Tuesday, August 12, 2014

R.I.P. Robin Williams

I'm sorry to hear he died, but here he is on US Gun Culture.

"Suicide leaves such a bad aftertaste on the soul."

A hat tip to Lana for this idea.


  1. So, he committed suicide anyway. And didn't use a gun to do so but he still is dead.

    Suicide isn't about the method, its about the person.

    1. Since most suicides are by gun shot, it's obvious a conscience choice is being made by those who choose to end their own lives. The method plays a big part in the decision of those who choose to end their lives. Most have thought often on how they will kill themselves, before they act.

    2. Pure bullshit. First off the gun MAY be the first choice. Why? Most believe it to the most painless way.

      But a determined person will not let method get in the way of their own departure from this life, Robin Williams is a prime example. Robin could have gotten himself a gun if he wanted to for a less painful and not lingering death. His method is one the most painful way to go. Even these botched injection executions were less painful than Robins way.

      So don't tell me that method plays a big part, pure unadulterated BULL SHIT! State of mind does. Mental health issues need to be addressed instead of methods. Pull your head out moron, its brighter outside and easier to see.

    3. "But a determined person," that's the trick. Many who attempt suicide are not determined. If they have to go through the effort of hanging themselves like poor Robin did, or swallowing 100 pills ro going to the nearest bridge, they often will not go through with it. But, when a gun is available, the few seconds it takes to point and shoot don't give these depressed people the time to reconsider. Bham, it's done. The gun is the most efficient way to do it and the most unforgiving.

    4. Contradict yourself much Mike? Robin did go thru with it and so do many more, without guns, every day. And there are those that did choose the gun and made the attempt and lived thru it anyway.

      Others who make the "attempt" but didn't go thru with it are looking to get attention or help with their problem, not suicide itself. No one takes them serious until one of these "attempts" are made. Why not help them before their problem gets that bad in the first place Mike?

    5. We do want to help them by disarming them.

      There was no contradiction in what I said. Robin Williams was obviously one of the truly determined ones. But many blow their brains out in a matter of seconds who would not have had what it takes to use another means. Guns are the most efficient and unforgiving.

    6. Funny, you admit they choose a gun more than other ways, and then call bullshit to the idea they make a conscience choice at all. The only bullshit being spewed here, is yours.

    7. Mike B August 14, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      "We do want to help them by disarming them".

      That's the ONLY way you want to help Mike? Did you just forget about Robins method?

      Disarming the mental ill I agree needs to be done, but that doesn't address the root cause which HAS to be done. You may be able to reduce gun suicides, but you wont reduce suicides over all numbers without addressing the root cause for them in the first place.

    8. "Disarming the mental ill I agree needs to be done"

      "You may be able to reduce gun suicides"

      Overall suicides would indeed go down. As I explained above, many people who are not truly determined to end their lives pick up a gun and are dead before they can blink. In order for your follow-up statement - "you wont reduce suicides over all" - to be true, you'd have to believe that every single one of the dead gun-suicides would have used another means had no gun been available. They wouldn't have because some of them were not as determined as Robin Williams but they had the misfortune of access to a firearm, the most lethal and efficient and unforgiving means.

    9. You're not considering the negative consequences of what it would take to get your wishes. This isn't surprising- you rarely do. What would it take to disarm millions of depressed people? You are asking for government intrusion into people's personal lives and medical history- breaking the longstanding tradition of privacy that is there for good reason. Suicide hotlines are anonymous for a reason. Conversations with therapists are confidential for a reason. When you change all that you make it harder for people to get help or want help. Unless you think those things are useless at preventing suicides, then there will be a force working against your plan to take away dangerous things that would cause suicides to go up.

    10. Overall numbers will not go down and you cannot prove otherwise as it is impossible to prove a negative. Suicides still occur in the absence of guns.

    11. So, for TS, because it would be difficult and complicated we shouldn't even try. And for Anonymous, because I obviously can't prove something like this, he seizes on that as a way of denying obvious common sense. That's a form of lying, denying obvious common sense.

    12. It not that it's just hard, there are negative consequences to violating patient doctor confidentiality. People need to know they can seek help for depression without the government knowing about it and confiscating their stuff. Trust is absolutely important for therapists to be able to do their jobs and treat people. You want people to feel like they can talk to their therapists, right? But you seem eggar to sacrifice the whole profession just to take away more guns. It's quite likely suicides would go way up if you had your way.

    13. In short, disarmament is more important to you than treatment.

    14. So silly, TS. So, so silly.

      If gunloons were so concerned about keeping the Govt out of the patient-doctor relationship--why are they so keen on passing laws telling doctors what they can ask patients? It's really hard to believe you favor treatment when your ilk are threatening MDs with prison for asking their patients about gun ownership. After all, the doctor's first responsibility is to remove his or her patient from the potential for harm.

      Again, mental illness isn't fully understood and even with the best treatment--patients may be rendered incapable of handling certain situations. So to pretend this isn't the case because the NRA needs industry money is simply absurd.

    15. First, I want to say that I'm opposed to the doctor gag law in Florida. I don't stand by that. But it was born from concerns over breech in doctor/patient privilege to make sure the government doesn't get this information. Quite the opposite if what you're saying. No the NRA is not pushing more more laws to get government access to health records, they are trying to prevent that information from being collected.

      So do you or do you not believe in the good of patient doctor confidentiality? Do you think the government should know when someone gets prescribed Xanax because they're feeling down?

    16. "But it was born from concerns over breech in doctor/patient privilege to make sure the government doesn't get this information."

      Nope. It was borne of the desire of the NRA and gunloon groups to try and remove gun violence from the public health arena. That's why they had laws passed that barred public health experts from studying gun violence.

      Re your Xanax example; it's kind of laughable to pretend the Govt is the boogeyman. Considering the fact that when you get a prescription--a whole boatload of people know about it--your MD, your MD's staff, the pharmacist, your insurance company--I'm sure I'm missing a few folks. And face facts, a little transparency is good. Consider NRA hero Rush Limbaugh who apparently had numerous MDs writing him the same prescription for oxycodine.

      The issue you ignore is that nobody's terribly excited about a Xanax prescription. What does--and should--bother us is when someone who is delusional and/or cannot distinguish reality from fantasy has an arsenal of weapons.

    17. TS, are you OK with folks who have been involuntarily committed to mental hospitals being disarmed? Most people, even gun nuts, accept that one? Why not look for ways to lower the bar a bit while still preserving the privacy of patients as much as possible? As with most things it would require a delicate balance. What's your solution, do nothing?

    18. MikeB: “…are you OK with folks who have been involuntarily committed to mental hospitals being disarmed?”

      Yes, but that’s existing law, and not what we’re talking about here. Note, you said involuntarily committed. What do you want to do with voluntary commitments? It would be a really bad idea to punish people who voluntarily seek mental help, or break existing privacy boundaries by tracking them in a government database. We should encourage people to seek help, not dissuade them. Even that example of lowering of the bar is a far cry from addressing depression and suicide. Robin Williams was probably never committed to a mental institution. He was depressed- an affliction that affects tens of millions of Americans of which a very small percentage go on to commit suicide. What is it you want anyway?

      That’s why I brought up the example of someone on a Xanax prescription. Do you want the government to know about that, and take action? What action? Add them to the NICS to prevent future purchases, or actively disarming those who already have guns? You said, “disarming them for their own good”, so it sounds like the latter. Jade took his stance and said since Sumdude behind the CVS counter knows, we might as well go ahead and track that information in a government database to be used against those people. Then he mocks anyone who would have a problem with this for fearing the government boogeyman. Jade, you may be fine with the government tracking your life like that, but you have to at least acknowledge that a huge amount of people will have a problem with that. Look at the upset over Obamacare, which is a tiny intrusion into people’s personal health by comparison. If the objective is to save lives, you must protect patient/doctor privilege. It’s there for a reason, and strongly supported by the medical community. You’d sooner get the NRA to sign off on breaking that trsut then the medical and mental healthcare community.

      In fairness, you did go on to say this isn’t a big concern, but that’s what we are talking about when discussing guns and suicide. We are not talking about homicidal spree shooters. We’re talking about depression, which affects tens of millions of Americans of which a tenth of a percent go on to commit suicide, many of which use a gun. You guys keep bringing this up as a reason for more gun control, so what is it you actually want to do about this?

    19. TS misses the point that involutary commitment is extremely rare in the US. I remember looking up stats for various states and one state had exactly 1 involuntary commitment over a period of several years. Think about it, one state had only one person who was deemed mentally incapacitated enough to warrant involuntary commitment. You know that's just not accurate.

      In addition, the standards vary from state to state. And, in many states, it's not the evvvilll Govt. that initiates the long process for involuntary commitment. IOW, it usually takes a family member to begin the process. So, you have to have a family member who a.) cares enough and b.) is willing to see the process through to get someone involuntarily committed. Most mental patients do not have that.

    20. You're deflecting again. I never said involuntary commitments aren't rare. They should rarely be used. You're talking about holding someone against their will, which requires due process of law (in most states. CA's 5150 being an example of an exception). I asked what you guys want done with the tens of millions of Americans who suffer from depression. This isn't even an issue with voluntary commitment, as being committed to a mental hospital is typically reserved for severe psychoses who have troubles with day to day functioning. Again, depression is a very common neurosis that is often hidden by the person. The vast majority have no criminal history where there is a reason for the law to get involved. What do you guys want to do with them?

    21. You miss the point, TS. I never said you claimed involuntary commitments weren't rare. The point is that relatively few desperately ill people ever get involuntarily committed.

      This, of course, doesn't mean there aren't many very mentally ill people out there.

      Anecdote: today, driving to work, I observed two people with obvious mental illnesses that should preclude them from owning guns. One is pretty familiar in my neighborhood as he'sbeen walking up and down the highways for about the last 25 years. He walks all day and night and some of the local businesses give him a sandwich or meal or bottle of juice. As he walks, he mutters obscenities in a menacing manner but hasn't been known to bother anyone. The police and churches all know about him and they've tried to help in getting him into a facility but he just won't go. It is known his family used to live around here but they've since moved or died off and they essentially gave up after being unable to help during the first 10 years of his affliction.

      Should he own a gun, TS?

      The second guy I observed was just outside the gates of the Navy Yard. This fellow had clollected a bunch of street signs (pizza carryout, we buy houses, etc) and was waving them around when not screaming obscenities at passing cars and pedestrians.

      We aren't talking about depression here--we're talking about folks who've completely lost the plot. James Holmes, Elliot Rodgers, Adam Lanza get a lot of publicity because they shot a lot of people. But how about the mentally ill who kill "only" a person or two?

      This is not to suggest that the mentally ill are all inherently violent--they aren't. But some are. And WRT to gun violence and the mentally ill--most of that violence is self-directed: suicide. Yet, you and the gunloon community are more worried that the mentally ill aren't getting the treatment they need (and that's true) but could care less if that mentally ill person has an arsenal of firearms.

      Should he own a gun, TS?

    22. You won't answer my question. You keep deflecting. What do you think we should do with depressed people regarding gun rights? You keep diverting the topic back to people who have psychotic episodes, delusions, etc. What of depressed people, or other common neuroses where there is normal day to day function, no violence, no crimes?

      Though you keep deflecting, I will answer your off-topic question. I take it in your two cases we are assuming they haven't had any problems with the law. So the short answer is yes, they shouldn't be denied their rights. How can you when there is no documentation to deny them? Do you expect the FBI to call you up personally so you can tell them you saw that guy mumbling to himself on the side of the road, so he should fail his background check? Who decides this? I know you are advocating government access to private health care records, but you also said he hasn't received help. So how do you know? You are talking philosophically that he "shouldn't" own guns, but what's the process? Are you just saying it should be easier to commit people against their will? That doesn't have anything to do with gun laws, and of course comes with it's own dark side just as violating long standing confidentiality between doctors and patients does.

    23. There's no deflection; you simply wish to pretend guns are going to be taken away from people with mild forms of depression. Clearly, you wish to ignore the fact mental illness isn't a one-size-fits-all-malady.

      Frankly, nobody's going to take away your fetish--absent criminal behavior--if you're feeling a bit down. However, if you have to take psychotropic drugs because you're hearing voices or suffer paranoid delusions--then your access to guns should be removed.

      As I sagely noted previously, most of the mentally ill aren't a threat for violence toward others. They are at a high risk of violence to themselves. As one epidemiologist put it, if you could magically eliminate mental illness from gun violence, you'd save over 100,000 people over a decade. Probably 90% of that would be suicides. In feigning concern for the "rights" of the mentally ill, you are willing to allow twice as many Americans die as perished in VietNam over the same timeframe.

      Also, what can we say about the mental health of someone who decides foregoing the help he knows he needs out of the misplaced fear his fetish is going to get taken away? People who know they need help for a mental illness don't go to MDs on a lark; they've already reached a point where it's affecting their lives in a negative way. Somehow, fondling a firearmk should be low on the priority list at this point.

    24. Ok, so no disarmament for depression cases. Why does it have to be so hard to get a straight answer out of you?

      Jade: “However, if you have to take psychotropic drugs because you're hearing voices or suffer paranoid delusions--then your access to guns should be removed.”

      And how does the government get privy to that information? This goes back to the main point in my discussions in this thread- the value of preserving patient/doctor privilege. Are you calling for a law that says the government gets access to people’s health care record?

      Jade: “As one epidemiologist put it, if you could magically eliminate mental illness from gun violence, you'd save over 100,000 people over a decade. Probably 90% of that would be suicides.”

      And a good chunk of those are going to be depression cases. You just said no disarmament for depression.

      Jade: “People who know they need help for a mental illness don't go to MDs on a lark; they've already reached a point where it's affecting their lives in a negative way. Somehow, fondling a firearmk should be low on the priority list at this point.”

      It’s a very difficult decision for someone to make to seek treatment. Why make it harder? This isn’t just about guns. What you are trying to do is make it so that a visit to a therapist gets you flagged on a government list. Many people are going to be rightly concerned about this. If not guns, maybe you’re worried about losing that cushy government job. Maybe you don’t own guns, but you still don’t want the police to trample through your house looking for guns just because your psychiatrist put you on medication. You want to take away the confidentiality standard that makes it much easier for mental health professionals to do their job, and that has a bigger potential to cost lives than chasing your political dreams of gun control. Besides, you may think people should not care about being disarmed, but that is not reality. The reality, that you are very well aware of, is that people who own guns are not going to seek out mental health care because someone had the bright idea to break the trust agreement of patient doctor privilege in the name of gun control. So not only do they keep their guns, but they are not getting help for their problems. Just wonderful. Is that really what you want?

      Again, you care more about disarmament than treatment.

  2. Too bad you didn't find a clip that cuts off before his rip on UK gun culture:

    In England when you commit a crime, the police say, "Stop! ...or I'll say 'stop' again!"

    That's a very famous joke. I didn't know it was his.

    By the way, the NRA has never advocated hunting with armor piercing rounds. They would be highly ineffective since they are designed to do the exact opposite of what a good hunting round is supposed to do. I know this is a tongue in cheek joke, but it part of perpetuating the falsehood that armor piercing means it is superior to “normal” bullets, which many anti-gun people believe.

    1. Oh my. TS, in addition to having not read studies he criticizes, also lacks a sense of humor.

      Despite the fact the UK doesn't arm most of their police, they enjoy crime rates thatwe in the US would love to have.

      And, yes, the NRA do es advocate the use of armor piercing rounds for hunting. Just as they promote rifles which have little to no hunting utility for hunting. It's all about the money.

    2. " NRA do es advocate the use of armor piercing rounds for hunting "

      Citation needed.

    3. Anon: "Citation needed."

      You won't get it.

      So Jade, you’re trying to tell us that the NRA gets more money if people buy armor piercing rounds to hunt with instead of actual hunting rounds. How did you get there? Because the bullets are less effective, the hunters will have to shoot the deer a few more times lining the NRA pockets with fractions of pennies- is that it? Is it that you can’t help but bitch about the NRA’s money on any given topic?

      And I see your sense of humor flies out the window when Robin Williams makes a joke about police in England. And no, their crime rates aren’t better. It’s not four times the US either, but the bottom line is that crime rates are in the same playing field and because of differences in reporting, we can’t tell exactly. The only thing you can say is better in England is murder, which is one the rarest types of violent crime that one can suffer in both places. And murder largely isn’t random- there is a strong link to socioeconomic conditions.

      Speaking of which, have you ever sorted out in your brain how you can say Kellerman accounted for socioeconomic conditions in the gun numbers, but in the next breathe say he DIDN’T account for socioeconomic conditions in the renting numbers?

    4. Brwahahahahahaha. TS accusing Jadegold of double-talking.

  3. TS: Again, we in the US would love to have the UK's crime rates. And, no, if you compare the rates it's not difficult to come to that conclusion.

    Re armor-piercing rounds--the NRA realized years ago--maybe several decades back--that hunting in the US was a rapidly dwindling market. That's why the NRA has pushed for assault weapons and other junk guns in order to build on that market. Thus, when a guy like Jim Zumbo--who knows more about hunting than most anyone--says assault weapons for hunting is pretty silly--the NRA flying monkeys get all huffy.

    You are still insisting on not reading the Kellermann studies. Thus, you'll never learn about multi-variate analyses. in MVA, the analysis seeks to isolate each variable as an independent variable. In doing so, you can then measure the contribution (or non-contribution) of each factor. In the case of renting--peopple rent for a number of reasons--lack of wealth or a desire to live in an affluent area or any of a dozen other reasons.

    1. Jade, not only did I read the study, but I understand statistics, which you are revealing you do not. Again, you are saying Kellerman’s adjusted odds ratio did not account for these “dozens of other reasons” when you are talking about renting, but you say he did account for these other reasons for guns. And you refuse to address this point I keep bringing up. Instead you repeat the same line over and over. Either you can’t understand why I am saying, or you understand it perfectly well, but know I have you backed into a corner because there is no good answer. As an exercise, let’s take the exact same line you ended your post with, but substitute renting for gun ownership:

      In the case of guns--people own guns for a number of reasons--lack of wealth or whether or not their neighborhood is affluent or any of a dozen other reasons.
      This statement says there are dozens of other reasons why Kellerman came up with an odds ratio of 2.3. That’s what this line means, agreed?
      You keep revealing that you don’t know what the “adjusted” word means when he shows an adjusted odds ratio. Earlier, you scolded me for being contradictory when I said the raw odds ratio would show a risk in renting, while the adjusted ratio should not. Again, you do not understand the difference between raw and adjusted.

      Even worse, you also reveal you don’t even know the difference between a bullet and a gun! Hint: the bullet is the part that goes flying, while the gun stays put. What the hell does an armor piercing round have to do with “assault weapons”, Jade? The hardness of the projectile has nothing to do with whether or not a rifle has a pistol grip, detachable magazine, flash suppressor, or barrel shroud. Additionally, some of these intermediate rifle cartridges that are common in “assault weapons” are banned by the ATF when constructed of armor piercing materials because they ruled them as pistol rounds (like 7.62x39).