It’s the Suicides Stupid!
The US has the unenviable position as the #1 country with the highest gun death per capita in the world.
However, 2/3 of those gun deaths are suicides that are mostly white males (85%) and older (50% men 45 years old or older). In 1999, 16,999 people committed suicide and 21,344 in 2014, a 24% increase.
The remaining 1/3 are mostly homicides with 50% of the victims being black young men. Women homicides are low and most are due to domestic violence.
The population continues to grow older with the baby boomers leading the way (born between 1946-1964). This aging population sector will grow 74% between 1990-2020 and they will procure guns legally and will not physically harm anyone but themselves and leave grief for family members and/or loved ones.
The reasons for this high suicide rate are many and would include satisfaction with life, financial issues, medical or mental issues, loneliness, and negative domestic environments, among others. Gun control is not the answer to suicide.
Unfortunately, our biggest challenge as a society is to find out what is really driving these suicides and to implement interventions in an effort to at least slow them down. If someone truly wants to commit suicide, there is probably little that can be done and in a way should be respected. They certainly have a right to die, if that is their will. However, we owe them at least a chance to see alternatives. There is also the issue of dying with dignity that should be considered as an alternative.
So, in the US, it is really not gun control or the terror groups or random killings that need our primary focus, it should be our parents, grandparents, and friends/associates who feel suicide is their last resort..
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