Sunday, October 03, 2004

Another Freebie

I really feel low when I start doing the NYT. Some people think it is the paper of record but I see it as the easiest place to find East Coast pod-people.
In any case here’s the article:
First quote:

"In between reinstating every hunter's sacred Second Amendment right to nail Bambi with an AK-47, and mischievously meddling in local affairs to pass a one-chamber bill to weaken public safety in the nation's capital, the National Rifle Association and its busy-beaver allies quietly scored another legislative coup - this one without even trying. This little-noted achievement - if you can call it that - relates to a glaring omission in the new initiative to prevent youth suicide just approved by the House and Senate, and awaiting President Bush's signature."

So we bounce from killing Bambi with machine guns to making the Murder Capitol of the World more dangerous by allowing law-abiding people to bear arms to youth suicide. One of these days, guns are going to be the cause of global warming and a new flesh eating disease in western Africa.

"Some 4,000 young Americans take their own lives each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
This number honestly shocked me. I the United States of America that is supposed to be a whopping indicator of a mass problem? That works out to 80 youth suicides per state per year. I may be a Pollyanna but that seems like a pretty light toll.

"There's no question that the $82 million the legislation authorizes over the next three years to improve early-intervention suicide prevention efforts, including on college campuses, will save some lives (albeit fewer than it might have, owing to a parental consent requirement right-wing House Republicans insisted upon that will inevitably deter some troubled kids from getting timely help)."

$82,000,000 is a lot of money to be spending. Per person that died and could have been saved, that works out to $20,500 for every individual. That’s one guy’s modest salary for the last year and you can’t guarantee that you could save these people from suicide.

Now to the marrow of the piece. Gun locks, trigger safeties, CAP laws will all save another 20 children per year.

"But what a grim reflection on the present climate in Washington that small, reasonable steps like mandatory trigger locks cannot be openly raised and debated even in the context of trying to prevent children from committing suicide."

Alright, I know it is about "the children" and that "if it saves one life" it is a worthwhile undertaking.
It’s not. This author uses numbers she doesn’t understand to come to a pre-determined conclusion.
Let me say it as simply as possible: if I wanted to kill myself, I wouldn’t need a gun.

UPDATE: Jeff has covered the suicide thing more substantively over at .

Specific post:

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?