Firearm Suicides Encapsulate Two American Epidemics

June 8, 2018

Andrew Patrick
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Firearm Suicides Encapsulate Two American Epidemics

Washington, DC (June 8, 2018) — Last week, the nation was reminded once again of the devastating effects of suicide. High profile suicide deaths have ignited a national discussion about prevention. A death by suicide is heartbreaking and our thoughts go out to the family members of Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and the 123 people who die by suicide every single day.

The discussion is similar to the one we’ve seen in recent months around gun violence. It is important to remember that these are not separate issues.

The link between suicides and guns is clear. Firearms account for more than half of all American suicides. As the most lethal suicide method, access to a gun for someone in a suicidal crisis often means the difference between life and death.

According the Center for Disease Control (CDC), suicide deaths continue to rise across the country. We know there are strategies to prevent suicide deaths and it often starts with the removal of the gun. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence have been instrumental in the education and implementation of life-saving suicide prevention policies like extreme risk laws — a proven suicide prevention policy.

Any national discussion on suicide must address the issue of guns. Those 20,000 who die from firearm suicide each year deserve that much. These deaths are preventable. But we must take action.


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