The terrible tragedy in Newtown has spurred much debate about gun control legislation in the United States. With gun-related deaths in the United States 20 times more than the average of other countries in the developed world, it is clearly a horrific problem for our nation. What is less-well publicized is that two-thirds of the reported 32,000 gun deaths in the United States are suicides. This has led some to suggest that any new gun control legislation may have a more pronounced effect on reducing suicides than other gun-related violence (see below). I am not convinced given the focus on automatic weapons and over-sized magazines.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were approximately 38,000 suicides in 2010 and of those, roughly half were by firearm. Which brings us to a very alarming statistic: A military veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes or 22 a day! In other words, nearly 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year. Astonishingly, 1 in 5 suicides in the US is a military veteran and it rarely raises a ripple among that smug crowd within the DC Beltway who appear to use gun control legislation to press some self-serving political agenda. Some writers suggest that military suicides (includes Vets) could be closer to 1 in 4! (see below). Shouldn’t the focus of the discussion be on those most at risk from death by firearm rather than the weapon of choice?
It would be reassuring to think that our government leaders would spend as much energy focused on helping our brave warriors reclaim their lives rather than dissipate their energies on political rhetoric which dramatizes gun violence without providing a responsible solution. Sadly, our political leadership don’t seem up to the task of focusing on the BIG PICTURE.
As much as the Sandy Hook tragedy stirred our nation into looking for answers to deter gun violence, our Vets and their loved ones experience their own Newtown massacre each day when on average 22 Vets commit suicide. Isn’t it time we as a Nation wake up to the BIG PICTURE and mobilize the necessary resources to deal with this unending tragedy? This is a time for REAL LEADERSHIP!
Modest regulations are more likely to deter suicide than prevent murder, and should be judged accordingly.
We’re not just looking at mass shootings, but also looking at the bulk of the homicides that occur every year and the suicides, which account for a majority of all gun deaths. Then the last question is how do you do it? Once you …
Headlines like this should shock: Suicides Outpace War Deaths. Surge in Military Suicides. Nearly Two Dozen Veterans Commit Suicide Daily. These reports and similar ones reveal imperialism’s dark side. War takes its toll.
I’d thought that everyone in U.S. was aware of the mass number of veterans that we lose to suicide each day, but a recent message I received from a supportive Facebook group administrator who helps me by sharing my …
Veterans make up 22.2 percent of all suicides in the U.S., and that startling figure might actually be an underestimate because of difficulty in determining veterans’ status, according to a new report.