By On September 4th, 2008

A Proven Way to Prevent Suicide

There's a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine that warrants a closer look. "Guns and Suicide in the United States" is a response to the recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban that requires home owners to lock up their guns.

Although the issue is complicated, the essay draws upon some pretty clear data that points to some much-needed reforms:

  • The risk for suicide increases anywhere from 2 to 10 times when a gun is in the home
  • States with fewer gun owners report fewer suicides–by a wide margin

The NEJM ends up debunking a common suicide myth–that if you are serious about committing suicide, you will do so whether a gun is present or not. That simply isn't the case.

So what do the authors recommend? A straightforward and logical response: People who are at high risk for suicide should have limited access to firearms until the suicidal feelings have passed.

Read the NEJM article by Matthew Miller and David Hemenway here.

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