American Association of Suicidology Applauds the Biden Administration for Tackling Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. (April 8, 2021) – The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) expresses its gratitude to the Biden Administration for taking action to curb gun violence and for directly addressing suicide in this context. Suicide is an often-neglected topic in gun violence prevention discussions yet half of all suicides result from the use of a firearm, and a majority of all firearm deaths are suicides. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with this administration and other gun violence prevention organizations to reduce suicides by firearm. Addressing firearm suicides at a national level is critical.
Established in 2018, AAS’s Firearms and Suicide Committee has laid out several priorities in the effort to lower rates of suicide by firearm. This is a promising first step on behalf of the Administration, but we need to continue to fund research to better understand the intersection of firearms and suicide, to study how population scale legislation can affect that intersection, and to effectively implement evidence-supported intervention strategies across the country.
“The Biden administration has announced a series of initiatives aimed at reducing the burden of gun violence in America,” said Michael Anestis, PhD, Co-Chair of AAS’s Firearms and Suicide Committee and Executive Director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center. “The American Association of Suicidology is grateful that, in doing so, the administration specifically mentioned firearm suicide. Suicide accounts for nearly two-thirds of all American gun deaths – nearly 25,000 deaths each year – and effectively addressing this issue will require leadership willing to openly acknowledge the problem. Pursuing data-driven solutions like extreme risk protection orders is a meaningful first step and a sign that the Administration is willing to actively pursue data-driven life saving measures to prevent firearm suicide.”
For the Media: Responsible reporting on suicide, including stories of hope and resilience, can prevent more suicides. Please visit the Suicide Reporting Recommendations for more information.
About AAS: The American Association of Suicidology is the world’s largest membership-based suicide prevention organization. Founded in 1968 by Edwin S. Shneidman, PhD, AAS promotes the research of suicide and its prevention, public awareness programs, public education and training for professionals and volunteers. The membership of AAS includes mental health and public health professionals, researchers, suicide prevention and crisis intervention centers, school districts, crisis center volunteers, survivors of suicide loss, attempt survivors, and a variety of laypersons who have in interest in suicide prevention. You can learn more about AAS at www.suicidology.org