Sunday, August 19, 2012

Military Suicides - It's not About Multiple Deployments

The Moderate Voice published an interesting article about military suicides and how the NRA actually presents an obstacle towards addressing the problem.  But the part I found most interesting was the simple debunking of that famous lie that the problem is due to the stress of multiple deployments.

As discussed here, in trying to find reasons or causes for the alarming upward trend in military suicides, TIME Magazine reporters Mark Thompson and Nancy Gibbs suggest that combat trauma alone can’t account for the trend and offer the following data:
Nearly a third of the suicides from 2005 to 2010 were among troops who had never deployed; 43% had deployed only once. Only 8.5% had deployed three or four times. Enlisted service members are more likely to kill themselves than officers, and 18-to-24-year-olds more likely than older troops. Two-thirds do it by gunshot; 1 in 5 hangs himself. And it’s almost always him: nearly 95% of cases are male. A majority are married.
“Two-thirds do it by gunshot.” Of course, you say. Our military are trained to use guns, they are “the tool of their trade,” troops have access to guns and many personally own firearms in their homes.
Naturally, Defense and military leaders are doing everything within their power to prevent or at least reduce this horrible, unnecessary loss life among the troops.

As part of what these leaders are doing to combat the suicide “epidemic,” they would like to talk to our servicemen and women who own a personal firearm and live off post.

There is one small catch, however. A relatively new law backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) seems to prevent them from talking to these servicemembers.

1 comment:

  1. What, you mean that in an all-volunteer military, the commanding officers can't take away the personally owned weapons of soldiers and Marines? You mean the government has limits in how it can restrict choice?

    Mikeb, you've served in the military. Remember how psychiatric care was seen? Imagine how hard it would be to get someone to seek help if that person knew his weapons would be taken away from him. You rant and rave about requiring psychological testing for civilians, but what you ignore is that the same thing would happen.

    You live in this fantasy world in which everyone trusts your good intentions. You think that everyone trusts the good intentions of the government and of mental health professionals. If you learn nothing else from my side, understand that a large portion of the American people do not trust any of those.