhere the question of what shapes what comes up.

sometimes you can see all the signs, try and act and you cant save the person. sometimes they dont want to be saved.

i present a flip side here. and this is where the discussion tends to get interesting

if someone is selfish for ending thier suffering, and not thinking about that effect on otheres

then isnt it selfish asking for someone to suffer so much to spare the others their leaving?

i am of the mind that it is selfish to ask someone to exist against their will to spare yourself the loss. especially if you dont know how bad the pain is.

the person comitting suicide in my findings is generally aware of this burden they are placing on others, but cannot bear the burden of continuing regardless,

we have the issue of asisted suicide for medical reasons, if someone cant be helped or cured weather or not there should be a way to end their suffering, yet we dismiss mental suffering as not an actual thing. 

we for some odd reason dont see people with mental illness as being sick, and thats where the problem is imho. its a terminal illness in most cases, that can be treated and controlled, but alot of these people basically have lifelong sentences to have to work with, or around their illness and the rest of the world looks at them as not being sick.

 I truly believe that our mental issues start in society as a whole and unless we can adress that perception we cant help the individuals. years ago we locked everyone up, then decades ago we were appalled at how we treated them and we let them all loose. never addressed any of the issues on any end, and big pharma is making a killing prescribing ssris that they truely dont know how they work to millions

some people come out the other side, some dont. some of them grow up to be conservative pro2a *gasp*

my story isnt over;

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@SuRrEaLNJ:

Thank you for your detailed post, explaining your feelings.  I think we both are in agreement on the major aspects of suicide.  Here is my take:

Many, if not most suicides are motivated by some form of mental illness. For the sake of argument, I will separate out suicides that are done at an end-of-life situation and are motivated by some terminal illness.  I recognize that is a very different situation with different understandable motivations, which I do not consider selfish, and will address that in detail in another post.

Those who suffer from mental illness are not able to think clearly and rationally.  Depression is a mental illness and is a terrible disease that is difficult to diagnose and treat, because usually the first steps must be made from the depressed person seeking help.  Many of these people don't take these first steps and can hide their symptoms from everyone they know. But that does not mean that the act of suicide is not selfish.

Even recognizing and accepting your point, I still believe that suicide IS a selfish act for a number of valid reasons.  In some ways suicide is the most selfish act that someone can ever commit. It is a universal declaration that you choose to live and die on your own terms and that your destiny lies wholly in your own hands, regardless of what others may think.  Allow me to elaborate with the following related reasons and explanations:

1.  Suicide is a very selfish thing to do, but it's not selfish the way normal people are described as selfish. Blatantly ignoring the needs of others while only fulfilling your own needs is what normal selfish people do all the time. But a suicidal person is sick and can't help but be completely absorbed in their pain and suffering. Mentally, they have lost that battle against their pain, as it has completely consumed their mind. While they may think they are doing others a favor by killing themselves, which is not selfish, in the end, actually doing it is. Because by definition, being selfish means to only tend to your own needs and not the needs of others. Suicide IS selfish. Wanting someone to stay alive for you is ALSO selfish. Almost everything we do in life is selfish but that doesn't make it wrong. Selfish isn't a bad thing. It's just how we humans are.

2.  No matter what someone is going through, committing or attempting to commit suicide requires that the person in question has decided-- not contemplated the possibility of or anything abstract, but decided-- that their feelings trump the feelings of those around them. That they are going to knowingly and voluntarily cause harm to other people in an attempt to make things better for themselves. Therefore, suicide is a selfish act because every action you take is a selfish one. There are no selfless actions because all actions are taken in the context of yourself.  One commits suicide because you are sad or lonely or you hurt. You, you, you. It's all about you. It's your life, your pain, your decision. This is why suicide is selfish.

3.  Suicide is the highest form of self-love. While commonly people assume it is because people hate themselves/their lives, etc., the truth is people who commit suicide love themselves above all else. Their plight is more important to them than anything else in existence, their troubles so insurmountable and terrible that they must be dealt with in the most extreme fashion with total disregard to life. In their moment they are the most important person on earth, they must decide to remove themselves from living, they give themselves control over something that the rest of us try and ignore and delay. If they loved something or anything more than they loved themselves they would have something to live for, but by deduction if they have nothing external to love they must internally love themselves the most. That's selfish.

4.  Looking up the definition of “selfish” in the dictionary reveals that it means to "Having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people." and/or “excessively and exclusively being concerned with oneself and concentrating on one's own well-being without regard for others.”   From this definition and forgetting about all the other connotations associated with the word, those who commit suicide are completely absorbed in their own problems and can't move past them. They cannot find a reason to live. Some suicides are due to someone thinking that their loved ones would be better off without them, but it doesn't make it any less selfish, because they are so self-absorbed they can't see that this simply isn't true.

AVB-AMG

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Suicide (Euthanasia), for people with incurable, terminal diseases is a different situation entirely and should be a separate discussion.  Here is my stand on this issue and the reasons why.

Palliative care can make dying less miserable, but I believe that everyone should have the option to sidestep the often interminable and awful last stages, if they so desire. If and when my quality of life irreversibly disintegrates, I want to be able to choose to end it gracefully, quietly, not making a mess and legally. I want that option for everyone, since I believe t that is the ultimate human right - to choose whether to live or die - and in extremis it's one that no one has the right to take away. 

To deny it legally just puts already suffering and determined people in the terrible position of having to decide whether to hang themselves, shoot themselves or risk wretched failure with whatever drug cocktails can be assembled - it's the ultimate, final insult. All illegal options are potentially damaging to beloved family as well.  Congressmen passing Federal laws have no business interfering with the local legislation in each State with this regard.  Also, we know that religious fanatics and right-wing extremists are feeling empowered everywhere. 

I watched my mother die from terminal pancreatic cancer and it was a sobering and horrible experience. I NEVER want to put my loved ones through the trauma of watching someone (me), die of starvation and dehydration because they can't swallow anymore. I never want to experience unending excruciating pain that comes with some terminal conditions. I never want to be trapped inside a body which no longer allows me to communicate with the outside world. It IS torture. If someone chooses to die that way, that should be a choice. I should have the choice to end my life when it is time to end it without the suffering torture that oftentimes accompanies dying from these terminal diseases. The only way to relieve pain was to administer painkilling drugs that transforms the person into a trance-like zombie state. That is not living… that is just existing with a greatly diminished quality of life.  Why do some people selfishly want to prolong the suffering of a loved one just so they can live a few more weeks or months?  To deny anyone (me), the dignity and autonomy to control my choice of when, where and how to die is cruel and unusual punishment for what crime?  I want to die as me, not as some shadow of myself while my loved ones grieve over my pain and loss of self and suffer in their own way. 

This is a free country, and I deserve the right to make that choice for myself if I am terminal or in unending physical pain that cannot be medicated away or cured. Yes, I want the option for treatment if treatment is available and for end-of-life care until the very end if I so choose...but I also want the option to die with dignity. The religious zealots who want to condemn the dying to the last dregs of suffering and pain and misery are nothing but sadistic.

IMO it should always be the patient’s decision, with the advice from their Doctor(s), as to whether they end their life or not and they should ALWAYS have that choice. It is cruel and unconscionable to require someone to go through that pain and misery just because you or The State doesn't feel they should have the option of dying with dignity. The healthcare industry profits enormously from futile end of life care.  I think that most medical organizations are against it because of the money they would lose if it became common practice. Taking care of a dying patient, which can sometimes take months, is a very expensive endeavor involving millions of dollars. The healthcare industry in this country, including Doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, hospice workers, etc all are for profit and therefore are incentivized to keep old and ailing people alive for as long as possible to milk as much money from their insurance policies, Medicare and then any personal savings you have or that of your family.  Ultimately, they are motivated to not let you die sooner, compounded by the fact that medical science has improved to be able to keep people living longer, regardless of their quality of life.

|Some people are against this concept for moral reasons. But at its core, it's all about the money and except for religious organizations, they really have no claim on morality. No one, religion included, has the right to set morality for anyone else. It all boils down to one thing. Death is personal and as such it should only be decided by the one who is affected most, the one that is dying. My body, my life, My choice. Your body, your life, your choice. This is a civil and human right.  If you don't approve of assisted suicide fine that's your choice. But respect the decision of those who believe differently. Your right shouldn't trump mine.

AVB-AMG

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34 minutes ago, AVB-AMG said:

@SuRrEaLNJ:

Thank you for your detailed post, explaining your feelings.  I think we both are in agreement on the major aspects of suicide. 

AVB-AMG

 

suicide is a hot button for me,  seen lots of people struggle, seen attempts made because of dealing with the loss of somone to suicide, seen blood, seen how much vomit a botched od can make, seen more of this shit then i should have had to. it is what it is, but i will admit i do tend to lash when the subject is up. far too much personal experience.

we are far more on the same page then i originally gave credit for.

defining selfishness in that way, wich is correct, and i am in agreement with the factual-ness of the statement. if all of our acts are self motivated, then everything we do is selfish and then yes inherently suicide will be the pinnacle of that point. i still think  the s/o is covering for a buddy of mine, still dont know how he died, dont buy the narative.

one thing ive gotten from a PHD/LPC is that the thing with feelings is that everyone has them, and no one is wrong for feeling what they feel, its what you do with those feelings and how you handle it that matters. we are all entitled to have our reactions to stimulus, and that does not make them wrong, but we are not right for letting that reaction afect how we respond to the stimulus especially when it negatively effects the other party. they could probably explain it better then i did, but i hope i got the point across.

i am going to object to the use of "self absorbed" in point 4. we can only say that making the asumption that the person in questions mind is not clouded or skewed through the illness. its verry easy to lose the outside world when your own head becomes the enemy. and there again were playing the semantics game with words there, but i just cant see it that way having seen the other side so much. i know its words, and under the definition you are right, but its just not that simple from my end.

12 minutes ago, AVB-AMG said:



|Some people are against this concept for moral reasons. But at its core, it's all about the money and except for religious organizations, they really have no claim on morality. No one, religion included, has the right to set morality for anyone else. It all boils down to one thing. Death is personal and as such it should only be decided by the one who is affected most, the one that is dying. My body, my life, My choice. Your body, your life, your choice. This is a civil and human right.  If you don't approve of assisted suicide fine that's your choice. But respect the decision of those who believe differently. Your right shouldn't trump mine.

AVB-AMG

i am in pretty much agreement with this post in its entirety, and quoted the most potent point for me

at this point in my life i want to be left alone to do what i want, and will leave anyone alone who does their stuff over there and dosnt effect me with it. guess im finally going full libertarian. 

im sorry to hear about you having to watch that with your mom. i dont know what to say beyond that.

for me it was my great grandmother that made up my mind on euthanasia when i was a kid. watching my grandparents argue with the nursing home staff over what esentually was a breathing rag doll, rose couldnt sit up on her own, so they bounced her between bed sores and proped in chairs wich she kept falling out of. as far as im concerned my great grandmother left us 5-10+ years before they let her body go. i tell my wife all the time to kill me before doing that to me.

Grandma beat cancer (to later die on the table in a vein surgery), grandpa didnt

 

the answers i want are the ones no one has. what causes mental illness, how do brain chemicals actually work, what in our environment or society is causing the rise in mental illness, etc and im not sure how much ground we can cover until we know some of those answers.

instant gratification in this society is causing some severe dopamine issues and what not, that much ive been able to theories, but beyond that ive taken far to few psych classes and fear someone will have to reach omnipotence before that level of understanding is open to us 

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In the news today. Seems that what they found was only half the people who commit suicide actually have known, true mental illness. The others just "snap" due to personal issues.

The CDC found more than half of people, or 54 percent, who committed suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition when they died. Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat noted this number could be low because people might have had one but it wasn't diagnosed or their loved ones might not have known about it.

However, she said it should serve as a reminder that mental illness isn't the only thing to acknowledge when developing strategies for preventing suicide. She said stressors identified as causes, including relationship problems and financial struggles, should also be addressed.

Everyone experiences stressful moments in life, and Schuchat said we won't make progress in lowering the suicide rate if we only look at mental health issues.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/07/suicide-rates-are-climbing-and-mental-illness-isnt-the-only-factor.html

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@Sniper22:

Yes, the CDC report issued today was very interesting and you have highlighted an important point from that report... Thank you.  I just finished reading the highlights of it and have done a "cut & paste" below of key aspects of a CNN interview with the report's authors, which provide some additional important points:

AVB-AMG

CDC Report: US Suicide Rates Increased More that 25% Since 1999

By Susan Scutti, CNN
June 7, 2018

(CNN) — Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds.

More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.

"These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it's one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem -- and something that is all around us," Schuchat said. The other two top 10 causes of death that are on the rise are Alzheimer's disease and drug overdoses, she noted.

In 2016 alone, about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide. "Our data show that the problem is getting worse," Schuchat said.

INCREASES IN 49 STATES

Using data from the National Vital Statistics System for 50 states and the District of Columbia, CDC researchers analyzed suicide rates for people 10 and older from 1999 through 2016.

Overall, the US experienced a 25% rise in the rate of suicides during that period, with individual states ranging from a 6% increase in Delaware to a nearly 58% increase in North Dakota, the researchers say.

All states except Nevada experienced an increase; although Nevada showed a 1% decrease in suicide, the state's suicide rate was still high, ranging between 21 and 23 suicides for every 100,000 people through the years studied, the researchers say.

Suicide rates were four times greater in the highest state compared with the lowest when calculated on an annual basis during the most recent time period, 2014 to 2016.

Montana experienced about 29 suicides for every 100,000 people -- the highest in the nation -- compared with about seven people out of every 100,000 in the District of Columbia -- the lowest. As a whole, the nation saw 15 people dying by suicide for every 100,000 in 2016.

"The most common method was firearm, followed by hanging or suffocation, followed by poisoning," Schuchat said. "Opioids were present in 31% of individuals who died by poisoning." She added that intentionality is difficult to determine in cases in which a person dies by overdose.

Deborah Stone, lead author of the study and a behavioral scientist at the CDC, said, "We typically see that firearms make up about half of all suicides, and that tends to be pretty consistent."

Schuchat noted that the researchers "focused in on 27 states where we have extensive data from the death investigations to try to understand the factors or circumstances leading up to suicide."

These data, derived from the National Violent Death Reporting System, showed that 54% of those who committed suicide in 2015 did not have a known mental health condition. Digging deeper, the researchers found that several circumstances, including the loss of (or problems in) a relationship, were more likely to trigger a suicide among those who did not have a mental health condition.

Regions and demographic groups were also compared.

ECONOMIC FACTORS BEHIND SUICIDE

The Western area trend of high increases in suicide rates could be related to the fact that people in rural areas have less access to services as they more slowly benefit from the economic recovery than other parts of the nation, she said.

"We don't have all the answers. There may be several, but we knew that economic factors can increase the risk of suicide and that limited access to care, behavioral and social services may also increase the risk of suicide," Schuchat said.

Recent government reports have highlighted rising rates of suicide among women.  "The percent increase was higher in women, but it's important to say that men have a three to five times higher rate than women," Schuchat said. The rising suicide rate for women, then, is "increasing but at a much, much lower level" than for men.

Veterans are also "overrepresented" in the report, she said.

"Veterans made up about 18% of adult suicides but represent about 8.5% of the US adult population," Schuchat said, noting that not all veterans who died by suicide were recent veterans. Still, the researchers found a 10% higher risk of suicide among people who had served in the military.

Middle-age adults had the highest increase.  "This is a very important population right now in terms of national statistics," Schuchat said, noting the high rates of drug overdose in this group as well as "deaths of despair" described in social science literature. She believes this group may have been hardest-hit by the economic downturn, but she added that unknown factors probably contributed.  "We think a key message is, there's not just one group; many are at risk," Schuchat said.

Whether or not they had a mental health condition, most people who died by suicide had experienced "one or more factors that may have contributed, including a relationship problem, a crisis in the recent couple weeks and problematic substance abuse," she said.

K. Bryant Smalley, a professor of community medicine and psychiatry at the Mercer University School of Medicine, described the mental health care challenges experienced by patients in rural areas as the "three A's": availability, accessibility and acceptability of care.

Smalley, who was not involved in the new research, pointed out that about 85% of federally designated mental health professional shortage areas are rural.

"Due to higher poverty rates, higher likelihood of hourly pay and productivity-based labor, and lack of transportation infrastructure, mental health services are often not accessible even if they are available in a rural community -- that is, even though it is there, many people either cannot get to it or cannot afford (either directly or indirectly) to go," he said.

Add to that, rural areas have very high levels of stigma surrounding mental health services. "Rural residents face lower levels of anonymity in seeking services due to the close-knit nature of rural communities," Smalley said. The possibility of "someone seeing your car parked at the only psychologist's office" means rural residents are less likely to seek care when needed.

Dr. Sandro Galea, dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, said the National Vital Statistics System is the "best system we have of keeping records in the country." Galea, who was not involved in the new study, added that for this reason, the new research should be taken "very seriously."

"There have been previous reports recently that have shown suicide is one of the major contributors to a decrease in life expectancy in this country, which makes it even more alarming," he said.

"The paper makes a clear case, correctly, about the fact that there is no one cause for suicide," he said, adding that "availability of means" makes death possible.

"A lot of suicide is a one-time effort, so having guns available, for example, makes one more likely to complete suicide, but that in and of itself is not an explanation for why suicide is going up," Galea said.

"CDC data shows that suicide happens to everybody," he said. "Social and life and economic stressors are the ones that create the conditions for suicides to happen."

Shuchat said there are simple steps anyone can take to help someone at risk. "Beginning a conversation, helping keep them safe, helping them connect and then follow up with them," she said. "We don't think every single suicide can be prevented, but many are preventable."

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FYI - In today’s New York Times is an interesting article titled:

First-Time Gun Owners at Greater Risk for Suicide, Major Study Confirms

Here is the link to that article:

AVB-AMG

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/health/suicide-guns-firearms.html?referringSource=articleShare

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@AVB-AMG - Can you post a few pertinent quotes? It's not a free article. I'm actually most curious if anything explains their subtitle - "Men were eight times as likely to kill themselves by gunshot than non-owners." I mean, unless I'm misunderstanding the premise, it seems nonsensical. That would be like saying: New car owners are 8 times more likely to get into a car accident than people who don't own cars."  Or, "People who own and fly small planes are more likely to crash than people who never fly." I mean, duh...of course! That's hardly a damning statistic. Maybe it's just a bad subtitle... what point are they trying to make?   

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29 minutes ago, AVB-AMG said:

FYI - In today’s New York Times is an interesting article titled:

First-Time Gun Owners at Greater Risk for Suicide, Major Study Confirms

I guess this supports everyone's belief on this board that the best thing one can do after buying a firearm is rapidly purchase another firearm, thereby eliminating the risk associated with being a "first-time" owner. 

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1 minute ago, Handyman said:

I guess this supports everyone's belief on this board that the best thing one can do after buying a firearm is rapidly purchase another firearm, thereby eliminating the risk associated with being a "first-time" owner. 

I like that theory! :good: 

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@Mrs. Peel

The study tracked 700,000 first-time handgun buyers over 12 years, was the largest analysis to date of individual, first-time gun owners and suicide over time.  I do not want to cherry-pick just a few quotes so here is the entire article, which I cut & pasted below:

AVB-AMG

First-Time Gun Owners at Risk for Suicide, Major Study Confirms
Men were eight times as likely to kill themselves by gunshot than non-owners. Women were 35 times as likely.
By Benedict Carey

June 3, 2020

The decision to buy a handgun for the first time is typically motivated by self-protection. But it also raises the purchasers’ risk of deliberately shooting themselves by ninefold on average, with the danger most acute in the weeks after purchase, scientists reported on Wednesday. The risk remains elevated for years, they said.

The findings are from the largest analysis to date tracking individual, first-time gun owners and suicide for more than a decade.

The study, posted by The New England Journal of Medicine, does not greatly alter the prevailing understanding of suicide risk linked to gun ownership. Previous research had suggested a similarly increased risk, due largely to the ease of having such a lethal option at hand.

But experts said the new evidence was more powerfully persuasive than any research to date. The study tracked nearly 700,000 first-time handgun buyers, year by year, and compared them with similar non-owners, breaking out risk by gender. Men who bought a gun for the first time were eight times as likely to kill themselves by gunshot in the subsequent 12 years than non-owners; women were 35 times as likely to do so. (Male gun owners far outnumbered women owners in the study.)

“I find the work extremely compelling,” said Amy Street, a research psychologist at the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Street did not contribute to the study, which was led by David Studdert, a professor of medicine and law at Stanford.

“We know women make more attempts than men, but they use less lethal means,” Dr. Street added. “It makes sense: When women start using lethal means, you’re going to see this dramatic jump in rates.”

Historically, public health research on firearms has been limited by privacy issues and political opposition. Most previous studies were retrospective: post-mortem analyses of suicides that relied on incomplete information about gun owners and, for comparison, non-owners. 

Dr. Studdert’s study, which looked at deaths and gun ownership in California, overcame these obstacles. By California law, all legal gun sales must go through licensed dealers and be reported to the state’s Department of Justice. The department archives each transaction and includes more detail on the purchase than most any other state.

The research team integrated this information with two other sources: a California log of deaths determined to be suicides, which all states track to some degree; and voter rolls, which include about 60 percent of adults in the state, or 26.3 million adults.

By linking gun purchases to the voter registry and suicide data, the team was able to track individuals over time, from October 2004 to December 2016. The researchers checked gun purchases back to 1985 to make sure that individuals in the study were in fact first-time buyers. They also reclassified those who later sold their weapons as non-owners.

This left 676,425 people who bought their first gun during the 12-year period and kept it. The weapons were predominantly handguns, which are the method of choice in about three-quarters of suicides by firearm. California did not begin collecting data on rifles and shotguns until 2014.

The team tallied the suicides among new owners and non-owners, matched by age, gender and other similarities, and tested for a series of alternate possibilities, like whether owners were as likely to kill themselves by other means. They were not.

Another possibility was so-called reverse causation: that many buyers were bent on suicide before they bought the gun. The findings did provide some evidence of that. In the month immediately after first-time owners obtained their weapons (California has a 10-day waiting period), the risk of shooting themselves on purpose was nearly 500 per 100,000, about 100 times higher than similar non-owners; after several years it tapered off to about twice the rate.

“We sure do see evidence that people went to get the gun because they had planned to take their own lives,” Dr. Studdert said.

The risk of suicide remained elevated over the entire 12-year duration of the study, and it was in this longer period after the first month that most of the suicides — 52 percent — occurred. “During this period, the gun acts much more like an ambient risk — it’s always there,” Dr. Studdert said.

The majority of people who attempt suicide do not die; attempts outnumber completed acts by about eight to one. Those who do make an attempt are at greater risk of trying again later, compared with those who have not, studies have found. Still, less than 10 percent of those who make an attempt will subsequently go on to complete the act, said Dr. Matthew Miller, a professor of health sciences and epidemiology at Northeastern University and an author on the study.

“Many suicide attempts are impulsive, and the crisis that leads to them is fleeting,” Dr. Miller said. “The method you use largely determines whether you live or die. And if you use a gun, you are far more likely to die than with other methods, like taking pills. With guns, you usually do not get a second chance.”

Other authors on the study included scientists at the University of California, Davis; Erasmus University in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands; and the University of Melbourne, in Australia. It was financed by the Fund for a Safer Future and the Joyce Foundation, both of which have supported research on gun ownership, and by Stanford.

As rigorous as the findings are, they are not likely to move most gun-rights proponents, who emphasize the idea that people need guns for protection.

The study did not examine owners’ detailed information like medical histories or personal circumstances — such as living alone — that could have shown they were at greater risk for suicide. But most risk factors for suicide, like persistent mental distress and drug use, tend not to differ much between gun owners and non-owners, previous studies have found. Any unseen factor that could account for the findings would have to raise suicide risk by 10 times in owners, compared with non-owners, and there were no such candidates, the authors of the new study said.

“They really questioned their own results and tested many alternate hypotheses to account for their results,” Dr. Street said. “To me, this makes the findings more compelling still.”

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27 minutes ago, Pizza Bob said:

How much money was spent on a study that proves people that don't have guns don't shoot themselves?!?

 "The study did not examine owners’ detailed information like medical histories or personal circumstances "

 

With these 2 points, I have to wonder... what exactly did they study?

 

 

My only take away is that guns are a successful means for suicide. And why does the study mention gun-rights proponents? Guns are effective... yeah you really made a solid point their against gun ownership. 

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1 hour ago, Pizza Bob said:

How much money was spent on a study that proves people that don't have guns don't shoot themselves?!?

Yup! That's why I posed the question. What a ridiculous premise for a study! Entirely self-serving. BTW, here's the 2 orgs that helped fund it:

https://www.fundforasaferfuture.org/ - progressive org whose sole mission is "reducing gun violence" - in other words, anti-2A 

http://www.joycefdn.org/ - they have 5 interest areas, 1 of which is "gun violence prevention and justice reform" - taken straight from their website: we invest significantly in research and studies to gather facts and data that not only help shape policy development, but also provide evidence advocates can cite in making the case for reform. If that's your mission, you should not be allowed anywhere near a study... either as the donor or the statistician. Because the temptation to "find" only the data that supports your cause would be too great. 

This "study" should go right on the rubbish pile IMO. The NY Times has fallen so far!

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23 hours ago, Handyman said:

Well, @AVB-AMG, the ball is in your court to defend this. 

FYI - I posted the NY Times article on the study titled “First-Time Gun Owners at Greater Risk for Suicide”, because it is the latest study on the issue of guns and suicide that I have come across in a while.  I wanted to share it here on NJGF in this thread since the folks who have posted comments here seem to acknowledge that suicide by gun is an issue that should concern all of us legal gun owners and is just one of many factors or points that we have to discuss with our anti-gun friends and relatives.  Also, by posting this article of this study, does not automatically imply that I agree with their findings.  While the odds of having an accident, fatal or not, from a firearm obviously increases if one own’s a firearm, I do not believe that therefore automatically means that gun owners are more likely to commit suicide, whether by using a gun or some other means, nor whether they one just one gun or many.

Actually, I have some doubts about the validity of the researcher’s findings.  I also agree that they may possibly have had a predetermined anti-gun agenda or slant that they wanted to highlight in their conclusions.  I also agree that not taking into account the subjects’ medical histories or personal circumstances, omitted potentially vital information that may contribute to causality.  While their stated premise captures one’s attention, I wonder why they did not also include and factor in many other scenarios of people using guns to commit suicide.  Specifically, those who do not own a gun AND have not purchased a gun.  Where the person may have used a gun owned by a friend or family member.  Also, most of us on this forum are well aware of the multiple suicides committed by young men at indoor gun ranges in NJ, (i.e. Gun For Hire and RTSP, etc…), that have occurred in just the past 4-5 years.  They have either rented a handgun or used a handgun of someone who owns one and shared it with them at the range.  As a result of these awful suicides at gun ranges, the owner’s have instituted more stringent policies for first-time customers to address and hopefully reduce the chances of someone committing suicide inside their ranges.

As I think we all agree, suicide is a tragic choice made by someone who, for various complicated reasons, either and the low end, wants to call attention to themselves and at the extreme end, does not want to live any longer.  Guns are just one of the most efficient tools or methods to accomplish the latter.

AVB-AMG

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Here is another article on this thread’s topic, from the Oct. 16, 2020 issue of the New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/us/veterans-suicides-guns-firearms.html?referringSource=articleShare
 

AVB-AMG

Focusing on Firearms Proves Contentious in Struggle to Reduce Veterans’ Suicides

The gun control debate complicated an effort to encourage frank talk by health professionals about the risks posed by firearms.

By Dave Phillips

The suicide rate among military veterans keeps edging higher, and to address it Congress passed a major bill this fall, named in honor of a Navy SEAL named Cmdr. John Scott Hannon who was an outspoken proponent of veterans’ mental health treatment before he took his own life with a gun in 2018.

But at the last minute, lawmakers stripped the bill of a proven prevention technique that saves veterans’ lives, and might have saved the life of Commander Hannon. Why? Because the provision in question touched a third rail in Washington politics: the danger posed by firearms.

The Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act, now awaiting the president’s signature, still does things the commander’s family says he would be proud of: funding community organizations that work with veterans, and scholarships to train more mental health professionals.

But before it was modified, the bill would also have required health care workers who treat veterans to be trained on how to talk with at-risk patients about the danger of having guns in the house and about how to reduce that risk — a strategy known as lethal-means safety.

Evidence shows that reducing access to lethal means can drastically cut the risk of suicide. And for veterans, especially, the lethal means are overwhelmingly firearms.

The suicide rate among veterans has been climbing for more than a decade, and is now roughly double that of the nation as a whole. Americans who die by suicide use a gun about half the time, but among veterans, the figure is 70 percent.

The lethal-means provision that was stripped from the bill was introduced by Representative Lauren Underwood, Democrat of Illinois. “I’m a public health nurse, so I’m trained to look at the data and design policies that are effective and evidence-based,” Ms. Underwood said in a statement. “The data we have shows there’s no solution to the veteran suicide crisis without improving lethal-means safety.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been trying to develop ways to talk to veterans about guns and suicide for more than a decade, but the topic is so culturally and politically fraught that progress has been slow and uneven, in part because doctors do not want to alienate patients.

The lethal-means provision would have provided mandatory training to nearly all Veterans Affairs doctors and mental health professionals, as well as private doctors who treat patients with veterans’ health benefits.

Like the conversations doctors have had for years with cigarette smokers, the approach involves making sure the patient understands the dangers of easily accessible guns, and then asking whether the patient wants to come up with a plan to reduce those dangers. Suggestions include locking up the guns in the house or storing them with a friend, relative or local gun club until the patient’s risk of suicide has subsided.

The lethal-means safety approach has broad support among major veterans’ groups, and it was included in a list of 10 suicide prevention recommendations released by the White House in the spring.

But some veterans’ groups opposed the strategy, saying the mere suggestion that veterans remove guns from their homes could deter them from seeking mental health care.

“This emphasis on firearms misses the point,” Sherman Gillums, chief of strategy for the veterans group Amvets, which opposed the legislation, said in a commentary posted online before the bill was passed. He said veterans’ mental health care should focus on better therapy techniques and reducing reliance on medications, adding, “I’m not encouraged by this emphasis on the action that was taken and not the underlying cause.”

Anything that smacks of gun control is political kryptonite for conservatives. Despite White House backing, Ms. Underwood was unable to find a Republican co-sponsor for the lethal-means safety provision. House Democrats added the provision to the bill, but it was removed during negotiations with the Republican-controlled Senate, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

Despite the setback, prevention experts say it makes sense to continue to expand lethal-means safety, whether or not it is mandated by law.

“If you want to really make a dent in preventing suicide, this would have the most impact,” said Russell Lemle, the former chief psychologist for the San Francisco Veterans Affairs hospital system.

For years, he said, the medical profession has generally tried to reduce suicide by treating patients’ underlying mental health issues. But epidemiologists have realized that impressive gains can be made by making the physical act of suicide more difficult and less lethal.

“Suicide is often an impulsive act,” Dr. Lemle said. “If we can put distance between the impulse and the means, we can make a real difference.”

When access to an especially lethal method is restricted, the suicide rate often drops. Up until the 1960s, the ovens and stoves in many British homes used coal gas, which was rich in dangerous carbon monoxide and was implicated in many deaths, accidental or intentional. As the country transitioned to safer natural gas the suicide rate fell by one-third.

Bangladesh struggled in the 1990s with a high rate of suicide by ingesting toxic insecticides. After the country banned the most lethal poisons in 2000, the suicide rate dropped by one-quarter.

The United States applies the same principle to physical locations like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Coronado Bridge in San Diego, where barriers and nets are starting to be installed to protect suicidal people.

Because so many suicides are gun deaths, they present a huge opportunity for prevention if doctors and other health workers can find an effective way to talk to veterans about guns, according to Dr. Matthew Miller, who teaches epidemiology at Northeastern University and is a leading researcher on gun violence.

“We know the risk is there,” Dr. Miller said. But studies show that only about 10 percent of gun owners are aware of the higher risk, he said, suggesting that there is enormous room to inform people and encourage them to change their habits.

Veterans Affairs has trained more than 20,000 health care workers in recent years to talk to patients about lethal-means safety. The language removed from the John Scott Hannon bill would have made that training mandatory for many more health care professionals.

“If there is a good relationship with the patient, it doesn’t have to be culturally charged, it can come from a place of real concern, just like a doctor might talk about the risks of smoking,” Dr. Miller said.

Those conversations, though, carry their own risk. Opponents say that required lethal-means safety stigmatizes mental illness and may deter people from seeking care, which is also a criticism of so-called red flag laws that allow the police in several states to temporarily confiscate firearms from people who are deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or to others.

A survey of veterans who served in the military after 2001 found that 21 percent were hesitant to get mental health care from Veterans Affairs because they were worried their guns would be confiscated.

The department’s first effort at lethal-means safety was to give away gun locks to veterans. The program was met with an uproar when recipients of the free locks were asked to give their addresses and say how many guns they owned. Opponents accused the department of trying to start a federal gun registry.

Dr. Lemle, who became a senior policy analyst at the Veterans Healthcare Policy Institute after leaving Veterans Affairs last year, said the system’s reluctance to speak openly about the problem of guns had only fueled disinformation.

“The idea is not to restrict anyone,” Dr. Lemle said. “This is not a gun rights issue, it’s about coming up with a mutually derived plan to be safe. For too long, I think we’ve been afraid to talk about it, to the disservice of our patients.”

Commander Hannon, whom the prevention bill is named after, may be a case in point. After a 23-year career serving around the world with the SEALs, he retired in 2011 and moved to Montana, where he struggled for years with post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and bipolar disorder. He found solace in therapy programs that used animals, and in helping other veterans.

He owned several guns. Out of concern for his safety, his family stored the guns with a fellow SEAL at one point, but he soon demanded them back. His sister, Kim Parrott, said the family never formally learned how to talk to him about the dangers guns pose to veterans with mental health disorders.

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This "prevention" plan is literally the dumbest shit I've ever read, and doesn't even attempt to solve the underlying problems... guns have nothing to do with suicide, its simple a means.. not the cause. 

Stop trying to treat the symptoms and maybe we will get somewhere.

Nearly every state has specific laws banning possession of firearms by individuals with mental deficiencies, maybe start enforcing that instead?

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30 minutes ago, AVB-AMG said:

Evidence shows that reducing access to lethal means can drastically cut the risk of suicide. And for veterans, especially, the lethal means are overwhelmingly firearms.

Once again, Liberals focus on inanimate objects (guns), instead of getting to the real source of the problem. This story is from The NYT. Is anyone surprised?

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And another article on this topic......

‘How Did We Not Know?’ Gun Owners Confront a Suicide Epidemic

The toll of self-inflicted Gun deaths has led to an unusual alliance between suicide-prevention advocates and gun-rights proponents

By Roni Caryn Rabin

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/17/health/suicide-guns-prevention.html?referringSource=articleShare

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11 minutes ago, AVB-AMG said:

‘How Did We Not Know?’ Gun Owners Confront a Suicide Epidemic

Sure... from the article:

...."Gun owners are not more suicidal than people who don’t own guns, but attempts with guns are more likely to be fatal.

Now, nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, unleashing a tide of economic dislocation and despair, experts are bracing for a rise in suicides."

Gun sales have risen steadily since March, and as shutdowns aimed at containing the virus have disrupted lives and led to social isolation, studies have shown an increase in anxiety and suicidal ideation. “So many people are struggling right now,” said Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor of social work who helped found the University of Washington’s Forefront Suicide Prevention center. “The indicators are that a perfect storm is about to hit.”

So, Democrat governors are MORE responsible for suicides, due to their lock downs, than inanimate objects.

Plus, let's look at the stats, firearms are only used in half of suicide attempts.

most-common-methods-of-death-by-suicide-

But, since the article link is from the NYT, why am I not surprised it's making gun owners the villains..... again?

 

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