Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I cover a lot of this elsewhere in the series.

I spent a little time with Chris Bucchere on this train of thought earlier in the week.


I have not, nor will I ever, put suicides vs homicides on a steelyard. But I’m curious, since you will, how many suicides is a homicide worth? Are kids worth extra? Are old people worth less? Give me some multipliers to work with. It could lead to a fascinating exercise.

In the end, Chris was unwilling to throw numbers out there just like I wasn’t. But let’s talk it through for a second. Even if we presume that one dead kid is an equivalent tragedy to one hundred men committing suicide by firearm, suicide is still twenty times bigger a problem, approximately. The numbers are simply staggeringly different.

Our collective national perception of the numbers does not marry up with the actual numbers, because the media is feeding us a false picture.

Taken another way, can we draw a closer equivalence between kids killed in school and kids committing suicide? There are around 4,300 male (gun) suicides ages 10–24 annually. There are around 10 kids killed in school by guns annually. For every kid shot in school, 430 kids kill themselves. (with guns)

On the (very valuable) suggestion of having doctors suggest to depressed patients to (voluntarily) sequester any potential guns in their home, are doctors even able to ask that question?

I don’t know the answer to that question, and if you’re correct, then that’s something that absolutely must change. But it also must change in a way that it is fantastically clear to everyone that a doctor has no authority to seize a firearm, nor does he have the authority to have someone else seize it for him. If that sort of authority were to leak into the proposal, then it would merely act as a disincentive to seeking treatment, which would be worse, not better.

Conservative states have gotten very defensive about this sort of thing specifically because of rhetoric on the left wanting to leverage “health policy” against gun owners. Spend some time reading the conservative side of the “Dickey Amendment Argument” in the media and you can suss this out. In fact, the clarification of the Dickey Amendment that was crammed into the recent spending bill (which was a terrible place to put it, but whatever) should, I would think, actually help this some.

On your final point, I do a wide array of breakdowns of (gun proliferation) vs (gun homicide) in two other articles.

The second article goes deeply into further comparisons between the US and other countries, and also why even though there is no relationship, it wouldn’t even matter if there were a relationship because there’s no path to get there from here.

Conscientious objector to the culture war. I think a lot. mirror: writer at: beggar at:

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