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We are heartbroken by the deaths by suicide of survivors of gun violence. Our hearts are with their loved ones.

We will not speculate on the triggers for these deaths, nor on the methods.

Rather, we will honor their memories by discussing the links between guns and suicide.
Firstly, it is important to note that the language around suicide matters. We pay attention to these things, and try to get it right. If you are unfamiliar with the language of suicide and accepted terminology, we recommend this excellent glossary:…
The data is clear: where people have more access to guns, more people die from suicide. Guns themselves are a risk factor for attempts, and are substantially more lethal when used in a suicide.
The Harvard School of Public Health's #MeansMatter campaign discusses in detail the links between suicide and guns.

1. Many suicide attempts occur in a moment of particular heightened vulnerability and are not part of a long-term plan.…
9 out of 10 attempters who survive their attempt will not later die by suicide. In short, a suicidal crisis is most often not chronic or unsurvivable--if an attempt uses survivable means. #MeansMatter.…
It is empirically true that access to firearms is a risk factor for suicide. There are more than 20,000 people in America who die by suicide while using a gun every single year.…
Most children and teens who attempt suicide with a gun use a gun that belongs to their parents or caregivers.…

This graphic is particularly telling.
And finally, reducing access to legal means saves lives.…
Many people will say "those who wish to die by suicide will find a way."

As the data above show, this is simply not true. And there are things lawmakers can do right now to reduce the risk of suicide deaths:
1. Red Flag laws allow those in crisis or those who are closest to them to obtain a court order temporarily restricting their abilities to obtain or access firearms. This is already saving lives in many states, and should be national.
2. "Jaime's Law" is currently pending in Congress. This law would prevent those who are not legally allowed to buy ammunition from doing so.

3. Universal background checks on all firearm purchases, also currently pending in Congress.

4. Mandatory safe storage of firearms.
5. Critically, funding NIH studies of gun violence and overturning state laws which prevent physicians from asking about guns in the home.

~40,000 people in America die from guns every year. It is a public health crisis. We must start treating it as such.
And finally 6. Expanding access to high quality free and affordable mental health treatment for everyone in America, with full parity, regardless of an individual's economic status.

Guns and suicide are a deadly combination. We need congress to take these actions now. #NoRA
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