U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Gun advocates take the lead in embracing suicide prevention message,” The Oregonian reported Saturday. “Gun owners and health professionals are coming together to devise new solutions to the public health crisis of suicide.”
“The newly influential voices of gun owners in public health are changing the conversation — and not only in the Pacific Northwest,” the article explains. “In recent years, similar state coalitions have sprung up across the country. New Hampshire is the home of the original Gun Shop Project, a mix of firearm retailers, range owners, and firearm rights advocates who helped develop materials and training to prevent firearm suicide.”
Such coalitions can be a positive development, especially as the story recalls a show of hands at “a gun-control conference” where only two “health professionals” in an audience of 200 admitted to owning a gun. Introducing people whose exposure to guns is limited to people who know what they’re talking about has potential, assuming some may be open-minded and persuadable.
Just remember, people who are highly educated in one specialty can be just as “provincial,” uneducated, and biased as they accuse gun owners of being. That’s the main reason why medical doctors who pose as experts qualified to offer “gun safety” prescriptions need to be challenged to cite their credentials, and why those who have none but are instead parroting political talking points can be rightly dismissed as “gunquacks.”
While a commitment to educate about and reduce suicides is commendable, care needs to be taken to make certain it relies on reality and is not used to infringe on rights with due process-ignoring “red flag” confiscations and mandatory “lock up your safety” edicts – all enforced by men with guns who will use them if they're not obeyed.
So naturally, the group that has once more reinvented itself as Brady United Against Gun Violence (to mask its original goal of banning handguns, then “controlling” them, and then presenting themselves as the arbiters of “gun safety”) has teamed with the “progressive” professional propagandists of the Ad Council to, as Rahm Emanuel put it, “never … let a crisis go to waste.” They’ve come up with a well-funded, multi-media “End Family Fire” campaign, that not only stumps for compulsory storage but also uses suicides to further the citizen disarmament agenda.
That their “one-size fits all” advice does not work for all situations, and can actually cause harm if people follow it, is left unsaid.
These are, after all, politically-motivated, slickly produced advertisements, as much as the illusionists behind them want us to believe they are “public service announcements.” They’re even expanding their glossary of terms: the ubiquitous “gun violence” is now joined by another invented term of convenience, “gun suicide,” used no fewer than eight times in the initial campaign press release.
What we’re dealing with here is yet another rich Democrat-funded “Astroturf” campaign using slick Madison Avenue ad techniques to make it look “grassroots.” A good indicator of that is they have been around for several months now but have at this writing only been able to attract a little over 1,000 Twitter and 2,000 Facebook followers.
Also left unsaid in all the media noise is an inconvenient truth about suicide that doesn’t fit the parroted narrative, and that’s the prevalence of suicide in cultures where guns are not allowed.
“In Japan, more people died from suicide last month than from Covid in all of 2020,” CNN reported Sunday. “In 2016, Japan had a suicide mortality rate of 18.5 per 100,000 people, second only to South Korea in the Western Pacific region…”
That’s comparable with the armed-to-the-teeth United States, with some states registering significantly lower rates.
The bottom line: Many factors are involved in suicides and many measures and options may exist to help prevent them, admittedly including separating a citizen who is a proven danger from his guns and committing him into custodial care (with full due process protections). But there is no one solution that will work for everyone and at all times.
The “go after everybody's guns first” approach also ignores those who may be most in need of help, the “prohibited person” underclass population, more prone to ravages of unemployment, drug abuse, poverty, and general depression, that possesses “illegal” guns. And don’t forget, guns are also banned in jails and prisons, both of which suffer from alarming suicide rates. Ironically, they’re actually highest in California, which imposes “safe storage” and has been given an “A” grade for its laws by Giffords.
Also, and this runs against the “gun control” contention that police should be the “Only Ones” with guns, is the longstanding inconvenient truth that more police die by suicide than in the line of duty.
As economist John Lott and co-author John E. Whitley observed in The University of Chicago Law School’s The Journal of Law & Economics:
It is frequently assumed that safe‐storage gun laws reduce accidental gun deaths and total suicides, while the possible impact on crime rates is ignored. We find no support that safe‐storage laws reduce either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides. Instead, these storage requirements appear to impair people’s ability to use guns defensively. Because accidental shooters also tend to be the ones most likely to violate the new law, safe‐storage laws increase violent and property crimes against law‐abiding citizens with no observable offsetting benefit in terms of reduced accidents or suicides.
A common factor among suicides is the belief that no other choice is available. Politically restricting choices for everyone is not the answer and ignoring what the Founders deemed “necessary to the security of a free State” is nothing short of cultural suicide.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.