Statistical Semantics: Veterans and Suicide Rate

If 4% of veterans kill themselves every day, after 25 days there wouldn’t be veterans. I don’t think that is the case.

What the meme author meant to write is probably that if the same number of congress people committed suicide as veterans we’d be out of congress people in 25 days. That is a lot less impressive, considering there are significantly more veterans.

Then again, that number doesn’t necessarily mean what we are meant to think it means. 72% of veterans are above the age of fifty, and they commit 69% of suicides. Probably a large percent of those are “I’m terminally sick, and I’ll never get better” type suicides, and not many are related to military service decades in the past.

There is definitely a problem, and it needs to be addressed. We have drugs and therapy for PTSD. But we should talk about it honestly, rather than misinterpret statistics.


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