More than 80 percent of gun owners and non-owners favor universal background checks, for instance. Similar percentages say they support testing requirements for people wishing to obtain a concealed-carry permit. The study was conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was drawn from a nationally representative 2017 survey that interviewed 602 gun owners and 1,522 non-owners. The study also found that more than 60 percent of gun owners said they supported licensing requirements for all gun purchases. Other research has shown that in tandem with universal background check policies, licensing requirements may lead to significant reductions in homicide, suicide and shootings of law enforcement officers. Click here for Johns Hopkins’ news release and here for a news report.
Suicide rates up across the U.S.
Suicide in the U.S. is on the upswing, with rural Americans more likely to take their own lives than residents of urban counties, the CDC reports. Between 2001 and 2015, the suicide rate increased more than 20 percent in the U.S., as more than 544,000 people took their own lives. Overall, rural counties saw 17.3 suicides per 100,000 people, compared to 14.9 per 100,000 in medium/small metropolitan counties and just 11.9 per 100,000 in large metropolitan counties. Across all urbanization levels, firearms were the most often used mechanism of death, with the highest rates and greatest rate increases in rural areas. Race and gender also played a role, with males up to five times more likely to end their lives than women, regardless of where they lived, the findings showed. According to the CDC’s study, whites had the highest suicide rates in metropolitan counties while American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest rates in rural counties. Also, suicide rates for blacks in rural areas were consistently lower than suicide rates for blacks in urban areas. Click here for the study.