“There are now more than twice as many suicides in this country than homicides”. That is from this morning’s “Weekend Edition” on NPR. Yesterday’s Boston Globe included an article on the increasing rates of teen suicide, especially among girls. Suicide is the second leading cause of teen deaths, behind accidents. I’ve seen stories that I can’t confirm that each day seven veterans of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq take their own lives. It’s a frightening statistic and, if true, pretty soon more of our sons and daughters who fought in those wars will have died by suicide than in combat. I’ve also seen that more die each year by suicide than in automobile accidents. I need to do research confirm these statistics, write more.
We need to talk. Most of these deaths are by gun, usually hand guns. We are horrified every time there is a school shooting. Yes, they are terrible. But each time we hear of one we focus on making schools safer and miss that our children are more likely to die by suicide. Both involve guns. Solve one and both get better. Yes, fewer guns means fewer teen deaths, fewer veteran deaths, fewer school shootings. Guns are the problem.
Also from the NPR story: more police officers die in this country every year from suicide than from aggression on the job. We are not supporting the people that protect our country, protect us, if we aren’t giving them the support to stay healthy while doing their jobs.
Another scary statistic: there are more guns in this country than people. More guns in this country than people. Think about that. More guns in this country than people. And we wonder why so many die, why there is so much carnage.
We know what needs to be done. All we need is the will. We can’t just make guns illegal and seize them. The fourth amendment has something to say about that. But we can make them illegal and have the government buy them, destroy them.
We know what to do. How many more of our children, our brothers, our sisters need to die?
We know what to do.