Year-Long Study On Suicide By Firearm Report Released ~ VIDEO


Suicide Mental Illness iStock-jaochainoi 926668158

Washington, DC – -( Mental health and firearms are subjects that buck and oppose one another in general practice in the United States. The issue at stake with these two subjects is that a meeting of the minds needs to come together in order to come up with salient solutions to some of our bigger issues on the topic. A recent report was released by the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution called “Convergence Dialogue on Guns and Suicide Prevention” and it’s worth a read.

The core of the Convergence Center is to bring people with opposing views together to help solve some of the nation’s most polarizing problems. From remarks during the virtual launch event, David Eisner, CEO of Convergence, discussed the following principles.

Convergence brings leaders together from across the political, ideological, sectoral and other divides to build trust, find common ground, and identify solutions to public issues that are intractable. Our sweet spot is helping build trust and understanding between leaders and interests that have been having challenges listening to and understanding each other or have been feeling attacked or stigmatized in the national conversation.

After reading through the report in full, one can agree that the goal seemed to be met. Eisner continued:

Guns and suicide are hard topics to talk about. We have many of us have deeply rooted feelings about gun ownership one way or another. But this group of stakeholders and experts came together to talk about what we can do about the large issue of death by suicide, and the role guns play in that.

The study included a diverse group of participants from different walks of life. Notable names that the readership at AmmoLand News might recognize would be Chris Cheng and Rob Pincus. Cheng was the winner of History Channel’s Top Shot competition in 2012. Pincus is an author and renowned firearms trainer. It’s important when a conversation’s happening that might eventually dictate policy, that Second Amendment supporters are represented. While Pincus and Cheng can’t speak for all gun owners, nor do they represent all gun owners, they were an important and integral piece of the team trying to find solutions to death by firearm suicide.

The Senior Director of Programs, Russell Crum spoke during the launch event. In his opening remarks he talked about the “issue” of firearms and Convergence being approached to find a middle ground on the topic:

For years and years, people have approached us that convergence and said, “You all do collaborative problem solving you do cross sectoral dialogue, tackle guns, tackle guns in America, people disagree about them, people feel strongly about them.” Well, what does that actually mean? Convergence, we look for tractable doorways into tough issues that feel stuck, we look for ways that we can add value that we can build on the work other people have done, we never step foot into a space as if we’re the first ones to address it. So that was true here, we went out and conducted over close to 150 informational interviews with people with very, very different perspectives. Folks who have strong views, pro and against gun ownership, folks who fall in the middle, folks who lead faith communities, folks who are running cities, folks who work in law enforcement, people with personal experiences, with gun deaths in their own life, folks who have lost folks to suicide in their own life and have a range of lived experience connected to the issue.

Who else did the study include? From their list of participants we have the following individuals; Dr. Emmy Betz Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Doreen Marshall American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Rajeev Ramchand RAND Corporation. Bill Brassard National Shooting Sports Foundation. Dr. Megan McCarthy Department of Veterans Affairs. Rev. Margery Rossi Gun Violence Prevention Group, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Chris Cheng The History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 Champion. Rev. Dr. Sherry Molock George Washington University, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Peter Sargent Backstop Responsible Gun Owners. Elaine Frank Counseling on Access to Lethal Means, Dartmouth College. Casey Pick The Trevor Project. Mike Sodini Walk the Talk America. A representative from Everytown for Gun Safety. Rob Pincus Second Amendment Organization.

What did the study uncover? What were the conclusions that were reached? What’s perhaps the most important part of this study for gun owners is best captured by Dr. Emmy Betz and what she wanted to make crystal clear during the report’s launch event.

But I just wanted to really emphasize that when we’re talking about lethal means, and storage changes, its voluntary changes. We’re not talking about red flag laws.

The strategies that were brought up are as follows:

  • Strategy 1: Increase and expand funding for programs and their subsequent evaluation that seek to prevent suicides by firearm.
  • Strategy 2: Highlight current work by firearms groups and others to promote and expand their suicide prevention reach and scope.
  • Strategy 3: Increase and expand firearm suicide prevention research.
  • Strategy 4: Amplify education on lethal means and suicide prevention to drastically reduce the number of firearm suicides in the United States.
  • Strategy 5: Demonstrate that dialogue can occur to rebuild trust, forge stronger mutual understanding, find common ground, and take action to prevent firearm suicide.

None of the recommendations included a statutory change or embraced some sort of prohibitionist stance.

This is the key to having a meaningful dialogue on these topics if policy may result from the discussions. What occurred through the study was the exchange of information and ideas. The solutions are educational and fiscal in nature. Crum brings up some of that exchange of knowledge and how at times people were exposed to things they’ve never been exposed to.

Yeah, we came back to that theme things to read over and over around, and you see it and report centering the perspective of gun owners. I also want to make it clear, there were people in this dialogue, who are not comfortable or familiar with guns. And that was a perspective, we also wanted to hear from, there were some really powerful learning moments where a couple of folks showed off, maybe, say, for a staging area that they have, you know, some different types of guns were displayed in one session. And there were some people for whom that was not a comfortable experience. And I think we also heard from people who’ve lost someone to suicide who have a range of perspectives, which, which is an important voice as well. And so I would make it clear to those listening that we had really rich back and forth, and some tough, some tough interactions where I think folks had to kind of come back and try again and say, All right, I don’t know, if I gave you the best response to your comment, just then let me make another swing and the and even read some of yours from the dialog and, and tell us a little bit about the relationships that you’ve been able to build with people that were a part of a part of this group as well.

Gun owners are a crucial part of the conversation, but we have to take active participation in the conversation. The Convergence study on this topic proves that people on different sides of the aisles can come together and at a minimum communicate on the issues. To learn more about the study, what was discussed, and other information about the experiences, do check out the report in full HERE. If you’re interested in watching the video of the entire launch event you can check it out HERE or in the embed below:

Convergence Dialogue on Guns and Suicide Prevention Final Report 2021

John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use and NRA certified pistol, rifle, and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii .

John Petrolino
John Petrolino
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Wouldn’t it make more sense to try to reduce the cause of all suicides and not just firearm related suicides? The suicide didn’t happen because a firearm was present. It happens because of the mental state of the person that chooses suicide. This sounds too much like the war against “gun violence” implying other violent crimes don’t matter. We need to determine why people commit violent crimes. Their choice of tool to commit violence shouldn’t matter. It seems I’ve read where States that implement strict gun laws and waiting periods sometimes see a drop in gun related suicides, but the overall number of suicides… Read more »




And I’m amazed that there is no one in the group that has contemplated suicide or survived are in the discussions ? I guess the Docs got that covered. The professionals. Hell to be honest Govt & Insurance companies love suicides. Especially if you haven’t drawn Social Security yet. And you have assets. Look at inheritance tax. I bet a lot of suicides are created by the Govt. Be it financial, war, healthcare, etc. Let’s see a study on that. Hell I’ll even chip in on that study. lol


Spot on. Suicide is not decided by the tool used to commit it. Suicide is the last step a person in true crises believes is all they have left. When really, all they need is some to talk to that will listen without being judgemental. Someone who is willing to help a fellow human being in need. Someone who actually cares.


I personally believe that spending a year studying suicide by gun, no matter what they say are the motives, is very suspicious Spending that much time & money on a study that leaves out other methods of suicide is not addressing the real problem, which is why do folks feel the need to kill themselves, and studying only suicide by gun is only aimed at politicians and special interest groups using said study to further attack the second amendment rights. If you “really care” about suicide & reducing the number of people killing themselves you would include ALL methods. I… Read more »


Anytime they talk of bringing together opposing groups we seem to lose. Agree that ALL suicides are bad, not just those using a firearm. I would like to see the stats on both. Think those using a firearm are a small percentage.


You might try reading the report – all your questions are answered in it. Of all the gun deaths in America each year, approximately 60% are suicides and half of all suicides in recent years are by firearm.


1) Guns do not cause Suicide 2) Japan is a gun free zone Nation wide and has a higher suicide rate than the US. 3) Where were the cops, knife, rope, bridge, railroad, cars, swimming pools, boats, lakes and river reps to talk about how they can prevent suicides? 4) Saw a guy in the early 90’s jump off a bridge in front of a semi to kill himself. How would you have loved to be driver of that rig? When people are so depressed, having very hard time, even an illness, folks just want it to end. But the… Read more »


Covid tyranny has made suicide much worse.




If you read the study, you will find that the point is that we CAN do something about suicide – especially when there is the time between when someone decides they want to do it and when they actually do. 1) Of all the gun deaths in America each year, approximately 60% are suicides (If we can reduce gun deaths, anti-gun people won’t have as much ammunition against us). 2) half of all suicides in recent years are by firearm. 3) While a variety of means are used by individuals who die by suicide, the lethality is elevated when a… Read more »


No, they really can’t and it’s no one else’s business to be Frank.


I am going to conduct a study on car crashes that are caused by bald and otherwise defective tires and to hell with the rest of the millions of car crashes that happen every year.


Suicide can be an uncomfortable topic. The one thing I have never seen discussed is how much “pain” someone must be in to use a gun to kill themselves. I think it takes a lot of courage to use a gun. Generally, there is no turning back. It isn’t a cry for help. It’s a cry ” I’m done”. “They” need to stop looking at the tool, and look to the person and their motivation to kill themselves. And what drives the to such a permanent solution. In what little experience I have, those that really do want to kill… Read more »


Exactly. My niece had many firearms within reach. She hung herself with a belt. To me personally these people conducting this study got a agenda. And it sounds political to me. Hell why don’t they look into homelessness ? I wonder how many of them commit suicide by drugs, guns, etc? We have how many vets committing suicide a day ? Are they going to study that too ? I wonder how many Vets would be honest with them or even their doctor knowing they will lose their right(s) ? No survivors in their discussions ? They do exist. I… Read more »

Wild Bill

Yep, smells like another false, political agenda driven, narrative is on the horizon. Some version of “It is for your own safety.”

Matthew S Harrison

You list me at “rob pincus”


What is the country that has the highest suicide rate in the world?

Are firearms readily available to the populous in that country?

If one is committed to suicide and a gun is not available, will they utilize other means?

This country is all too willing and needs to have at the forefront any and every “conversation” about the PROBLEMS OF AN EFFECTIVELY ARMED CITIZENRY!

. . . and NOTHING about the BENEFITS of the security and independence gained by the individual from FIREARMS OWNERSHIP!


It’s nice to hear someone having a “conversation” that includes both sides of an argument for once. But it’s doomed for failure from the get-go. Because suicide is suicide, but they were only looking at suicide by firearm. Statistically speaking, there is no correlation between owning a firearm and the suicide rate. Look at Japan as a perfect example. Very few firearms yet still they have thousands of suicides. Address the problem and not the tool used to accomplish it an you may accomplish something.


Suicide – so simple a caveman can do it!