Monday, December 3, 2012

Suicide, 2nd leading cause of death in jail

Bob Costas, last night, during Sunday Night Football, made the comment during half time (and quoting Jason Whitlock) if Jovan Belcher 'didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.'" Jovan Belcher, if you didn't know, was a professional football player that killed the mother of his child, and then drove to a gun free facility and shot and killed himself in front of his coach.

The anti-rights cultist bigots scream from the rooftops "30,000 people a year die from gun violence". We all know that more than half of those 'gun deaths' are suicide. The anti-rights cultist bigots often claim that if a person didn't have a gun, or access to a gun, they would kill themselves. Oh really? I have made several comparisons on this blog of gun ownership and suicide rates, I have also compared U.S. suicide rates with other countries that have higher suicide rates, but lower gun ownership rates. All of the comparisons that have been done regarding guns and suicide show that with or without guns, people will intentionally harm and kill themselves.

Imagine the most secure place you can be, you have an armed security detail. This is a palace, your food is prepare and brought to you, your laundry is cleaned for you, if you wish to read, the library comes to you, you don't have to leave, because everything that you need is provided for you. This a secure place, so weapons are not allowed, but you don't need a weapon, because you have your armed security detail. Your palace is so secure, that even your armed security detail doesn't carry a firearm, but they do have other weapons and they do, in fact, protect you. Don't worry about your palace being invaded, there is a high wall protecting you from outside forces. Just outside of your palace, in the courtyard, there are snipers with rifles to protect the palace from invasion, and these snipers are so good at their job, together with the walls, no one has ever invaded your prison or courtyard. Yeah, I'm talking about prisons and jails. Pop quiz hot shot, what's the leading cause of death in prisons? Illness, what's the second leading cause of death in prisons? SUICIDE!

According to a 2010 National Study of Jail Suicide (pdf):

Suicide continues to be a leading cause of death in jails across the country, where well over 400 inmates take their lives each year (Hayes 2005). Mumola and Noonan (2008) estimate the rate of suicide in county jails to be approximately three times greater than that in the general population.

Catch that? Suicide in jails are THREE TIMES GREATER than the general population, the same general population that has access to guns! In jail, the guards check on you throughout the day and night. In jail, you're surrounded by other people. In jail, you don't have access to guns, (unless you make it yourself). In jail, people are killing themselves three times the rate of people not in jail, and doing it without guns.

Gun do not cause suicide. There is no doubt that using a gun to take your own life may be the most effective means, but is certainly not the only means.

Also, from the study:

Ninety-three percent of the victims used hanging as the method.

Yeah, that's not surprising. Apparently the victims are using bedding and clothing as the method to hang themselves, and use the bed as the anchoring device. The word 'hanging' in the quote is slightly misleading, it's not so much hanging, but suffocating.

Also notable, is that twenty percent of the victims were intoxicated at the time of death (in a 1986 study it was 60%). Really? alcohol is prohibited in jail, but I guess where there's a will, there's a way.

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