Not only has gun-violence sky-rocketed over the past few years, but also the number of gun-related suicide has seen a recent spike, which is worrisome on multiple levels. One party, in particular, that is concerned about the rise in suicides involving firearms is pediatricians. Children were among the most affected last year by gun-related violence, and of those children, nearly 40% were suicides.
Suicide is a touchy subject, but one that should be talked about and brought to our attention, as rates continue to rise. The ease of access concerning firearms is just one contributing factor to the high number of suicides we’ve witnessed over recent years. The bigger problem lies in the daily lives, which can only be handled at home, on a personal level. Using a gun to kill oneself is infinitely more horrible and painful than other methods of suicide, and is among the easiest ways to take one’s own life. Up until this year, the government had yet to take any action on gun laws. Firearms have remained extremely easy for children to get their hands on, considering an overwhelming portion of the adult population owns a gun.
When children are faced with the various troubles associated with school and undergo puberty, when their hormones rage and any slight bump in the road feels like a life-sentence, guns do not need to be part of any household. Kids have a way of accessing even our most private quarters, whether we know it or not. The most private or highly secured hiding place for a firearm is still more dangerous than not keeping a gun around in the first place.
As Congress unveils stricter gun laws, we must still do our duty to keep guns out of the hands of children, especially those going through emotional turmoil. Is it any coincidence that gun-related suicides have gone up by nearly the same rate as gun sales? There must be a connection. An increase in firearm availability has led to more firearm-related deaths and suicides. Of course, the NRA issued a Tweet in response to concerned pediatricians, advising them to “stay in their lane,” as if children aren’t pediatrician’s area of expertise. No matter who speaks out against gun violence in America, the NRA will undoubtedly tell them to shut up.