The main purpose of this paper is to provide the argument to support the proposal of creation of Golden Gate Bridge Suicide-Prevention Barrier. The credentials of the Golden Gate Bridge which cuts across San Francisco Bay have not been so golden; it has been extending invitations for those attempting suicides…
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37 people died jumping off the bridge in the year 2011. About 100 people are stopped from jumping. People who throw their lives here drown in the deep waters like the flies burn themselves throwing in the glow of light. Technically, this Gate has been hailed as an engineering marvel, and an international landmark that attracts the tourists, but its reputation is otherwise alarming. Aaron Sankin writes, “The Chronicle estimates that a minimum of 1,218 suicides have taken place on the bridge, a minimum of 19 per year--making it the single most suicide-prone location in the whole United States. Leaping from the bridge to the icy water below is usually fatal; people taking the plunge are killed 98% of the time.” (sfappeal.com …)For the sake of maintaining the beauty of the Bridge sacrifice of the precious lives is not the answer. Those who appreciate the engineering skills of the bridge, must exhibit some sensitivity about the number of suicides at the altar of the Bridge. That the final solution to this problem should remain in limbo looks like a fictional account, but the 2011 suicide figures are the stark reminder to this bone-chilling issue. This is a problem for which the legal luminaries of the country should file a suit in the appropriate legal forums for the gross negligence of the concerned authorities to prevent the loss of human lives.
In the absence of a system in place, deaths continue to occur. So, the Federal funding is the next option before the district authorities. At the district level, the authorities make concerted efforts and seek private donations from individuals interested in the installation of the barrier. In the absence of adequate safety barriers, The Golden Gate Bridge has turned out to be a public health hazard. Elaborating this aspect John Bateson writes, “Do you have a plan for how you’d do it? Do you have a time frame? Have you put any part of your plan into action? Suicide rarely comes in normal conversation…” (132) Most of the international tourist spots have suicide barriers. Why deny such a facility to this unique spot? I think that the district authorities must be allocated Federal Funds to the tune of $50 million. This is not a spot of local tourist delight. Tourists from all over America/world visit the bridge and thus it is a revenue-generating source as well. Further, a two-pronged strategy to prevent suicides needs to be formulated to make the entire project more human. Apart from the grant from the Federal level, the local authorities must take certain ancillary measures, for augmenting the resources on a permanent basis, for proper governance and maintenance of the Bridge. 1st Objection to the solution Physical barriers is not the final choice to eliminate all suicides. But they significantly decrease the attempts, as suicide is mostly an impulsive act, and those few minutes which give pause to the mental makeup of the individual attempting suicide will do good to save the precious life.
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