A group of senior retired generals and admirals are calling for Congress to amend a recent law that they say "dangerously interferes" with the ability of commanders to battle the epidemic of suicides among members of the military.We had quite a heated discussion about this last month. Gun control folks don't seem to have any difficulty with the idea that gun availability is a contributing factor in suicide. The Generals and Admirals who are urging Congress to change this law seem to agree.
Legislation added to the 2011 defense authorization bill at the urging of gun-rights advocates prohibits commanders from collecting any information about weapons privately owned by troops.
Critics say the law prevents commanders from talking to service members about their privately owned weapons -- such as encouraging the use of a gunlock or temporary storage away from their homes -- even in cases when the commanding officer thinks the service member is at risk for suicide.
"The law is directly prohibiting conversations that are needed to save lives," states a letter sent last week to members of Congress by a dozen retired officers, including former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis Reimer and former surgeons general for the Army, Air Force and Navy.
"It unnecessarily hampers a commander from taking all possible practical steps for preventing suicide," one of the signers, Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, said Saturday. Dubik commanded the Multi-National Security Transition Command in Iraq in 2007 and 2008.
As of the end of October, the number of suspected suicides by active-duty soldiers in the Army alone had reached 166, one more than the total for last year.
Only gun-rights fanatics argue such nonsense as people who want to commit suicide will always succeed in doing it even if there is no gun. No amount of surveys or academic research or indeed, common sense can dissuade them from their single-minded objective. They want to defend guns and gun ownership at any cost. They refuse to admit that the lethality and efficiency of a gun makes attempted suicide more likely to succeed.
To support their absurd argument, they insist that people who attempt suicide are never suffering from a temporary problem but are truly determined to do themselves in and will go to any length to accomplish it. Some go so far as to say it's every person's right to commit suicide and no one should interfere.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.