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Firearms SuicidesThe Second Amendment and theLaw of Unintended Consequences
The Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads:
"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people tokeep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"
is widely regarded by the NationalRifle Association (NRA) and the pro-gun lobby as the permitting unrestrictedright to private ownership of guns by citizens. About 80 million Americans, ormore than one-half of US homes , own about 223 million guns(see DeborahWhite, click here). Figure 1 illustrates a tragic recent consequence of thishallowed right to bear arms.
pattern of rising firearms-suicides in the US (199- 2011), starting 2007, similar to that found in climate change studies. In 2011,the latest year for which data is available, there were 19,796 preventable deaths
Time t [Calendar year]
F i r e a r m s S u i c i d e s , y
Total Firearms Suicides228,202 (1999-2011)