4) Guns Contribute to a Higher Suicide Rate
Gun Control Position:
Research increasingly challenges the notion of carefully contemplated suicide – we now understand that suicide tends to be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Moreover, states with a high rate of gun ownership have a suicide rate that is nearly twice that of states with low levels of ownership, but they share comparable rates of people with suicidal tendencies. In other words, unhappy people who have immediate access to a gun are 2-10 times more likely to commit suicide than those who don’t.
Gun Rights Position:
While the danger of an individual with suicidal tendencies may be reduced by the absence of firearms, stable and law-abiding citizens should not have to welcome greater danger for themselves and their families in order to reduce danger for a minority of the population. Anyone who is determined to commit suicide can do so, with or without the use of a firearm, and while guns may make it easier, they cannot be blamed for the ultimate decision. Moreover, the scope of one individual’s fundamental rights should not be narrowed because another individual may use those rights to inflict harm on him/herself.