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Are guns really safe in this stressful time?


“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment (1791) to the United States Constitution under the Bill of Rights states this. However, the rising acts of homicides and suicides in the state have always questioned the importance of gun law. The United States faced more fatalities by this gun law rather than ensuring security. Also, Northeastern finds out if guns are safe for one’s mental health during the stressful times of pandemic.

Matt Miller, a professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, published a study on the danger of easy access to handguns. This research stated that handgun owners are more likely to commit suicide than those who do not own a gun. The social and financial pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic encourages people with suicidal tendencies to take drastic steps. The study rightly notes that suicide attempts are “often impulsive acts, driven by transient life crises.”

According to Miller, to mitigate suicides it is important to make the firearms inaccessible to the people with higher risks. He also says that using other methods, such as swallowing pills or cutting, have less fatality than using a gun. There is very little chance of surviving a suicide done by a firearm.

The ground-breaking study by Miller tracked the gun owners of California over a twelve-year period for the first time. The study found that 14 per cent of people bought guns to kill themselves within a month of the purchase. However, more than 85 per cent of the suicide deaths happened months or years after the initial handgun purchase.

Additionally, Miller intends to pursue another California-based study in the future. It is to find the risk of gun ownership on the lives of children and other unregistered household members.


Rubena Bose