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Guns are associated with dramatically increased suicide risk

Gun ownership laws are a heated topic across the United States due to the constitutional issues involved. From a public health perspective it is however clear that guns are dangerous. With guns, suicide becomes the biggest problem, reports MedPage Today on April 11, 2014. In fact every single day 88 people die from a firearm associated injury and about two-thirds of those deaths are due to suicides.

Demonstrators take part in a rally against gun violence in the Harlem neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of New York City.
John Moore/Getty Images

Researchers have reported a very high proportion of gun associated suicides are committed by seniors and individuals who live in rural areas. Molly Cooke, MD, president of the American College of Physicians says the researchers have discovered that in cities gun associated deaths were generally homicides, whereas in rural settings suicides were a bigger problem. Cooke points out that isolation along with alcohol or other substance abuse and easy access to a gun are together particularly associated with an increased risk of suicide.

It is also pointed out by Cooke that physicians should play a pivotal role in helping to reduce gun associated violence. Physicians are encouraged to counsel patients on the risks of keeping firearms in the home. Cooke also emphasizes that state and federal authorities should not enact of mandates which interfere with free speech of physicians and with the patient-physician relationship.

This research paper has been published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The serious nature of the public health problem associated with firearm violence requires immediate attention in the United States according to this publication. An aggressive initiative which addresses such issues as the causes and prevention of firearm violence and firearm safety along with reasonable regulation are among imperative points to be raised. Gun safety is a very serious matter which your life may depend on. Therefore, efforts to deal with this problem which are consistent with the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms are encouraged.

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