Suicide is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. Sadly, many who would like to see citizens disarmed politicize suicides in which a firearm was the method of death used by the decedent. Not only does this diminish the profound sadness of the act and hide the roots of the problem, it also causes many gun owners to become defensive when the topic is brought up.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the US-based firearms industry trade association, announced a partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in its Project 2025. Project 2025 began in the fall of 2015 with the goal of reducing suicides by 20% during the following 10 years.
“The firearms industry has long been at the forefront of successful accident-prevention efforts and programs aimed at reducing unauthorized access to firearms,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO. “Since two-thirds of all fatalities involving firearms are suicides, we are now also in the forefront of helping to prevent these deaths through our new relationship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”
Guns do not cause suicides. Nevertheless, firearms are a method chosen for self-infliction of harm by many people. If gun owners and retailers can become better educated about suicide and the signs that someone is suicidal, we may be able to save the lives of some people.
In addition to participating in Project 2025, the NSSF also is the spearhead behind Project ChildSafe and the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy programs. The organization also sponsors the SHOT Show every year.