What are the ways that people screw up suicide by gun?

This may be morbid of me but I hear stories of people blowing off their faces or having bullets exit the back of their necks and otherwise accidentally living after a suicide by gun attempt. How does this happen? Is it recoil from the gun? Is it just poor aim? Are the guns too powerful and they are using armor piercing bullets? What protocol are they not following? I am not suicidal by the way.

Some people fire at the temple, which may not kill the person it will just blow out their higher brain functions. I have heard of people using shotguns in their mouths and only blowing off the prefrontal cortex. They survived but lost higher brain functioning.

There is also something known as ‘hesitation marks’ seen in people with shotguns. It is normal to not want to die, so when a person pulls the trigger alot of them pull the gun away at the same time (or the kick of the gun pulls it away, I don’t know). As a result they may hit the wrong part.

Alot of people probably also just put the gun in their mouth and aim for the back of the throat. I’ve seen people on TV do this and I’m assuming some people got the idea that this would work. At best it’ll probably just make someone quadrapalegic.

I’ve heard, but am no expert, that the “traditional” method of putting the gun to your temple oft gangs awry, and that if you really don’t want to make a mistake you should put it in your mouth. (I am by no means advocating any kind of suicide at all, or trying to improve your aim.)

There’s something related I often wondered about, but which probably has no factual answer. Given all the widely known and scarry unintended consequences mentionned by the OP (plus being paralyzed for life, blind, etc…) of botched suicide attempts using firearms, why do people shoot themselves in the head?
I always thought that if I was going to commit suicide, I would use a firearm but would shoot myself in the heart. Wouldn’t this be at least as efficient, and if I botched the attempt, wouldn’t I be better off with a bullet in the lungs than with one that destroyed part of my brain?
I don’t have any suicidal tendancies, either. Though maybe this thread is crossing the line, since some people reading it might.

Christ! I slit my wrists at the base of a redwood tree (I wanted it to have my blood, because I was a loyal Californian). A hiker found me, and the nurse at the hospital told me how stupid I was to think that cutting one’s wrists acutally works. I felt like asking her, “So what do you recommend for a sure-fire suicide?” I think that pointing a firearm in your mouth should do the job. But please, nobody do this. Whether you believe it or not, things will get better. You can never reverse death; so why not just try living a little bit more?

I asked a cop about this, and he told me the best way to kill yourself with a gun was to put it against your neck and shoot upwards towards the back of your head. That’s to avoid the skull bones that might stop or delay the bullet.

Shooting the rib cage is tricky. If the bullet hits a rib, it might stop and not do much damage.

On the subject of slitting your wrist, I had heard the following cheerful homily on the subject:

“Crosswise to the hospital, lengthwise to G-d”

I have no idea since I have never tried nor thankfully known anyone else who did. But based on my extensive knowledge of wrist-slitting from the movies, being in a bath is supposed to help somehow. Or maybe that’s just a dramatic touch. I hope enver to know.

Supposed to prevent or discourage clotting.

Um, something tells me we shouldn’t be discussing the most reliable means of killing yourself with a gun on the SDMB… :dubious:

Yeah, I’ll second that. I think I see an answer already…can we let this one die now? (sorry)

Discussions like this tend to get out of hand. So let’s close it right now.

samclem GQ moderator