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Study links gun ownership, suicides

By Myles Jenkins | Staff Reporter
On February 7, 2019

A recent study drew a connection between gun ownership and household suicides.
Photo courtesy of Google

When you think of gun deaths, you automatically think of violence to others. Mass shootings have been a recurring theme in the United States. There have been instances where the gunman was an adult male and there have been instances where the gunman was a male teenager. Gun deaths are also a leading method of suicide, especially among young people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 60 percent of firearm deaths were listed as suicides in 2016. In the same calendar year, more than 1,100 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 committed suicide with a firearm.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a detailed study that documents the link between suicide rates among people aged 10 to 19 and higher levels of household gun ownership.

There are people who believe in being a gun-owner, but think that there should be preventative measures to try to keep teens from reaching their breaking-point.

Jacob Henderson, the athletic department’s video coordinator at Florida A&M, shared his views on the situation.

 “I think awareness to the problem, more counseling and guidance from their support staff of their life which is their family, church and friends, would do wonders,” Henderson said. “We have to do a better job identifying when teenagers are struggling. We all go through points of life as adults where we struggle and we find alternative means, we need to find a way to reciprocate that energy to teenagers.”

 A lineup of public-health researchers at Boston University found that for each 10-percent increase in household gun-ownership, the overall youth suicide rate inflated by more than 25 percent.

This specific study tracks the correlation between youth suicide and household gun ownership across the U.S from 2005 to 2015. Using the CDC’s data from their Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, extracted from death certificates, to evaluate the overall suicide rate for young people in each state.

Many believe most of the onus in these situations should be placed on the parent(s) of the child.

Talib Din, an English instructor at FAMU, said the adults need to step up.

“The guardian in the home needs to give great consideration to their responsibilities based on those responsibilities,” Din said. “If they have firearms in the home, then they should make sure they’re not accessible to anyone who is not authorized to use them and put them away safe. You should also have an idea about the mental state of your child.”

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