AMERICA'S AVERAGE GUN VIOLENCE VICTIM IS WHITE AND MALE | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

AMERICA'S AVERAGE GUN VIOLENCE VICTIM IS WHITE AND MALE

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
For Immediate Release
Contact: Brendan Kelly, bkelly@bradymail.org
Phone: 724-612-3453

AMERICA'S AVERAGE GUN VIOLENCE VICTIM IS WHITE AND MALE

NRA and gun lobby's products are killing off the same gun owners they're marketed to

Nearly 2/3 of all gun deaths in America are suicides, and white men account for 79% of gun suicide victims

New ERPO laws proven to prevent suicides

WASHINGTON - The demographics of suicide-related gun violence overall skew heavily toward white men, who make up 79 percent of all firearm suicide victims and about 60 percent of total gun deaths in the U.S., according to an updated report from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The report, released during National Suicide Prevention Week, sheds light on two-thirds of America's gun violence epidemic and new legislation proven to protect at-risk individuals.

The availability and presence of a gun in the home is a strong predictor of suicide, increasing its likelihood threefold. Homes without guns rarely experience gun suicides.

An Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is a legislative tool rapidly being adopted at the state level to help individuals at risk of dying by suicide. ERPOs are state laws that allow family members, partners, and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals in crisis, and prohibit new gun purchases for up to a year.

Brady Center co-president Kris Brown said, "Far too many families learn the hard truth every day about the dangers of having a loaded, easily accessible gun in the home, and for those at risk of suicide, an accessible gun makes that suicide attempt a lethal act 90% of the time. Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a productive countermeasure, but these important tools must rest on a foundation of frank, truthful conversations every family in America should be having about the risks of a gun in the home."

Joe Plenzler, a Marine Corps combat veteran and gun owner, said, "There's no silver bullet to identifying and preventing all suicides before they happen, but the NRA and gun industry are contributing to an epidemic of self-inflicted violence. When 20,000 Americans every year die by suicide with a gun, those profiting from the sale of the product must do more. Instead of producing self-aggrandizing, fear-mongering propaganda that calls for violence against protesters and the press; these groups should actually focus on the safety and well being of their own members and customers, many of whom are veterans. Despite representing only about eight percent of the nation's population, veterans account for nearly twenty percent of America's suicide victims. Combating veteran suicide is an ongoing fight we should all be engaged in. If more education and new ERPO laws can make a difference, we owe it to our veterans and their families to take action."

A study of the nation's longest-standing ERPO law, in effect in Connecticut since 1999, found that 44 percent of warrants resulted in respondent receiving psychiatric treatment they might never have gotten without intervention.

Additional report highlights:

  • Nine out of 10 suicide attempts with a gun result in death, far more lethal than other methods
  • 2/3 of gun deaths are by suicide
  • About half of all fatal suicide attempts involve guns

##

The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.

About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in U.S. history - The Million Mom March, Mother's Day 2000.