This is the headline on Military Times. “Keeping firearms out of easy reach key to preventing military suicides“
Among the findings in the research was this,
Firearms are used in 66% of suicides among active duty troops, 72% among reservists, and 78% in the National Guard, according to the commission’s report, whereas guns are employed in roughly half of suicides in the U.S. overall.
And then this was added.
“Often … someone found out that a service member had purchased or acquired a firearm, often on base at a military exchange … only after they had used it to kill themselves,” said Craig Bryan, an Air Force veteran and clinical psychologist at Ohio State University, in a briefing Friday. “This was a common refrain in our site visits, that military personnel wanted to encourage a culture of secure firearm storage, and also to reduce convenient access to firearm acquisition, especially for those who are in acutely elevated distress.”
The commission recommended standardizing purchasing rules across the Defense Department, whereas current policies tend to mirror local and state laws. Recommendations included raising the purchase age to 25 on bases, in addition to imposing a seven-day waiting period to purchase a gun, another four-day waiting period to purchase ammunition and a requirement to register all privately owned firearms stored in base housing.
The question is, why is this only being applied to members of the military? Think about it. They are trained to use weapons to defend the nation. They are screened for mental health. They are trained in suicide prevention. They are willing to lay down their lives for those they serve side-by-side with, and yet, they continue to commit suicide. The military wants to raise the age they can purchase guns to 25 for personal use. Where does this leave the rest of the population when half of the suicides civilians commit, including veterans in those numbers?