Firearms, Fiduciaries, and Veterans: Complications of a Flawed Federal Policy Designed to Keep Veterans Safe

  • Caitlin Thompson

In 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced that suicide prevention for Veterans was the top clinical priority of the VA (Lamothe 2018). Based on the largest Veteran suicide data report to date, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (2017) discovered that 20 Veterans per day die by suicide, which is 21% higher than the non-Veteran population in the United States. These findings are overwhelming and have caused grave concern among Veterans, their families, providers, policymakers, public health experts, and the US community at large.

Why are Veterans dying at such high rates of suicide? A primary reason is Veterans’ use of firearms when they are feeling suicidal. Both male and female Veterans use firearms more than non-Veterans when they make a suicide attempt for reasons including firearm access, knowledge of how to use firearms, and—based on their training—feeling more comfortable and safe with firearms. Overall, firearm restriction has been...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cohen Veterans NetworkSilver SpringUSA

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