Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gun Range Suicides reports

Suicides like the one Sunday at a Fort Myers gun range, while not common, are difficult to prevent, local firearms experts say.

Richard Arlen Kelley, 75, of Fort Myers, committed suicide at Fowler Firearms and Gun Range on Fowler Avenue. He had taken shooting practice for about 20 minutes, a store official said Monday. Josh Hackman, general manager at the Fowler store, said there’s nothing anyone at the store could have done to prevent Kelley from shooting himself.

“He came in, showed his ID, signed the waiver, we showed him how to use the gun, and then he shot for about 20 minutes,” he said. “Then he shot himself. That was it.”
The biased spin job of an article goes on to say "The News-Press archives show at least six other similar suicides at gun ranges around the United States in the past three years." Now, we know that's some shabby archives they've got there. A casual look shows more than that. The Scottsdale Gun Club has had half that themselves, for crying out loud.

No, this problem is a lot more widespread than the pro gun crowd would have us believe.  That's their strategy, to lie about the extent of a problem and then divide by all the guns in the entire country and say the percentage is insignificant. They combine that approach with the one in the article in which they claim nothing can be done about it.  But that's usually self-serving nonsense.

The problem with all their justifications is we're talking about lives, human lives. Renting guns to suicidal people is wrong and every effort should be made to stop it.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. So, how are you going to stop the suicidal person from going home and drinking a bottle of drain cleaner?

  2. If someone wants to die you are not going to be able to stop them. You will have to ban all individual liberty and lock everyone in a padded room with out any guns, knives, rope, pills, chemicals, or any other harmful agent.
    While we are on that topic if the man didn't want to live what right do you have to tell him he has no voice in the matter. He is 75 and maybe had some serious health issues and elected to choose a less painful manner of death.

    1. Most suicidal people are not determined. They're just mixed up and depressed. They shouldn't be helped in their self-destruction which is a passing problem.

  3. The simple fact is that having a gun facilitates suicide. Gunloons know this but won't concede the point.

    What about drinking drain cleaner???? Think about it--most people know that drinking drain cleaner is going to be a horrible, painful experience. And one that may not lead to death but quite possibly painful disability.

    Pills are a possibility--but there are similar problems to those described above. One may not die or one may have a lingering death or incapacitation. Plus, getting enough pills may be difficult.

    Re the argument "who are we to tell someone if they can die or not?" I'm certainly in agreement that people who have terminal illnesses with the prospect of an ever-diminishing quality of life ought to have the right to make an informed choice with respect to assisted suicide. But giving them a gun or a rope or razor blades is really a foolish way of going about things.

    OTOH, "informed choice" is the key phrase when talking about this issue. Too many suicides are the result of momentary lapses in judgment or fleeting depression. These are symptoms that can be rather easily addressed and remedied. A gun simply facilitates suicides that could easily be prevented.

  4. So what exactly do you propose, Mikeb? What is "every effort"? Shall we add a line on the rental agreement that says, "Thou shalt not kill thyself"? If you require a background check, you will effectively end rentals altogether. Those checks can take hours.

    Again, you deny it, but all the evidence is that you want guns out of our society.

    Goldilocks, what's to concede? We've shown you that people in Japan kill themselves at a much higher rate than in America, but they don't have guns to do it. You say that allowing someone a gun is "a foolish way of going about things," but other than Oregon, assisted suicide isn't allowed, and the Feds are irritated at that one state for disobeying them.

  5. Greggy, this is where it helps to have a knowledge of the world beyond your parochial, backwoods worldview.

    As I've sagely explained, many times, suicide in Japan doesn't have the cultural stigma it has here and in many Western nations. In the West, we tend to view suicide through the lens of mental illness. Compounding this, Western religions and the law revile the notion of suicide.

    But not in Japan. In Japan, suicide has never been a cultural taboo and is often considered a noble act. Insurance companies even pay off claims for suicides, something that doesn't happen in the US.

    1. Goldilocks, so you're admitting that cultural factors are more important than methods? I am aware of those cultural differences. What you don't get is that in American culture, gun control doesn't fit.

    2. Greggy, the cultural factor applies to suicide. As I've explained, the Japanese and Western views and attitudes are starkly different. And can you honestly say that if firearms were widely available in Japan, the suicide rate would remain the same or lower?

      As for American culture--you really ought to stick to grammar and spelling; history just isn't your forte.

    3. Goldilocks, it's hard to say what change would happen in Japan if more guns were available. The Japanese don't have a gun culture. Guns have been banned off and on for centuries, going back to the arrival of the first Europeans. They were seen as an outsider's device. Edged weapons, by contrast, are valued in their world.

      Since you still don't know me, I'll give you another piece of information. My undergraduate degree is in history, specializing in the American Civil War. My senior thesis covered the Republican Coalition in the lead-up to that conflict. One thing of interest is the common techniques and ways of writing in the abolitionists of the 1850s and 1860s and the modern anti-abortion movement.

      We have yet to know anything about your qualifications or areas of expertise.

  6. Just part of at least 29 gun range suicides, accidents, and other illicit shooting incidents so far this year that I have chronicled, including four suicides:

    1. Let's accept your number for the moment. I'd have to see the support for it, but for now, I'll go with twenty-nine. How many gun ranges rent guns? Percentages matter. Your side is consistently incapable of seeing how rare these events are.