NRA and suicide
While no one would say that the NRA encourages suicide, their acitons have had that affect. The NRA officials have gone far from the views of the majority of their members, even fighting for the rights of Terrorist Watch List members to buy guns - 3/4ths of their membership disagree. The NRA has last year pushed through a law with terrible consequences. Intended to protect rights, it has prevented the armed service mental health professionals from intervening to remove guns, or for that matter, even to ask about gun possession. The ability of the armed forces to deal effectively has been severally curtailed by a rights bill promoted by the NRA. The consequences of this law are unconscionable. It should be repealed. The law forbids commanders from being able to “collect or record any information” about private firearms owned by US troops living off base - unless a soldier states that he intends to harm with his private firearms.
Suicide is the most frequent cause of death among Army forces, surpassing combat deaths and motor vehicle accidents, according to Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of staff. From 2004 to 2009, the suicide rate within the force doubled.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, "That is an epidemic, something is wrong."
“I am not allowed to ask a soldier who lives off post whether that soldier has a privately owned weapon,” Gen. Peter Chiarelli, The Army’s No. 2 officer. Chiarelli is lamenting the law,Sec 1062, that the NRA successfully backed:
"To protect privacy and Second Amendment rights of military personnel, their families, and other DOD personnel: Section 1062 of the Act prohibits the Secretary of Defense from issuing any requirement, or collecting or recording any information, “relating to the otherwise lawful acquisition, possession, ownership, carrying, or other use of a privately owned firearm, privately owned ammunition, or another privately owned weapon by a member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense” on property not owned or operated by the DOD. It also requires, within 90 days, the destruction of any information of the type prohibited by the Act."
Not to sound like every Libertarian asshole on the Internet, but without guns, suicidal folks still have tall buildings, cars in garages, cars in general, poisons, edged weapons, tsuifuku etc to kill themselves. If too many soldiers are suicidal, the solution isn't to take away everything lethal from them because that's impossible.
NRA and suicide
1) regarding terrorist watch list, any sanction on an individual must include due process of law in my humble opinion. Unfortunately we have property seizures that occur before a criminal trial and are often not reversed after a failure to convict. So NRA protecting rights for a group not convicted is commendable.
2) the mental health issue is a tough one. I think the law may go too far but on the other hand it sounds like a classic safety vs freedom issue. Please state your ideas for rules and laws regarding mental health and gun ownership.
Don't forget the risk of avoiding mental health treatment for fear of losing rights and the stigma. I would guess the stigma is a bigger issue for the military.
I didn't realize that what I was reading may be old news - http://1mind4research.org/news/one-m...ple-us-defense
Chiarelli, whom I quoted as 2nd in command Army is now retired and he CEO of a group doing work for PTSD and other brain injuries.
Suicide is a difficult phenomenon—guns work extremely well, better than other methods. But of course, many suicide attempts are "signals" rather than dedicated attempts. People tend to choose less-often lethal methods when wanting to alert their friends and family that they are ill, and more-often lethal methods, such as the gun, when very serious about ending it.
Then again, there are some people who are just taken up in the moment with a powerful ideation and if a gun is present will grab it and shoot themselves, and if it's not they won't bother trying some more seemingly complex or tedious means, like finding enough drugs to OD on, or slashing one's arms and waiting.
But it does seem that most people who would use guns would also do whatever it takes to end their lives.
I think that suicide is an issue that shouldn't be mixed up with gun control. Being able to identify someone who is suicidal and act on that early is what would really make a difference. That and PTSD and TBI are going to be residual issues for all of our troops for a long time. That is where the focus should be, IMO.
There's literally no correlation between gun control and suicide. South Korea has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world, but has the highest suicide rate.
Romania has gun control laws that are just as strict, but has a higher suicide rate than the USA.
Scottish gun controls are tighter than England and Wales, but Scotland's suicide rate is astronomically higher, especially amongst young men.
The factors that make people want to kill themselves are a complex mix of cultural and economics and given the squillion ways a person can top themselves, gun laws have absolutely no impact on suicide rates.
If you believe in gun control the absolute last argument you should be advancing is suicide rates, because you're going to get demolished by the facts.
There are a lot of "facts" on each side of this debate. It's a tough one.
In the US...there have been several studies to show that the states with the highest firearm ownership rate also has the highest suicide rates. Similarly, households with guns in them are 5 times more likely to have a suicide in the house.
Furthermore...while many more people attempt suicide than successfully pull off a suicide...those who attempted with a gun are exponentially less likely to get that second shot at life.
Here is a relevant article on the subject: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0805923
In the interest of fairness, I should mention that although I spoke against guns being a prime cause of suicide, the 2 people I know who killed themselves did so with guns.
People who are suicidal are still capable of rational decision making, if you are determined to kill yourself and there's a gun in the house it's the most logical way of killing yourself.
Originally Posted by Southpaw
However, there's no relationship, between gun ownership laws and suicide.
In the UK, due to pretty strict gun control, 74% of all suicides are committed either by hanging or poisoning because these are the easier and more logical choices it's easier to get some rope/ pills from a pharmacist than get a shotgun licence.
In the UK 7 out of every 100,000 people commit suicide yet in the US it's 12 out of every 100,000. South Korea and Japan, which are much stricter on gun control than the UK are 32 and 24 respectively. And to show that the economic and cultural factors are not purely Asian, Romania has the same suicide rate as the US despite incredibly strict gun laws.
Trying to argue against international statistics with inter-state ones is fundamentally flawed, because your US State 1 could have super tight gun laws, but neighboring US state 2 could have incredibly lax ones and it's trivial to move guns across US state lines in comparison to moving them across countries borders.
So the only way to truly study the relationship between gun laws and suicides is to look at countries and preferably islands/cut off countries which make gun smuggling difficult in which respect the UK, Japan and South Korea are perfect examples because in all three cases the only reasonable way in, is by sea and so gun smuggling is difficult and more complex than going from US state to US state.