Saturday, January 24, 2009

U.S. Catholic magazine's author Patrick McCormick on suicide:

"Weapons of self - destruction"

16,000 yearly homicides versus 32,000 annual suicides...

This is adapted from his timely article in U.S. Catholic's January 2009 edition.

"If your view of the world is shaped by what you see on TV and at the movies, you probably think that murder is a real problem in the United States, and you would be right.

"But what you would probably never guess from watching TV or going to the movies is that suicide is a much greater problem in this country than murder.

"Because we see murders and attempted murders on crime shows every night, you might not be surprised to learn that every year about 16,000 homicides are committed in this country.

"But you might be stunned to learn that our nation's suicide rate is about twice as high as our murder rate, and that we have more than 32,000 suicides each year.

"As a regular TV viewer or moviegoer, you could hardly guess that while our murder rate has dropped precipitously since the mid - 1990s, our suicide rate has grown over the past five years.

"And because our TV dramas and films pay so little attention to a deadly plague that takes nearly as many lives as car crashes, there are a couple of other things that might surprise us: the fact that more than 800,000 Americans attempt suicide each year, that suicide is the third ranking cause of death among young people in this country, that one in 12 college students has made a suicide plan, or that the suicide rate for children and young people has skyrocketed over the last half century.

"More than 52 percent of suicides in this country are committed with firearms.

"That is more than all the U.S. murders committed each year by any means.

"But suicide destroys our national faith in guns, so we do not look at it.

"Men with guns cannot solve our growing suicide epidemic.

"We cannot declare a war on suicide, lock up 800,000 attempted suicides, or put more cops with guns on the streets to stop the spread of suicide.

"Indeed, a lot of men with easy access to guns is a big part of the U.S. suicide problem.

"Addressing and reducing America's suicide rate will require a focus on prevention and compassion -- rare and precious qualities in our culture."

Right on, brother! You do know how to make folks think!! :)


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