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KSL Link: Gun violence prevention advocates honor 429 Utahns who died in 2020, call for change

From Utah’s own 2020 website statistics:

“The majority (84.1%) of firearm-related deaths in Utah were the result of suicide.”

source: https://vipp.health.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/Fairearm-report_1_7.pdf

That’s 364/429 deaths are suicide by firearm.

This story is deceptive and leads one to believe that Utah is awash in murderous rampages but the truth is that they are purposely omitting valuable data that shows mental health is the issue, not access to firearms.

I’m profoundly disappointed that we aren’t more open about actual data and treating symptoms not causes.

If you are struggling with suicide, please know you are valued and wanted.
 

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It does bother me that they classify each of these items in the same category.

If some dies by suicide, a mass shooting, a justified police shooting, or if you legally defended your family’s lives from an intruder with bad intentions in your home- it’s all classified as the same under these reports. “Gun violence.”

But I know they do it this way, so it’s not so much misleading for me as I feel it’s inaccurate and agenda driven. It’s too bad, because what gets lost is an opportunity discuss some very important topics.
 

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Apparently they're not satisfied with all that concealed carry license money they took down last year that was going to solve that problem (rather than being spent on the public range facilities we so desperately need). The beast wants fed . . .
 

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I largely agree with Vanilla. It could more helpful to dialog if we were more nuanced and teased out the important differences. The language and rhetoric of activism has many such weaknesses.

The article has its problems but they do explicitly talk about the suicide figures you, Bax, reference. I will say there is an important conversation to be had about suicide and guns, as the two are sadly interconnected. Roughly 50% of suicides involve firearms and such attempts have an unfortunately high success rate, often above 80%. We should never minimize the mental health aspect yet suicide requires a conversation about ease of access to deadly means. My wife and I have both worked in the mental health field and much of the prevention of suicide deals with things like Safety Plans that disrupt spontaneity (for lack of a better word) and initial access in those moments. Unlocked or easily accessed firearms pose a unique challenge in that regard, especially for youth whom a diagnosis hasn't yet been made.

Unfortunately we all too often get involved in partisan proxy wars instead of problem solving the issue together. Take the option of Red Flag laws in which members of both sides all too often devolve into battles over simplistic talking points instead of coming together to the table in a good faith manner that recognizes both the noticeable strengths AND the explicit weaknesses/consequences. I'm not even saying a state like Utah should pass such a law but just saddened that we can't even get to the table to work together without partisan rhetoric derailing the conservation before it leaves the gate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I definitely agree that they touched on suicide statistics but the overall feeling I got was that attention was diverted from this over arching figure to paint a statistic that implies Utah is a violent bunch of hooligans.

Everyone will agree that even one death is too many, nobody wants to find out a loved one was killed. But I also worry that neither side JD the argument wants to truly look constructively at the topic to address how mental health is the leading cause and figure out how to help.

Suicide and mass shootings are deeply rooted in mental health and I wish we could do more.

Interestingly, if you look at the demographics of those who commit suicide, you’ll see an age / race correlation. White males in their 30s-40s are most susceptible to suicide. Why? Social and economic pressures are my guess, but I’m sure there’s more to it (can’t over simplify).

It’s a shame imho. Wish we could put aside our differences and figure out how to best help those who struggle. Otherwise firearm related suicides will either continue or find a replacement medium.
 

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The corrective action is to change behaviors and attitudes in an attempt to derail violence and a sense of hopelessness. A simple friendly gesture goes a long, long way...

"Let's solve the problem, Team . . . Let's not make it worse by guessing" ~ Gene Kranz.
 

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My wife and I have both worked in the mental health field and much of the prevention of suicide deals with things like Safety Plans that disrupt spontaneity (for lack of a better word) and initial access in those moments. Unlocked or easily accessed firearms pose a unique challenge in that regard, especially for youth whom a diagnosis hasn't yet been made.
Access to my weapons and ammo is based on the two-person rule for that very reason. I've been deeply depressed before. I hope to never be back there again, God willing. But if I am, it will take me and someone who loves me very much to put together a working firearm.
 

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This story is deceptive and leads one to believe that Utah is awash in murderous rampages but the truth is that they are purposely omitting valuable data that shows mental health is the issue, not access to firearms.
Of course it is, it is KSL. As a news source they are insidious. They are used by just about everyone, (hence have much sway in local public opinion), they carefully curate their comments section to generate concensus without being obvious about it, and they try to cast an outward facade of being impartial, when in fact they are HEAVILY biased to the left. I have no hesitation in saying that, and also that they are anti-gun. Some years ago I remember seeing on TV some news clip with some reporter or editor from KSL (middle aged blond female, blue dress, on a computer, talking to the camera), and she was lamenting how "unfortunately, Utahns just love their guns". Ive been looking for that clip for awhile, if only to shine a light on them, but haven't been able to find it.

KSL is today, as CNN was about ehh...12-15 years ago, biased, but doing a reasonable good job of hiding it. If your completely apolitical (like i used to be) you won't see it. Give them more time, and as more and more people move in from the west coast, they will be more overt in their biases. If you pay attention to what kind of stories they run, how often they run them, where they run them (front page vs buried somewhere), the words they use, etc, you'll see it. One thing I wonder is, how many people see through the facade? I sincerely hope they aren't fooling everyone. I think they are honestly.

As to the high rate of suicides, I don't have any answer for that. If we were actually locked down like other states, i'd point my finger at the coof. One thought I just had, was the role of social media and internet. The feedback people get from likes, follows, etc, having an online reputation isn't to be underestimated. Of course then you have to look is, is this suicide rate just utah, or nation wide? What is the suicide rate today, vs say 20 or 30 years ago? That might tell you if there's a social/cultural quirk that is happening today that wasn't happening before. What demographic comprises the majority of suicides?

Yeah I can run down a lot of rabbit holes. I'm all about drilling down into the data. I used to do a lot of that.
 
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Lone, I agree KSL has really gone sideways. Their comment section is absurd to say the least and you used a great term for it: “curated.”

I wish there was an easy solution to the suicide topic. We all get down in the dumps here and there, but understanding what pushes some to the edge seems to be a mystery or too widely varied to address.

I remember a forum member committed suicide several years ago and another forum lambasted his choice and called him a coward. It was really sad to see because none of us knows what he was experiencing and perhaps he felt it was his only solution to alleviate his pain. Whatever the reason, the reactions have stuck with me for years.
 
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