In one of the more creative writings in support of gun control that I have read in months, Veronica Cassidy tells a heart-wrenching tail of her battle with depression and how close she came to ending her own life. She had decided to kill herself with a gun. But Ms. Cassidy lives in New York with extremely strict gun laws, where law-abiding citizens are treated like criminals until the state decides they are worthy of the 2nd amendment.
After researching New York’s draconian gun laws, she took a leap of faith and decided to seek treatment for her depression instead. Long story short, she got the treatment that she was looking for and now supposedly leads a happy and healthy life. I can honestly say that I’m happy that she decided against the easy way out and found comfort in her life.
But that is where my happiness stops. Ms. Cassidy claims in her story that gun control saved her life. Had New York allowed its residents to purchase weapons without jumping through hoops, she may be dead today. Thankfully, New York’s gun control was around and kept her from making a big mistake. Gun control, apparently, saved her life, and the state saved her from herself.
It is downright offensive to me that Ms. Cassidy supports draconian and unconstitutional gun control on everyone because SHE battled depression. It is the height of selfishness for anyone to enforce, or support, controls on everyone else simply because they needed control. Her mental stability has absolutely no bearing on my mental stability – or yours.
“When over half of gun deaths are from suicide and half of suicides are gun injuries, then gun control has to be part of meaningful suicide prevention,” she wrote. That statement is hogwash. Even the most rudimentary understanding of causation instructs us not to take leaps from cause to effect so easily. The use of guns does not imply that guns are the problem.
Jumping off bridges, overdosing on prescription drugs and cutting your wrists are all mechanisms that can kill as well. Just because using a gun is an easy way to kill yourself, it does not make it the only way – nor does it even attempt to address the root cause of suicides.
The object used to kill one’s self should have little bearing on preventing the next suicide.
The real issue, of course, is the state of our mental health system and our completely drugged-up population on all kinds of powerful mind-altering medications. Prescription drugs, after all, are far more accessible to most people with a mental illness than guns are. Take a whole mouth full of pills before bed and you will probably end your life. No gun necessary. Easy, too.
To say that gun control is an integral part of suicide prevention, however, is a leap that has no basis in reality, nor logic. Taking away people’s access to guns does not remove a person’s desire to kill themselves. If statistics showed that more people misspell words when using a pencil than a pen, is the solution to remove pencils from circulation? Of course not. That’s silly.
Just as silly as Ms. Cassidy’s leap between suicide prevention and the method used to commit suicide. The connection simply does not exist.