My View: Guns Don’t Make Us Safer

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gun-controlThis week, lost in the furor over the Boston Marathon Bombings and the captivating manhunt on Thursday night and Friday, was the fact that Senators caved on simple legislation that nearly 90 percent of the population, including many members of the NRA, support: background checks.

While Senators gave way to cowardice, the city of Davis was torn asunder by a gruesome double-murder of respected citizens.  While police seem to have few leads at this time, from the facts that exist, a reasonable theory was that this was a burglary that went bad, that the burglar or burglars broke into the Cowell Blvd residence and were surprised to find the occupants at home, and the burglar then brutally stabbed the occupants.

This is all speculation and we could be 100 percent wrong here, but for the purposes of this discussion, forget about what we know or don’t know.  This triggers a lengthy debate over whether the occupants, and citizens in general, should arm themselves… just in case the unlikely occurs.

For starters, let me say, I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool gun control advocate.  I see the idea that we can ban guns as similar to the failed idea of drug interdiction efforts.  Guns are too ingrained in the American cultural experience to reasonably ban them.

At the same time, I think gun advocates have too broadly interpreted the Second Amendment.   The First Amendment is very clear in its language that “Congress shall pass NO LAW,” and even there, the courts have carved out exceptions for things like liability, defamation, threats, even obscenity.  The Second Amendment simply states that “the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Few people seem opposed to the idea that felons lose their right to own weapons, but the debate turns to how far we should go to determine someone is a felon before they can purchase a weapon.  And the NRA seems to take the untenable position that we simply should not check people’s background before they purchase a weapon.

I go further than background checks, and believe we ought to regulate guns like we regulate automobiles.

While I am loathe to allow the government to control who has access to what weapons, I am also not a believer that an armed society is a safer society.  Police and military personnel are well-trained, not only in the use of weapons, but also in the rules of engagement and the law.  And yet, in chaotic times, they make mistakes.

The public does not have that training.  We see what mistakes the public can make when crowd-sourcing efforts to find the Boston Marathon Bombers led to the exposure of innocent people who were then published in New York newspapers and tabloids as suspects.

The more weapons that society has, the more people who are less trained, use less common sense, and have access to weapons.  The more people with access to weapons, the lower the common denominator.

In a chaotic situation, I fear that people will shoot first and ask questions later.  Not all people.  But enough people that I would prefer to take my chances that I will never be in a situation where there is a mass shooter, rather than my chances every day that some unstable person, whose background we never bothered to check, will be carrying a weapon and will either make a reasoned decision that they need to shoot or get caught up in the chaos of the moment.

To get back to our debate from earlier this week, I am not a believer that most people can utilize their weapon to thwart an intruder while storing it safely for the 99.9999 percent of the time when they won’t need it.

A new study by the Violence Policy Center finds that “guns are rarely used to kill criminals or stop crimes.”

The report, Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use (http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf), provides national data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

VPC Executive Director and study co-author Josh Sugarmann states, “The idea that ordinary citizens need access to extraordinary firepower in order to adequately defend themselves against criminals has become the default argument against a federal assault weapons ban and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines. This new data exposes the fallacy of such arguments and clearly demonstrates that the frequency with which guns are used in self-defense in the real world has nothing in common with pro-gun assertions that firearms are used millions of times each year to kill criminals or stop crimes. In fact, a gun is far more likely to be stolen than used in self-defense.”

Among the key findings is included that, in 2010, there were only 230 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm while there were 8275 criminal gun homicides.

In 2010, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 36 criminal homicides. And as the report notes, “This ratio does not take into account the thousands of lives ended in gun suicides (19,392) or unintentional shootings (606) that year.”

Moreover, from 2007 to 20011, “In only 0.8 percent of these instances did the intended victim in resistance to a criminal engage in a self-protective behavior that involved a firearm. For the five-year period 2007 through 2011, the National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that there were 29,618,300 victims of attempted or completed violent crimes. During this same five-year period, only 235,700 of the self-protective behaviors involved a firearm.”

The report also finds, “For victims of both attempted and completed property crimes, for the five-year period 2007 through 2011 in only 0.1 percent of these instances did the intended victim in resistance to a criminal engage in a self-protective behavior that involved a firearm.”

Finally, they find that the total number of self-protective behaviors involving a firearm by victims totaled just 338,700 –  “the gun lobby claims that during the same five-year period guns were used 12.5 million times in self-defense.”

In 2010, 35.7 percent (82 of 230) of persons killed in a firearm justifiable homicide were known to the shooter, 56.5 percent (130) were strangers, and in 7.8 percent (18) the relationship was unknown.

The study concludes, “The idea that firearms are frequently used in self-defense is the primary argument that the gun lobby and firearms industry use to expand the carrying of firearms into an ever-increasing number of public spaces and even to prevent the regulation of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Yet this argument is hollow and the assertions false. When analyzing the most reliable data available, what is most striking is that in a nation of more than 300 million guns, how rarely firearms are used in self-defense.”

To me, the key is this.  On an annual basis, just about 60,000 times a year a gun is used for self-defense.  However, at the same time, about 230,000 guns are stolen each year.  So if you own a gun, it is far more likely that it will be stolen or used for suicide or be accidentally discharged than you’ll ever use it against the guy trying to break into your home.

There are good reasons for that that were never really disputed or debunked during the earlier debate.  Proper storage of weapons means that they must be locked up so that they can’t be readily stolen or a child cannot get ahold of them accidentally.

All of the steps that one takes to ensure against theft or accidental usage means that it is far less likely that you can reach your weapon in time to stop an intruder.

Personally, I do not have a problem if someone wishes to have a weapon for the purpose of self-defense in the home.  I think that is their right.  But at the same time, I think there are better ways we can protect our homes, including locking the doors, closing the downstairs windows, and even having an alarm or surveillance system.

These measures are likely far more effective.  As we know from the recent rash of burglaries, burglars are looking primarily for low-hanging fruit, easy access, and a quick and easy escape route.  So, while it is not the case that no burglary involved an actual break-in, most were through unlocked doors and open windows.

These are dangerous, but preventable.  There is a lot of complacency in this town.

That is precisely why the police issued the statement in February: “The Davis Police Department continues to urge people to take these preventative measures to lessen the chances of being victimized: Make sure all windows, doors, garages, side gates, etc. are closed and locked when not in use. It is also suggested, keeping doors locked when you are home.”

They wrote: “This point has been repeated many times before, but DPD continues to see a high number of unlocked entry points among our residential burglaries.”

The police added, “Report any suspicious activity such as persons walking or driving up and down your street, checking for unlocked doors and/or looking in windows, backyards or vehicles. Vehicles ‘cruising’ your neighborhood at very slow speeds or sitting in a vehicle for extended periods can also be signs of suspicious activity.”

You will also note one thing that the police did not say – they did not say they urge citizens to arm themselves.  In fact, I have yet to see a police agency make that recommendation.

For most people in a community like Davis, taking reasonable measures will avoid most problems of this sort.  Exceptions do happen and tragedies do occur, but the odds are far more likely that the gun you purchase will be used improperly than it will be there and available to thwart an intruder.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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166 thoughts on “My View: Guns Don’t Make Us Safer”

  1. medwoman

    GI

    My view: Your guns don’t make me safer. So please keep them inside your house. And please notify potential visitors in advance that you have guns so that they can keep their children and themselves out of your house.

    It’s a simple matter of respect for others views on safety.

  2. Growth Izzue

    [quote]It’s a simple matter of respect for others views on safety. [/quote]

    You also need to respect my views and my right to own a gun and protect myself and my family.

  3. David M. Greenwald

    GI: You don’t have data to back up your contention that you are safer. You may feel safer, but it could be a false sense of security.

  4. SouthofDavis

    Growth Izzue wrote:

    > My View: Guns make me safer, don’t ever
    > try breaking into my house.

    Then medwoman wrote:

    My view: Your guns don’t make me safer.

    medwoman is wrong and Gwowth Izzue’s and my guns do make her safer…

    Since I know that most Davis propel freak out when they even hear about a gun we don’t tell anyone we own guns (don’t worry about any kids getting to them since they are in a $2,000+ gun safe that is bolted to the foundation and the house that is kept out of sight in a locked closet).

    An example of how my gun would make medwoman safer is that if she was visiting friends on Cowell last week and I was living next door and heard screams I would throw my shoulder rig on and go over to see if everything was OK. If I saw a guy with a knife standing over the bloody bodies of two old people heading toward medwoman I would tell him to drop the knife and raise his hands. If he doped the knife we would call 911 and wait for the cops to take him away and if he didn’t drop the knife we would call 911 and wait for the coroner to take him away.

    P.S. Like most gun owners I have never pulled a gun on any person or ever shot a living thing (aka I’ve never went hunting to kill animals) and in the last 20 years I’ve only touched my guns a couple times a year but I’m amazed at that I’m still nearly as good a shot as I was when I was active in competitive slow fire pistol shooting in HS and college (and also spent a lot of time playing around at the range with a .22 rifle and doing bench rest shooting with the .308 at 100 and 200 yards)…

  5. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > GI: You don’t have data to back up your contention
    > that you are safer. You may feel safer, but it could
    > be a false sense of security.

    Responsible people that know how to use a gun (that are not suicidal) are safer with a gun (if people were safer without guns the police and military would not carry them)…

    P.S. The Wikipedia says: “The US Department of Justice reports that approximately 60% of all adult firearm deaths are by suicide”…

  6. Growth Izzue

    David, I know what I’m doing and how to safely use a gun and keep it secured in my house but at the same time have quick access to it so you’re flat out wrong saying that I’m not safer. If anyone tries to break into my house by the time they get in I’ll in almost every instance be able to get to my firearm in time. I agree that there are some people thatshould never own a gun, but there are people that shouldn’t own many things. Heck, many shouldn’t be driving a car.

  7. David M. Greenwald

    “Responsible people that know how to use a gun (that are not suicidal) are safer with a gun”

    Current policies don’t discriminate between responsible and irresponsible people with guns.

  8. Growth Izzue

    [quote]“The US Department of Justice reports that approximately 60% of all adult firearm deaths are by suicide”… [/quote]

    Guns don’t cause suicide. If one is going to do themselves in then they’ll find a way to do it whether it’s a gun, sleeping pills or whatever.

    How many times have the fact that someone might own a gun stopped a potential robbery, home invasion, etc. You won’t find that in the statistics.

  9. hpierce

    [quote]believe we ought to regulate guns like we regulate automobiles[/quote]I may be mistaken, but I don’t think you need a driver’s license to buy a car.

    Medwoman: does your sentiment of not visiting someone’s home if a gun is on-premises include those who have their weapons stored, unloaded, in gun safes, and/or all weapons have trigger locks? If so, seems like over-kill (pun intended).

    Dad and I loved to target shoot with rifles (single shot) and pistols (9 round clip, max). Dad did not own a gun, and did not want one in our house, as we didn’t shoot very often, and for a more important reason… in a burglary, the pros don’t carry weapons… the punishment (and charges) faced if you are apprehended, are greatly higher if you carry a weapon, than if you don’t… therefore, a burglar would likely only get a gun if one was present in the house (assuming no trigger lock/gun safe).

    Before I bought a gun, or concurrently, I would take a gun safety class (irony is that the NRA provides this more than any other entity, and they are “stickers”). In addition, I’d keep my weapon unloaded, and have either trigger locks or a locked gun case.

    As I understand it, if one is afraid about home invasions, and wanted a weapon, the weapon of choice would be a shotgun. If you are awakened by an intruder, and they did not run off when you tell them they’ve called the police, there is a much better chance that you would be able to hit them enough to disable their threat, rather than with a weapon that requires more accuracy in aiming (remember, you were awoken from a dream that included (never mind, won’t finish that thought).

    I strongly support WELL ENFORCED background checks… convicted criminals should not be allowed to buy (including gun shows, private sales, etc.)… those with a history of mental illness should not, either. If someone who is suicidal, and overdoses can be saved (often). Those who put a weapon in their mouth, or otherwise aim at their head, not so much. In the overdose case, the person may start realizing that the act was a bad idea, could seek intervention, get their stomach pumped, etc.

  10. Growth Izzue

    hpierce, are you saying that guns are a problem for suicide because it’s quicker? If that’s the case then we have a huge problem with tall buildings, the Golden Gate Bridge, trains, ropes…..

  11. medwoman

    GI

    Let’s take your scenario played out a little differently. You hear me screaming but can’t quite make out the words. You grab your weapon and head to my house. In the meantime my partner has grabbed our gun,
    which you didn’t know we owned, sees the armed intruder, you, and kills you. We’re either of us made safer.

    Please don’t get me wrong. I respect your right to own a gun for your own protection. For your own protection and mine, if you think I am in troue, please call 911 and leave your weapon at home. I do not want it in mine.

  12. Matt Williams

    I don’t own a gun and have no interest in owning a gun. I learned how to shoot reasonably well in my youth, but I’m also aware that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing . . . especially in this case. SouthofDavis is clearly beyond the little bit of knowledge stage. Who knows with Growth Izzue. Medwoman’s suggestion to please keep the guns inside your house is one I wholeheartedly support.

    I fall short of notifying potential visitors in advance that you have guns. Register them? Yes. Force people to wear a scarlet “G” seems counterproductive to me. Put in perspective, the same day as the Boston bombings, drunk drivers probably killed and maimed as many people around the US. That fact Just never gets into the national media. Drunk drivers killed 3-4 times as many people the same year as died in the Twin Towers. We as a society have made a very conscious decision that we can live with drunks on our roads. At the risk of falling into a “two wrongs don’t make a right” logical trap, does our acceptance that we can survive drunk killers mean we can also survive the occasional crazy terrorist bomber or nut case gunman?

    David Lazarus wrote the following article at the end of 2001 in the San Francisco Chronicle that resonated for me. It still does.

    [i][b]America gets rude introduction to world everybody else lives in[/b]

    This was the year of living helplessly.

    From rolling blackouts and soaring energy costs to the ghastly Sept. 11 attacks, 2001 will be remembered as much as anything for the frustration felt by ordinary folk in grappling with circumstances well beyond their control.

    To find out recently, as we did, that the economy in fact was in a recession for most of the year only adds a kick in the teeth to the whole sorry 12 months.

    Yet I remain optimistic. The energy crisis is behind us (and will stay that way, fingers crossed), the roundup of Osama bin Laden and his henchmen continues, and all the prognosticators seem to agree that the economy is headed for recovery around the middle of 2002.

    I’d go so far as to suggest that a really nasty year like this one offers the perverse plus of shaking us loose from our made-in-America complacency. It reminds us that we are very much inhabitants of an all-too-unpredictable world.

    It’s easy to forget that. Our nation is so powerful, and so bountiful, that at times it seems as though we live on a different planet from those scary places that comprise the background static of CNN — places where hunger, thirst, sickness and other horrors are so wretchedly commonplace.

    And look at us now: blackouts . . . terrorism . . . recession. This was the year America joined the Third World.

    Feelings of helplessness stem primarily from this strange and unexpected juxtaposition of great wealth and great turmoil. We are, after all, the sole remaining superpower, as we have been told countless times by a global media utterly enamored and repulsed by our unique standing.

    Suddenly, we find ourselves looking skyward and wondering what could possibly come next. And the mere fact that we even ask the question underlines the uncharacteristic vulnerability that has become a part of our daily existence.

    Terrorism is frightening — the whole point of the exercise, of course — but there’s a randomness to it that, no matter how epic the nature of the attack, still makes one think, “Well, what are the odds of that happening to me?”

    For this reason, I believe the California energy crisis best captured the gnawing sense of futility that defined 2001.

    With rolling blackouts, we all received a number from PG&E, like standing in line at the deli. When your number came up, the lights went out, sometimes for an hour, sometimes longer.

    There was nothing you could do about it except wait your turn, be as prepared as possible, and then hope power would be restored before the milk in the fridge went bad.

  13. Matt Williams

    (continued …)

    [iOh, there were reasons for the blackouts — insufficient supply, freak weather, sneaky energy companies — but what difference did it make? One day you had juice, the next you didn’t. End of story.

    The sour economy also reinforced feelings of helplessness. It was bad — we all knew it was bad. The tsunami of layoffs in Silicon Valley made clear that this was no mere “slowdown,” as the pundits had been calling things until a darker word came into view.
    But this recession was different. It was like a flu that wouldn’t subside. After a while, you just shrugged and went about your business, ill but not incapacitated.

    The deep thinkers told us in November, eight months after the fact, that the economy had been in a recession since March, which I suppose was good to know but didn’t really change a thing. Maybe if things improve by mid-2002, as expected, we’ll find out officially by early 2003.

    And maybe by then we’ll be able to once again seriously discuss certain matters without being labeled a traitor (or worse).

    Is George W. Bush really president? A major media study concluded that maybe he is, if you counted votes one way, and maybe he isn’t, if you counted them another.

    But in a time of war, the issue was deemed inappropriate (I hate it when questions of democratic process get in the way of our elections) and was banished from polite conversation.

    Remember Chandra Levy? Stem cells? Safeguarding Social Security? Drilling for oil in Alaskan wildlife refuges? How about good old-fashioned civil liberties?

    We don’t talk about those things anymore. Or if we do, it’s not with any meaningful sense of purpose.

    It’s been that kind of year.

    Sometimes, especially of late, I catch myself feeling afraid — for myself, my family, the nation — and I don’t like it.

    In a time of powerlessness, we learn to live with our fears. We do not confront them. We do not overcome them.

    Perhaps the greatest damage caused by this year of living helplessly is a lingering sense of resignation that this is how things must be from now on — or, as people were recently so fond of saying, nothing will ever be the same.

    I don’t accept that. We may not be able to control the world around us — 2001 has made that much abundantly clear — but we can control our response to the unexpected, and we can rise above the misfortunes we encounter.

    What will the New Year bring? Who can say? But I do know we can either shape our destinies or be shaped by them.

    For 2002, I choose the former.[/i]

    It’s very possible that the Boston Marathon bombers were refugees who found themselves as alienated in America as they were by the Russians and saw the Christian West as enemy, no friends, no sense of belonging, no hope.

    People forget that terrorism isn’t something new, Conrad wrote a great novel about it, “The Secret Agent.” Written in 1907. Boston experienced its first act of terrorism in 1773.

  14. hpierce

    [quote] If I saw a guy with a knife standing over the bloody bodies of two old people heading toward medwoman I would tell him to drop the knife and raise his hands. If he doped the knife we would call 911 and wait for the cops to take him away and if he didn’t drop the knife we would call 911 and wait for the coroner to take him away. [/quote]OK… if he froze, posed no immediate threat to you or others, but still held the knife, you wouldn’t call 911 (that should have been done before you armed yourself given the scenario you presented)? If he froze, still holding the knife, would you shoot to kill (you imply this)? Sounds like you’d like to be judge, jury and executioner. Give up your guns. For your own sake. If you were not threatened, he did what he did. I’d hope charges would be brought against you, and if I was a juror, I’d hope that the charges would be 2nd degree murder, and I’d have no problem voting for GUILTY AS CHARGED. Then, you’d never be able to own a gun again.

    I make a huge distinction between Southofdavis’ scenario, and having someone in my home, presenting an imminent threat to me or my family.

  15. Matt Williams

    medwoman said . . .

    [i]”GI, Let’s take your scenario played out a little differently. You hear me screaming but can’t quite make out the words. You grab your weapon and head to my house. In the meantime my partner has grabbed our gun, which you didn’t know we owned, sees the armed intruder, you, and kills you. Were either of us made safer?

    Please don’t get me wrong. I respect your right to own a gun for your own protection. For your own protection and mine, if you think I am in trouble, please call 911 and leave your weapon at home. I do not want it in mine.”[/i]

    I wholeheartedly agree. GI has outlined a scenario that goes far beyond [u]gun ownership for personal protection[/u] and incorporates being a vigilante. The telephone is the most effective personal protection device in the scenario where a neighbor’s life appears to be threatened.

  16. Frankly

    Suicide and gun ownership do not correlate, just as mass murder and gun ownership do not correlate.

    The US is 34th on the list for the number of suicides. Japan has the strictest gun ownership laws on the planet, and yet it is #10 on the list and has almost twice the suicide rate. Even uber-liberal-can’t-own-a-gun France is 24th on the list.

    I find these two graphics very interesting. Suicide numbers do not correlate with gun ownership per capita.

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/suicide.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/gunownership.jpg[/img]

    Guns are only one method of suicide. For women especially, we should be focused on other methods if we really want to reduce their suicide numbers:

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/suicidemethod.jpg[/img]

    More importantly though, guns are not the root cause of either suicide or mass murder. Mental and emotional health are the root causes that we should be focused on. I think those that use suicide and mass murder as cudgels for their anti-gun crusade should be ashamed of themselves. They should be ashamed for exploiting terrible personal tragedies to promoter their own ideological and social agenda on others. They should also be ashamed because falsely attacking gun ownership as the cause takes attention away from us focusing on the true root causes of mental and emotional health. We would have accomplished much more in terms of real solutions if, instead of the failed gun control legislation, Congress had passed legislation to help states improve the availability and delivery of mental/emotional health services.

    As for the recent failure of the Senate to pass this latest attempt at greater gun control… Here is the lesson for libs, Dems, and gun control activists… Stop attacking, belittling and denigrating lawful gun owners. You lost this attempt for greater control over the Constitutional right to bear arms because you made it a class war. You enlisted the Hollywood elite… The same that enflame our gun culture with copious scenes of gun violence. You made fun of gun owners. You took a position of superiority. Until you learn to treat all humans with the same dignity and respect that you demand for people of only certain qualified victim’s groups, you will not get our support. You lost because of your poor behavior. So as you taste those sour grapes of defeat, please do so looking in the mirror.

  17. hpierce

    [quote]hpierce, are you saying that guns are a problem for suicide because it’s quicker? If that’s the case then we have a huge problem with tall buildings, the Golden Gate Bridge, trains, ropes….. [/quote]Yes that’s true. Someone in davis, feeling suicidal, would have a lot of thinking time to get to the GG bridge, would have to find a place to park, and defeat the security cameras and suicide net. Same for tall buildings. Look at the percentage of suicides committed by GG jumping, tall building jumping, suicide by train… suspect in total, accounts for less than 0.01 % of suicides. Probably more die of suicide by cop, when you combine the others. When was the last time you heard of someone committing suicide from a bridge, tall building, train (inebriated death by train shouldn’t count)?

    So, GI, let’s turn this around… have to assume you are adamantly opposed to waiting periods and/or background checks, and even if those were imposed, you’d favor giving guns to folks with MH histories that include suicidal tendencies. You’re a hell of a nice person. Keeps them out of our hospitals and MH services, so that should cut down costs to taxpayers. Cost effective… nice.

    BTW, in 99% of the cases, it is true that guns don’t kill people……….. ammunition is another story. I’d be fine if guns were free, but there would need to be strong controls over the sale of ammunition

  18. Growth Izzue

    [quote]I wholeheartedly agree. GI has outlined a scenario that goes far beyond gun ownership for personal protection and incorporates being a vigilante. [/quote]

    I think Matt and Medwoman should [b]REREAD[/b] the above posts then they might realize that it was SOD and not me that presented that scenario.

  19. hpierce

    I still see no cogent reason for NOT implementing WELL ENFORCED waiting periods and background checks. I also see no cogent reason NOT to forbid auto-rifles and/or 50 round clips. If you need over 9 rounds to bring down Bambi or a home intruder, you should give up hunting or buy a shotgun (double barrel OK by me).

  20. Jack Easley

    You have to quote the whole Second Amendment in order to understand the meaning, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,”
    Even then our founders knew that an armed population is the best way to keep the country free. I have long wondered if the push to disarm the people is backed ultimately by people that would change our Republic to something far less popular.
    Jack Easley

  21. Frankly

    [i]I still see no cogent reason for NOT implementing WELL ENFORCED waiting periods and background checks.[/i]

    I agree.

    [i]I also see no cogent reason NOT to forbid auto-rifles and/or 50 round clips.[/i]

    I disagree. You can make a functioning 50-round clip with a $1500 3D printer. The price and quality of these devices will keep improving until every Tom, Dick and Harry can make their own with no problem. Restricting the size of ammo clips is a waste of effort.

    The reason that the legislation failed is that people in rural areas were pissed off at how they were characterized by the media, Hollywood and Democrats. They are still pissed off. Until the demonization of legal gun owners stops, they will fight all control legislation… even legislation that makes sense. Because, the demonization illustrates to them that the push is ideological more than it is truly for safety reasons.

  22. Growth Izzue

    [quote]It’s very possible that the Boston Marathon bombers were refugees who found themselves as alienated in America as they were by the Russians and saw the Christian West as enemy, no friends, no sense of belonging, no hope.
    [/quote]

    Excuse me if I don’t really feel a lot empathy for the poor little bombers.

  23. Growth Izzue

    By the way, I thought we weren’t allowed to post entire articles on this website due to copyright infringements, only links or excerpts from the article.

  24. Don Shor

    [i]”The reason that the legislation failed is that people in rural areas were pissed off…”
    [/i]No, the reason that it failed to come to a vote was because of the continued abuse of the filibuster in the Senate.
    It had majority support in the polls and in the Senate.

  25. David M. Greenwald

    “By the way, I thought we weren’t allowed to post entire articles on this website due to copyright infringements, only links or excerpts from the article.”

    That is correct. Hopefully Don can edit Matt’s post because I was at my daughter’s soccer game and now downtown.

  26. JustSaying

    “The reason that the legislation failed is that people in rural areas were pissed off at how they were characterized by the media, Hollywood and Democrats. They are still pissed off. Until the demonization of legal gun owners stops, they will fight all control legislation… even legislation that makes sense.”

    You may have something here. My question is how such a tiny minority was able to pull it off in a democracy.

    Legislation “that makes sense,” that essentially has passed Supreme Court scrutiny, that is supported by an overwhelming majority of citizens–how could the House completely avoid any action and the Senate abide a successful filibuster by a minority of its members. (More votes were cast for measures that would loosen restrictions, measures that only the lobbyists knew were even under consideration.)

    Money and the NRA scorecard system seem to have ruled the day. When 90+% of the population cannot work its will about guns through sensible legislation, maybe the path of least resistance is a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the 2nd Amendment that has provided a thin fiction of cover for the gun industry and its lobby.

  27. Don Shor

    [i] My question is how such a tiny minority was able to pull it off in a democracy. [/i]

    It would have passed the Senate except for the filibuster. It would have passed the House with a majority of Democrats and a minority of Republican, except for the Hastert Rule.
    Republicans, with a small amount of support from gun-state Democrats, blocked it.

  28. AdRemmer

    An opinion piece “reported” — concerning guns, laws, control and the like.

    Yet…no mention of issues such as:

    Has there ever been 1 individual to present convincing, credible, verifiable, hard, evidence that tighter gun control laws have in fact reduced murders?

    The rates, impact, history etcetera relative to Chicago or Washington DC.

    Di-Fi’s AWB ..for example, DOJ found that the 1994 ban: “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, ….”

    Data such as, between 1995 & 2011, the number of AR-15s—all models of which Feinstein’s bill defined as “assault weapons” rose by over 2.5 million. During the same period, the nation’s murder rate fell 48 percent, to a 48-year low.

    to name a few

  29. Matt Williams

    Growth Izzue said . . .

    [i]”Excuse me if I don’t really feel a lot empathy for the poor little bombers.”[/i]

    No empathy required. The reason the comment was made is that they may be much more like the Sandy Hook Elementary bomber than like the Twin Towers bombers.

  30. Growth Izzue

    [quote]
    The reason the comment was made is that they may be much more like the Sandy Hook Elementary bomber than like the Twin Towers bombers. [/quote]

    Um, the one brother, Tamerlan, was a an extremist Muslim and was “posting more radical jihadist YouTube videos and started becoming more of a fundamentalist Muslim,” Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC News Friday.” Sounds to me like they were very much like the Twin Tower bombers.

  31. B. Nice

    Increased gun ownership does not seem a good way to decrease gun violence. Instead it will lead to an increase in the number of people killed by guns. Just like an increase in the number of people owning cars lead to an increase in the number of people killed in car accidents.

    Does that mean that we should ban either? No. But there are ways to make them both safer.

    I do not think tighter gun restrictions will help in cases of mass shootings, but I do believe it would help decrease the smaller scale incidents of deadly gun violence that occur everyday in this country.

    Our government regulates so many things in attempt to keep people safer, food, water, cars, even children’s pajamas. I do not understand why there is so much push back to regulating deadly weapons that are responsible for so many deaths.

  32. B. Nice

    [quote]Growth Izzue

    04/20/13 – 08:35 AM

    I agree that there are some people thatshould never own a gun, but there are people that shouldn’t own many things. Heck, many shouldn’t be driving a car.[/quote]

    You need a to pass a test to obtain a license to drive a car. This license can be revoked if you prove to be an unsafe driver. What’s wrong with holding gun ownership this same standard?

  33. medwoman

    hpierce

    [quote]Medwoman: does your sentiment of not visiting someone’s home if a gun is on-premises include those who have their weapons stored, unloaded, in gun safes, and/or all weapons have trigger locks? If so, seems like over-kill (pun intended). [/quote]

    My sentiment certainly did apply to my children not being allowed to visit in any home with a gun on the premises, regardless of where it was typically kept. The problem is, that every gun owner I have ever known believed that they managed their weapons safely. However, every gun owner I have known ( which is many including my own father since I grew up rurally ) did not meet the standard which I would consider acceptable, namely every weapon unloaded and kept securely locked at all times. I saw too many times, in too many homes guns being taken down ( they were usually kept in mounted racks where I grew up) for cleaning or in preparation for use while children were present in the home to believe that this does not happen. So, overkill or not, I asked all of my children’s friends parents if there was a gun in the home. If so, their children were always welcome in my home, or at a neutral play spot, but never in their home. I also never had a parent appear upset by this question, and a few even thanked me.

    As an adult, I will take my chances. But I have seen too much behavior with guns from people who were law abiding, but either careless, stupid, inadequately trained, or showing off, to believe someone who claims they are responsible with their weapon unless I personally have seen them in action with their weapon.

  34. B. Nice

    [quote]
    hpierce

    04/20/13 – 08:46 AM

    I may be mistaken, but I don’t think you need a driver’s license to buy a car.[/quote]

    Vehicles need to registered.

  35. craised

    Hmmm…. I would like to offer my own philosophical and theoretical view of why we ought to have access to all the things California liberals want to ban. It has to do with balance of power, which I think the 2nd amendment was meant to do. The right for citizen to own weapons is essentially to deter despotism and totalitarian government when all other avenues fail.
    By having the ability to arm ourselves without governmental RESTRICTIONS and KNOWLEDGE, we can, if needed, rise up against an unjust government. I know I am going down a slippery slope but as the people are willing to give up their rights for a small measure of false safety, we move closer to a police states.
    1st, we gave up rights as Americans because of 9/11 w/ all the airport security, invasion of privacy, laws taking away rights as Americans if they deem you a terrorist.
    Now, with the recent events, more and more Americans are saying “i want the government to protect me”. this is so sad. Where’s the sense of self-reliance, where’s the ideal of individualism and self-determination.

  36. Davis Progressive

    ” I would like to offer my own philosophical and theoretical view of why we ought to have access to all the things California liberals want to ban.”

    you’ve created a strawman argument here since no one in this discussion has talked about banning anything.

  37. JustSaying

    “The right for citizen to own weapons is essentially to deter despotism and totalitarian government when all other avenues fail.”

    Source, please.

    “1st, we gave up rights as Americans because of 9/11 w/ all the airport security, invasion of privacy, laws taking away rights as Americans if they deem you a terrorist.”

    And, add to your list: invasions into two countries that had nothing (or almost nothing in the case of Afghanistan), a decade of war, assassinations by drone in other “friendly” countries, Federal torture of prisoners, etc.–we’ve spent billions going down your slippery slope since 9/11. So, what are you going to do about it? All the guns in the hands of all the militia members haven’t a prayer of turning around the sad route we’ve taken in the past ten years. What’s the point in buying even more weapons that only end up being the instruments of death for 30,000 or so mostly innocent citizens each year?

  38. B. Nice

    [quote]…
    Hmmm…. I would like to offer my own philosophical and theoretical view of why we ought to have access to all the things California liberals want to ban. It has to do with balance of power, which I think the 2nd amendment was meant to do. The right for citizen to own weapons is essentially to deter despotism and totalitarian government when all other avenues fail.
    By having the ability to arm ourselves without governmental RESTRICTIONS and KNOWLEDGE, we can, if needed, rise up against an unjust government [/quote]

    I think Debra DeAngelo addressed this issue well in her piece in the April 14th column in the Enterprise, “Could we Have a Conversation about Guns with out Fist or Pompoms”. Here is a quote from the article.

    “For the purposes of this argument, I’m tossing out all the folks who get excited over the Second Amendment and obsess about the big bad government taking all their guns away so they can’t defend themselves when the government comes to take all their guns away. I just can’t include this level of paranoia in a rational discussion. It’s this simple: No matter how many weapons you’ve stockpiled, you’re no match for the U.S. military.”

  39. Growth Izzue

    [quote]I think Debra DeAngelo addressed this issue [/quote]

    As soon as you mention anything Debra DeAngelo has ever said you’ve lost the argument.

  40. B. Nice

    [quote]As soon as you mention anything Debra DeAngelo has ever said you’ve lost the argument.[/quote]

    It’s too bad you feel that way, because I think she makes a point worthy of discussion. (I’m not familiar with DeAngelo’s work, I did read this piece because it addressed an issue I’m interested in )

    The point being that “no matter how many weapons you stockpile you’re no match for the U.S. Military”.

    I’m sure gun advocates who claim that, “The right for citizen to own weapons is essentially to deter despotism and totalitarian government when all other avenues fail. By having the ability to arm ourselves without governmental RESTRICTIONS and KNOWLEDGE, we can, if needed, rise up against an unjust government” have thought about this argument and have a response to it.

    To gain better perspective and understanding of this issue I would like to hear this response.

  41. pure3d2

    [i]You may have something here. My question is how such a [b]tiny minority[/b] was able to pull it off in a [b]democracy[/b]. [/i]

    JustSaying, do you realize that we don’t live in a democracy right? We’re a Constitutional Republic! Just because the media keeps referring to America as a democracy, does not make it so.

    The goal of a Constitutional Republic was to avoid the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy but what exists in America today is a far cry from the Constitutional Republic our forefathers brought forth.

  42. JustSaying

    “JustSaying, do you realize that we don’t live in a democracy right?”

    Yeah, I took civics too. My question remains: “How did such a tiny minority of our citizens pull off the Senate and House spectacle in our representative democracy, or republic?” We didn’t vote these representatives in to ignore our wishes so blatantly. Don suggests it’s due to the Republicans abuse of the filibuster and Hastert rules. I think it’s because our republic has turned into a plutocracy, fully funded in this case by the gun industry. But, thanks for the reminder of what we used to be.

  43. David M. Greenwald

    “The goal of a Constitutional Republic was to avoid the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy but what exists in America today is a far cry from the Constitutional Republic our forefathers brought forth.”

    For better and for worse

  44. gunguru

    First off since 2004 there has been a steady rise in gun sales with a steady fall in gun murders. Suicide is on the rise but actual murder numbers are down from fire arms. Sources http://www.fbi.gov/ and http://www.cdc.gov/. The fact that they DO make us safer comes directly from England and Australia. Both countries after creating gun control legislation say massive up turns that continue to this day in violent crimes that are not 5 times what it is in the US per-capita. The US is 103 in violent crimes in the world with England and Australia only 2nd and 3rd to South Africa. Source.. every ting from Wikipedia to the daily UK to you name it isn’t a big secret.

    No state in the united states has a law that you must register your car. You can buy a car with out a license in all 50 states. You don’t need insurance, drivers training or even over 18. (don’t believe me find out for yourself). If you want me to register my guns then I want the same abilities as a registered car. I want to use it/take it anywhere, take it across state lines, have it out in public, let anyone I see fit borrow it, buy anyone I want and have as many as I want. No waiting period, back ground check to purchase or own (just like a car) and put as much stuff on it as I want. Since you will not agree to that then I don’t have to register my guns.

    The reason the legislation died is there are many more gun owners then in the NRA. 50 million people own firearms in the US maybe even more. Source again FBI. Senators have been inundated with calls to NOT vote for more gun control and they listened to their constituents. THAT is why it failed and it would have never passed the house anyway. Obama is mad because he can’t blame the big bad Republicans for it. More mad then Sandy hook or the latest bombing combined.

    Debra DeAngelo is an idiot. The US armed forces couldn’t beat back 30,000 insurgents because they can’t tell them from the civilians and that would be the same here BUT there would be 100 times more of them. There is no way that the combined fighting force of 700,000 with 20k total armored vehicles and 20k planes could take on a force of civilians the likes the US can produce. That isn’t take any consideration to the fact that many in the armed forces will not fire on US civilians. There would be heavy casualties but it would still be a lost cause for our elected officials. I hope to god it never comes to that though. Sources for this rant… again take your pick there are hundreds.

    Ok rant over, soap box is clear… Sam, Tango, Frank, Union, out.

  45. Don Shor

    [i]The reason the legislation died is there are many more gun owners then in the NRA. 50 million people own firearms in the US maybe even more. Source again FBI. Senators have been inundated with calls to NOT vote for more gun control and they listened to their constituents. THAT is why it failed and it would have never passed the house anyway.[/i]

    The legislation had 54 votes in the Senate. It would easily have passed the House with overwhelming Democratic support and a small number of Republican votes. It died due to a filibuster. Had it passed the Senate, the Speaker would have been under extreme pressure from the extremists in the Republican party to adhere to the Hastert Rule and refuse to put it to a vote. So this very reasonable, moderate legislation failed because it was blocked by the Republican Party with a small amount of support from a few gun-state Democrats.
    It has overwhelming support among the general public.
    Your statements about what would happen in the event of some war between the government and a bunch of armed citizens are conjecture and probably pointless. DeAngelo is correct that the armed civilians would be heavily out-gunned by the military. David Koresh was heavily armed. He lost. You also seem to be assuming that all armed civilians would be fighting against the government. I think a lot of you would be shooting each other.

  46. jimt

    gunguru–glad you brought up some stats for Britian and Australia, and the big uptick in violent crime rates there after guns were banned; I was going to mention this but you beat me to it!

    That said; I’m not necessarily opposed to background checks; provided the feds are outlawed from creating a national gun registry.

    Some of the arguments about the uselessness of civilian gun ownership in the face of an oppressive government regime; are themselves naive. With regard to citizen rights in the face of a government instituting oppressive measures, the main benefit of having a substantial proportion of well-armed citizens is that of prevention; i.e. the government is less likely to institute unpopular oppressive measures if a large proportion of the citizens are armed. In general the main point of having arms is not to go blasting away at criminals, whether street thugs or ruthless politicians; but for protection against criminal activity; making this criminal activity less likely to occur in the first place. Guns confer power; and are one significant chess piece in the relationship between government and citizens; making it less likely that a government will be tempted to take a road to oppress its citizens. It’s not likely that there will ever be a civil war between US military forces and US citizens; the odds of oppression and such war decrease with a healthy proportion of armed citizens with good training in use of these firearms.

    Now to piss off the right wing, the same logic applies to Iran and Korea and the question of nuclear weapons. The main reason the west does not want them to develop nuclear weapons and the main reason they may want to develop them; is to have increased leverage in the international community. They do not want to nuke their neighbors; but they do seek a stronger negotiating position in the international political arena; and less bullying and buffeting (in terms of policy positions; particularly economic) by the nuclear armed superpowers. Having a big stick does indeed confer power; that stick need never be used in order to be very effective in preventing others (with big sticks) from taking advantage of you.(Didn’t we all learn this in kindergarten playground? Interesting that most of the mainstream press seems to have forgotton this playground lesson when commenting on Iran, North Korea, other situations of international power politics). I’m not advocating nuclear proliferation; but just that the mainstream press should ‘get real’ about the reasons that Iran and North Korea may be seeking nuclear capability–perhaps if these countries felt that they were less bullied and unfairly treated by the policies of other countries (particularly international trade and finance policies); they would be less likely to seek to leverage their negotiating positions by developing nuclear capability?

  47. medwoman

    gunguru

    [quote]The US armed forces couldn’t beat back 30,000 insurgents because they can’t tell them from the civilians and that would be the same here BUT there would be 100 times more of them. There is no way that the combined fighting force of 700,000 with 20k total armored vehicles and 20k planes could take on a force of civilians the likes the US can produce. [/quote]

    Combining this quote with SODs statement that he would come running into my home with his weapon to “help” me if he heard me screaming, I cannot think of two better arguments for “common sense” gun ownership an limitations on where and when we can use one’s weapon.

    SOD wants us to believe that we will be safer if each citizen can take their weapon where ever they want, even into someone else’s house, if their intention is good.

    Now gunguru wants me to believe that we will be safer if every citizen is armed in order to protect against ” the elected officials” Now that’s wonderful ! What if the elected officials are the one’s that the majority of the voters wanted to be making the decisions. I suppose that would not matter to you and your merry band of
    “insurgents” because you would have decided that you know best how to run the society. Sounds very much like a proclamation of the Taliban. Only the language is different.

    Now I really feel safe.

  48. Don Shor

    jimt: ” [i]I’m not necessarily opposed to background checks; provided the feds are outlawed from creating a national gun registry.”[/i]
    Then I assume you support the bill that was blocked in the Senate, which didn’t merely prohibit one– it had criminal sanctions against federal officials who might try to create one. In spite of which the NRA and hard-right senators like Cruz continued to perpetuate the argument on the topic.

    [url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/national-gun-registry_n_3060625.html[/url]

    If this bill couldn’t get to a Senate vote, I doubt anything will.

  49. Matt Williams

    Don, maybe the Bill Title needs to be changed and the sequence of the content rearranged. Call it the “Outlawing a National Gun Registry” bill and have those provisions start the bill and then follow that with all the background checks provisions.

  50. rdcanning

    Gunguru states that gun suicides are up and firearm homicides are down since 2004. Let’s look at the actual rates and numbers of firearm-related homicides, suicides, and non-fatal injuries associated with firearms as collected by the CDC.

    CDCR reports that the rate of suicide from firearms in 2004 was 5.65 per 100K. It dropped a little in 2005 and 2006 but has risen since to be 6.06 in 2010 (the most recent years of CDC data). In raw numbers, there were 16,750 firearm suicides in 2004 and this has since risen to 19,392. (It is commonly thought that the number of suicides reported is an undercount for a variety of reasons, but we’ll leave it at the reported numbers.)
    How about firearm homicides? In 2004 the rate was 3.94 per 100K. It rose slightly to 4.27 in 2006 but has since dropped to 3.62 in 2010. In raw numbers there were 11,524 firearm homicides in 2004 and 11,078 in 2010, a drop of 564.

    But how about firearm-related non-fatal injuries – both self-harm and assaults. In 2004 the rate of firearm-related non-fatal injuries was 14.88 per 100K. In 2010 it was 17.41 – over 11,975 more firearm-related assaults. That’s an increase of 27% over 2004.

    When we look at self-inflicted firearm-related non-fatal injuries, we find that in 2004 CDC recorded 3,352 for a rate of 1.14 per 100K. In 2010 the rate was 1.50 and the raw number was 4,643 – an increase of 39% over 2004. It should be noted that because the numbers are so small for the firearm-related non-fatal injuries, the rates are unstable (in other words, there’s lots of variability). This is because guns are so lethal that when used in self-harm incidents, the outcome is most often fatal.

    So what do all these numbers mean. In my opinion (others may take something else away), even though the homicide rate with guns went down, the combined fatalities from suicide and homicide with guns is up since 2004. And, non-fatal injuries related to firearms are certainly up.

    So, has the increase in gun ownership prevented deaths and injuries? If one is going to make a crude correlation between gun sales and gun deaths, one should be aware of not only the homicides but also the suicides. Is gunguru saying that an increase in 16% in firearm-related suicides an improvement?

  51. medwoman

    [quote]So, has the increase in gun ownership prevented deaths and injuries?[/quote]

    I think that rdcanning has hit upon an important point. For some the issue is “gun violence”. This serves as a flash point for some individuals who interpret any questioning of the storage and use of guns as a call to confiscate their guns or an attack on “law abiding’ gun owners.

    I feel this is in part due to the mistaken idea that all of those, such as myself, whose goal is the prevention of gun injury in whatever form it may occur ( homicide, suicide, domestic violence related , purely accidental) have a secret agenda which is to take away their guns. This is a myth that stands in the way of devising means to truly reduce the risk of gun related injury.

    It would seem to me that the single best way to prevent gun injury would be for those who are very knowledgeable ( and current) in the safe and effective use and storage of guns to come together with those who would favor measures such as background checks and safety design improvements to design mutually agreeable processes for decreasing gun related injuries both on the individual and mass shooting levels.

  52. rdcanning

    In my report of firearm-related non-fatal injuries from assaults, I said there were 11,975 more injuries in 2010 than in 2004. That should be corrected to 10,169 more. The increase was only 23% rather than 27% more.

  53. Growth Izzue

    The hypocrisy from the left is astounding. I just heard Chuck Schumer saying that he doesn’t want the fact that the Boston bombing terror was carried out by immigrants used in the current immigration talks but at the same time the left is using the Sandy Hook incident every chance they get to try and control gun laws.

  54. medwoman

    [quote]The hypocrisy from the left is astounding.[/quote]

    GI,

    Thanks for the timely illustration of my point. Rather than be willing to address any of the data or present any constructive ideas, you have instead taken one comment from one individual, and applied it to the entirely of
    “the left”.
    A point of view which by the way, no one on this blog has put forward.
    Would there be anything wrong with actually considering the ideas presented rather than simply name calling ?

  55. Frankly

    There are many holes in rdcanning’s analysis to attempt to correlate any increase in gun ownership to an increase in gun homicides and gun suicides. First, you cannot measure the increase in guns-per-capita and then compare that to just the raw numbers of homicides and suicides. You would need to also measure the number of gun homicides and gun suicides per gun. In fact murder and suicide rates per gun have fallen as gun ownership per capita has increased.

    Murder rates have fallen…
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/violentcrimerate.jpg[/img]

    Suicide rates per capita have remained fairly flat…
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/suiciderates.jpg[/img]

    Even as gun ownership per capita has risen…
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscjeff/gunownershiprate.jpg[/img]

    With these facts, one could make the point that a higher rate of gun ownership is responsible for lowering the rate of murders and suicides per gun.

    The highest suicide rate is amount men over 85 years old. So, we need to control for the aging of the population. We could reduce the suicide rate by banning men from reaching the age of 85.

    By 2010, depression will be the #1 disability in the world (World Health Organization). Depression is almost always a condition of suicidal people. So in terms of cause, we should stop looking at guns as a root cause and start banning depression.

    According to the Violent Death Reporting System, in 2004 73% of suicides also tested positive for at least one substance (alcohol, cocaine, heroin or marijuana). So, we need a control for the trends in the amount of drug use per capita, as this also is a clear root cause. I would suggest we ban these substances, but we already do. Since the trends are to legalize some of these substances, we might need to start accepting that it also means suicides will increase, as it is clear that there is a correlation.

    Lastly, it is well-documented that the number of homicides and suicides tends to increase during recessions and poor economic times. For example, there is a strong correlation between unemployment rates and rates of suicide. In 2008, 13.4% of individuals who committed suicide experienced job and financial problems, a report by the CDC revealed in August 2011. So, we would need some control for that difference over the last 4-5 years. As a side note, I think it is fair to assess blame to the failed economic policies of the Obama Administration for some of the increase in gun-related death in this country. Despondence over poor economic circumstances is a common contributor to depression that can lead to suicide. “Obama lied and people died” is probably a justified Republican campaign claim next election. Too bad we didn’t ban Obama last election, as it is possible that economic conditions would have improved and fewer people would want to kill themselves from despondence over their crappy personal economic circumstances.

    Here is an interesting article on the fifteen US cities with the highest suicide rates 1990-2004. Sacramento is #4. [url]http://www.businessinsider.com/most-suicidal-us-cities-2011-7?op=1[/url]

  56. David M. Greenwald

    GI:

    Here’s what Schumer said: Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York added “keeping the status quo is not a very good argument, given what happened” in Boston.

    That doesn’t seem to square with your assertion, can you give us the exact quote?

  57. Growth Izzue

    [quote]New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer admonished colleagues not to “try to conflate” the immigration reform bill that the Senate is considering with the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the perpetrators of which have been identified as immigrants.

    “I’d like to ask that all of us not jump to conclusions regarding the events in Boston or try to conflate those events with this legislation,” Schumer said Friday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the immigration bill.[/quote]

    [url]http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/19/schumer-warns-against-conflating-boston-attacks-immigration/[/url]

  58. JustSaying

    [quote]“With these facts, one could make the point that a higher rate of gun ownership is responsible for lowering the rate of murders and suicides per gun.”[/quote]Or, that higher ownership of iPhones since 2007 is responsible. Or, the increase in young people’s vegetable consumption.

  59. Growth Izzue

    Once again, suicide is a non-issue in the gun debate. If someone is going to off themselves they’ll find a way to do it. The left is trying to creat straw dogs because they are way off base on their argument that guns don’t make us safer.

  60. David M. Greenwald

    ” suicide is a non-issue in the gun debate”

    I disagree. You’re entitled to your opinion.

    ” If someone is going to off themselves they’ll find a way to do it. “

    That doesn’t really gibe with research that demonstrates using a gun has a much higher suicide success rate than other means and having an access to a gun increases the likelihood of suicide by a wide margin. You really need to study this issue more.

  61. B. Nice

    [quote]medwoman

    04/21/13 – 10:37 AM

    It would seem to me that the single best way to prevent gun injury would be for those who are very knowledgeable ( and current) in the safe and effective use and storage of guns to come together with those who would favor measures such as background checks and safety design improvements to design mutually agreeable processes for decreasing gun related injuries both on the individual and mass shooting levels.[/quote]

    Thanks for making this point. The goal of any law regarding gun control should be to decrease gun related injuries and deaths. Instead of fighting this I wish the NRA would take a productive role in this conversation. People within this organization are likely the ones with the best idea’s on how improve gun safety.

    Besides enacting laws there must be other ways to increase the safe handling and use of firearms in this country. I agree with that Guns Don’t Make us Safer but I do think we can figure out ways to make guns safer, which should be everyones goal.

  62. Growth Izzue

    [quote]In a 2007 review of international evidence published by the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser concluded that “there is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership.” Here are some examples they offer to illustrate that point:

    Sweden, with over twice as much gun ownership as neighboring Germany and a third more gun suicide, nevertheless has the lower overall suicide rate. Greece has nearly three times more gun ownership than the Czech Republic and somewhat more gun suicide, yet the overall Czech suicide rate is over 175% higher than the Greek rate. Spain has over 12 times more gun ownership than Poland, yet the latter’s overall suicide rate is more than double the former’s. Tragically, Finland has over 14 times more gun ownership than neighboring Estonia, and a great deal more gun‐related suicide. Estonia, however, turns out to have a much higher suicide rate than Finland overall.

    Another frequently cited example: Japan, with a gun ownership rate of 0.6 per 100 people, compared to 88.8 in the United States, has a suicide rate nearly twice as high as high. China and South Korea likewise have much lower rates of civilian gun ownership but much higher rates of suicide. The relationship between gun ownership and suicide clearly is neither consistent nor straightforward. Yet here is how a public health expert consulted by the Times sums up the evidence:
    [/quote]

    [u]http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/14/does-gun-ownership-promote-suicide[/u]

  63. Frankly

    [i]The hypocrisy from the left is astounding. I just heard Chuck Schumer saying that he doesn’t want the fact that the Boston bombing terror was carried out by immigrants used in the current immigration talks but at the same time the left is using the Sandy Hook incident every chance they get to try and control gun laws[/i]

    GI – for the political left their end always justifies their means. That is why left ideology is much more dangerous in terms of general human freedom and success. They can at once cause a decline in these things without ever taking responsibility for them. You just align yourself with all protected victims groups, and ensure you have enough of your foot soldiers working in a complicit media, then you can say or do anything you want without ever having to be accountable for it. As if this isn’t bad enough, they hold those on the right of politics to a much higher standard routinely corrupted by manufactured outrage.

  64. gunguru

    Don Shor…THERE WASN’T A FILIBUSTER it was only threatened and in the end they had the votes to block it anyway. The House isn’t democratic and even if the senate would have voted to move the bill on it would have died in the house hands down. Enough with the filibuster you are making a fool of yourself. Get the facts straight THEN come back and join the discussion. Good lord enough with this.

    Medwomen, I am a sheriffs deputy, can I run into your house now with my firearm or are you so blind that someone rendering aid to you may need to protect themselves from a person that may have put you in a position where you need to scream for help? Yes if you are screaming that you broke your leg from a fall, or that you are cut and bleeding coming to your aid with a firearm is over the top BUT if you are just screaming “HELP ME” it is very reasonable assumption that someone might be hurting you. I can’t help you if I am dead. As to our elected officials, it would take a long time to explain the complexities of how to take out tyrannous officials and how not to over throw the government. I would point you to the battle of Athens George as a beginners course. Then get back to me. By the way, I know many police departments that would join in a fight to protect the rights of citizens against the army. Sadly you can’t see how important that is to freedom.

    Suicides…in 1995 when Canada instituted it’s registration of all firearms the suicide rate by firearms dropped 12.4%. That same year the number of hanging suicides went up 33% making a total rise in suicides of 9%. More people hung themselves then shot themselves for the first time in Canadian history. Suicide as related to gun control is like equating apples and horses. Yes horses eat apples but that doesn’t mean it makes them happy. It only equates to those pushing an agenda and it only equates in their minds. Where there is a will there is a way. Sources…take you pick there are many once again, it isn’t a big secrete.

    I have seen first hand how firearms make us safer. First and foremost it is the right of each person to protect themselves. Police are a second line of defense. As stated before 1.5 million people protect themselves each year from violent crimes of all kinds with only on average 220 people needing to use the firearm as a weapon and not a deterrent. Can that same tool for defense be used to do horrible things, of course but the over all good that it does each year out weights the over all bad it does. Ya you can ask the families of the 10,000 or so people that are murdered each year how they feel about it but I would ask the 1.5 million instead and see what they think about it. If you want to talk numbers.. then the discussion is now over.

  65. Frankly

    [i]That doesn’t really gibe with research that demonstrates using a gun has a much higher suicide success rate than other means and having an access to a gun increases the likelihood of suicide by a wide margin. You really need to study this issue more[/i]

    David – This is largely false and hyperbolic. I don’t think you have really studied the issue enough in terms of advocating for a solution.

    But, let’s accept your points as facts, and ask a few questions.

    – If suicides are an argument for gun control, how would this recent legislation do anything to reduce the rate of suicide?

    – What would it take in terms of gun control to materially improve suicide rates? This gets to a point of honesty… you and others making suicide a reason to support gun control need to be honest about what your true agenda is. If we are to materially reduce the amount of suicide, then what level of gun control is required? For example, most suicides by gun are with a handgun, so is your ultimate agenda to ban all handguns? If not this, then please explain what you think would be required a solution to the problem of suicide by gun.

    – Out of the number of people committing suicide by gun, what percentage of those would end up committing suicide by other means?

    – And if your agenda is eventual bans of more types of guns in the name of suicide prevention, then we need to start factoring the increase in crime that would occur (there is plenty of evidence supporting this theory that crime would increase with more restrictions of legal gun ownership and a reduction in the number of firearms owned by law-abiding private citizens.) How many more murdered people would be an acceptable trade-off for fewer people dead by suicide?

    – Lastly – Caucasian males are at a greater risk for completing suicide than other groups. Might we look toward the advance of racial and gender preference pushed by the politics of the left as a root cause? It is really depressing for some people to realize that they were born politically incorrect and there is nothing they can do about it… except maybe become a leftist and join with these oppressors of their own group.

  66. medwoman

    [quote]I have seen first hand how firearms make us safer.[/quote]

    That simply means that we have seen different things first hand. The first three years of my career I worked in Emergency Rooms. There were many gunshot wounds. Some gang related. Some almost invariably lethal when self inflicted. And some were accidental. I honestly cannot remember any instance of a “bad guy” shot by a
    “good guy” legitimately defending himself.

    You and I would appear to live in completely different perceptual worlds each based on our own individual experiences. Again, if the goal is to reduce gun related injury ( and I honestly cannot see who could not percieve that as a worthy goal ) then why not work together to prevent these injuries rather than accuse the other side of some nefarious purpose.

    As for your statistic about the 1.5 million who protect themselves each year, where does this number come from. Is it a poll of people asked if they picked up their guns when they heard an unfamiliar sound ? Is it a survey? Is it based on police records? Or a factoid put out by gun manufacturers ? If you are going to claim victory ” or end of discussion” on the basis of numbers, you should be willing to share the source of those numbers.

  67. Don Shor

    gunguru:
    From the New York Times:
    [i]More than 50 senators — including a few Republicans, but lacking a handful of Democrats from more conservative states — had signaled their support for the gun bill, not enough to reach the 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster.[/i]
    [i]In rapid succession, a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks for gun buyers, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity gun magazines all failed to get the 60 votes needed…[/i]

    60 votes are needed to invoke cloture. The process requiring cloture is a filibuster.

    Wikipedia: [i]”The filibuster is a powerful parliamentary device in the United States Senate, which was strengthened in 1975 [44] and in the past decade has come to mean that most major legislation (apart from budgets) requires a 60% vote to bring a bill or nomination to the floor for a vote[/i].

    So your statement:[i] THERE WASN’T A FILIBUSTER it was only threatened and in the end they had the votes to block it anyway. The House isn’t democratic and even if the senate would have voted to move the bill on it would have died in the house hands down. Enough with the filibuster you are making a fool of yourself. Get the facts straight THEN come back and join the discussion. Good lord enough with this. [/i]

    …is incorrect. There was a filibuster, as practiced in the Senate for the last couple of decades, because the 60 vote requirement to invoke cloture was not reached. It would have died in the House only because Speaker
    Boehner would not have brought it to the floor for a vote. You are wrong, and calling me a fool under a pseudonym is cowardly behavior.

  68. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]What would it take in terms of gun control to materially improve suicide rates? This gets to a point of honesty… you and others making suicide a reason to support gun control need to be honest about what your true agenda is. If we are to materially reduce the amount of suicide, then what level of gun control is required? For example, most suicides by gun are with a handgun, so is your ultimate agenda to ban all handguns? If not this, then please explain what you think would be required a solution to the problem of suicide by gun. [/quote]

    Starting from the point of view that people with an opposing point of view are always going to have a “true agenda” de facto is calling them liars from the start. Hardly a good way to open a meaningful discussion.
    But I will play along for now as one whose intent is solely to decrease gun related injuries whether or not you believe me. What I would recommend specifically with regard to guns and the depression or other type
    mental illness that affect either judgement or lower inhibition or sense of danger :

    1) Background checks to ensure that the person attempting to purchase a gun not have an unresolved mental illness. Medical evaluations could be used much as they are for individuals whose seizure disorders are controlled and who are therefore now safe to drive.
    2) Severe penalties for gun owners who allow access to their weapons to anyone who is mentally unstable
    This would have been appropriate for Ms. Lanza had she survived the attack.
    3) Proof of the ability to secure weapons at the time of purchase ( much the same as hospitals not discharging babies until their parents have demonstrated a safe and appropriately installed infant seat).
    4) Installation in all new weapons of some type of device that only allows it to be fired by the purchaser.
    5) Proof that the purchaser has undergone, and is current with safe transport, storage, cleaning and loading of their weapon and unloading of their weapon.
    6) Penalties for health care providers who do not report individuals that they have reason to suspect are dangerous to themselves or their community and whom they have reason to believe have firearms just as we do for individuals who are suspected of child or domestic abuse.

    This is my short, off the top of my head list. I am sure that many of you on both sides of the political spectrum have ideas that would compliment or be improvements over mine. I would love to see them offered for genuine discussion rather than political bashing.

  69. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Caucasian males are at a greater risk for completing suicide than other groups. Might we look toward the advance of racial and gender preference pushed by the politics of the left as a root cause?[/quote]

    No. Not if we were interested in assessing the issue in a meaningful instead of a politically expedient manner.
    According to a local expert in suicide prevention, Caucasian males have been at a higher risk of completing suicide than any other group in this country for far longer than there has been any “racial and gender preference pushed by the politics of the left”.

  70. B. Nice

    [quote]Frankly

    04/21/13 – 12:17 PM

    The hypocrisy from the left is astounding. I just heard Chuck Schumer saying that he doesn’t want the fact that the Boston bombing terror was carried out by immigrants used in the current immigration talks but at the same time the left is using the Sandy Hook incident every chance they get to try and control gun laws
    [/quote]

    You could argue that NRA used the the Sandy Hook “incident” to promote it’s agenda, by playing on people’s fears to promote an increase in gun ownership.

    While I do not think gun control laws can stop this type of violence, I also don’t believe that arming our teachers, and principals could either. But the latter could very well increase unintended and accidental gun related injuries and death at our schools.

    I view this suggestion by the NRA, in aftermath of Sandy Hook, when emotions were raw, and people were scared, as irresponsible and dangerous and I question their motives. Was this a real attempt at keeping our kids safe or was it a calculated way to further their agenda?

  71. rdcanning

    Growth Izzue says: [quote]Once again, suicide is a non-issue in the gun debate. If someone is going to off themselves they’ll find a way to do it.[/quote]

    I would suggest that GI put down his guns for a moment and check into the literature on suicide and particularly studies that have shown that suicidal crises wax and wane. Controlling the means of suicide is an effective way to prevent it in the short run. The idea that there is nothing to be done if someone is suicidal or that someone will always find a way to do it are myths. Bridge barriers, trigger locks (and other gun safety measures), making other means safer (in Asia the decrease in availability of pesticides decreased suicide), and in Australia gun buybacks all made a difference.

    I would suggest that GI take a look at the bibliogtaphy at: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/means-matter/bibliography/

    Frankly said: “[Y]ou cannot measure the increase in guns-per-capita and then compare that to just the raw numbers of homicides and suicides.” I didn’t. I quoted both raw frequencies and rates per 100K. Take a look. I am also baffled what “rates of suicide per gun” has to do with anything. Maybe you could clarify why that adds something to the debate about suicide and guns. Also, you quote figures for suicide in general. I limit myself to firearm suicides. Let’s keep it to the topic. As the overall rate of suicide has stayed steady (a problem in and of itself), the number of suicides by firearm (both rate and raw numbers) has increased. I am not saying it has to do with increased gun ownership – in fact the number of households with guns has decreased, I believe. My point was to respond to gunguru’s point that firearm homicides have decreased while gun sales have gone up. Here is what he said: “First off since 2004 there has been a steady rise in gun sales with a steady fall in gun murders. Suicide is on the rise but actual murder numbers are down from fire arms.” The data I posted is from CDC – you can go look for yourself. My point is that everyone wants to ignore suicides by gun, but they ought not to. If gun safety was better in many of the households the number of gun suicides might be lower. Which is a good thing – agreed? And yes, treating depression and reducing substance abuse/dependence would also make a dent in the suicide rate. And so would reducing the easy accessibility to loaded guns. It’s also important to remember that most people who are depressed do not commit suicide – so simply treating depression may not lower the rate substantially. But reducing access to loaded guns – given that 19,000 (mostly men) kill themselves with guns each year might.

    And gender arguments are really not helpful either. Women have a much lower rate of suicide, mostly because they use less lethal means – pills and laceration for the most part. If more women used guns, they would be more successful since a gunshot is highly lethal.

    I’m really interested in saving lives, not in labels like left or right. Suicide is a problem in our country that we haven’t been able to make much headway with for many years. As a public health problem it is creeping up into the top ten causes of death each year. Suicide is a public health problem that demands more than simple remedies. It requires population-based interventions, and gun safety is one of them.

  72. medwoman

    GI

    [quote]The relationship between gun ownership and suicide clearly is neither consistent nor straightforward. [/quote]

    It does not have to be. If the goal is to prevent injury, and if guns are associated with a significant amount of injury as they clearly are in this country, then this is only one of many issues which provide areas for intervention. Reduction of automobile injuries, knife injuries and accidental or intentional poisonings are other areas that would benefit from further research and appropriate measures also. However, in my 30 years of medicine, I have not seen such an outcry to attempt to stop even the most modest effort to ameliorate any of these other hazards. It seems to only apply to guns.

  73. David M. Greenwald

    “David – This is largely false and hyperbolic. I don’t think you have really studied the issue enough in terms of advocating for a solution.”

    I haven’t advocated for any solution. However, you’re assumption of how much I have studied the issue – you have no idea.

  74. David M. Greenwald

    “In a 2007 review of international evidence published by the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser concluded that “there is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership.””

    And how did they control for individual level variables in their study?

  75. medwoman

    [quote]“In a 2007 review of international evidence published by the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser concluded that “there is simply no relationship evident between the extent of suicide and the extent of gun ownership.”[/quote]

    Methodology is very important here. For instance did they breakdown suicide by gender, age and ethnic group ?
    Did they control for such factors as who actually has physical control over and access to the guns ?
    In some Middle Eastern and Asian societies for instance, suicide by females is more common than by males and the means is frequently self administered rat poison or pesticides. This does not, in and of itself have any implication for the prevention of suicide or injury in this country even though it is factually correct.

  76. Davis Progressive

    GI, i find it funny that you don’t seem to understand that rdcanning has professional expertise in this area and you don’t. what is your professional training since you’ve never shared that info?

  77. rdcanning

    Frankly says: [quote]– What would it take in terms of gun control to materially improve suicide rates? This gets to a point of honesty… you and others making suicide a reason to support gun control need to be honest about what your true agenda is. If we are to materially reduce the amount of suicide, then what level of gun control is required? For example, most suicides by gun are with a handgun, so is your ultimate agenda to ban all handguns? If not this, then please explain what you think would be required a solution to the problem of suicide by gun. [/quote]

    Here are a few suggestions that go to the issue of gun safety (not control) and preventing suicide. Increase the use of waiting periods. Suicidal states wax and wane – three days, or five days, later they may not be suicidal.

    Use of trigger locks, gun safes, keeping ammo separate from the gun. Many youth suicides occur because the guns are kept loaded or the ammo is nearby.

    Increase gun safety education. The NRA has a course but some research comparing it to other means of gun safety education suggest it is no better. But some education is probably better than none.

  78. medwoman

    [quote]gun safety and suicide have no relationship[/quote]

    I think that the Lanza’s, were they still alive might feel differently about this. As might any gun owner who has had a relative or acquaintance take one of their guns ( inappropriately stored ) meaning any gun accessible to a depressed individual, and use it to commit suicide.

    Although in a distinct minority of suicides, a number of the mass shooters finished their spree by taking their own life. That also constitutes suicide.

  79. Growth Izzue

    [quote]GI, i find it funny that you don’t seem to understand that rdcanning has professional expertise in this area and you don’t. what is your professional training since you’ve never shared that info? [/quote]

    Does one have to be an expert or have professional training in order to voice one’s [b]OPINION[/b] on a message board blog? Does David have expertise or professional training when he voices his opinion for the many articles he writes on many different subjects? How many people have given their views on here without any expertise? Did you question them?

  80. gunguru

    filibuster – Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions…. The bill was acted on by a vote, there for it was not a filibuster. Now you an “come to mean” all you want. It was voted on and lost, period.

    Medwomen… Using suicide once again is only a way to bolster numbers. The Canadian proof shows the gun control doesn’t stop people from hurting themselves so it is a moot point to further gun control. My statistics about he 1.5 million is from the FBI and incidents reported by people to law enforcement. The FBI even says that they believe the number to be upwards of 2 million as people fail to report for fear of criminal action on themselves. Besides just because you haven’t seen a bad guy shot by a good guy doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. As I said only 220 people were killing by others in self defense out of the 1.5 million. You assume that means someone shot another, it only means they brandished a fire are and the bad guy ran. How often does that happen in England..2 times last year and both people were incarcerated for defending themselves and no shots were fired.

    Firearm injuries are just a small part of over all injuries in the country. In counties with gun control legislation stabbings and blunt force trauma far our number firearm related injuries pre-control. England is now trying to enact some sort of knife control as stabbing an slashing’s are in epidemic proportions there. 1 in 5 people are likely to be stabbed or slashed with 1 in 100 being truly life threatening. (sources uk daily, Scotland yard etc).. With in the US a person is 1 in 1500 likely to be shot and 1 in 10,000 to be life threatening and that is including your beloved suicides too. Take those out that number jumps to 1 in 30,000. Simply assuming that taking away one way to injure someone will reduce over all injury is foolish at best. Again sources because you need them or it isn’t true in CDC and FBI. They keep these statistics on their websites broken down quite nicely. CDC has been doing it since 2000.

  81. rdcanning

    GI: I try to speak about things I know something about. Other people may have other motivations. No matter what side one is on in this debate, there is lots of evidence out there either way. I’m simply asking for the evidence you might have to back up your assertion.

  82. B. Nice

    Gun safety education seems mostly limited to responsible gun owners who actively search out this training and information.

    As a non-gun owner it would never have crossed my mind to educate my children about gun safety. Upon learning that several of my friends, who’s houses my children regularly play at, do own guns, I realize that this is a mistake.

    The government should take a more proactive stance, like they do for many public health risks, in educating everyone about gun safety.

  83. Davis Progressive

    GI: the answer to your broader question is that anyone can form an opinion, but not all opinions are created equal. you are great at throwing out assertions, but when pressed to back up your assertions with evidence, you tend to dodge more than engage.

  84. Practical

    gunguru said . . .

    [i]”filibuster – Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions…. The bill was acted on by a vote, there for it was not a filibuster. Now you an “come to mean” all you want. [b]It was voted on and lost, period[/b].”[/i]

    gunguru, the amendment received 54 “yes” votes, 4 more than is needed to pass it . . . if the vote taken was on the bill itself. You need to do a little homework about what was actually voted on. The vote was about whether to bring the bill to a vote, not on the actual bill itself.

    Bottom-line, the bill [u]was never acted on by a vote[/u].

    The bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment, a background check expansion devised by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and a handful of other lawmakers, earned only 54 votes, falling six votes short of the 60-vote threshold.

  85. Growth Izzue

    rdcanning, I was coming from the angle that if one is going to commit suicide then unlocking a trigger lock or a gun safe isn’t going to deter them from going ahead. Secondly, if one has expertise in gun usage or has taken gun safety courses that is also not going to stop them from committing suicide if they’re going to do so.

    If the gun owner has a family member or acquaintance, that wasn’t supposed to have access to the gun, who is going to commit suicide then gun safety might come into play but who’s to say they wouldn’t have committed suicide anyway by another means? There’s too many variables for anyone to unequivocally state that suicide and gun safety go hand in hand.

  86. Davis Progressive

    Point blank GI, no dodge: if you were to attempt to kill yourself, would you be more likely to succeed using a gun or using another method?

    ” then unlocking a trigger lock or a gun safe isn’t going to deter them from going ahead. “

    you are only thinking one dimensionally. you are assuming it’s their gun, rather than their father’s gun or a friend’s gun and that they would have access to the key. so sure, if it is their gun, then a trigger lock or gun safe will have no effect, but if it’s your gun, and they are the ones trying to kill themself, it will have a tremendous impact.

  87. Growth Izzue

    [quote]you are only thinking one dimensionally. you are assuming it’s their gun, rather than their father’s gun or a friend’s gun and that they would have access to the key. so sure, if it is their gun, then a trigger lock or gun safe will have no effect, but if it’s your gun, and they are the ones trying to kill themself, it will have a tremendous impact. [/quote]

    GI, read my reponse, I already addressed that.

    [quote]Point blank GI, no dodge: if you were to attempt to kill yourself, would you be more likely to succeed using a gun or using another method?
    [/quote]

    Depends, slitting my wrists or using drugs would take longer, but jumping in front of a train or off of a bridge will very likely succeed.

  88. Davis Progressive

    i read your response and don’t feel you addressed that. you revert back to the line that another means is equally effective. do the statistics bear your contention out?

  89. Frankly

    [i]I am also baffled what “rates of suicide per gun” has to do with anything. Maybe you could clarify why that adds something to the debate about suicide and guns[/i]

    Because the movement is to reduce the number of guns. So how is that going to help reduce suicide?

  90. Don Shor

    [i]The bipartisan Manchin-Toomey amendment, a background check expansion devised by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and a handful of other lawmakers, earned only 54 votes, falling six votes short of the 60-vote threshold.[/i]

    Even worse, an amendment that dealt with firearms trafficking ‘failed’ by a 58 – 42 vote. Due to the 60 vote requirement for cloture, [u]which is a filibuster.[/u]
    [url]http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00099[/url]

    All the Democrats, both Independents, and 3 Republicans favored this amendment. 42 Republicans voted NO.

  91. medwoman

    [quote]Simply assuming that taking away one way to injure someone will reduce over all injury is foolish at best[/quote]

    And if anyone were making that assumption, I would agree with you it would be foolish. But no one except you has made such an assertion. Risks need to be evaluated individually. Use of cars poses one set of risks. Use of alcohol poses another. Use of guns poses yet another set of risks. Risk reduction is one of the major factors of my job. I am keenly aware that lowering a patient’s risk of death from diabetes does not mean that I have lowered her risk of death from breast cancer. That should not stop me from addressing both sets of risks to the best of my ability. Again, of all the different sets of risks that affect public health, I have never seen the reduction of risk from another source so adamantly fought on all fronts as is the case with reduction of gun injury. This leads me to believe that there is something other than the rationale thought processes that are usually in play when considering risk reduction as it applies to both individual and public health that is unique to the discussion of gun safety.

  92. rdcanning

    GI says: “[W]ho’s to say they wouldn’t have committed suicide anyway by another means? There’s too many variables for anyone to unequivocally state that suicide and gun safety go hand in hand.”

    The first statement is a very prevalent myth about suicide: if stopped in using one means they will just use another. But think about it, guns are one of the most lethal methods. Hanging is another But if one delays someone by using a trigger lock or some other measure, the impulse may pass. Just as we almost all have fleeting thoughts of one kind or another, or moods that change over time (sometimes pretty quickly) so to does the urge to kill oneself.

    Programs that focus the means that people use to kill themselves don’t have to focus just on guns. Maine has a program that focuses on guns, rope, and pills. Other states focus on mental health providers and train them how to counsel people about guns in the house. I had to counsel some veterans about gun safety when I worked for the VA. I had to learn about it because I’ve never owned a gun.

    Yes, there are many variables that enter into an attempted suicide. But there are also a variety of strategies to prevent suicide. When the most common means is a gun, one is naturally drawn to methods to make them safer or keep them away from suicidal people. In England prior to the 1970s one of the most common method of suicide was by cooking gas, which was also known as coal gas. As the country switched to natural gas (which we use in this country) the number of suicides dropped because it is much more difficult to die by asphyxiation due to natural gas than it is by coal gas.

    Suicides are, for the most part, preventable deaths. There is treatment for mental disorders and substance abuse. There are “gatekeeper” training programs to teach lay people simple warning signs of suicide and how to get people to help. These are often used in schools and colleges where suicide rates are increased and lots of people come into contact with those who might be at elevated risk for suicide. And there are methods to keep lethal means out of the hands of those who would use them to harm themselves.

    Please educate yourself about suicide prevention.

  93. Davis Progressive

    “Because the movement is to reduce the number of guns. “

    you make a fundamental error ascribing a single goal to a widely diverse group of people with many different views and goals.

  94. rdcanning

    Frankly, the issue regarding suicide is access to guns and gun safety. If you are going to cite numbers, please use numbers that are meaningful. Guns per suicide doesn’t seem to have much meaning in that context.

  95. Practical

    Here is a question that has always been hard for me to answer. Anyone care to jump in with their thoughts/

    [i][b]”Why isn’t the right to commit suicide protected under the principles of free speech?”[/b][/i]

    or alternatively,

    [i][b]”If a person wants to commit suicide, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so?”[/b][/i]

  96. medwoman

    [quote]Depends, slitting my wrists or using drugs would take longer, but jumping in front of a train or off of a bridge will very likely succeed.[/quote]

    True, but limited statement. The more guns that are available, the easier access there may be to someone who, at a particular point in time, is suicidal. Unless you live in the Bay area, you do not have ready access to a bridge such as the Golden Gate, and unless you live near a railroad, death by train may not be available either. Availability and high lethality do contribute to the success rate of suicide with guns. Poisoning, drugs, wrist slitting given the availability of prompt first aide and medical care are much, much less likely to be successful than is a gun to the head.

    And, I have yet to hear you address the issue of unintentional gun injury which for me as a doctor is a major concern.

  97. Frankly

    The points being made about filibuster or not… if the 53 Democrat Senators wanted to bring on more than the four Republicans (they only needed three more) that joined them in voting yes, they only had to horse-trade for something. But that’s not how the modern-day Democrat Party works. They prefer to collaborate with their liberal media pals to attempt to demonize the Republican Party for every tragedy, crisis and emotion then can exploit. It is their proven method for gaining and keeping power. The minions in their ideological camp lap it up like warm milk to a kitten.

    The likelihood is that the Democrat in the Senate allowed this result to occur to give cover to these four Democrat Senators up for re-election, while also getting their liberal media pals to make political hay against the Republicans. Win-win for the Democrats… who cares if more people die by gun. In fact, the more people that die by gun, the more the Democrats and their liberal media pals can gin it up as anti-Republican propaganda.

    The majority Republican House passes the bill, and the majority Democrat Senate shoots it down.

    It is clear that the Democrats own this failure despite what their liberal media pals report and their minions spout.

  98. Davis Progressive

    “The majority Republican House passes the bill, and the majority Democrat Senate shoots it down. It is clear that the Democrats own this failure despite what their liberal media pals report and their minions spout.”

    how is that when the vast majority of democrats supported it and the vast majority of republicans opposed it? you really can’t take off your partisan mask to analyze this objectively?

  99. Frankly

    [i]Frankly, the issue regarding suicide is access to guns and gun safety. If you are going to cite numbers, please use numbers that are meaningful. Guns per suicide doesn’t seem to have much meaning in that context.[/i]

    You are trying hard rdcanning. That was exactly my point. You and others cite suicide as justification for gun control legislation when there is nothing in the legislation that would serve to reduce the risk of suicide by gun.

    The reason this and other gun legislation will continue to fail and struggle is echoed in this comment by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas…
    [quote]“When good and honest people have honest differences of opinion about what policies the country should pursue about gun rights…the president of the United States should not accuse them of having no coherent arguments or of caving to the pressure.”[/quote]

    This most-divisive and polarizing President ever in the history of US is responsible for this bill’s failure.

  100. Growth Izzue

    Liberals view:

    Suicide is the gun’s fault because it’s more effective than a knife or other means.

    Conservative’s view:

    I want my gun precisely because [b]it is[/b]more effective in protecting my family than a knife or other means, for instance, trying not to escalate the situation and putting youself at the mercy of the criminal as someone on here suggested was a good defense.

  101. Davis Progressive

    “This most-divisive and polarizing President ever in the history of US is responsible for this bill’s failure. “

    what does George W. Bush have to do with this bill’s failure?

  102. Davis Progressive

    “Suicide is the gun’s fault because it’s more effective than a knife or other means. “

    are you intentionally misrepresenting the views of others or simply do not understand the point being made here?

  103. Frankly

    [quote]Through the first four years of President Obama’s Presidency, his approval numbers look like this:

    Average Approval Rating, Democrats – 84%
    Average Approval Rating, Republicans – 14%

    That leaves a “partisan gap” of 70 points (84% – 14%), which means that President Obama is easily on track to become the most polarizing US President ever.

    According to Gallup, the second most polarizing President was George W. Bush (61 point gap), while the third most polarizing President was Bill Clinton (55 point gap).

    Here are the top five most polarizing Presidents:

    Barack Obama, 70 points
    George W. Bush, 61 points
    Bill Clinton, 55 points
    Ronald Reagan, 52 points
    Richard Nixon, 41 points

    According to Gallup, President Obama’s fourth year in office (January 2012 – January 2013) tied with George W. Bush’s fourth year in office as the most polarizing of all time. In both years (January 2012 – January 2013, January 2004 – January 2005), there was a 76 point gap in the Presidential approval ratings when polling supporters of the Republican and Democratic parties. In George W. Bush’s fourth year in office, he had the support of 91% of Republicans and 15% of Democrats, while President Obama had the support of 86% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans during his fourth year in office.[/quote]

  104. medwoman

    [quote]“Why isn’t the right to commit suicide protected under the principles of free speech?”

    or alternatively,

    “If a person wants to commit suicide, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so?”[/quote]

    I think that these are interesting questions. The first I think can be relatively easily addressed by pointing out that the actions necessary to take one’s own life invariably involve action, not just speech. So I think this first question can be dismissed readily. The second, for me, is much more complicated.

    The question of “if a person wants to commit suicide, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so ?” is actually a very good one. What I am going to write is only my opinion and I hope that others will respond to this question.

    I believe that if an individual is an adult “of sound mind”, not under threat or duress, and not having a transient situation which is likely to be affecting their will to live ( as is often the case with depression) then they should have this right. A few examples I would cite would be a person with a terminal illness who wishes to choose the time and manner of their own death, the extreme elderly who having outlived everyone of significance to them and is simply tired of living, an inmate on death row who is not doing anything except waiting for the state to choose the timing and manner of his or her death, if one knew with certainty that their death would save the life of another. I am sure that there are other circumstances that one could imagine in which I believe that suicide would be a moral choice.

    However, I think that this should not apply to everyone. People with immature thought processes such as children or teenagers may not be able to envision their life past their current moment of despondency even though experience would tell us that the majority will get beyond this temporary urge. Like wise, a young individual suffering an acute loss such as the loss of a parent, or an older individual suffering a marital loss, or the loss of a child may again be in such acute pain that they are temporarily non functional. In these situations, I think there is a societal interest in helping these individuals to establish a “cooling off” period in which they may discover other reasons for living.

    In my practice, and in my individual life, I have had the opportunity to intervene in the case of individuals contemplating suicide. This has led me to the conclusion that this is not a simple issue and there is not a single solution. It has also led me to an awareness that there are many gradations of the desire for death, some of which are fleeting, some more long lasting. One thing I have learned is that each situation is individual and that there is no simple analysis or cliche that fits all circumstances. In some cases, a single intervention will be enough to set an individual back on a track that will lead to a happy and successful life. In others, this may be a prolonged and arduous road. And in still other cases, GI will be correct, and the individual will just keep trying until they succeed. Fortunately, for the individuals who care about those who have depression as their driving motive, these will be the minority of cases.

  105. Davis Progressive

    the huge problem with that analysis is it doesn’t account for the rally effect of 9/11. Dude, you blindly spout this stuff without thinking about what you are printing half the time.

  106. rdcanning

    There is no law on the books in California that makes it a violation of the penal code to commit suicide. There is case law (Thor v Superior Court) that prohibits a prison doctor from allowing (in this case) a quadriplegic inmate from killing himself.

  107. Practical

    medwoman said . . .

    [i]”I think there is a societal interest in helping these individuals to establish a “cooling off” period in which they may discover other reasons for living.”[/i]

    So the societal interest trumps the individual interest? What exactly is that societal interest?

  108. Practical

    rdcanning said . . .

    [i]”[b]There is no law on the books in California that makes it a violation of the penal code to commit suicide.[/b] There is case law (Thor v Superior Court) that prohibits a prison doctor from allowing (in this case) a quadriplegic inmate from killing himself.”[/i]

    And in spite of the absence of such a law, when a critically injured suicide victim is discovered, we transport him/her to a hospital and then work feverishly to countermand the individual’s clearly expressed wish to die.

  109. rdcanning

    Growth Issue: By the same analogy, it was the coal gas’s fault prior to 1970 for many of the suicides in England. Or in India, it’s the pesticide’s fault for the many (and mostly female) suicides in that country. (Of course it was not the right of someone in England to have coal gas, or a woman in India to have pesticide like it is in the U.S. to have a gun.) But the evidence for increased suicide when a gun is present is pretty compelling – and probably a lot higher of an association than the presence of coal gas or pesticide (or even rope or pills or any other means you can think of.) The point being, that if we didn’t have a 2nd amendment, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    But reasonable restrictions on gun ownership is allowed by the ruling in Heller. The court also said: “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

    It would seem that balancing the demands of the 2nd amendment against the sorts of things noted above will require some work by legislatures and courts. And they might find that the public health aspects of gun education and gun safety are a compelling government interest.

  110. rdcanning

    Practical: I would say the “societal interest” is in giving someone some time to get treatment for the mental disorder they are probably suffering from. (The estimates are that 85-95% of those who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental disorder at the time of their death.) I think society has an interest in decreasing the number of preventable deaths, which most suicides are.

  111. rdcanning

    Practical: We as a society also have a long history of protecting those who are not acting “in their right mind.” Taking someone to an ER when found with cut wrists is in line with the belief that suicide and self-harm like this are not usually the result of “right thinking” but rather due to a mental disorder that may be treatable. We don’t necessarily force people into treatment unless they are dangerous to themselves or others.

    We allow people to go off dialysis and die from kidney failure, but we do so after determining they have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, or their designated surrogate makes the decision if they do not. There are lots of situations in which we take actions to protect people who are not competent.

  112. rdcanning

    For those of you who might be interested, here is a link to the Thor decision:

    [url]https://mywebspace.wisc.edu/rstreiffer/web/CourseFolders/BioandLawF99Folder/Readings/Thor_v_Superior_Court.pdf[/url]

    It should be noted that this decision had to do with the refusal of medical treatment, but in practical terms had to do with this inmate’s right to die as he saw fit.

  113. JustSaying

    “Implications (from a February 2013 Gallup study)

    Gun owners are predominantly male, and Southern residents are especially likely to own guns. Those patterns are fairly well known, and likely a result of cultural factors, but being married is also a major predictor of personally owning a gun or having a gun in the household. The reasons behind the relationship between marital status and gun ownership are not obvious, though it could be that marriage rates are higher among other subgroups that tend to own guns, such as older Americans and those who are politically conservative. Married people may also have greater financial resources to own a gun, and may be more likely to feel a need to own a gun for security reasons (though there is no difference in gun ownership among people with and without young children).

    The high level of gun ownership in the United States — nearly one in three Americans personally own a gun and nearly half of households do — means efforts in Washington to restrict gun ownership will potentially affect tens of millions of Americans. From a political standpoint, the question is whether those gun owners are more likely to see possible new restrictions on guns as a necessary step to try to limit gun violence in the United States or as an unacceptable limitation on their ability to own guns.”

    Now that we have 200-million to 300-million privately owned guns in the hands of a third of our population, why do we need to make it easy to buy new ones? The younger folks are becoming less enamored by the idea of having one (let alone, a dozen).

  114. medwoman

    [quote]So the societal interest trumps the individual interest? What exactly is that societal interest?[/quote]

    It was not my claim, or my intent that societal interest trumps that of the individual. As I have stated a number of times, I believe that there are multiple nuances and individual circumstances to be considered. As rdcanning has pointed out, as a society, we tend to be protective of our children and those that we perceive as impaired in
    their decision making due to mental illness, grief, despair and any number of other circumstances. I believe that there is ample precedent in many circumstances for a balance between individual and societal rights. The right to end one’s own life is only one of these circumstances and while it is not illegal, it certainly involves the well being of one’s family, and in a broader sense, one’s community. The choice to add a life to the community and the choice to take one away should in my opinion never be made lightly, or suddenly, but rather from a place of inner peace and strength with regard to the decision.

  115. medwoman

    [quote]“Suicide is the gun’s fault because it’s more effective than a knife or other means. ” [/quote]

    An inanimate object is incapable of “fault”. It is also incapable of any virtue. Guns are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. They are a tool. They can be used to protect. They can be used to harm. No one is claiming anything else.

    I am a surgeon. I am highly trained in the use of a particularly sharp and, in the hands of someone untrained, or impaired, highly dangerous instrument. If this is used to injure instead of to cure, it is not the fault of the knife but of the individual using it. No one is stating anything different. And yet, guns cause many more fatal injuries in this country than do people wielding knives. It only makes sense that if one is going to prevent injury, one should focus on the common means of injury. If I were in India, I might focus on prevention of suicides using rat poison. But I am here, and gun injury is our reality.

    If you are a life guard, you will focus on prevention of drowning. If a doctor, you will attempt to prevent surgical complications. If you are a highway patrol officer, you will likely focus on driving safely. If you see, as we all can from the statistics, that there are a high number of gun related deaths and injuries, why would we not focus on those as well ?

  116. craised

    [quote]“Suicide is the gun’s fault because it’s more effective than a knife or other means. ” [/quote]

    What’s next after gun control? Would you go after cars that are controlled by humans? There are thousands of people either killed or injured every year due to human error…. I think driverless cars just might be the ticket!!!! If we took the steering wheel out of human control, would the murder and suicide rates drop?

    Where does this vicious cycle end?

  117. medwoman

    [quote]What’s next after gun control? Would you go after cars that are controlled by humans? There are thousands of people either killed or injured every year due to human error…. I think driverless cars just might be the ticket!!!! If we took the steering wheel out of human control, would the murder and suicide rates drop?

    Where does this vicious cycle end? [/quote]

    Absolutely. If it were proven that for instance, the Google car currently being tested were proven to save lives,
    would it not make sense to get as many people transitioned to it’s use as possible? And in answer to your question about the murder rate, I rather imagine that vehicular homicide and suicide might drop as the car would be unlikely to choose to run over anyone, or to drive itself into a wall or over a cliff.

    I don’t know what is next. But I am excited about the possibilities.
    And since when is injury prevention a ” vicious cycle ” ?

  118. Frankly

    This debate really gets us down to a conflict of lifestyles. It is rural versus urban with suburban falling somewhere in the middle. The less population-dense is your living circumstances, the more likely you will demand less restrictions on gun ownership, and the more likely you will actually need a gun and use a gun on a regular basis.

    It is really easy to connect the dots for this difference in opinion, and it also explains other difference in left and right politics. Basically, if you live in a dense urban area, you REQUIRE other people to help take care of your needs. You get used to being dependent on these people and government in general. Since you rationally know you cannot shoot a firearm in a densely populated city without risking hitting other people, and since there are few if any edible animals to hunt, gun ownership falls way down the list of your needs or wants. You are also more likely to support big government because many services you rely on HAVE to be provided by government since everyone is living on-top of everyone else and actions of one person or property owner can have a ripple effect.

    Ironically, people living in rural areas tend to view city people as less-responsible and less self-reliant. The view is a bunch of somewhat spoiled immature adults always trying to hook-up, and demanding they be cared for and protected without having to do much of the work other than working to pay a boatload of taxes. City people also do not tend to have a strong positive opinion of rural people. They consider them slower witted, less-educated, more fundamentalist and more paranoid.

    City people pay government officials and other service providers to do much of the work that rural people do themselves. Since rural people do this work themselves, they often require the same tools that city government officials and other registered city service providers require. This includes guns.

    One big problem is that the city people tend to be liberal and they control most of the Federal government, the media and the education system. However, they have not been responsible in this control. They continue to offend and alienate people in rural areas. There is a lot of anger and hostility that has been brewing since after 9-11 for how the left has behaved and acted relative to their rural countrymen and women. Those more conservative, more self-reliant people in the rural areas are looking at all the problems with gun violence as being mostly a big city problem. They reject the attempt to reduce their own responsibly-managed freedom to own guns to help the cities clean up their gun violence problem.

    I agree with my rural brethren. Here is why…

    The solutions to gun violence are for the cities to implement stop-and-frisk, implement zero-tolerance sentencing for illegal gun possession and criminal use, and to significantly increase mental health services and facilities. As has been proven in cities like Chicago, gun bans and gun ownership restriction will do nothing to halt gun violence. There is evidence that it will do exactly the opposite as the bad guys can still get guns and will more likely use them since the risk that the victim will have a weapon was reduced. I support requiring background checks only after these other measures are implemented.

  119. Edgar Wai

    [b]Suicide[/b]

    Suicide is a principal negative metric because it always imply an unresolved issue (unless those who subscribe to a belief where death is simply a transition to the next world). Ethically, suicide only results as a resolution when there is no other means that would minimize the impact on all metrics.

    A terminally ill patient in severe pain chooses suicide because he has no mean to keep his life without the pain, or to incur undue financial hardship to his family. In such scenario, we note that if there is a way to treat his illness at no cost, the patient would have chosen that option. Therefore, in this scenario, suicide is a negative metric that society can try to minimize. If this is understood, then the question is not [i]whether[/i] to minimize it, but [i]how[/i] to minimize it without simply shifting the same amount of damage to another metric.

    For the choice for tools used for suicide, we can observe the following factors that would affect the decision:

    1) The cost of getting the tool
    2) The duration of suffering during suicide
    3) The failure rate
    4) The amount of collateral damage to others
    5) The amount of preparation needed for the suicide
    6) The chance of detection by others leading up to the suicide
    7) The chance of intervention by others
    8) The duration between the thought of suicide and implementation

    Each object can be evaluated as a suicide tool and get a score representing their potency. The “perfect” suicide tool would score zero on each account (e.g.: when the person wants to die, they would die instantly and be erased from the world and from the memory of everyone, leaving no impact to anyone whatsoever.).

    For each object, a change is worthwhile if it reduces suicide without increasing the damage of any other metric that we should also minimize.

    For guns, my assessment of it as a suicide tool is this:

    1) Cost: Mid (Low if someone else has guns lying around)
    2) Suffer: Low
    3) Failure: Low
    4) Collateral: Low
    5) Preparation: Low
    6) Detection: Mid (Low if the person already has guns for other reasons)
    7) Intervention: Low
    8) Consideration: Low

    To make guns a less potent tool for suicide is to increase its scores. However, the decision on what or how to increase each score should take the overall picture into account. For example, according to these metrics, we could prevent suicide by guns by making guns more expensive, thus making it less accessible to law-abiding people. Doing so would not affect the score of the other metrics in this set. However, there is no guarantee that such a change would not affect other metrics needed for the society.

    If I propose a change where each gun purchase requires a $10,000 security deposit, that is returned if the gun owner returns the gun to the government, and [b]confiscated[/b] if the gun causes harm while in the custody of the owner, is there anyone here who would personally object so? If so, what is the reason?

  120. medwoman

    Well that is certainly one analysis of the rural/ urban divide. Having lived in both circumstances, I could not disagree with you more on several points.

    1) There is no monopoly on safe gun management in folks who live rurally. I went to many homes as a kid where guns were treated very casually regardless of how many kids were running around. Every year there when I was growing up, there were hunting accidents or near misses in which a gun was accidentally discharged and no one was hurt. If rural folks are honest, gun safety is a concern regardless of the size of your piece of property.

    2) City dwellers certainly are more aware of the interdependence of their living situation than are many rural dwellers. However, this does not equate to more reliance on the government. In our very small little rural community of 2,000 when I was growing up, we were not the only family dependent on social security. It just wasn’t talked about very much since there was a big emotional investment in the self sufficient myth.

    3) Many rural dwellers like to talk about how self sufficient they are. It is a huge point of pride for them. However, they do not tend to turn down government aide when it is available as price supports or assistance when there are wild fires or other disasters. Nor should they. The problem is that unlike most urban dwellers who tend to realize that they are not totally self sufficient, the rural folks have a tendency to want to bash the government, right up until the time that they are the ones in need. Please don’t tell me this is not true. I grew up with it and my sister still lives surrounded by this attitude.

  121. Don Shor

    [quote]if the 53 Democrat Senators wanted to bring on more than the four Republicans (they only needed three more) that joined them in voting yes, they only had to horse-trade for something.[/quote]
    What? What could they have horse-traded for? Please tell us.

    [quote]The likelihood is that the Democrat in the Senate allowed this result to occur to give cover to these four Democrat Senators up for re-election, while also getting their liberal media pals to make political hay against the Republicans. Win-win for the Democrats… who cares if more people die by gun. In fact, the more people that die by gun, the more the Democrats and their liberal media pals can gin it up as anti-Republican propaganda. [/quote]
    Spectacular. You’ve really outdone yourself this time. The Democrats wanted the bill to fail. Yes, yes, I see. Thanks for clarifying that to us.

    [quote]
    The majority Republican House passes the bill, and the majority Democrat Senate shoots it down. [/quote]
    Um, huh?

    [quote]It is clear that the Democrats own this failure despite what their liberal media pals report and their minions spout.[/quote]
    I must have fallen down a rabbithole. So: Democrats voted for the bill, Republicans voted against it. So Democrats are responsible for its failure. Just curious: are Republicans ever responsible for anything?

    Republicans are going to continue to diminish in numbers so long as they are so completely out of touch on the issues of guns and immigration, and on nearly every social issue. Prepare for many years in the wilderness if the current Republican congressional leadership continues on its current course.

  122. JustSaying

    Don, a mystery to me is why Senator Harry Reed turned down the opportunity to change the 60-vote supermajority/filibuster rule when the time was ripe. No need, he announced, the Republicans have promised not to abuse it in exchange for getting their amendments considered. The majority leader must have realized that contentious issues and appointments would be coming up this session.

    And, instead of requiring a real filibuster, he rolls over for every suggestion that there might be one if the 60-vote requirement isn’t met. And no one will be accountable for how they voted since they weren’t really voting on the legislation itself.

    How much different the gun legislation situation would have been without the “fake filibuster” rules! What else of importance will fail to be brought to votes on the merits during this session?

  123. Practical

    rdcanning said . . .

    [i]”I would say the “societal interest” is in giving someone some time to get treatment for [b]the mental disorder they are probably suffering from[/b]. (The estimates are that 85-95% of those who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental disorder at the time of their death.) I think society has an interest in decreasing the number of preventable deaths, which most suicides are.

    We as a society also have a long history of protecting those who [b]are not acting “in their right mind.”[/b] Taking someone to an ER when found with cut wrists is in line with the belief that suicide and self-harm like this are [b]not usually the result of “right thinking” but rather due to a mental disorder that may be treatable.[/b] We don’t necessarily force people into treatment unless they are dangerous to themselves or others.

    We allow people to go off dialysis and die from kidney failure, but we do so after determining they have the mental capacity to make their own decisions, or their designated surrogate makes the decision if they do not. There are lots of situations in which we take actions to protect people who are not competent.”[/i]

    The bolded words are very telling. There is a presumption in our society (and most societies) that wanting to move on from this existence to the next is evidence of a mental disorder. Why do you think that is?

  124. Practical

    Edgar Wai said . . .

    [i]”Suicide is a principal negative metric because it always imply an unresolved issue (unless those who subscribe to a belief where death is simply a transition to the next world). Ethically, suicide only results as a resolution when there is no other means that would minimize the impact on all metrics.”[/i]

    Edgar, you are presuming that an unresolved issue is in and of itself a negative. Any good psychologist, psychiatrist or organizational behavior expert will tell you that many issues only get worse if you attempt to resolve them.

    Many people believe (myself among them) that our current existence is only a single chapter in a long running book, of which there have been many chapters before the current one ann many chapters that will follow the current one. Moving on to the next chapter when you feel that the current chapter has reached its end seems quite reasonable to me. I certainly do not see it as a misalignment in the impact on metrics.

  125. Practical

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”This debate really gets us down to a conflict of lifestyles. It is rural versus urban with suburban falling somewhere in the middle. The less population-dense is your living circumstances, the more likely you will demand less restrictions on gun ownership, and the more likely you will actually need a gun and use a gun on a regular basis.”[/i]

    I can agree with that Frankly. The question I have for you is how onerous would gun registration be for the people living in less population-dense living circumstances? They would seem to be the people for whom actually needing a gun and using a gun on a regular basis would mean that registration would be no more onerous than getting a driver’s license.

  126. Mr.Toad

    “There is no way that the combined fighting force of 700,000 with 20k total armored vehicles and 20k planes could take on a force of civilians the likes the US can produce. That isn’t take any consideration to the fact that many in the armed forces will not fire on US civilians.”

    From the Whiskey Rebellion to the Civil War to Kennedy federalizing the national guard to the SLA nobody has ever upended the supremacy of the federal government. Thinking otherwise is delusional.

  127. Growth Izzue

    [quote]If I propose a change where each gun purchase requires a $10,000 security deposit, that is returned if the gun owner returns the gun to the government, and confiscated if the gun causes harm while in the custody of the owner, is there anyone here who would personally object so? [/quote]

    All liberals should object, $10,000 would be onerous for poor people and they have their 2nd ammendment rights too don’t they. Are you going to deny their right because they can’t afford the deposit? After all, liberals fought voter ID citing the cost of a $10 ID as one of their main objections.

  128. Don Shor

    Seriously, all I’m looking for is a stronger background check, and more action at the federal level to combat illegal weapons trafficking, and restrictions on the loophole gun sales. I don’t really care that Sen. Feinstein’s weapons ban failed. I don’t really have strong feelings about bullet clips or other details. I think you have a right to own a gun, and the government has some limited rights to regulate that. I think most people will support moderate measures to restrict access to guns by people with diminished mental capacity, mental illness, or criminal records.
    But apparently we couldn’t even get that.
    Manchin and Toomey made significant efforts to bring rural legislators on board ([url]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/15/manchin-toomey-compromise_n_3088957.html[/url]). There were all kinds of efforts to get this legislation passed. But the overwhelming majority of Republican officeholders can’t even bring themselves to support these moderate measures.

  129. Frankly

    Why did Feinstein, Bloomberg and Obama lose, and the NRA win? I think the following nails it:
    [quote]As political scientist Jonathan Bernstein recently pointed out, one of the big mistakes of the latest gun control debate was equating public support for reform with public demand for reform:

    Those people who have been pushing for marriage equality? They were calling for change. And marching for it, demanding it, donating money to get it, running for office to achieve it, and supporting candidates who would vote for it, filing lawsuits to make it legal. In many cases, they based their entire political identity around it.

    Action works. “Public opinion” is barely real; most of the time, on most issues, change the wording of the question and you’ll get entirely different answers. At best, “public opinion” as such is passive. And in politics, passive doesn’t get results.

    Here is what political power looks like: It’s the combination of money, intensity, and influence when it matters most. The NRA boasts all of the above. LaPierre and his NRA colleagues around the country know how to whip their members—4.5 million of them by the NRA’s count—into a frenzy. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 1 in 5 gun owners had called, written, or emailed a public official; only 1 in 10 people without a gun in the household had done the same. In the same poll, 1 in 5 gun owners said they’d given money to a group involved in the gun control debate; just 4 percent of people without a gun in the home previously gave money.[/quote]
    In other words, I think those polled say they are for greater gun control because it is the hip, cool and politically-correct thing to say. However, there exists the same concern of government over-reach, of the onerous and punitive impacts to people that really use guns in a lawful way, and a rational assessment that the legislation really would not help solve any problems. There is also an understanding that activists don’t ever stop in this country. They make a career out of eroding other’s freedoms to an end with ever moving goalposts. So this legislation would only be a celebration of in incremental march toward something few people want.

    Lastly, it is always a less motivating political movement to take something away. I’m sure many people immersed in the activist fight for gay marriage and immigration reform find putting more restrictions on something that many enjoy and require as a legal lifestyle choice.

  130. Don Shor

    [i] I think those polled say they are for greater gun control because it is the hip, cool and politically-correct thing to say.
    [/i]
    I think they say they are for greater gun control because they don’t like the violence they see that guns are connected to.

    [i]So this legislation would only be a celebration of in incremental march toward something few people want.
    [/i]
    Do you personally believe that enacting stricter background checks, fighting firearms trafficking at the federal level, and closing the gun show and internet loopholes would lead toward further gun control thereafter? In other words, you buy the ‘slippery slope’ argument that any gun control will lead to more gun control and therefore no gun control is acceptable? Do you personally believe that? Did you personally support the measure before the Senate?

  131. Frankly

    [i]There were all kinds of efforts to get this legislation passed. But the overwhelming majority of Republican officeholders can’t even bring themselves to support these moderate measures.[/i]

    Don – just as in all politics, when you have a large number of constituents calling you and writing you that they will work against you next election if you vote for something they are strongly opposed to, and there are not enough counter callers and writers to give you confidence that this would not occur, as a representative of your constituents, you are bound to respect their demands.

    One realated issue, there is a lack of trust. The Democrats have gone into a great debt of political capital with Republicans and conservatives. Obama and the Dems have been playing the game of populist politics at the expense of their political foes. They get a lot of help from the liberal media and Hollywood. Of course you will continue to be blind to this and you will hold up Obama and the Dems as innocent and victims of a hostile right. But all you need to do is read the transcript of Obama’s press conference after the Senate failed to pass this bill to understand that the battle lines have hardened thanks to his lack of cooperative leadership. Frankly, he is throwing a tantrum that he his style of divide and conquer did not work.

    By the way, I support the same things that you support relative to gun control.

  132. Edgar Wai

    Re: Practical

    I think principles should not have exceptions. Since we both agree that suicide is not an issue for those who believe that their own death is merely a transition, I think we are in agreement that the number of suicide is not a proper metric assess the health of a society. A society does not need to minimize suicide. The kind of suicide we wanted to reduce is already addressed by reducing depression.

    On the other hand, your statement about unresolved issue is not enough to disqualify it as a metric. When you say sometimes issues get worse when people try to solve it, you are subscribing to the same metric that more/bigger unresolved issues is [i]worse[/i]. So we agree that a situation where issues are resolved is better.

  133. rdcanning

    Practical said: “There is a presumption in our society (and most societies) that wanting to move on from this existence to the next is evidence of a mental disorder. Why do you think that is? “

    I actually don’t think that’s so. I think we (I guess me included) wants those decisions to be made “rationally” rather than clouded by disorder, dementia, or pressure. I think we as a society are scared to death of dying and do most anything to prolong life, remain young, and push off the inevitable.

  134. Practical

    rdcanning said . . .

    [i]”I think we as a society are scared to death of dying and do most anything to prolong life, remain young, and push off the inevitable.”[/i]

    What is there to fear? FDR had it right.

  135. Practical

    Edgar Wai said . . .

    [i]”On the other hand, your statement about unresolved issue is not enough to disqualify it as a metric. When you say sometimes issues get worse when people try to solve it, [b]you are subscribing to the same metric that more/bigger unresolved issues is worse.[/b] So we agree that a situation where issues are resolved is better.”[/i]

    No Edgar, you misread my statement. For some issues remaining unresolved is better than the resolution they achieve when you try and resolve them. In some cases resolved is worse.

    Have you ever heard of the expression “let sleeping dogs lie” or the expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

  136. Edgar Wai

    Re: Growth Issue

    For those who want to ban guns altogether, mathematically that is the same as setting the security deposit to infinity. The difference between infinite and finite security deposit is that finite deposit is discriminatory, which is your reason of objection.

    What about the proposal on increasing the waiting period?

  137. Edgar Wai

    Re: Practical

    I distinguish the meaning between “Resolution” and “Action”. My definition of resolution is a state where the concerns of all stakeholders are addressed. By definition it does not cause further issues.

    “Let sleeping dogs lie” -> In this situation, it simply means that “waking up the dog” is an action, but not necessarily a resolution.

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” -> By definition, unresolved issue means something is broken, incurring damage/cost/waste. When there is an unresolved issue, someone is taking the toll until it is resolved.

  138. Practical

    Edgar, you are naive. Take two siblings whose relationship has devolved into one of mistrust and contempt. What “action” are you seeking? How do you even inventory all the issues they have with one another. They don’t even know what all the issues are themselves. When they think they are arguing about an issue, because of all the underlying issues elsewhere in their history, they are actually arguing about two other issues altogether, one for the one sibling, another for the other.

    Bottom-line, you are on a highway to nowhere and any attempt to drive further only makes things worse and adds to the already considerable inventory of mistrust and contempt.

  139. Practical

    So the solution is to not get into the same car together . . . ever again.

    However, that solution leaves all the unresolved issues and mistrust and contempt in place as they were . . . unresolved.

  140. Practical

    Bringing that around to the suicide discussion, for many people the solution of suicide simply is the choice to close one chapter of their existence and begin the next chapter. Edgar has said that “Suicide is a principal negative metric because it always imply an unresolved issue” but leaving issues unresolved is a choice, and it may indeed be the best choice regardless of any perceived “societal interest.”

  141. Frankly

    [i]”When they think they are arguing about an issue, because of all the underlying issues elsewhere in their history, they are actually arguing about two other issues altogether”[/i]

    Aw yes, the essence of human conflict. Can we increase emotional intelligence? It seems to be decreasing in our human population. The alternative, the art and passion of simple forgiveness, also seems to be declining. We are also more self-centered… thinking that we know what’s best for the other less enlightened. So, we are at once, less understanding and more demanding of our family, friends, neighbors and fellow humans. I think those that are the most of these things, are the most afraid of guns.

  142. Frankly

    On the issue of suicide, a gay friend of mine, when asked if he agreed that homosexuality was biologically incorrect, made a point that a certain percentage of the population being gay may in fact be natural in the human race.

    I then asked if he thought the same thing might be true for suicides.

    After yelling at me for equating homosexuality to suicide, he agreed that it was an interesting question.

    I have had three close family members commit suicide by gun at a young age. I’m not sure, but I think it is possible that it was all the time God gave them. There are people that attempt suicide, and then go on to have a happy life. However, about 1/3 that attempt it try again in one year. I think we would be much better off teaching people coping skills that banning the guns that they might use to commit suicide. Just like alcoholism, we cannot ban alcohol… we can only help those with the disease to successfully cope with it.

  143. Practical

    Frankly said . . .

    Aw yes, the essence of human conflict. [b]= check[/b]

    Can we increase emotional intelligence? [b]= check[/b]

    It seems to be decreasing in our human population. [b]I’m not sure I agree. Why do you think it is decreasing?[/b]

    The alternative, the art and passion of simple forgiveness, also seems to be declining. [b]Again, I’m not sure I agree. I would say that in today’s world of instant communication, we simply are much more aware of the failures of forgiveness.[/b]

    We are also more self-centered… thinking that we know what’s best for the other less enlightened. [b]In the case of the discussion with Edgar above, I would say that being more self centered causes us to walk away from others such that the opportunity to impose our will on them never occurs.[/b]

    So, we are at once, less understanding and more demanding of our family, friends, neighbors and fellow humans. [b]My experience is that in todays world where families and childhood friends and neighbors are very widely geographically dispersed, we do indeed understand less because our interactions are fewer, but my experience says that that distance makes us less demanding, not more demanding.[/b]

    I think those that are the most of these things, are the most afraid of guns. [b]I’m not sure I agree because I see so few people who are “most of these things.[/b]

  144. Practical

    Frankly

    [i]”I have had three close family members commit suicide by gun at a young age. I’m not sure, but I think it is possible that it was all the time God gave them.”[/i]

    Indeed, none of us is sure. If life is a long running book of many chapters, all they did was move on to their next chapter.

    [i]”There are people that attempt suicide, and then go on to have a happy life. However, about 1/3 that attempt it try again in one year. I think we would be much better off teaching people coping skills that banning the guns that they might use to commit suicide. Just like alcoholism, we cannot ban alcohol… we can only help those with the disease to successfully cope with it.”[/i]

    Why do you see a suicide attempt as a disease?

  145. Edgar Wai

    Re: Practical

    Problems and their solutions follow patterns. By recognizing these patterns, a person develops their arsenal for problem solving, such that given a problem, they readily have several solution archetypes to evaluate. The following are some of the solution archetypes:

    Mistrust: Having protocols, transparency, accountability, declaration of intent
    Contempt: Communicating goals and expectations, having an evaluation rubric, declaration of intent,

    This is not an exhaustive list of solution archetypes. New archetypes are discovered constantly. Based on archetypes (or “creativity” in general), and the context of the issue, a solution can be instantiated. A solution that addresses all concerns is readily adopted by the discussion participants (since by definition, when they have no outstanding concerns, there is no barrier blocking their action).

    In practice, it is unnecessary to wait until all concerns are revealed. It is sufficient to act when all [b]known[/b] concerns are revealed and addressed, and a call is performed to extended stakeholder, and no new concerns are identified. This follows the pragmatic and proactive approach where if no one is objecting the proposal, then the proposal is carried out.

    “They don’t even know what all the issues are themselves” is not a problem to the solution process. It does not matter if they only disclose one issue when there are nine more that they cannot articulate. For each issue that is articulated, the process will resolve it. Every time a new issue is articulated, the process may update the plan and resolve that also. One by one, all of the issues are resolved.

    When a stakeholder suggests that a proposal will cause more harm than good and articulates the reason, the process will update the proposal and address that concern.

    In my use of the terms, leaving issues unresolved is never a result of free choice, but a result due to insufficient knowledge and/or ability. The reason is that in this context, issues are defined from the perspective of the person trying to commit suicide. In this sense, there is no notion of “social interest” (My perspective on suicide may be different from that by MedWoman). The definition of “issue” is something that they want to resolve and they are taking a toll when it is not resolved. In this definition, the preference to have them resolved* is a prerequisite for labeling the situation an “issue”.

    * I used the wording “have them resolved” instead of “resolve them” because part of the psychology of reacting to issues includes denial and procrastination. A person with an issue might hope that it goes away, but might not be proactively trying to solve it.

    Do you understand what I meant by “unresolved issues?”
    Do you have a better way of expressing what I meant so that there is no confusion?

  146. Frankly

    [i]Why do you see a suicide attempt as a disease?[/i]

    I think depression can be a symptom of a disease. If we call alcoholism a disease – basically an uncontrollable urge to drink excessively, then an uncontrollable urge to kill one’s self certain fits the bill.

    I think suicidal people should be classified as being sick.

    I think in the future science will uncover genetic material that marks a person as more likely to be suicidal.

    If it is a disease and it can be detected in some way, then like all chronic diseases, a person understanding what they are afflicted with can move to learning how to cope with their disease.

  147. Frankly

    [i]My experience is that in todays world where families and childhood friends and neighbors are very widely geographically dispersed, we do indeed understand less because our interactions are fewer, but my experience says that that distance makes us less demanding, not more demanding.[/i]

    I agree. Instead of “more demanding” I should have written “less tolerant” of difference and different opinions. It is a bit perplexing because we communicate more often with more with strangers, but appear to be regressing back to a level of tribalism where we only want to associate with people that think the same way. I agree that geographic dispersion is part of the reason for this change.

    One day I was driving to work, and a car cut in front of me and then slowed down. I almost hit the back of it. I was furious. Turned out it was a good friend coworker of mine driving his wife’s car… he had a radar unit in her car and saw a CHP ahead and made the move to prevent me from getting a ticket since I was driving about 80 MPH. At the moment I recognized him my anger went away and I was embarrassed about my behavior. That gave me a clear look into the problems for how we treat others that we don’t have personal connections with.

    In my office, I am installing a video conferencing system for similar reasons. Just seeing the other person’s face on the screen helps strengthen personal relationship more than does a conference call.

  148. Practical

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”I think depression can be a symptom of a disease. If we call alcoholism a disease – basically an uncontrollable urge to drink excessively, then an uncontrollable urge to kill one’s self certain fits the bill.

    I think suicidal people should be classified as being sick.”[/i]

    Isn’t that assessment just a bit presumptuous? Why is the rational, free-will driven desire to move on to the next stage of one’s existence a disease?

    [i]”I think in the future science will uncover genetic material that marks a person as more likely to be suicidal.

    If it is a disease and it can be detected in some way, then like all chronic diseases, a person understanding what they are afflicted with can move to learning how to cope with their disease.”[/i]

    I don’t disagree with you, but are you assuming that the only outcome of the additional uncovered knowledge is that suicide is a disease? Do you leave any room for the possibility that the additional uncovered knowledge will show that in many cases suicide is not a disease?

  149. Frankly

    Practical,

    You make good points here.

    I think a chronically ill person in pain and materially lacking hope for any improvement may make a rational choice to commit suicide. I support it to some degree.

    But for younger and physically healthy people, I think being suicidal can and should be classified as a disease… or maybe a severe personality disorder in some cases. It might be a symptom of some childhood illness or drug use or a food allergy. Certainly high levels of stress have been identified as a catalyst, but many people dealing with the highest levels of stress would never even consider ending their own life by choice. The lack of natural serotonin, or the lack of response to it, seems perfectly clinical to me.

    Look out at the billions of galaxies each containing billions of stars and we still don’t know if there is other life with human reasoning capability equal to ours to contemplate what life means. The universe is some 16 billion years old. The earth is some 6 billion years old. Human history is about 5000-6000 years old. We very well might be the only supremely-intelligent life form in the universe. Yet, we live a life that is a micron-wide in this context. Why the hell can’t any human just hold on to that perspective… that they may be the lucky one in several trillion to be given this life, and they should not end it prematurely without good cause? If they are interested in the next step, whatever that might be, they will see it soon enough. Just hold on, pull up the boot straps, learn to cope, make a plan, work the plan, climb a damn mountain and stop feeling sorry for all the things that life hasn’t provided yet.

    Regardless if suicide is classified as a disease or not a disease, I have no tolerance for otherwise healthy people killing themselves. I have family members that have done so, and they have caused others much more pain than any claim of pain they felt themselves. For me, when a loved one passes, I continue to develop a relationship with that person over time (one-sided of course). Not so for my family members committing suicide. I have old memories, but in terms of any ongoing relationship, they are literally dead to me for what they have done. Illness or not, I have zero empathy for them and what they might be if they had not made the great mistake. My consideration is for the living and those that understand that living is likely the greatest miracle and/or the greatest gift of God.

  150. Frankly

    One more thought…

    I think some people “feel” more strongly than others. Many I know are hyper-sensitive by my measures and they confound me. I have always been perplexed by friends and family that keep talking about the pains of their childhood. I frankly don’t remember a great deal of my childhood because I never dwell on the negative. Why keep going back to something that hurts? I can just see how this looking-back-for-pain thing screws up the decision-making capability of so many people. The lesson of personal forgiveness is possibly a remedy for many people stuck in this destructive behavior/neurosis. Therapy and counseling… maybe.

    But how can there be no hope when we have life?

    An older widowed lady-friend of my wife’s admitted to her that she was depressed, lonely, and an alcoholic. Later she sold her home and moved to a retirement community. She now has a boyfriend and is very happy. What took her so long? My guess is she was looking backwards feeling sorry for herself. How many years of happiness did she waste doing that?

    It seems we are losing our human coping skills. My great grandmother was the oldest of nine kids. She was the only survivor after illness and farming accidents killed all her siblings at young ages. Her mother was heartbroken, but lived until she was 88. She coped. She had to. My grandmother watched three of her four children die before she passed away at 98. Nobody committed suicide. They had lives more difficult than we can every imagine. But today, all it takes is one little setback in life and someone thinks to kill themselves.

    Everyone needs to get some perspective on the genuine struggles humans have had to endure, and learn to cope with our relatively miniscule, and usually self-created, problems of today.

  151. Edgar Wai

    In this discussion, we have mentioned at least three contexts of suicide. I have added one to make the spectrum more complete.

    1) A person who wants to kill himself when he has achieved the purpose he set for himself in this life, and is ready to move on to another life.

    2) A person who rationally decides to kill himself because he is suffering from constant pain that no one has a solution. He is ready to choose better alternatives and prefers to live and be pain-free.

    3) A person who wants to kill himself because he feels unneeded, useless, or hopeless. While he does not suffer from any physical pain, he is depressed. He sees no significance or purpose in their life.

    4) A person who wants to kill himself because he is angry at or dislike about something and he would use his death to make a statement.

    5) A person who may end up killing himself because his perception of reality is compromised. He is hearing things and seeing things that do not exist

    Practical is using context 1 to argue that suicide is not always bad. The intention of that argument is not disclosed, but it has the effect of potentially prevent an over-generalization of suicide.

    When I talk about suicide, my intention is to address context 3, because the solutions to context 3 does not require any technical knowledge, and comes naturally to people who are kind and loving.

  152. Practical

    Frankly

    [i]”Regardless if suicide is classified as a disease or not a disease, [b]I have no tolerance for otherwise healthy people killing themselves.[/b] I have family members that have done so, and they have caused others much more pain than any claim of pain they felt themselves. For me, when a loved one passes, I continue to develop a relationship with that person over time (one-sided of course). Not so for my family members committing suicide. I have old memories, but in terms of any ongoing relationship, they are literally dead to me for what they have done. Illness or not, [b]I have zero empathy for them and what they might be if they had not made the great mistake.[/b] My consideration is for the living and those that understand that living is likely the greatest miracle and/or the greatest gift of God.”[/i]

    Interesting thoughts Frankly. Are you sure that those who have passed on from this existence are not living? I certainly am not sure that is the case. On the contrary, I am totally confident that everyone who has “died” is indeed living, just in their next chapter. Life truly is the greatest gift of God. That is why I can’t imagine that it ever ends.

  153. Frankly

    Practical: [I]Are you sure that those who have passed on from this existence are not living?[/I]

    No, I am not. But, I think, in any case, killing themselves prematurely cheats them and everyone that knows them from the value of a life that exists in the present and that we know exists.

    Like I wrote, if you want to die, then it will happen soon enough considering the scope of time in the natural world. This life is really very short.

    Checking out early justifies a large dose of scorn and disgust from those of us that stick around working hard to live this life.

    I think we should have no choice but to be forced to rationalized the emotions we feel. It is simply a biomechanical process. Glands and organs producing natural chemicals that make us feel or block our feelings. Some people abuse their bodies and minds to the point of creating a monumental task for sorting through a fog of haywire emotional noise. Events occur that impact emotional responses. Some naturally seem unable to separate feeling from fact. But none of this stops the need to do so.

    I don’t trust the decision-making capability of highly emotional, hyper-sensitive people. I don’t trust emotions in general in a society and culture that seems bent on justifying any and every behavior and choice that makes a person feel good. I don’t trust any public policy driven by emotional responses. Emotions should not be the main course… they should be the seasoning and in some cases, the dessert. Emotions should not drive public policy.

    Feel too bad or don’t feel enough… just rationalize and understand that a biomechanical chemical process is at work, and make a plan to get to a point where emotions are stabilized. Do the work. Unless justified because of terminal illness, suicide is just lazy. It is irrational. It is unnatural. It is childish. We need to stop demonstrating so much empathy for those that kill themselves. The living needs to see a demonstration of apathy for those that check out from this life early without doing the work to stabilize their emotions.

    If death results in just another existence, then wait you damn turn to get there.

  154. Edgar Wai

    I don’t have enough talking with Practical. I understand Context 1 suicide enough to continue the discussion.

    Context 1 suicidal people are rational, and can also be considerate and hard working. I know of a few thought patterns that would rationally reach the conclusion of suicide. I don’t know which one Practical is familiar with.

    I don’t have enough experience talking with people who are suicidal. I don’t want the dialogue to end.

    While your mutual respect looks nice and friendly, from my perspective it just meant that Frankly didn’t understand what Practical was trying to say, Practical gave up trying to be understood, and I will be stigmatized for trying to have a dialogue. This could have the effect of creating Context 3 suicidal people because they can’t openly talk about what they really feel.

    I don’t have a problem talking about suicide because I can draw parallels to the philosophy of samurai, and the behavioral pattern of integrity. Someone who has the highest form of integrity, as a result, has no fear of death. But being ready to die for a cause is different from [i]wanting[/i] to die.

    Samurai wants to die in battle because that kind of death is the proof of courage, honor, loyalty, etc. Dying in other ways would provide less proof of the principles they lived for. Including other ritualized suicide of that culture, these voluntary deaths have nothing to do with depression, selfishness, laziness, or emotional instability.

    I think the thought pattern that Practical has is different from that of samurai and I want to know what it is.

  155. David M. Greenwald

    It seems that Bush is just as polarizing as Obama:

    “When it comes to Bush, Democrats and Republicans still don’t see eye to eye. Eight in ten Republicans now say that Bush’s eight years in office were a success, but that number drops to 43% among independents. Only 13% of Democrats agree, with nearly nine in ten Democrats saying the Bush presidency was a failure.”

    That’s pretty much the era that we are in and the next president may well be more polarizing than Obama.

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