Some 2nd Amendment activists say suicide isn’t a gun issue. Public health experts disagree.

Some 2nd Amendment activists say suicide isn't a gun issue. Public health experts disagree.

2nd Amendment activist Beau Bailey says the link between guns and suicide shouldn’t be considered in firearm regulations. Photo: Brian Mann, NCPR Gun rights activists say suicide isn’t their issue When Patrick Morris with the group Lewis County and Towns 2A Sanctuary talks about gun violence, he describes it as something that happens elsewhere, in big cities, in lawless places. "Long before these gun laws were around, Lewis County was safe. It’s still safe. Don’t bring New York City politics to Lewis County, New York," he told NCPR. But gun rights activists this week were quick to acknowledge one wrinkle in gun violence statistics. In fact, people here in Lewis County dying from guns used in suicides. "In each of the years 2016, 2017, and 2018 there were three incidents of violent crimes in Lewis County involving firearms," said Beau Bailey from Lyons Falls. "Sounds alarming. What the data does not tell you is that ‘violent crimes’ includes suicides." Lewis County has high rate of suicide death, often involving guns It turns out Lewis County has the second highest suicide rate of any county in New York , according to public health data. But Bailey and others at this meeting say suicide shouldn’t be a factor when talking about gun regulation. "A suicide using a personal firearm is not a malicious use of a firearm toward another individual and therefore can hardly be categorized as a violent crime." "We just want to save lives" In recent years, Democratic state […]

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