Gun control: Are you kidding me?

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Does impulsiveness in human beings exist?

Huckleberry said:
Suicide is not an impulsive act. People do not just wake up one day and decide to kill themselves. It draws itself out over a long period of time. They prepare for their suicide. They buy the gun. They hold out for hope.
Some people are more impulsive than others. Some people are as impulsive as dogs. Can you imagine the average dog going through extensive deliberation and planning of anything?

This is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD):
http://www.toad.net/~arcturus/dd/borderln.htm

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There is marked impulsivity that begins by early adulthood

[...]

Behavioral dysregulation: Individuals with BPD evidence extreme and problematic impulsive and suicidal behaviors. They often attempt to injure, mutilate, or kill themselves.
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The character string <impuls> can be found 29 times on that web page. This seems to be the issue here; do you not believe that impulsivity can possibly exist in human beings? Maybe you have never once in your life met an impulsive person. At my junior high school there was a boy (one of many pathologically impulsive kids there) who grabbed the fire extinguisher in the gym one day -- during lunch time when the gym was packed -- and unloaded it on the crowd. I asked him later why he had done that. He said, "Because it was there."

That is how dogs and impulsive people think. If environmental stimulants are not right there in front of them, thoughts of acting on them never enter their heads. And when they see them, they can't help but act.
 

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Moonbear said:
(the guy who just found out his girlfriend and wife are both pregnant and has no idea how to get out of the mess he got himself into; or someone who just lost everything in a bad investment)
I can understand how a sudden change of circumstances could spur an impulsive decision to commit suicide.

Concerning the people in the two above examples, I think there is more to their dilemma than just the one sentence circumstance. I'm going way out on a limb here, but I think that the man who discovered his wife and his girlfriend are both pregnant didn't kill himself because he couldn't figure a way out of his situation. The solution for that is simple. He only needs to tell the truth. He fears the consequences of his actions. His girlfriend threatens to tell his wife. His wife divorces him, or makes his life miserable, or both. He loses his house and his kids and his self-respect. Nobody will have sympathy for him. He chooses suicide. That is his 'way out' of the problem. It is his solution.

The businessman in the bad investment defines his self worth by his financial ability. He worries that his wife won't love him if he can't upkeep their expensive lifestyle. He loses standing among his peers and can't face the humiliation. He's spent so much time judging people based on their income and realizes that he is now what he considers poor. He'll find no sympathy among them. He needs a solution and he finds one.

These are just silly scenarios, but there is more depth to them than just the surface reason. How the event attaches to the individual's life is more important. The first guy was probably a real family man, pillar of the neighborhood type. The second was probably a persuasive talker and a charismatic individual. Something about the way they view themselves has been threatened. Without being able to resolve the issue they are confronted with their beliefs. They chose death rather than face change.

You could call this impulsive. I tend to think of it as more a problem in the making. When things are going good, there is nothing to worry about. When things go badly they suddenly realize they are not able to deal with the consequences. I think even these scenarios would take more than 5 minutes before the individuals chose to commit suicide.
 
  • #53
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Family histories of individuals with BPD often reveal a relationship to both manic-depression and alcoholism. There may be an inherited genetic predisposition to poor mood regulation. Many of these individuals come from families with abuse, violence, and traumatic separations (Oldham, 1990, p. 305).
Seems this disorder often starts in childhood. That would give a person plenty of time to build up a negative self image and reason to present a good public one.
Individuals with BPD experience an unstable self-concept that oscillates between feelings of inferiority and superiority. Mostly they feel defective, bad, and victimized (Akhtar, 1995, p. 7). Masterson (1981, p. 100) notes that the self-image in the borderline is that of being deficient. On the superior side of the vacillation is a lack of humility and a core of omnipotence, conceit, and self-righteousness (Akhtar, 1995, p. 7).
This would support the silly scenarios that I presented of people that have unstable self-concepts.
Beck (1990, p. 183) notes that individuals with BPD hold extreme, poorly integrated, and unrealistic expectations of interpersonal relationships. They fluctuate between idealization and devaluation of others (Akhtar, 1995, p. 7).
This would explain why they feel that nobody would sympathize with them. They cannot believe that someone would care for them if they can't portray their idealized selves.

I didn't read the entire article. It does seem to be a good article, however, I didn't see anything about suicide in it. It mentions destructive behavior and aggression. I'm not certain these emotions are compatible with the last few minutes culminating in suicide. The article seems to suggest that these people attempt suicide repeatedly. This is different than actually committing suicide with the intent to end their own lives.
 
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  • #54
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Huckleberry said:
The article seems to suggest that these people attempt suicide repeatedly. This is different than actually committing suicide with the attempt to end their own lives.
http://www.google.com/search?q=parasuicide+borderline

Parasuicides are by definition intended to be non-fatal. They are not always actually non-fatal.
 
  • #55
Pengwuino
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BicycleTree said:
Why not? If we're serious about NYC not becoming a radioactive hole. We could give money, lend experts and troops, buy up material.
But its the former Soviet Union we're talking about... maybe in a decade relations would be good enough to bring in American troops/helpers/funded helpers to secure material. Its all about relations unfortunately otherwise its a great idea.
 
  • #56
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hitssquad said:
http://www.google.com/search?q=parasuicide+borderline

Parasuicides are by definition intended to be non-fatal. They are not always actually non-fatal.
Whether the suicide attempt was fatal or not wasn't the point I was getting at. I was just arguing for my belief that suicide is not a spontaneous idea. If someone repeats attempts at suicide then it seems not impulsive to me. The idea is an old one for that person and they have considered it many times. If this disorder starts in childhood then its an old idea. Not every person who attempts suicide has borderline personality disorder. They don't necessarily have any history of mental disorder at all.

Now that I reconsider, there must be a few legitimate suicides that are completely impulsive. I would think this is by far the exeption, rather than the rule. These people almost surely have a history of severe mental disorder.

I'm glad this is in GD. This thread is all over the place. Gun control, suicides, nuclear war, oh my! :uhh:
 
  • #57
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Hair triggers and threshold crossings

Huckleberry said:
I was just arguing for my belief that suicide is not a spontaneous idea. If someone repeats attempts at suicide then it seems not impulsive to me.
Habitual and impulsive are not mutually exclusive.
http://www.toad.net/~arcturus/dd/antisoc.htm

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Individuals with APD evidence low tolerance for frustration. They act impetuously and cannot delay or forgo immediate pleasure. When things are not going their way, they are brash, arrogant, and resentful (Millon, 1996, p. 445).
--

APD's act impulsively, and they do it over and over.



Huckleberry said:
The idea is an old one for that person and they have considered it many times.
Premeditation and impulsiveness are not mutually exclusive. One can take a premeditated trip to a casino and then impulsively gamble while he is there, losing so much money that he cannot take his premeditated trip back home.



Not every person who attempts suicide has borderline personality disorder. They don't necessarily have any history of mental disorder at all.
This wasn't contested. What was contested was the implication that humans are incapable of acting impulsively. And dysfunctional behavior is a strong indicator of underlying personality disorder. At an ADD meeting I met someone with hyperactive ADD (the impulsive kind of ADD) who had at one time had three or four brothers. Every single one of those brothers ultimately, at separate times, committed suicide. People with hyperactive ADD tend to have family members who are more impulsive than the average person. Impulsivity helps push an individual over a threshhold to action. Premeditation can help too. They aren't mutually exclusive and they can function together toward the same end.

It makes no more sense to say that impulsivity cannot play a role in successful completion of premeditated suicides than to say that, since all guns are designed to fire, guns with hair triggers are not more likely than heavy-trigger guns to accidentally go off.
 
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  • #58
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OK, I can buy that. Thanks for clearing that up.

I can see how an impulsive person would be more prone to committing suicide when things are going badly, especially if they have a disorder. I feel for that person that had three siblings that committed suicide. I had a great grandfather and a great uncle who both committed suicide with guns when they were diagnosed with cancer. I never knew either of them. My grandmother also died of cancer and my aunt on my mother's side is currently dying of cancer. She is in hospice now and they are alotting her drugs by the day.

(edit)I never intended to say that humans are incapable of acting impulsively. I only stated that I did not believe that it was a factor in suicides. It seems people are capable of anything. A very small percentage of people may be unhappy and decide to kill themselves impulsively, without any forethought or planning.
Mentioning the dogs doesn't mean anything. They don't have the same capacity for understanding that a person does. What choice do they have but to be impulsive. Even though they are impulsive they don't commit suicide.
The person you met with the fire extinguisher might just have been a desperate jerk looking for some negative attention. Yes, he made an impulsive act, but this also does not involve suicide. He was a jerk before he made the impulsive decision and I predict that he will make many more impulsive decisions for the same reason. What would surprise me is if this was a good kid 99% of the time who did this. Then I would look closely into his home life for the source of the problem.
But you are right. It certainly is possible that people can commit suicide impulsively. People with this disorder would be especially prone to suicide if presented with a gun, or a razor, or a bottle of pills, or a tall building. Perhaps even guns in particular because they are intended to kill things, which would evoke strong images of death and suicide in an impulsive person. Someone who has APD should not keep a gun around them in the first place. Just having that disorder and owning a gun could be forethought of suicide if they know they are incapable of controlling their own actions. Then again, they probably have very little control over their thoughts either. How unfortunate.
 
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  • #59
Pengwuino
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Dont mean to break off on a small tangent here but what really confuses me is how can people fail to commit suicide when they use a gun. My friends ex told me he tried to kill himself like 5 times (and like 3 times were with guns). Now... how in the world is this possible? And would he not have weird deformations in his head or something (hence, my superficial friend not wanting to date him)?

But then again he hella lies a lot so who knows lol.
 
  • #60
jcsd
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Pengwuino said:
Actually look at your own crime statistics. You had very low crime rates before that ban was put in place in... 93 or something. Then within a few years, your murder rates had doubled.

See: http://tim.2wgroup.com/blog/archives/000384.html [Broken] i believe

@Huckleberry.

No offence- I work in the UK criminal justice system and don't get your statistics from blogs; it is the violent crime rate that has increased and stringent gun control has always been in opertaion in the UK - laws on legal ownership were tightened circa 1996 afetr the dunblane massacre.
 
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  • #61
Pengwuino
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Well the original source was from INTERPOL but i couldnt find the website from when i was first arguing about it. And most blogs only present information, not create it by the way. Interesting tool as you can usually use blogs to verify info or tell people what information is unverifyable.
 

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