1. Of the over 36,000 gun deaths that take place in America every year, approximately 60% are as a result of suicide.
2. People who wish to end their life won't "just find another way." About 90% of people who survive suicide attempts don’t go on to die by suicide.
While it's often argued that suicide by gun is a "mental health issue", what we know about the impulsive nature of suicide - coupled with research that says that most who attempt suicide with a method other than a gun and live do not try again - indicates otherwise.
90% of all suicides attempted using a firearm result in a fatality, as opposed to less than 3% of suicide attempts involving other means such as cutting or drug use.
3. White men in their 50s make up the largest percentage of death by gun suicide.
While the typical victim of a gun homicide is a young, black male, the typical suicide victim is a middle-aged white man. Roughly 80 percent of suicide victims are men, and 83 percent are white.
4. States with the highest gun ownership rates have the highest suicide rates.
Easy access to guns surely plays a role in gun-related suicide - as the nine states that rank lowest in terms of gun prevalence are the very same nine that rank lowest for suicide rates.
5. Suicide is the leading cause of death among military veterans.
In 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes.
6. In every state, a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide.
At least 82% of teens who committed suicide with a gun had used a weapon belonging to someone in their home. Additionally, for every 10% drop in the percentage of households owning guns, there was an 8.3% decline in overall suicide rates for young people.
7. Waiting periods for gun purchases have been associated with lower suicide rates.
States that impose a delay between the moments when someone buys a gun and when they can bring it home had 51% fewer gun suicides per capita compared to those without waiting periods.Sources: National Public Radio, Wikipedia, The Trace
Guns & Suicide: The Hidden Toll (Harvard School of Public Health)
To Reduce Suicides, Look at Guns (Washington Post)
A Psychiatrist Debunks the Biggest Myths Surrounding Gun Suicides (The Trace)
The Truth About Suicide & Guns (The Brady Campaign)
Why Suicide Prevention Depends on Gun Restrictions (The Trace)
If you or someone you know needs help or is at risk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a network of local crisis centers that provide free and confidential emotional support... 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the US.