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Archive for the ‘Red Flag Laws’ Category

PHAI’s Sarah Peck Looks at Suicide Prevention as a Way to Reduce Mass Shootings in Op-Ed

Sunday, May 30th, 2021

PHAI’s Sarah Peck, director of #UnitedOnGuns, along with James Alan Fox, the Lipman Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University, published an opinion piece in the Mercury News of San Jose, where a tragic public mass shooting at a light rail yard resulted in 10 deaths, including a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the shooter. Peck and Fox note that public mass shootings almost inevitably involve suicidal ideation on the part of the shooter.  They write that this fact, “provides hope that some of these horrific crimes can be prevented by focusing specifically on suicide prevention.”

In fact, focusing on suicide prevention may be the most effective way to reduce death caused by guns in the U.S. as nearly 2 out of 3 gun deaths are the result of suicides. In the various gun narratives, this is hardly a dominant theme.  Nor it the fact, pointed out by the authors, that, “the risk a household member will commit suicide is increased threefold when there is a gun in the home.” Peck and Fox recommend 2 policies to help reduce gun-involved suicides.

1) Temporarily remove a firearm when a household member is in crisis, and

2) Safely secure handguns and long guns bought for sport or protection, especially if there is a minor in the home.

The first of these policies is known as a “red flag” law or “extreme risk protection order” (ERPO).  Evidence to date suggests that ERPO laws may, indeed, help to reduce suicide. Guns as, by far, the most effective means of successfully carrying out a suicide attempt. Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that while, overall the 8.5% of suicide attempts result in death, 89.7% of suicide attempts involving guns are lethal. Safe storage of guns have been found to reduce gun-related injuries and death.

Read the commentary here.



PHAI’s Sarah Peck pens op-ed supporting a federal “red flag” law

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Sarah Peck, Director of PHAI’s #UnitedOnGuns initiative, recently authored an opinion piece published by The Hill entitled: A federal red flag law would save lives and give Trump a much needed win.  Ms. Peck notes that both red and blue states have enacted some version of these laws, also known as “extreme risk protection orders.”

The piece notes that “passing a federal red flag law could save lives if these incentives have the desired effect, especially in red states where gun deaths tend to be higher as a percentage of the population than in blue states.”  Ms. Peck stated that one study found that for every 10 risk orders issued, at least one suicide was prevented.

Read the full piece here.  It was published on November 17, 2019.




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