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August 14, 2023

Dramatic Rise in Suicide Isn’t Because of Guns

There are a number of cultural and economic factors often driven by the decisions of policymakers.

More Americans seem to be losing their struggle with life itself. “About 49,500 people took their own lives last year in the U.S., the highest number ever,” reports the Associated Press.“ The yet-to-be calculated suicide rate may also be a record.

The good news is that the suicide rate fell for those in the age 10-24 cohort, which is rather miraculous given the rise in attempts and the spread of the "transgender” contagion in part via the weaponized use of the suicide card to bully parents into abusing their kids. The bad news is the suicide rate surged for people 45 and older, especially white men. And the nearly 50,000 suicides don’t include accidental overdoses, which were roughly double the suicide number.

Anyone reading this awful news surely must be wondering what’s going on.

Unfortunately but predictably, the AP wastes little time before blaming the most common tool: guns. “A main driver is the growing availability of guns,” the AP says, citing an expert. “Suicide attempts involving guns end in death far more often than those with other means, and gun sales have boomed — placing firearms in more and more homes.”

It’s true that there are a hugely increasing number of gun owners in America. That’s generally a good thing driven by a desire to protect from criminals and also a Liberty-loving response to the tyrannical efforts of Democrats to control and ban guns. Inevitably, though, as with any tool, someone is going to use it for the wrong purpose. There are unstable people out there who shouldn’t own or have access to guns.

If the AP is so concerned with methods, though, perhaps its team of journalists ought to take a look at Canada, where all you need to do is let authorities know you’re depressed and you’ll receive suicide assistance post haste.

Clearly, of course, the AP’s gun blaming is an effort to deflect from the cultural rot underlying this grim reality. Indeed, as Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw astutely observes, “If we are to make any progress in getting these numbers down, we need to stop fretting over how people are taking their lives and focus on why they would choose to do that.”

There are an awful lot of things in our country today that are increasingly awful.

Suicide was rising before the pandemic shutdowns exacerbated the epidemic of loneliness. That suicide rose after the pandemic is no surprise. That it rose before COVID reveals more of the root causes.

Life itself has been devalued. In a world where abortion is commonplace and angrily demanded, it’s not a stretch to conclude during a particularly rough patch that one shouldn’t have been born in the first place.

Marriage is also on the decline. Decades of no-fault divorce coupled with redefining the word into meaninglessness leaves many young people choosing to not even bother with an institution bereft of purpose and meaning. A corollary of that decline is that the birth rate has dropped, which can then increase the feeling of loneliness.

Faith also is declining. Fewer Americans are going to church or even expressing belief in God. Culture-wide disconnection and sometimes angry rejection of our Creator are bound to cause mental health problems.

Meanwhile, social media use is rising, and, unchecked, that too can cause despair and depression. Watching other people post epic pictures that don’t match your own experience can bring you down. Endless scrolling leaves less time for actual human contact.

Crime is also on the uptick, making even routine daily errands feel more dangerous than they once were. Watching mobs loot stores at random can make it feel like society is collapsing.

An economy that increasingly feels designed to leave regular folks behind causes untold frustration. Rampant inflation means wages aren’t keeping up and our standard of living becomes either lower or much more stressful. Rising prices make going anywhere prohibitively expensive. But staying isn’t any more affordable, as spiking home values cause insurance and property tax levels to soar. It can feel like there’s no hope for this month’s groceries, much less retirement.

If you’ve heard that viral “Rich Men North of Richmond” song, you can begin to appreciate where a good bit of the blame for all this lies: Washington, DC. Both elected representatives and unelected bureaucrats have set about remaking America in ways that have deeply detrimental effects on millions of people.

It seems that no matter how much damage Washington’s policies cause — and make no mistake, government caused nearly all the aforementioned struggles — no one in Washington seems to suffer the same consequences the rest of us do.

Even so, at the risk of sounding trite after all that, none of our nation’s myriad problems are unfixable with a change in leadership and a groundswell of Americans helping and encouraging each other.

If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts, call a friend, a pastor, or the national hotline at 988. Speak to someone who will listen. Life is worth it. Don’t give up.

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