When picturing gun violence, many tend to think along the lines of of mass shootings, gang violence, police brutality, or armed robberies. However, many Americans fail to acknowledge that a large majority of gun related deaths are actually suicides.
Studies have shown that the number of gun related deaths by suicide outnumbered homicides-- in 2010, the numbers were a shocking 19392 to 11078. This somber issue is not a recently developed one. According to an article published by the NCBI, suicide has been the leading type of firearm death since at least 1920.
Gun related suicides can be extremely impulsive. In this critical, impromptu moment, simply lack of a gun-- a deadly, conveniently user friendly, and easily accessible object, could mean the difference between life and death for an individual. States in which gun ownership is more common have twice the suicide rate as those where guns are not commonly owned. The fact of the matter is, the more people that own guns the more likely they are to use them. If possession of guns were restricted, these numbers would surely decrease. As Leon Neyfakh powerfully writes in 'The Gun Toll Were Ignoring: Suicide', "in a majority of cases, the people doing the shooting are also the ones who are dying."
The most good that gun ownership offers is security of mind-- a luxury that America cannot afford. Along with the many other negative outcomes of gun possession, suicide plays a large roll in the violent epidemic of gun use, and by prohibiting guns, many lives could be saved.