2/3 of all gun deaths are suicides – overwhelmingly men. In Minnesota, it’s closer to 80%.
Of all those men who shoot themselves, nearly all have been using guns without incident their whole lives – so background checks are useless. Magazine size restrictions are irrelevant – you need a magazine of one to check out. “Red Flag” laws, along with their many other faults, just make depressed guys keep their symptoms to themselves.
So what to do?
Read this. It’s not all that long, although it takes some thoughtful engagement.
Here’s the conclusion – but you should read the whole thing, and see the reasoning that led to the conclusions.
“We don’t need to remove all guns from America to start to see this sort of [reduction in suicide]. We just need to remove as many as we can from the suicidal people, while not disincentivizing suicidal people from seeking treatment. 64% of the people who attempt suicide visit a doctor the month beforehand.
So let’s pretend instead that doctors explained these things to the 64%, and asked them all to voluntarily sequester their firearms, either by selling them off or entrusting them with a loved one for safe keeping while the depression was treated. Let’s pretend half of that 64% do so of their own free will. We’d see the same efficacy as if overall firearm ownership rate dropped by a third in the Siegal and Rothman model. Ownership rates among suicidal males drop from 41% to 27% for the period during which they’re contemplating suicide. Male suicide rates would drop from 14.2 to 11.6, and you save 6,000 lives per year.
Slightly less than 1,000 women die from domestic violence per year in this country, and that’s a big, real problem. You can save six times this many men, simply by talking to them, and asking them nicely to sequester their firearms temporarily. The number of people you could save by doing this is double the number of people who die in gang and drug crime combined. It’s *sixty times more* than die in mass shootings.
This is easy.
It requires no new laws, no culture war battles, no erosion of rights.
Why aren’t we doing this?”
Because gun control isn’t, and has never been, about saving lives. It’s about imposing a vision of what society should be.
But I’m digressing. Read the article. It’s great.