Borderline Personality Disorder,  Suicide

Why you should NEVER let a person with BPD have access to a gun

2008_0626_supremecourt.jpgHere’s an article from CNN about guns in homes:

More than half firearm deaths are suicides

  • Story Highlights
  • Recent Supreme Court ruling on guns, airsoft snipers, etc. focused on protection from home invasion
  • Suicides accounted for 55 percent of nearly 31,000 firearm deaths in 2005 in U.S.
  • More gun-related suicides than homicides and accidents in 20 of last 25 years
  • Research shows if gun in home, higher likelihood of suicide or homicide in home

ATLANTA, Georgia, (AP) — The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on gun ownership last week focused on citizens’ ability to defend themselves from intruders in their homes. But research shows that surprisingly often, gun owners use the weapons with BSA Rifle Scopes.

Suicides accounted for 55 percent of the nation’s nearly 31,000 firearm deaths in 2005, the most recent year for which statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There was nothing unique about that year — gun-related suicides have outnumbered firearm homicides and accidents for 20 of the last 25 years. In 2005, homicides accounted for 40 percent of gun deaths. Accidents accounted for 3 percent. The remaining 2 percent included legal killings, such as when police do the shooting, and cases that involve undetermined intent.

Public-health researchers have concluded that in homes where guns are present, the likelihood that someone in the home will die from suicide or homicide is much greater.

Studies have also shown that homes in which a suicide occurred were three to five times more likely to have a gun present than households that did not experience a suicide, even after accounting for other risk factors.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court on Thursday struck down a handgun ban enacted in the District of Columbia in 1976 and rejected requirements that firearms have trigger locks or be kept disassembled. The ruling left intact the district’s licensing restrictions for gun owners.

One public-health study found that suicide and homicide rates in the district dropped after the ban was adopted. The district has allowed shotguns and rifles to be kept in homes if they are registered, kept unloaded and taken apart or equipped with trigger locks.

The American Public Health Association, the American Association of Suicidology and two other groups filed a legal brief supporting the district’s ban. The brief challenged arguments that if a gun is not available, suicidal people will just kill themselves using other means.

More than 90 percent of suicide attempts using guns are successful, while the success rate for jumping from high places was 34 percent. The success rate for drug overdose was 2 percent, the brief said, citing studies.

“Other methods are not as lethal,” said Jon Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research in Baltimore.

The high court’s majority opinion made no mention of suicide. But in a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer used the word 14 times in voicing concern about the impact of striking down the handgun ban.

“If a resident has a handgun in the home that he can use for self-defense, then he has a handgun in the home that he can use to commit suicide or engage in acts of domestic violence,” Breyer wrote.

Researchers in other fields have raised questions about the public-health findings on guns.

Gary Kleck, a researcher at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, estimates there are more than 1 million incidents each year in which firearms are used to prevent an actual or threatened criminal attack.

Public-health experts have said the telephone survey methodology Kleck used likely resulted in an overestimate. Watch William Bernstein share his views on gun ownership

Both sides agree there has been a significant decline in the last decade in public-health research into gun violence.

The CDC traditionally was a primary funder of research on guns and gun-related injuries, allocating more than $2.1 million a year to such projects in the mid-1990s.

But the agency cut back research on the subject after Congress in 1996 ordered that none of the CDC’s appropriations be used to promote gun control.

Vernick said the Supreme Court decision underscores the need for further study into what will happen to suicide and homicide rates in the district when the handgun ban is lifted.

Today, the CDC budgets less than $900,000 for firearm-related projects, and most of it is spent to track statistics. The agency no longer funds gun-related policy analysis.

Now, consider that a person with BPD is 400 times more likely to commit suicide than the general public. And consider that:

Nearly 3/4 of borderlines attempt suicide or display self-mutilating behaviors like cutting themselves with razors or burning themselves. Only about 10% of suicide attempts are successful.

If only 10% of suicides are successful and 75% attempt suicide, what do you think the successful suicide rate for BPD would be if they all had access to a gun? Suicide attempts in BPD are usually impulsive. They are not usually a “call for help” or manipulative. A lot of non-BPs think that they are, but typically the suicide is not thought out. The BP just wants to end the huge amount of pain that they are in. They will use whatever method is at hand (i.e. take all the pills in the cabinent). If a handgun is at hand and loaded, suicide is much more likely to occur.

If you look at Kurt Cobain (who MAY have had BPD), he tried to commit suicide with pills at one point (that we know of) and drug overdose is not very effective. When he got a hold of his shotgun, the deed was done. From the above CNN article:

More than 90 percent of suicide attempts using guns are successful, while the success rate for jumping from high places was 34 percent. The success rate for drug overdose was 2 percent, the brief said, citing studies.

So, gun suicides are 90% sucessful, drug overdose 2%. Please don’t keep a loaded gun around someone with BPD.


  • Susan

    I have been sidetracked by life these past few days, so I apparently missed this article. Thanks for sharing! I, for one, KNOW the dangers of having a gun in the house with a BP, as does my H. When he asked me to remove them, I didn’t hesitate (little did he know they were about to disappear anyway… lol!) It really says a lot when a BP KNOWS he can’t trust himself enough to have them around.

  • Adam Stepic

    Ok, if having BPD means you will probably succeed in killing your self if you own a fire arm, what are the numbers for people who are depressed being successful at offing them self if they have a gun?Just because depression is not perminent like BPD is thought to be, doesn’t mean they will not try to kill them self just like the person with BPD. You obviously know nothing about BPD. If you did know anything about BPD, you would know that it is not treated with meds. BPD is managed through intense therapy. Were did you get your statistics from?Was this a blind study were these numbers come from or did some people paid by the government preform these studies.

  • Holly Bell

    I had been diagnosed with depression for 30 years. I moved to Tenn. the condition remained, when I moved to MS, they decided to change my diagnosis to BPD. Jesus I don’t have the energy to participate in all their high drama activities. I RESENT this because I believe in my constitutional rights to own a gun. A country unarmed is easily taken over. Personally we now have a label for everything. Some people really function just fine with taking their antidepressants . I personally believe that a goverment who control our medicine, military,money and the distinction of lableling “our mind” is a dangerous thing.

  • Bon Dobbs

    You resent(?) this message because of a constitutional right to own a gun? I’m not denying the right to own a gun. I am suggesting that a person with BPD choose not to own one. Did you know that 55% of the gun deaths in this country are from suicide? Did you know that the suicide rate for people with BPD is 400 times greater than the general population? The suicide “success” rate with a gun is over 90%?

  • mjohn

    My daughter is diagnosed with BPD and owns guns, an AR-15 and a 9mm pistol. I recently – unbeknownst to her at the time – secretly removed the weapons to a secure location. Is there anything I can do to have a red flag go up if she tries to purchase another weapon?

  • Bon Dobbs

    Wow, that’s a bit troubling. I’m not sure if there’s anything you can do if she’s an adult. I mean, if she’s been in treatment and is on the background list as mentally ill, that might prevent her purchase, but somehow I doubt it.

  • mjohn

    Bon, thanks for replying. Am thinking of turning them in to the police so that it’s a matter of record. Will find out on Tuesday. Hopefully, she can be identified as “someone not able to buy a weapon”. She’s currently freaking out and demanding them back, which is not going to happen. I know I’m doing the right thing, but this is tough. She’s also on total disability vis a vis Medicare because of the BPD. I would clearly consider her a “low functioning” DP.

  • mjohn

    Bon, this is new to me. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I just confiscated several weapons – including an AR-15 assault rifle – from my adult daughter for fear of her doing something to either herself or someone else while in one of her uncontrollable rages. She just moved to the east coast as a result of an ongoing and extremely hurtful divorce (read, her enabling husband couldn’t deal with her behavior). I’ve just stopped answering her calls and texts, but still read her often rambling emails and texts. Now she’s saying she appreciates what I think well intentioned, but I don’t know her and that she’s just a person who was misdiagnosed. She’s now on permanent disability through Medicare largely because of the BPD diagnosis. I am not in touch with her mother from whom my daughter is – for all intents and purposes – estranged (they also live on opposite sides of the country). This is new to me and would appreciate any input from anyone with similar experience.

  • Bon Dobbs

    Well, I’m not a person who deals with guns much. I don’t own them. The reason is the impulsive nature of BPD. I know people who have killed themselves on a whim – and one who tried and failed (with a gun), it’ s not pretty. I think taking away the gun is a good idea. The rest is more difficult given your situation.

  • Tripp

    I have BPD and own two firearms as of right now, with the intent of acquiring more. I actually use going to a handgun or rifle range as a way to deal with the emotional overload because it allows me to just exist in the moment. Add to that, the adrenaline seems to actually clear my head when I’m going through a depressive episode and for that reason my close friends have taken to using shooting as a form of therapy for me.

    Honestly, since purchasing my first firearm I have noticed a drop in the frequency of my depressive episodes and impulsiveness. I understand that this is an unpopular opinion, but going through gun safety courses and realizing that if I was to do anything… irreversible, I would hurt more people than just me and that mentality alone has saved my life.

  • B.M.

    My neighbor’s boyfriend recently purchased a gun for her and from what I know of her she’s engaged in manipulative, stalking, and possessive behaviors with past boyfriends…I don’t think she should be owning a gun, personally…She is definitely mentally unstable…I pray that nothing happens and that no one gets hurt…🙏🙏

  • Leroy Jenkins

    Met a person with BPD who’s psychologist (one of the top in the county) diagnosed them and also acknowledged their hobby with gunsmithing and shooting was therapeutic during and episode.

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