Editorial Response to: “Add these troubling facts to the gun-rights debate.”

“Add these troubling facts to the gun-rights debate”

Editorial board, The Republic | azcentral.com 1:35 p.m. MST July 19, 2014


Martin GiudiceGun control advocates will selectively use any tragedy to further their anti-gun spin. In using the backdrop of suicide, one of the ultimate human tragedies, The Republic uses some twisted convoluted logic to arrive at the trite conclusion “This blows a big hole in the argument that gun ownership keeps people safer.”

In The Republic’s editorial, we see another glaring example of today’s lazy, biased and self-serving journalism. Taking a cheap shot at gun rights by exploiting one of the most complex and horrific calamities a family can endure is despicable. In any sincere examination of this important issue, the facts paint a much different picture of the role of guns in suicide. The following chart of suicide statistics indicates that guns are used in a small percentage of suicide attempts. Poisoning and cutting/piercing are by far and away more prevalent but less effective.

We could conclude that due to a guns effectiveness, it is a more decisive and therefore final mode of attempting self-destruction. Likewise, we would accurately conclude that guns are more effective for hunting, in war and for self- protection. Conservative estimates indicate that guns are used for self- defense between one and three million times per year. Therefore preventing physical harm to 10’s of thousands of law abiding citizens.

It is difficult if not impossible to imagine the mental and emotional state that leads an individual to a suicide attempt. The pain and suffering is unimaginable. As in mass shootings, mental illness is the dominate root cause quite often exacerbated by medications and physical suffering brought on by aging and/or a health issue.

In any honest and earnest discussion of suicide, the experts conclude that early detection and treatment leading to prevention is key. In the cases where warning signs are present, timely and effective action is essential. Study the following chart and arrive at your own conclusions.

National Suicide Statistics at a Glance

Percentage of Self-Harm Injuries, by Age Group, Disposition, and Mechanism, United States, 2005-2009

Suicide Stats

For all three age groups (10 to 24 years, 25 to 64 years, and 65 years or more), the greatest percentage of fatal self-harm injuries occurred by firearm (45.5%, 47.0%, and 72.1%, respectively), suffocation (38.9%, 23.4%, and 10.2%, respectively) and poisoning (8.0%, 21.2%, and 11.3%, respectively) during 2005-2009. In contrast, for all three age groups (10 to 24 years, 25 to 64 years, and 65 years or more), the greatest percentage of non-fatal self-harm injuries occurred by poisoning (45.3%, 59.1% and 58.1%, respectively) and cut/pierce (26.3%, 17.0%, and 14.0%, respectively).




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