Why Focus on Firearms?

It’s a powerful way to help keep your loved one safe.

Kevin, a Veteran, father, and counselor, shares a personal experience that shaped his approach to keeping his firearms secure at home.

Utah video
Utah video

A firearm owner describes how two friends saved his life.

Guns are a Veteran’s likely go-to when they’re feeling suicidal

Most Veterans have guns and feel comfortable with them. When they’re right there, guns are often the first choice for someone thinking about suicide.

70% of Veteran suicides are by firearm

Half of suicides in the general public are by firearms.

Most deadly

About 90% of attempts with firearms are fatal. Precisely what we value about guns–their power, precision, and speed–is what makes them so deadly. Attempts by other methods are A LOT less likely to kill.

No turning back

Once you pull the trigger, you can’t change your mind, and usually you can’t be rescued. Many people who survive an attempt say, “The minute I did it, I realized I didn’t want to die, I just wanted the pain to end.” Nearly every other method lets you change your mind. Not guns.

Short decision time for many suicide attempts

Often the acute period where you’re actually willing to pull the trigger or swallow the pills is brief. In one study, people who made a suicide attempt were asked how long before that attempt had they first started thinking about making it. Nearly half said ten minutes or less. A big goal of preventing suicide is helping people get through those brief and desperate spikes alive.

Putting time and distance between a suicidal person and a gun can save a life

And not just in the short-run.
Over 90% of people who attempt suicide and survive DO NOT go on to take their lives later. This applies even to people who make a very serious attempt.

Ready to talk to your loved one about firearm storage?

Here are some ideas on how to start the conversation.