All around us, there are people in crisis. The human animal wasn’t meant to be corralled like cattle or sheep. It’s just not in our makeup. We’re meant to be free, to be able to go where we want to go and do what we want to do. Why else do you think locking people up in a room is the method we use to punish people?
The problem is, a whole lot of us are feeling punished right now. I mean, why wouldn’t we? We’ve been looked up in our homes for months, and while we may have more amenities than people in jail, we also see a lot of them being released while we’re stuck at home.
It weighs on a person. It can create a certain degree of emotional distress, the kind of emotional distress that can lead to profound depression and even suicidal ideation.
But, the media would have you believe that anyone who acts on that really only did it because of guns.
People aren’t just stockpiling toilet paper, but an analysis of federal data shows they’re also stockpiling more guns. It’s a worrisome trend in the rural West, the region that suffers from from the highest rates of gun suicide.
Wyoming has the highest rate of suicide by gun in the U.S., according to a recent report, and the pandemic could be increasing that risk. People in rural places are more likely to experience loneliness, isolation and poverty, which is exacerbated by the pandemic.
That’s why Dakota Jablon, the suicide prevention specialist with the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said Wyomingites should take extra good care of each other. She said that’s what she’s trying to do with her own family and friends.
I’m sorry, but people stockpiling more guns means precisely nothing when it comes to mental health. Guns don’t cause people to kill themselves, they’re simply a convenient tool for the task, as awful as it is.
No, the problem is that people are depressed, stressed out, and we’ve got turdnuggets talking about how we need to remain locked down until there’s a vaccine, even though there’s no guarantee of one in the near future, if ever. Oh, there probably will be one, but we don’t know how long that will take or how effective that might be. After all, it seems that some people are showing symptoms a second time. If you can get it multiple times, I’m not sure a vaccine will do the trick.
Regardless, all those depressed, stressed-out people are now looking at the possibility of needing to be locked down for even longer or, potentially, a second lockdown in the fall. That takes a toll on someone.
Look, addressing suicide right not makes a great deal of sense. Anyone feeling suicidal should call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. That’s only the tip of what we should do. Jablon asks in the above-linked article that gun stores engage in suicide prevention, and if they know how to do that, I encourage it. I think we all should do what we can, though, and not just gun stores.
The reason for that is that guns are just one method for committing suicide. Sure, it’s the most effective, but there are plenty of others. While those can often be recovered from, that only happens with quick intervention. Guess what’s not happening if someone is locked down by themselves.
Luckily, things are starting to open back up. That may do wonders for curbing suicides all on its own. Not only are people relieved from quarantining themselves all the time, but a good dose of vitamin D from the sun will help.
But, in the meantime, it would be super helpful to quit blaming guns for everything when the real problems are so much more complicated.