WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released a new report, “Guns and Suicide,” that shows easy access to firearms is helping to fuel an epidemic of suicide.
The report, conducted by Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee, finds that having access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide, which is a growing problem that takes the lives of 129 people every day in America. The report also provides the latest estimate on the economic cost of suicide and attempted suicide.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also sent Vice Chair Maloney a letter applauding publication of today’s report. Congresswoman Maloney launched the report in a press conference, where she was joined by the following speakers: Robin Lloyd, Managing Director of Giffords; Kyleanne Hunter, Vice President for Programs at Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; and Dorothy Paugh, who lost family members to gun suicide.
The report follows the Congresswoman’s publication last month of a 50-state report detailing the over $200 billion in costs of gun violence.
“I asked my staff to look closely at how guns and suicides are connected, and to examine how suicide by firearm varies by race, gender, age, geography, veteran status and other factors,” the Congresswoman said.
“The link between the availability of firearms and suicide rates provides yet another strong case for gun safety reforms. We lose too many people, their skills, their contributions, their futures full of possibility and promise to suicide.”
“Access to a gun increases the likelihood you will die by suicide. In other words, a gun doesn’t make you safer, it actually can put you in significant danger.”
“This report makes it clear that some groups in the U.S. population are suffering more than others. For example, white men in rural areas are suffering from a gun suicide epidemic.”
“Suicide takes an enormous toll on families, friends, communities, co-workers and others. This is a public health issue and, sadly, it’s an economic issue as well. Lifetime medical and work-loss costs due to suicides and suicide attempts are estimated at almost $70 billion per year, or about $1.5 million per death on average.”
“If we could reduce firearm suicides, we would make substantial progress in addressing the gun violence epidemic in America. Now the challenge and the responsibility before Americans is to do something about it.”
“Unlike many problems that we don't have an answer for, such as what's the cure for cancer, we know what to do to reduce the availability of guns. Other countries have done it. But the President and Republicans in Congress refuse to act. I’ve said it before and will say it again: The inaction of the president and Senate Majority Leader McConnell is literally killing Americans. Today’s report makes that even clearer.”