Promoting frank dialogue about the risk that firearms pose in moments of crisis is critical, and many members of society can take part in this conversation — from family physicians to gun dealers to military commanders. Legislation may prove an important tool for reducing these needless tragedies as well: some states have passed laws allowing family members and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove someone's firearms if they have demonstrated a danger to themselves and others.
The majority of gun deaths in America--totaling more than 21,000 a year--are firearms suicides. Research shows that suicide attempts are frequently impulsive acts, and survivors don’t typically try again. However, firearms are among the most lethal means of committing suicide, and individuals rarely survive their first attempt to commit suicide if they use a gun. The presence of a gun in a moment of depression, intoxication, or anger can mean the difference between life and death.