CBS has been working closely with gun control groups to bias people’s views on gun ownership. In this episode of Magnum PI (Season 3, Episode 10, March 5, 2021), an Army ranger on leave obtains a gun illegally an attempts suicide. Somehow the claim is that if only the gun dealer hadn’t sold the gun illegally, he supposedly wouldn’t have been able to attempt suicide. Most suicides in the US involve guns, but that ignores that there are many close substitute methods of committing suicide.
For example, Vox (March 24, 2018) recently claimed: “Perhaps the reason access to guns so strongly contributes to suicides is that guns are much deadlier than alternatives like cutting and poison.” But this discussion gives a very misleading impression of the effectiveness of different suicide methods. A study looked at 4,117 cases of completed suicide in Los Angeles County during the period 1988-1991, and found that the success rates for stepping in front of a train, taking Cyanide, jumping from a height, or hanging are virtually the same as for a gunshot to the head or a shotgun to the chest. The study also estimated that the amount of pain and discomfort from being hit by a train was about half that of the other two methods. (Click on the pie charts to enlarge.) See discussions #12 through #15 here.