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Suicides by Firearms Increase for Youth, Especially Youth of Color

The pandemic “also ushered in a period of unprecedented access to firearms,: the Guardian reports. The surge in new gun ownership along with unaddressed racial trauma have contributed to an uptick in youth suicides by firearms. Suicide researchers and community organizers suggest that prevention and intervention strategies must be rooted in the understanding that suicide isn’t just a mental health issue -- but also an impulsive act of violence.


In 2022, nearly 27,000 people died by gun suicide – the highest on record – and young people of color bore the brunt of this hike.  For the first time, the gun suicide rate among Black teens surpassed that among white teens. Firearm rates rose 63% among young Latinos and 71% among young Asian Americans over the past decade and a half, the latter being the largest growth of any racial or ethnic group. Also, while in the past, spike in gun purchases came in conservative states, the pandemic surge was different. “For the first time ever,” said Paul Nestadt, a suicide researcher and co-director of the Johns Hopkins suicide prevention working group, “there were more guns bought in blue states than red states.”

 

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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