Bloomberg gives gun control partial credit for New York’s low suicide rate

Michael Bloomberg. (Azi Paybarah, via flickr)
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During his regular Friday morning radio appearance today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New York City's relatively low suicide rate can be attributed in part to the city's relatively strict gun-control laws. 

"The rate of suicide in New York City is almost half of what it is in the country on average," he said. "And most of that comes from the difficulty in getting a gun."

The mayor wasn't merely touting yesterday's Health Department news—that only 6 New Yorkers in every 100,000 New Yorkers die by their own hands, compared to 11 nationally—he was also skillfully redirecting talk away from a disturbing series of local shootings in which children were killed.

"This is I think week three, the third Friday in a row, if I’m not mistaken, that we’ve been talking about, this morning it’s a child, shot, on the streets of New York," said Bloomberg's WOR co-host John Gambling. "The eight-year-old. I mean, we don’t have to go through the same, all of the things we’ve talked about, but it is distressing to say the least."

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"Guns," responded the mayor. "But having said that, we have reduced the number of guns in the city, and I’ll tell you where it shows up. Health Department put out the suicide statistics yesterday."

"It turns out that an awful lot of people, when they want to kill themselves, reach for a gun," continued the mayor. "And if they can’t get that gun, the thought goes away and they don’t kill themselves."

"Now you still have the jumpings and the subways and those kinds of things," he said.