Suicide and Gun Violence

FACT: Suicide is still the leading cause of firearm death in the U.S. In 2013, the U.S. firearm suicide total was 21,175 an 2.5% increase from the 2012 national gun suicide number of 20,666. The State of Illinois saw a 1% INCREASE in gun suicides from 490 in 2012 to 496 in 2013. Over half of suicides in the U.S. are committed with firearms.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013. The most recent year for which the data is currently available is 2013.)

FACT: More than half of all suicides in the U.S. are committed with firearms. In 2013, 51% of all suicides in the U.S. were committed with guns. Firearm suicides represented 44.4% of all suicides committed in Illinois for 2013.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013.)

FACT: In 2013, a total of 877 young Americans ages 19 and younger committed suicide with firearms, an increase of 2% from the 2012 total of 861 youth gun suicides. Unlike suicide attempts using other methods, suicide attempts with guns are nearly always fatal, meaning a temporarily depressed teenager will never get a second chance at life. Nearly two-thirds of all completed teenage suicides involve a firearm.

(Numbers obtained from CDC National Center for Health Statistics mortality report online, 2013.)

FACT: Access to lethal means, especially firearms, greatly increases the likelihood that someone will commit suicide. A gun in the home is 11 times more likely to be used to attempt or commit a suicide than to be used in self-defense.

(Arthur Kellerman, Journal of Trauma, August 1998)

FACT: Homes with guns are 5 times more likely to experience the suicide of a household member than homes without guns.

(Kellerman AL, Rivara FP, Somes G et al. “Suicide in the home in relation to gun ownership. New England Journal of Medicine, 1992;327:467-72)

FACT: On average, 68% of suicides for youth ages 15-24 are committed with guns.

(American Association of Suicidology, Washington, DC, 1998; John McIntosh, 1995 Statistical Training Aides)

FACT: Unlike suicide attempts using other methods, 92% of suicide attempts with guns are fatal, meaning a temporarily depressed teenager will never get a second chance at life.

(Wintemute, et. al., “The Choice of Weapons in Firearm Suicides,”American Journal of Public Health, Vol 78, No. 7, July 1988, p. 824)

FACT: 48% of gun-owning households with children do NOT regularly make sure that guns are equipped with child safety locks or other trigger locks.

(Peter Hart Research Associates Poll, July 1999)

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The Unforgotten
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 40 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups.

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p) 312. 243. ICHV (4248)
f) 312. 243. 4258

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