I have said for years there should be Public Service Announcements promoting suicide. Many random shooters end up turning the gun on themselves anyway, so why not encourage them to cut out the middleman? A few Super Bowl commercials with this message would go a long way:
Are you a loser with a big important plan? Do you think trying to get the world's attention by killing a bunch of strangers is going to make up for all the years humanity treated you like the buzzkill you are? Well, before you turn that gun on others, think twice and turn it on yourself first. Charity begins at home.
Unfortunately, I am seldom consulted on these matters. Society is going to keep discouraging suicide, which will reinforce the anti-suicide stigma; a stigma that will probably prevent a few future random shooters from eliminating themselves before they start the shooting spree.
Oh well, we should still address of few classic anti-suicide cliches in hopes of spreading the good word:
1) When a person offs himself, sometimes family or friends will say: "It couldn't have been suicide! If he was going to kill himself, why would he do (insert normal behavior) beforehand?"
Self-preservation is the overwhelming norm in the Homo sapien world. Even the destitute and the deeply ill usually fight to extend their lives for as long as possible. Prisoners on death row fight for pardons in hopes of continuing to live, even though the rest of their lives will be spent in a ghoulish dungeon. They still prefer ghoulish dungeon to oblivion. All the evidence points to the vast majority of humans wanting to see another day.
Now along comes someone who instead chooses suicide; the most unusual and contrarian decision a person can make, and you're surprised that while making the most unusual decision available in the human experience, he exhibited a few other quirks along the way?
It's like being surprised that someone also snaps his fingers while doing a karaoke version of "My Way".
But why did he send that last rent check? Why did he clean his apartment first? Maybe he was worried about his place in the afterlife, which is why he made the "quirky" decision to tie up loose ends. Many people who are about to die of natural causes behave the same way. Folks worry about their reputations, both on Earth and wherever they think they're going to afterward.
Harakiri is the path least traveled. There is no telling what someone is going to do in that frame of mind.
2) Killing yourself is the most selfish thing you can do.
This is another blowhardy slogan that four out of five dentists recommend. Hey everyone: isn't it more selfish to ask someone to continue living in pain (emotional or physical) so that you don't have to deal with the grief of his disappearing from your life? Because you're going to miss him, he should remain alive against his will? He no longer owns his body because of his friendship with you?
It gets better. People are always stressing that mental illness is a disease like any other. Daytime talk shows regularly focus on elevating mental illness to the same status as cancer, AIDS, etc. And nowadays everyone has 85 bracelets on each arm to raise awareness of diseases of which every Earthling is already aware. We've got to bring these diseases out of the shadows.
Many advocates for euthanasia point to the pain of disease as a reason it must be legalized. You know, human mercy and all that. Great, but how about euthanasia as a response to the disease of depression? [Dial-tone] Hello? Hello? Anyone there?
So mental illness is a disease, but when someone wishes to be relieved of this disease the same way he might wish to be relieved of cancer, suddenly everyone gets on their high horse. Suddenly euthanasia is no longer merciful; it's selfish. And the people who want you to suffer on their behalf? Not selfish. OKEY DOKE...
Getting back to public service announcements: We've already seen the driving safety slogan "55 saves lives." What we need now are a few billboards that say "86ing Yourself Saves Lives." Or if billboards are too much trouble, we should at least print that slogan on every copy of the unofficial murdering losers' bible The Catcher in the Rye.