Suicides: The Gun Factor

Perhaps the most startling fact to emerge from the grim gallery on the preceding pages is the pervasiveness of suicides -- 216, or 47% of the week's total gun deaths. That proportion was actually below average: for at least three decades, suicides have generally accounted for more than half the nation's annual firearms fatalities. And while the overall U.S. suicide rate climbed from 11.9 to 12.8 per 100,000 people from 1980 to 1986, the percentage of suicides committed with guns has also been rising. In 1986, 64% of the men and 40% of the women who committed suicide shot themselves.


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