Earlier this week we posted an AP news story about the increase in suicides with the downturn in Wallstreet and the economy. I am old enough to remember my parents’ stories about the suicides on Wallstreet after the 1929 crash, so was certainly not surprised about this development. Suicide prevention is one of the areas of advocacy that does not get enough attention. Suicide is a major risk factor for brain injured individuals, as depression and organic brain injury create a dangerous synergism.
There are surprisingly inadequate suicide resources on the web. I have previously linked some of those, but will endeavor in the coming days to supplement those we have discussed before. However, the most significant thing that can be done to prevent actual suicides is to insure that no one who is potentially despondent, has access to a handgun.
Included is a chart of the statistical analysis of suicide deaths in the US. Many have seen the movie Bowling for Columbine, which is Michael Moore’s treatment of gun control. While I agree with Moore, what Moore doesn’t say in this movie is that two-thirds of the gunshot deaths in the United States are suicides.
Look at the 5th column on the chart below – Case Fatality Rate. The success rate on all suicide attempts (including guns) is only 8.66%; the rate for those who attempt it with a gun – 85%. Even those who jump succeed only 31% of the time. The only other method that has more than a 50% success rate is those who attempt suicide through suffocation.
THE REAL REASON FOR GUN CONTROL? Of the 16,899 who killed themselves with guns, 16,200 would still be alive. I represent depressed people. The impulse to kill themselves is something they get past. But not when the impulse is combined with a gun.
©Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr. 2008
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
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