Bradley: Suicide hasn’t risen with gun ownership

Would anyone tolerate a 72-hour waiting period on exercising Freedom of Speech?

by Chris Bradley, President, Vermont Federation of Sportsmens Clubs

In considering the intersection of suicide and firearms, it is has been suggested that more firearms in circulation would mean an increase in suicide by firearm.  This does not prove to be true in Vermont.

While we do not know the precise number of firearms that are in Vermont, ever since 1998 we have FBI Background Check data that tells us how many sales occurred.  

To avoid any issues with attempting to provide an estimate of how many firearms existed in Vermont prior to 1998, I’ll assume that there were none.  Between 1998 and 2010 there were 229,624 firearms sold in Vermont per the FBI, so using that number as a starting point, and then graphing the cumulative sales each year from 2011 to 2020, we see the following (a total increase of 376,409 firearms): 

Following, we see a graph of suicide by firearm in Vermont across the same period.

Completely ignoring the hundreds of thousands of firearms owned by Vermonter prior to 1998, and despite an increase of 376,409 firearms in the hands of Vermonters from 2011-2020, there appears to be no appreciable change to Vermont’s rate of suicide by firearm for that same period.

In considering a Waiting Period in Vermont and its potential impact on suicide, we can and should look at what the effects of the Brady Bill had on Vermont.  The Federal Brady Bill required a 5-day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun, with that law applying to Vermont from February 1994 to November 1998. 

Using data available from the CDC, we graphed the total number of suicides in Vermont, as well as the number of Suicides by firearm in Vermont, starting at one year before the Waiting Period went into effect to one year after it ended.

Based on the above, it would appear that a waiting period actually increased suicide by firearm, but we believe that would be an improper assumption.  At best however, it is completely inconclusive as to whether the previous waiting period had any effect on suicide by firearm in Vermont, and it is therefore reasonable to believe it will not have any effect now.

Testimony before House Judiciary revealed 2 incidents where someone went to a Gun Store, bought a gun, and then used that gun to end their lives.  If there have been others that have done that in the last 10 years, we do not believe the House Committee on Health Care heard of them, and we note that despite the expansive “Findings” section of H.230, it fails to mention that number.

What we do know is that across the last 10 years, there have been 440,881 background purchases in Vermont, and it is not unreasonable to believe that some number of those purchasers did so because they felt an immediate need for self-defense.

This is not even mentioning that, like it or not, any law that requires that firearms be locked up is explicitly unconstitutional under Heller, and it equally will not pass muster under Bruen.  All of which means that it is somewhat unbelievable that “Safe Storage” is even being proposed given that the question as to its constitutionality has already been answered.

Ever since the Heller decision in 2008, a great many have watched with dismay as Courts blindly lost sight of what the word “infringed” meant, and creatively applied all sorts of rationalizations to defend well intentioned laws that none-the-less tread on the individual rights of law-abiding citizens. 

That time is gone.  After years of not addressing the issue, the Supreme Court of the United States has provided clear guidance on how the constitutionality of a proposed or existing law that deals with the Second Amendment must be resolved.  Text, History and Tradition.

Would any of us tolerate a law that said:  “You can say whatever you want to say (within reason), but you must wait 72 hours days before you can say ‘that’.”

The Second Amendment is not a Second-Class Right anymore.

“A Right delayed is a Right denied.” – Martin Luther King

Categories: Commentary, Uncategorized

9 replies »

  1. I have to agree with Mr. Bradley’s point that suicide is not the problem of a gun. There are many ways for someone who wants to kill themselves to do it. Like the person who just walked in front of a train the other day or by hanging themselves, some who confront police so they have no choice but to shoot, some who slit their wrists, some who intentionally take an overdose, the list goes on and on. The bigger picture which our short sided legislature can’t comprehend is that this state is completely helpless, as is any other state, in preventing suicide. The problem in this state is the fact that, I guess, to cut costs they abandoned places like state mental institutions, or Vergennes school for problem kids and turned them out to basically anyone who would take them for a stipend from the state.. People who have never been trained in mental health!

  2. But Rep Allysa Black’s speech was soooooo powerful. 🥰

    Stop using your stupid facts, and all this reason stuff. The patriarchy is over! 😡

  3. Here, Here ! Thank you Chris ! Along with the true meaning of the word “infringe”, the duplicitous left are prone to conflating the word militia in the 2nd Amendment to mean that the only people to whom this right is conveyed is a military entity, when in reality the founding fathers were distrusting of any standing armies, and thought them dangerous to the Republic, and therefore to be avoided. The citizenry is the militia, and a “well regulated” (trained) citizenry is necessary to the security of a free state.

    • The Vermont Constitution, Article 16 is crystal clear.
      So too is the oath/affirmation of office each legislator is required to take- and adhere to.
      To further Mr. Bradley’s points, many, if not most Vermont firearms purchasers are NOT first time buyers. I suspect the suicidal firearms owner might just not purchase a new firearm to use…rendering the 72 hr. wait moot for it’s stated goal.
      lalonde and baruth both are no strangers to using fabrications to further their agendas.

  4. When the Progressive/Left cites gun ownership as the reason for suicides, clearly, they are trying to distract and redirect accountability away from the social and economic policies they’ve created.

    • Kinda like the way “structural racism” is used by those in charge of the structures…

  5. The New York police state mentality has been imported into our legislature and the two most anti-2nd amendment and constitutional law violators are LaLonde and Baruth both from NY. So now a law suit will have to be filed and an injunction should provide relief right up front. The case has the probability of winning since the issue of gun storage has already been deemed unconstitutional in two separate Supreme Court cases, Heller and Bruen. But this doesn’t matter to our overlords even though they swore an oath prior to taking office to not harm the Vermont constitution. Therefore, we are represented by lawless legislators who see themselves above any citizen’s rights and settled constitutional law that stops their progressive drive to do as they say. Regardless of the two constitutions that protect our rights from government intervention, the Vermont Constitution and the United States Constitution these two legislators violate their oaths and the supreme laws of our state and the nation. Thank a democrat for voting for lawless legislator determined to rule over your safety and natural rights of self defense.

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