You’re right that it’s hasty and cynical. That’s absolutely fair criticism.
My cynicism on that flows from what I see Vox, Everytown, and other sources doing with the data, which boils down to very dirty rhetorical tricks. I cover those in detail in the first article.
I absolutely do think it’s exploitative of the dead-by-suicide when the suicide numbers are used to push a policy agenda (rifles, mags) that is completely detached from the suicide issue, while suicide is the vast majority of the issue. How could it not be?
The reform arguments are settling around age restrictions, device restrictions and background checks.
Which help suicide how? They don’t. The entire argument on the left is crafted thusly:
(look at all these dead people, most of which are men who committed suicide) >>> (we should ban rifles which are responsible for less than 3% of homicides, and extended mags which will not only have no effect on homicides, as well as no effect on suicides, they will have at most a 10% change in the body count during mass shooting incidents, which are barely a blip on the radar, statistically)
Let’s not give an impression that gun grabs, manufacturing circumscriptions are anything but fringe proposals.
This is a convenient position many on the left take while in dialog, but it doesn’t hold water. HR 5087, which was signed by over 100 house reps and proposed on February 26th of this year, would reclassify the entire line of Glock pistols, as well as every sidearm carried by every law enforcement officer in the country, an “Assault Weapon.” The DNC Vice Chair is openly calling for a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. We can debate the definition of “fringe” if you like, but that is not what I would consider “fringe.”