Are gun owners suicidal? No. Are they crazier than other people? No. Then why do so many gun owners kill themselves? Because guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people. And the people they kill are mostly themselves. In 2010 in the U.S., 19,392 people committed suicide with guns, compared with 11,078 who were killed by others. That is 2/3 of the gun deaths in the U.S. in 2010 were suicides. The deeply mythological nature of the self-defense right in the NRA view of the Second Amendment is now embedded in law thanks to Justice Scalia, et al. in Heller v. District of Columbia. But even though D.C.'s ban on handgun possession was stricken the Supreme Court's conservative majority left room for regulation. One can only hope that we will find a legislative majority willing to do something that will take guns out of people's hands and eliminate this epidemic of suicide.
In this fine report Guns & Suicide - The Hidden Toll Madeline Drexler, editor of Harvard Public Health, explores the issues and the need for study.