Firearm suicide or prevention?


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InfernoMDM
June 30, 2005, 11:33 AM
No this isnt a debate, but a observation. Recently someone in my Unit passed away. I didnt know him that well. This guy for all intensive purposes didnt show any signs of suicide, that would readily point to a problem Depression wasnt an issue etc.

I had talked with this guy a while back about firearms and he was really interested and inthusastic. A couple friends of mine had decided to take him to Mid Carolina and let him shoot are firearms. Unfortuantly the day didnt go as planned and we never hooked up. Mainly due to phone issues. I told him I was very sorry and wanted to do it again some other day. Well it never happened. I moved 100 miles away, my other good friend who is also a MC member left for Saudi on a four month deployment was gone. I didnt talk to him sense.

All these people complain about guns being a problem, but in this case maybe if we had gotten together and shot a friendship could have been estabilshed. A life could have been saved. I am not going to beat myself up over it as it wasnt my fault. Its just sad that someone that could have been helped wasnt. Two points really cross my mind now. Sometimes a hobby covered with blood by jerks could be the turning point in someones life, and the anti guns never think about that. Also when going to the range with someone always make sure he doesnt pop him/herself. I dont think this guy would because he was Air Force, but you never know.

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Gordon Fink
June 30, 2005, 12:16 PM
Iím sorry, but did your acquaintance kill himself with a firearm? Itís not clear from your post, as you imply that he lacked access to such weapons. Or are you wondering if a shooting-related friendship might have dissuaded him from suicide?

~G. Fink

InfernoMDM
June 30, 2005, 01:24 PM
I am pretty sure a shooting related friendship may have saved him.

I am not sure and didnt press my higher ups. Really didnt want them to know that we were going to go shooting just incase he did use a firearm.

BlackCat
June 30, 2005, 08:14 PM
90% of the people who commit suicide leave behind friends.

I don't see how you think he'd still be alive today if you went shooting with him and became acquainted with him.

Ask anyone on this board who has contemplated suicide if they had any friends at the time.

Cesiumsponge
June 30, 2005, 09:23 PM
Suicide is a serious issue because its very difficult to tell who is depressed and suicidal, even if you are very close to them. Depressed people can walk around with smiles on their faces and people who frown all the time might just be unfriendly and stoic.

Some people commit suicide without showing signs of depression.

Some people go around pretending to be depressed and suicidal but only want attention.

Some people are truly suicidal and are open about it, but gets mistaken as someone who wants attention.

This makes predicting suicide a gray area. There is nothing you could have done. Going on that shooting trip won't likely make any difference to a deeper, underlaying problem that has existed and festered for months, if not years. I had a friend commit suicide shortly after we threw a birthday party for him. It was completely unexpected.

thorn726
June 30, 2005, 09:33 PM
90% of the people who commit suicide leave behind friends.

I don't see how you think he'd still be alive today if you went shooting with him and became acquainted with him.

Ask anyone on this board who has contemplated suicide if they had any friends at the time..

anything can be the difference. having a bunch of friends around you who arent really your friends drives people to suicide, sometimes really connecting with a new person might give one the reason to have hope

There is nothing you could have done

well you shouldnt beat yourself up, but you also shouldnt lose hope that it might help someone.

maybe it would have made no difference maybe it would have BEen the difference.

the point was that shooting a gun, supposedly such a horrible thing, could have actually encouraged someone to live.
and i think original poster is right, maybe this particualr incident no, but shooting as a hobby can be so much fun, make friends, etc that a depressed person might feel better..

DragonFire
July 1, 2005, 10:20 AM
Maybe the point should be that we shouldn't wait until something happens or its too late to make a difference. That we work on making those new friendships and on keeping our estabished friendships.

I bet we all have at least one or two people in our lives that we wish we would have spent more time with. Your Dad? Son? Favorite uncle? Next door neighbor? How about the "know it all" at the range that really DID know alot?

We may never know if we made any difference, but maybe the biggest difference is the one that's made in our lives.

CowboyEngr
July 1, 2005, 02:21 PM
Suicide is a complicated thing. In general, if a person is suicidal, nothing is going to keep them from it, except a good doctor and medication. Lots of people die from suicide that have lots of loving family, good friends, and recreational activity. Some "cover" their depression so well that it's really tough to see it in a friend or family member. I know something about suicide first hand, and it's hard to recognize the symptoms in time. Use this as a reason to become more aware of it, but don't blame yourself for failing to do everything perfect.

Hkmp5sd
July 1, 2005, 04:50 PM
Last month, a fellow employee commited suicide. Given his personality and his 30 years with the company, it was a shock to everyone.

However, he is proof of the uselessness of waiting periods and background checks. He did not own any firearms and had to purchase the shotgun he used. He chose a gun merely because he considered it the most effective method of suicide. Prior to this, he spent weeks preparing for his suicide. He sold and/or gave away many of his prized possessions. He cleaned his house spotless as well as his office at work. He got all of his papers in order and left them laying on his dining room table with notes to his father and brother. He dialed 911 and informed the operator he was going to kill himself, making sure they understood it was him alone, so that they couldn't claim someone else killed him. He quickly went outside, put on a motorcycle helmet, climbed into a sleeping bag, zipping it completely shut and fired the shotgun under his chin. It seems even at this point, he is concerned about injuring someone else with the shot or causing someone a problem with the mess. He made sure everthing was contained.

Of course, looking back, everyone is pointing out little things that when taken together could have alerted someone to a problem. Even then, when someone is this determined to kill themself, there is little you can do.

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