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Depending on the year and who’s doing the counting, there are about 21,000 firearms-related suicides in the US each year. That’s about half of the total number of suicides and roughly two-thirds of all firearms-related deaths. There’s plenty of evidence that if guns aren’t available, those bent on taking their own lives will choose another method. But that isn’t to say that steps can’t be taken to reduce the number of deaths. Which is why the National Shooting Sports Foundation has announced a new partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Here’s their press release:

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A new partnership between the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, will allow for both organizations to embark on a first-of-its-kind national plan to build and implement public education resources for firearms retailers, shooting ranges and the firearms-owning community about suicide prevention and firearms.

According to recently released data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all suicides were by firearm in 2014, and suicide accounted for almost two-thirds of gun deaths in the same year. In addition, 90 percent of suicide attempts with a firearm are fatal. By working together to develop and deliver suicide-prevention resources, AFSP and NSSF hope to help stem this loss of life.

“This partnership has been a true collaboration since we started conversations last year. AFSP sees this relationship as critical to reaching the firearms community,” said Robert Gebbia, AFSP CEO. “One of the first areas identified through Project 2025 was a need to involve the gun-owning community in suicide prevention. By joining forces with NSSF, we reach both firearm owners and sellers nationwide to inform and educate them about suicide prevention and firearms, and offer specific actions they can do to prevent suicide. Through Project 2025 analysis and the work of this partnership, we know that this public education has the potential to save thousands of lives.”

“The firearms industry has long been at the forefront of successful accident-prevention efforts and programs aimed at reducing unauthorized access to firearms. Since two-thirds of all fatalities involving firearms are suicides, we are now also in the forefront of helping to prevent these deaths through our new relationship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO.

Currently, the two organizations are collaborating on this initiative through AFSP’s firearm and suicide prevention pilot program, which involves six AFSP chapters, located in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri and New Mexico. The goal is to take the program nationwide within two years.

More about Project 2025
Launched in October 2015, Project 2025 is a high-impact, collaborative initiative developed by AFSP, aimed at the organization’s bold goal of reducing the annual suicide rate 20 percent by 2025. Using a dynamic systems model designed by CALIBRE Systems, AFSP has determined a series of actions and critical areas reaching across all demographic and sociological characteristics to have the greatest impact for suicide prevention and the potential to save thousands of lives within the next 10 years. 

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 13,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. Through its Project ChildSafe program, “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” campaign and other initiatives, NSSF promotes the safe and responsible use and storage of firearms and makes available many firearm safety resources at

About AFSP
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health through education and community programs, develops suicide prevention through research and advocacy, and provides support for those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube

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  1. Oh come on now, what useless drivel. Everyone knows the only way to stop suicide is get rid of all guns. It’s simple common sense.

  2. Yeah – don’t use a gun. You might blow your face off and your eye sockets out of your head but still survive. You might not die right away. You might seizure out while still being semi-conscious and bleeding out. It’s a terrible idea.

    • When I finally do myself in, I’m going to get my gun cleaning kit out, put my GLOCK brand glock on the table in front of me, and tie a plastic bag over my head and take a nap.

    • There’s a Youtube video of just that. Or rather, the aftermath of it as seen in the ER as the docs/nurses try to save the poor bastard.

  3. I am quite confident that the bridge building industry, the rope industry, the car industry, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. are all waiting inline to donate as well.

  4. In my short life I’ve known four people that have committed suicide. Two high school seniors a couple decades ago when I was in high school. One with carbon monoxide by turning a car on in the garage. The second with a rope and a tree in the front yard. Both had terrible childhoods I was told.

    Several years ago someone took a bottle of aspirin because of a bad relationship, I was told. I wasn’t close to any of these people so the reasons are hear say. Not that the reason matters there is never a good reason for such a selfish act.

    More recently a close family member that was loosing a battle with cancer took his life with an old .38 revolver. Suicide is the saddest thing going and breaks my heart. But my sad experience has shown if there is a will there is a way. Its hard to wrap your mind around. I kind of can with a terminal illness, but even then the family is left in a bad state.

    The US suicide rate is not high compared to other countries and is lower than a lot. We should be looking into how to help people going through difficult times. School teachers, doctors and others should be trained in looking for signs and have strategies to help people and families.

  5. I’ve never understood why we want to force someone who does not wish to be alive, to be alive. I’ve had stressful situations and thought maybe I should go with the ‘dirt nap’, but, so far, Ive decided against it.

    I do not, nor will i ever, think less of someone who decides the game just isn’t worth it.

    • Having been one of those people who decided not to be alive, and failed (the docs couldn’t figure out why I didn’t die), I understand that most people who try suicide will be happy to have failed because the black depths that drive it rarely last long. I’ve gone on to have one heck of a lot of fun and even joy in my life after failing, and when the black depths come again I can tell myself, “This, too, shall pass”, and go on to reach more times of delight in life.

      That’s why we try to stop people. Yes, they own their lives, but only rarely is the decision to end a life a good one.

      • Thanks for sharing this, and I agree with you completely.

        The fact that antis haven’t pursued reducing suicide deaths by guns has long demonstrated their hypocrisy. When two thirds of all gun related deaths are suicides and nobody talks about it you have to wonder why. I think this is a great step that should have happened a long time ago.

  6. Two of my friends killed themselves. One jumped off the roof or through a high window of the dorm back in college over 50 years ago. The other hung himself in his bathroom with a wire hanger. His mother found his body. His mother.

    It’s hard for friends and family to stop someone from taking his own life. I know. I tried. For a stranger, gun store or shooting range to stop a suicide is highly unlikely.

    So I don’t think this program is going to accomplish a damn thing. But it’s good politics, and these days that’s all that counts.

  7. Nothing more than political fluff! You want to stop anyone from suicide this year. Vote Trump 2016! Cause If Hillary “AOL” Clinton gets in, you might as well forget !

  8. Well, a better idea is for the American Suicide Foundation to team up with the Libertarian party. Because with the presidential candidates they’ve had this year…I’m sure there’s quite a few people who might feel like calling!

  9. Suicide is at its most terrible when it is an adolescent who sees no other recourse. The options are there for support and help, but the youth doesn’t realize they are. It is truly terrible. In this regard, I have known one youth, who was depressed and mad at her mom, who stalked into her bedroom and hung herself with a belt. I knew another young adult who was schizophrenic, who finally listened to the voices and took a handful of sleeping pills and put a plastic bag over her head. Then there was the alcoholic father, who after dinner, casually went out to the garage (while his wife and two kids were inside) and put a shotgun in his mouth. If you are an adult, I personally could care less if you check out, or the methodology, but kids on the other hand… no excuse.

  10. Speaking as someone with suicided family members, just let them get on with it. It’ll be better for everyone involved in the long run. It’s their choice not yours.
    Unless the summabitches leave you debt.

    BOGO: fastest way to end the opiod “crisis” is to stop trying to save OD’ing junkies.

  11. I’d say the NSSF needs to work to make sure that 100% of firearm suicides are fatal because increasing marksmanship is one of their goals, but who am I kidding? After all, those dead people will vote Democrat.

    I bet the ones that survived used a .380. 😉

  12. As a trade organization of the gun industry the NSSF is doing their due diligence in dealing with an issue that affects their industry. I personally believe that nearly all forms of gun death (suicide and murder) are not reflexive of guns but rather society in general. I realize that a lot of grabbers do not see it this way sadly. Just because something isn’t our fault doesn’t mean we should shirk off being responsible in trying to prevent it.

    • But the prevention of suicide, just like homocide, is not in looking the means of creating the death. The US is 50th on the list of countries in terms of suicide per capita and all the ones ahead of us have stricter gun laws. People intent on suicide will find a way. We need to focus on the psychological pathology behind it.

      Also, I think it is ironic that the same kind of do-gooders involved in this kind of BS are the ones who want physician-assisted suicide and support abortion. They don’t care about life. They care about finding another way to get our guns. The NSSF has sold out.

      • I don’t think the NSSF has sold out. I think they (a) want to prevent the social/emotional/financial cost of suicide and (b) want to see more help available for depressed older sportsmen; as do I.

        There is also a difference between a trauma/chemical imbalance in the brain that drives one to suicide, and a terminally ill person that is in constant pain and wants a peaceful release.

        • Disagree. A life is a life. If you make public policy that does not respect life in one area, you open it up to not respecting life in other areas.

  13. I’ve always wondered, if these people are persecuted so badly that they kill themselves, what exactly stopped them from killing all the “persecutors” before that?


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