It’s a Good Thing The Japanese Don’t Have Any Guns!
The AP reports (no link – on purpose) that suicide in Japan has reached new highs. It seems that there was a 2.9% increase over last year. The biggest jump has been in the elderly population, and population of Japan is getting older by the day. They’re just not having anywhere near enough kids to keep up.
It seems that suicides among the 60-and-older group jumped nearly 9% last year, and that demographic represented over 1/3 of the total reported suicides for the year. (I say “reported” because one thing not well recognized here is that Japan’s suicide rate hides a lot of murders. Multiple suicides are not uncommon there, and a great many of them are probably murder-suicides not recorded as such. Thus Japan has a tiny homicide rate, but a huge suicide rate.)
How do the Japanese, without the benefit of firearms, commit suicide at the ninth-highest rate (second highest among the G8 nations) in the world? Well, as previously reported they can get quite inventive. The latest fad is mixing commonly available cleaning products to produce highly toxic hydrogen sulfide gas. Twenty-nine deaths by this method last year, 517 so far this year.
Of course, that’s a tiny drop in the bucket of 33,093 suicide deaths in 2007. Apparently hurling oneself off a rooftop or hanging oneself still lead the pack.
If they had guns, there wouldn’t be a soul left alive!