Letter: Suicide by gun is preventable tragedy

Updated 5/23/2022 12:24 PM

I read of the tragic death of Naomi Judd. She had been suffering from depression for some time. Her death was a shock to her fans but probably not a surprise to her family. Her husband reported that she was fragile.

After reading that she used a gun, I looked into suicide by gun and found some truly startling statistics. In 2019 there were a reported 39,000 deaths by gun and 60% of those (23,000) were suicides. Added to this are the number of people killed in murder/suicide situations.


Suicides as a whole are tragic. But suicide by gun is a tragedy that can be prevented. How is it that someone diagnosed with depression or mental illness can legally obtain a gun? Why is it that gun laws are so lax that people with diagnosis of a mental illness can buy a gun and use it on themselves and others?

Suicide by gun is both a rural and an urban problem. Our elected representatives both state and federal need to roll up their sleeves and find a solution and help people help themselves.

Our communities are safer and our fellow citizens are safer when guns are kept from diagnosed depressed and mentally ill individuals.

Phil Heil


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