National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Self-Defense Against Suicide

Self-Defense Against Suicide

ASPARC is supporting a proposal by Professor Fredrick Vars of the University of Alabama School of Law. It would allow people who fear suicide to voluntarily and confidentially put their own names into the background check system to prevent impulsive gun purchase during a suicidal crisis. A person at sign-up would select one of two ways to later have their name removed: either a simple request and 7-day delay, or removal only after a judicial hearing.

The proposal would substantially reduce suicide at relatively low cost and without infringing anyone’s right to bear arms. 90% of suicides involve mental illness. In a survey, a large percentage of psychiatric patients said they would sign up. Other research shows that waiting periods reduce suicide, which is not surprising given that many suicides are impulsive. The proposal each year could save hundreds of lives nationally.

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