Gun Deaths: Homicide vs Suicide

While watching one of the president debates this year, one of the candidates noted that 33,000 people a year die from gun related deaths each year in the US.

Sound bite statistics in the debates are certainly meant to evoke emotion, and I was interested to know the details behind this statistic; what I found in my research did not surprise me as a psychiatrist. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2014, 33,599 people died from firearm deaths.  While the candidate noting this statistic was making a point about the availability of firearms, only 10,945 of these deaths were homocides;  21,334 of these deaths were suicides.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 42,773 people die each year from suicide; firearms account for half of the suicide deaths.  For every completed suicide, 25 other individuals attempt suicide.

We need to increase the awareness and funding for depression and suicide in the US and need to tell our lawmakers.  Guns are deadly, but per the data, guns are most deadly to individuals who struggle with depression.  Become an advocate today,