Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m just too stupid to understand the guidance being put out there to help prevent people from ending their own lives with a gun. And gun suicide has become a serious issue among certain population groups, in particular veterans whose suicide rate is now at least three times higher than the suicide rate for non-veterans in the same age groups.

              Worse, veterans tend to use a gun more frequently than other people as a life-ending device and the problem with a gun is that the odds that it will put you six feet under are 95%. No other means of committing suicide has odds of better than 50% and people who survive a suicide attempt generally go into treatment and report that they are glad to be alive.

              So, recently the White House released a whole report on what the Administration is doing to reduce gun violence, and much of their activity involves working with the VA and other groups to address the issue of depressed veterans who have access to guns. And the report specifically cites a VA program called ‘Firearm Suicide Prevention and Lethal Means Safety,’ which you can look at right here.

              So, I looked at this effort and what I saw is either so screwed up that I can’t believe it reflects any rational thought at all, or perhaps as I said above, I’m just too dumb to figure things out.

              The program begins with a brief video which tells veterans that it’s okay to be pissed off at what people say to them about their military service because such comments usually don’t capture what a tour in some sh*thole like Iraq or Afghanistan is all about. But then the video goes on to show a Glock pistol and a voice-over which says, “A simple lock puts space between the thought [of suicide] and the trigger” while a cable lock is being affixed to the gun.

              How much did the VA pay some advertising agency to produce this video and come up with such a clever phrase? I can only guess but what I happen to know for a fact is that YouTube has a bunch of amateur videos which show such locks being picked open in ten seconds of less.

              You then go to a page which says that “a safe home environment can save lives,” and continues on with this statement: “most suicides occur in the home and involve firearms — by far the most common and lethal of the means used in suicides.”

              So, how does the VA suggest that you make your home safe? Here’s what you should do: “Safe storage practices include using cable or trigger locks, storing firearms in a locked case or safe, and storing firearms and ammunition separately and locked.”

              And if you need any further help to make your home safe from using a gun to commit suicide, the VA recommends that you consult the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which has been promoting for years the idea that more guns in homes results in less crime.

              Incidentally, the NSSF is located in Newtown CT, which happens to be the town where the massacre of 20 children and 4 adults took place at the elementary school just nine years ago. And what kind of gun did the shooter use to commit this unspeakable act of mass carnage? An AR-15 rifle which the NSSF has been saying for years is just a ‘sporting gun.’

              This is the organization that the VA partners with to run a program on reducing gun suicide? Okay, okay, obviously I don’t get it. I’m just too dumb.

              Unfortunately, had the VA gone out and put together a program to reduce gun suicides by aligning itself with a medical society like the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) or the American College of Surgeons (ACS) they would have found scant difference between what these groups say about preventing gun suicides as compared to what is promoted by the NSSF. Want to keep people from shooting themselves with guns?  Lock the guns up. It’s as simple as that, according to ACEP and ACS.

              I guess I’m just too stupid to understand how you can keep guns around the home and not worry about someone getting hurt. The fact that solid, evidence-based research shows that guns in the home, locked or unlocked, represent a health risk, just proves that I’m not the only idiot out there.