November 11, 2021 Blog
Honoring Our Veterans With Action
Today we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have served our country. This Veterans Day, we also want to raise awareness about the firearm suicide crisis impacting our veteran community. An average of 4,200 veterans die by firearm suicide each year—about 12 every day. The suicide rate among veterans is roughly twice as high as the rate among the rest of the American population and it has been rising steadily for more than a decade.
The causes of suicide are varied and complex. But one thing that’s certain is access to a gun increases the risk of suicide exponentially. About 70 percent of veterans who die by suicide use a gun. And the economic hardship and social isolation brought on by the pandemic has only increased the risks of suicide.
Thankfully, in recognition of this crisis, the Biden Administration has announced a new coordinated federal effort to raise awareness about the risks of firearm suicide among veterans and the solutions.
But it is not just the government that can act to prevent suicide. There are simple steps we can all take to help make sure that a temporary crisis is not met with a permanent solution. Veterans, and all gun owners, who practice safe storage significantly reduce their chances of self harm with a personally owned firearm. In Washington, and several states across the country, tools like voluntary waivers and Extreme Risk Protection Orders can also remove the threat of firearms during a time of crisis. Learn more about these lifesaving tools.
Join us in committing to honor our veterans with action.
P.S. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline At 1-800-273-8255. Press 1 to be connected with the Veterans Crisis Line.
— The Alliance team