Americans are constantly bombarded by the statistics “gun violence” here in our country, but what’s missing from the conversation is what those numbers really represent. The vast majority of deaths involving guns aren’t due to violent crime or school shootings or accidental discharges, the problem is suicide, and it’s a very big problem indeed.
Since 2008, the rate of gun suicides has risen 22 percent and is driving the increase in gun-related deaths. (Suicides make up almost two-thirds of all gun-related deaths.) Among children and teens in particular, the gun-suicide rate is up more than 76 percent. Although only a small percentage of suicide attempts are made with a firearm, more than half of all suicide deaths are carried out with one. The primary victims are older white men.