Gun suicides rise to highest level in 40 years

While mass-shootings are the most visible and spectacular consequence of America's love affair with guns, the person most likely to shoot you is you (either accidentally or deliberately), with a loved one or a friend (again, either accidentally or deliberately) close behind.

Suicide is an impulsive act. Half of suicide survivors report planning their deaths for less than ten minutes. States like Connecticut that have passed background check laws for handguns have seen precipitous drops in firearm suicides, and states with more lax gun laws experience higher gun mortality of all types. States that have repealed background checks for handguns saw increases in firearm suicides.

The most gun-suicidal populations are older white men and veterans. Guns are only used in a small minority of suicide attempts, but half of all successful suicides are firearm suicides.

On Wednesday, the National Rifle Association tweeted its long-standing position that "gun control laws are not the answer. If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives."

Gun deaths in US reach highest level in nearly 40 years, CDC data reveal [Jacqueline Howard/CNN]

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: Will Houp/CNN)