Diane Dimond: Beware: Unsettled times like these spark suicides

As a run-up to the Fourth of July, Americans typically buy beer, barbecue meats and fireworks. In the summer of 2020, as so many became overwhelmed by the anxiety and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans were buying guns at a record pace. Make no mistake: more guns equal more suicides. This is not an attack on citizen’s Second Amendment rights, so, please, hold the scolding emails. This is a wake-up call intended for those gun-owning households in which someone is struggling with emotional and/or financial burdens. Their deep depression could spark suicidal thoughts. Right now, more than ever before, it is urgent to keep firearms safely locked up. The first reason, according to the nonprofit group Everytown For Gun Safety, is that there are now millions more guns in American homes. Gun sales from March 2020 to May 2020 went up by nearly 5.9 million, a shocking year-to-year increase of 80% from 2019 statistics. This country has never seen such a spike in gun sales — ever. Another Everytown report, this one analyzing historic death data from the Great Depression of the ‘30s and the Great Recession of 2008-10, mapped a tragic rise in the suicide rates as unemployment increased and the economy shrank. This is exactly what is happening today. “Based on historic precedent,” the Everytown report concluded, “the U.S. risks a 20 to 30 percent increase in firearm suicides, costing the nation an additional 5,000 to 7,000 lives — about 20 more per day — in […]

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