Guns and suicide

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Utah governor's veto of bill to ditch gun permits sets up override battle" (Tribune, March 23):

As a physician, I am outraged that some in the Legislature are considering an override of Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of HB76, on the constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Guns are a public health problem. Let's review the facts.

Compared to homes without guns:

• People in homes with guns are nearly twice as likely to die from a homicide;

• males in homes with guns are 10 times more likely to die from suicide; and

• people in homes with guns are 31 times more likely to die from gun suicide than another method.

Eight-four percent of gun deaths in Utah are from suicide. Utah's suicide rate has been consistently higher than the U.S. rate. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for Utah adults ages 24-64.

A significant majority of Utahns desire reasonable gun control. Enhancing access and exposure to guns is not in the best interest of Utahns.

Elizabeth Joy, M.D.

Salt Lake City