Ban Assault Ropes
Never expect NPR to leave politically-charged and irrelevant issues out of an honest debate.
There is nothing you can do about "access to lethal means."
I can poison myself with my car exhaust. There is no means to prevent that as an intentional act (I can remove my CO detector's batteries, or unplug it, to prevent the alarm from going off -- as an example.)
I can poison myself with dozens of commonly-available pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs (fentanyl anyone?) While you can "bust" more people and make access there harder, you can't really stop me from obtaining access (e.g. booze.)
I can hang myself. You can't stop that either; what are we going to do, put a 10 day waiting period on rope sales?
Hanging is quiet, clean and shockingly effective, nearly 100% so. Done "correctly" it also has a near-zero pain factor associated with it. Guns also have a near-zero pain quotient (when used in the mouth, for example) but are loud and messy. Car exhaust can poison unintended victims; whether a suicidal person cares is an open question.
A lot of people who try to kill themselves don't really mean it. We know this; it's a "cry for help", basically. But those who really do mean it usually choose a means that is nearly 100% effective and (as they believe anyway) painless. Some care about what they leave behind (e.g. the mess quotient) others do not.
The real question is why are the rates of suicide going up so much?
There are a number of answers.
Take a society that destroys middle-class earning potential, meaning you're either at the top or you're making under $20 an hour, and you've got a problem. Essentially all, statistically speaking, of the jobs created since 2008 pay under $20 an hour. That's a statistical fact and when you take someone who made $80k, lost their job, and now the best they can do is half that that might be a bigfactor. Thank you China, India, offshoring of labor, destroying of what formerly were good jobs, etc. Tell me again about the "booming" economy when these are, in fact, the real numbers behind that alleged "boom."
Now take non-large-corporate employee who finds himself with a near 90% effective tax rate on the money earned between $25,000 and $50,000. Yes, that's Obamacare and it's subsidy/penalty system. The penalties go away next year but the rest does not, and if you have any sort of health issue the 90% extraction for that second $25k is still there. Incidentally that nice little slot problem happens to occur right at the transition point to middle-class living, so we take a whole bunch of people who were formerly middle-class, can be today except that the rape-room financial games in the medical system toss them into the lower economic class where they have to double their income before starting to climb out of that hole. Will some, especially those with a health condition, choose to blow their own brains out instead when faced with that? Yep. Who gets that check? Obama, Trump and Congress, all whom have ignored and in fact cheered on the medical monopolists instead of imprisoning all of them.
Then you have opiates. An industry sells over 400 pills per person per year into one small town and manages to evade any sort of prosecution for it. Do you really think it's possible that there was any sort of legitimate need for that volume of drug in one small town when the drug in question is highly-addictive -- and profitable? Of course not. That's the very definition of the crack-dealer model of business: Only the first hit is free; the rest take all your money first, then your life. You don't think some people would decide to check out on their own terms instead of some pharma company's terms, do you?
There's more but this is a good start -- but no, we can't have that discussion.
Instead it has to be about guns -- inanimate objects instead of deliberate, malevolent, profit-driven decisions made by both big business and our government that have willfully and intentionally ignored rampant felony violations of the law for decadeswhile literally screwing the people of this nation blind.
Send this article to a friend: