More than 3,250 stories have been published about the apparent suicide by country singer Mindy McCready, and USA Today didn’t waste much time putting the onus on guns with a headline declaring that her passing “highlights the role of guns in suicide.”
To paraphrase the popular quip, “Guns cause suicide like spoons cause people to get fat.”
The Seattle P-I.com’s coverage reveals quite a bit about Ms. McCready that suggests her death would have come sooner than later even if there weren’t a firearm in her entire neighborhood. The story notes, “In May 2010, she was hospitalized briefly after police responded to an overdose call at a home in North Fort Myers, Fla., owned by her mother. This followed a stint on "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew," where she declared herself clean from drugs.”
The story adds that she attempted suicide in July 2005, overdosed two months later and cut her wrists in December 2008. This all happened subsequent to her being charged in 2004 with fraudulently obtaining OxyContin, the painkiller. She reportedly pleaded guilty to the crime and did three years of probation, which, incidentally, should have disqualified her from possessing a firearm. Indeed, her obvious misuse of drugs was also a disqualifier, if one reads the federal Form 4473 closely.
A story in The Daily Beast said McCready denied the suicide attempts but did acknowledge depression and drinking apparently caused her to make decisions she did not remember.
According to Inside TV, McCready is one of at least five stars who have died after having appeared on the “Celebrity Rehab” show. The article reported that Alice In Chains bassist Mike Starr died of a “prescription drug overdose” in 2011 and Real World’s Joey Kovar died of an “opiate overdose” in 2012. The fact that they did not die from gunshot wounds does not make them any less dead.
The timing of Ms. McCready’s death is ironic, because on Monday, Examiner received an e-mail from Hornady Manufacturing — makers of reloading equipment and accessories, and a line of quality ammunition — with a letter for gun owners to use as a template of sorts to send mail to Congress, urging Capitol Hill to pass no more gun laws.
One paragraph of that letter stands out in relation to McCready: “Your focus should be on real solutions to the problem of misuse of firearms, such as strengthening mental health care and improving the quality of data supporting the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”
It might be competently argued that the very talented Ms. McCready had serious problems that went far beyond having a gun in her home. And although it appears friends had tried to help her, like far too many people with personal demons, all the help in the world cannot prevent a disaster, and it is not the gun in the hand or even the pills in the bottle, but the pain in the heart that is ultimately responsible.