The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have just released their report Suicide Trends Among Persons Aged 10–24 Years — United States, 1994–2012. “Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 10–24 years in the United States and accounted for 5,178 deaths in this age group in 2012,” the report states. “Firearm, suffocation (including hanging), and poisoning (including drug overdose) are the three most common mechanisms of suicide in the United States . . . Among males aged 10–24 years . . .
firearm was the leading mechanism of suicide, whereas, among females, suffocation surpassed firearm in 2001 as the leading mechanism. In general, firearm suicide rates decreased and suffocation suicide rates increased, while rates for suicide by poisoning decreased slightly and rates for suicide by all other mechanisms combined remained relatively unchanged . . .
The report has recommendations to tackle the problem – none of which include gun control.
The National Strategy for Suicide Prevention encourages a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention that includes activities for enhancing social support, problem-solving skills, and other protective factors to prevent suicidal behavior; increasing training in recognizing risk factors and making appropriate referrals; expanding access to social services; reducing stigma and other barriers to seeking help; and providing responsible media reporting to reduce contagion and to enhance awareness that suicide is preventable.
We hope that the various gun control groups – who lump in firearms-related suicides with firearms-related homicides to alert the public to “gun violence” – take note of the recommendations and work to reduce these preventable deaths. After all firearms-related suicides account for more than half of all firearms-related deaths. The same goes for the NRA, NSSF, SAF and other pro-gun rights organizations.