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The big tragedy with the widespread availability of firearms is suicide. Guns are a quick and easy way to end it all, where if you had to search out a tall building for 5 minutes the suicidal urge would subside.

Anyone who has dealt with depression can tell you how this works. The suicidal urge doesn't last very long, but guns are waaaaaaay too convenient. Guns are far from the only way to kill yourself, but their widespread availability and the immediacy of the action are unique among suicide methods.




When Australia implemented its tighter gun control and gun buyback in the late 1990s, suicide dipped briefly, but recovered and surpassed the previous level shortly after. Suicide by shooting was largely replaced by hanging.

The theory sounds right, but it doesn't look like the data supports it.


How would you structure something like state sanctioned assisted suicide given this "window" of irrationality?

We have a waiting period here in the USA when you purchase a firearm from a store. Is the waiting period not long enough in your opinion?


Federal law does not require a waiting period, only a background check. Last time I bought a firearm from a dealer, the background check took about 5 minutes. By law, up to 3 days are allowed for the background check, but it usually takes only minutes.

There had been a Federal waiting period, but it was ruled unconstitutional in 1997. Some states have waiting periods. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Instant_Criminal_Back...


Assisted suicide is a different thing. In those cases, people usually have terminal illnesses anyway so death is inevitable. These people have already accepted death in most cases (I believe this is one of the criteria in places that allow assisted suicide).

This isn't so much about "I want to kill myself; I should go buy a gun" but rather about "I want to kill myself; my dad keeps a gun in his sock drawer". Talk about responsible gun ownership all you want; but if you own a gun for personal defense (as the majority of gun owners do), it's probably not locked up most of the time.


That is no doubt true for some, others will find more drastic methods to end themselves (not all car accidents are accidental and some may hurt bystanders).

In addition I have this philosophy that if you want to interfere with peoples freedom you are responsible for making their life (as judged by that person) worth living - not just preventing them from killing themselves.


I wonder if those deaths are accounted in the accidental death statistics.

Regardless, it would be interesting to know if there was data on the effect on suicide when you get increased gun control. The data for suicide that I have seen seems to imply that the availability of guns would increase the suicide rate for men, which is also the biggest demographic for suicide victims.




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