Could this be the ultimate nightmare?


September 22, 2003, 08:50 PM
A close friend - or member of family pulling a gun on you??

This occurred to me following a conversation on the phone with an old buddy .. a very steady and sane guy and a good shooter too ....... but, he is out of work right now, and I guess partly cos of that, has some marriage problems too.

He sounded very down and made veiled references to ''doing himself in'' ...... well, for him that would mean suicide by gun for sure. I spoke for a long while and I think set him a bit straighter - for now at least. I really took his comment VERY seriously ... something in the tone of voice ... and remember, I know him well ... very well.

It got me to thinking however .... what if you were there with someone ... FTF - and they were a close friend or family member, who was for some reason extremely depressed and suicidal and, took exception to someone else trying to persistantly ''talk them round''. Enough to make them mad and decide to threaten you directly.

So - they want to die - really want to die. Maybe they might be satisfied with death by another's hand (thinking here of ''suicide by cop'') and so not be concerned by any gun threat they might make against you. Obviously, dialog would be tried as much as possible but, if you felt they were serious about drilling you ..... what options would be left??

Would you have to take them out for self preservation, thus granting them their wish of oblivion anyways? What other route might there be I wonder.?

This is another purely hypothetical scenario but, having once had it cross my mind earlier, it has been bugging me. It feels potentially like a ''lose/lose'' possibility.

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4v50 Gary
September 22, 2003, 09:27 PM
Never happened to me and glad it hasn't.

You may want to get some suicide hotline #s and give them to your friend. If he's stable enough, go out and do some non-gun thing just to remind him that there's light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps meeting some divorced folks who are happily remarried. Once he gets over the impending divorce, things should get better.

September 22, 2003, 09:47 PM
I was told the following by a licensed clinical psychiatrist.

If a person really really really wants to kill himself, you cannot stop him, no matter what you do.

The psychiatrist (who shot IPSC and IDPA, by the way) told of one of his patients who was comitted and put on suicide watch....

They strapped this guy down to a gurney in a cell like room with a window on the door and every 15 minutes, an orderly would walk by and look in through the window to check on him.

In the morning, the patient was dead. He had timed the orderly visits, worked one hand free of the straps and chewed, that's right chewed through the veins in his freed wrist and tucked the wounded wrist down into the mattress and sheets to hide it while he bled to death.

Not trying to sound like a downer, but people who really want to kill themselves will do it. The psych was telling this story to a bunch of Resident Assistants in training to impress upon us that we should not feel guilty if one of our residents killed themselves.


4v50 Gary
September 22, 2003, 09:51 PM
BTW, so long as they're talking, that's a good sign. Folks who want to do themselves in do themselves in. Folks who talk want help.

September 22, 2003, 10:31 PM
The big thing tho that has bugged me is ..... however much they are intent on self destruction ... what if they draw down on you cos they are pi$$ed at your attempts to talk?

That could be decision time to save one's own neck ... and remember too, this scenario is with someone close .... friend or even family .... it is not pleasant to imagine for me..... however unlikely (I hope) .... to happen.

September 22, 2003, 10:39 PM
A couple of thoughts.

I've heard it said that a suicidal person, is , by definition, homicidal. He's already made up his mind that killing someone (himself) is a solution to a problem. He really has very little to lose by adding one more to the total.

A guy killed himself at a local shooting range. The range owner was told that if he had tried to interfere (this wasn't an option in this case since the guy gave no evidence of being disturbed and waited til the range was empty) there could be several results.

1. Postpone it for awhile.
2. Make no difference at all--i.e. you just become an audience.
3. The person would become irate at being bothered during such a private moment and could become dangerous.

September 22, 2003, 11:24 PM
I know this sounds like antigun propaganda but I've seen the stats...
You really are much more likely to be shot by someone you know (family/friend) than by a complete stranger (robbery/road rage).

For me it would depend on the reason such a person wants to kill me whether or not I'd take defensive action. If I deserve to be killed I'd know it and vice-a-versa.

So far so good :cool:

Dex Sinister
September 22, 2003, 11:43 PM
It seems like a false scenario.

You attempt to talk them out of it. They get mad, point gun at you, and assert that “you aren’t going to stop them.” You reply, “Of course I’m not going to stop you, I don’t own your life, you do. I think that you are applying a really permanent solution to a temporary problem, but it’s your decision to make.”

‘Course you’re not supposed to annoy them into pointing a gun at you in the first place.

Dex }:>=-

Ed Brunner
September 23, 2003, 07:11 AM
There are very few adults who have not contemplated suicide at one time or another. Most realize that they have many better options and go off in other directions.
I agree that when someone's mind is made up on the subject, it is hard to change and you usually don't get a chance.
In my experience, the people who talk about it are looking for guidance or validation so there is a possibility of helping them see a better alternative.

September 23, 2003, 08:07 AM
"I know this sounds like antigun propaganda but I've seen the stats...
You really are much more likely to be shot by someone you know (family/friend) than by a complete stranger (robbery/road rage)."

I am sorry but I couldn't let this pass by. This stat is often quoted by anti-gun types to show the dangers of having a gun in the family - someone will use it on you. Well, aside from the fact that millions of homes do have guns in them and people in these homes do not kill each other, there is a hidden flaw in this statistic.

This also entails criminals such as drug dealers who know one another. One dealer who is fighting another over a spot on the street may "know" that other dealer but it would be difficult at best to describe them as either family or friend. But they do know each other.

September 23, 2003, 09:14 AM
I worked in a psych unit while in college; if someone is hell-bent on suicide, it will happen. Fortunately, when it comes down to the wire, most will back off.

I always told my patients that the suicide solution is permanent, there is no "do over", and it's usually messy, regardless of the means used.

September 23, 2003, 09:48 AM

ANY suicidal threat is serious. Even those people who "cry wolf" for years are statistically more at risk for suicide than others. You always play it safe. Simply because some people are set on dying at one moment does not mean this cannot be changed.

Support your friend. Call him more than usual. Perhaps off to help with the job problem.....sometimes inertia is hard to overcome for the depressed. If he's open, ask him to consult his general practitioner for medication.

In a real crisis, your county will have a crisis delegate. Learn your local crisis number. If in doubt, call 911. If you think he's serious at any given time and if you get that "bad feeling" don't leave him alone. If he won't commit to staying alive then call crisis and have him committed to a hospital involuntarily. You can do that.

Depression is a mental illness. Mentally hurt people can be dangerous until help is sought. It's like a rabid dog or a person on drugs. The base animal/person isn't bad, but you have to deal with their current behavior when your backs to the wall.

September 23, 2003, 08:02 PM
Plenty of good points made lycanthrope ........

I have in fact gotten him fixed up with a local sorta ''samariton'' guy ...... and hopefully he will pull outa this. He is a pretty level guy by nature.

However ..... it was not the condition of this guy that primarily made me post ... it was the imagined hypothetical possibility of a situation where i could imagine trying to talk and rationalize with a friend or loved one who was acting suicidal ..... and finish up on the wrong end of their gun ...... at that time .... with no chance to go get assistance etc ....... nowhere to go, except perhaps having to use my piece to save my own neck.

THAT is what I regard as the most awful nightmare scenario...... the thought of maybe having to act that way toward someone close.

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