Veterans and military members are more likely to commit suicide than any other group in America. It’s been a problem for decades – and it’s been a problem that the White House hasn’t really wanted to tackle.
Finally, the White House is ready to deal with it. They’ve rolled out a suicide prevention plan. Only, there’s one big problem. They want to emphasize gun safety. Yep, the liberals can’t stop blaming the gun for everything that’s wrong in the country.
The roadmap document that has been released explains, “Reducing suicide cannot be accomplished singularly through reactive policy change. Rather, it requires a long-term strategic vision and commitment designed to create and implement systemic changes.”
The plan has a significant emphasis on firearm safety as well as expanding mental health options. Further, the goal is to support not only service members and veterans but also their families.
This plan couldn’t come soon enough considering that the suicide rate has only been going up. And, it’s about a week before Veterans Day, so it is about time that something good comes out of the White House.
“Awareness efforts must be founded upon valid data, facts, and principles” reads the roadmap. Well, that sounds like the White House is actually going to start listening to science. It’s too bad that they won’t take the same approach with COVID.
The statistics are startling. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, approximately 17 veterans die every day, or at least that’s what the numbers looked like in 2019. And, if you account for not only active-duty military but also reservists and other groups that are associated with the military, the number jumps to closer to 20 a day.
The statistics haven’t changed all that much, which is why all three of the last presidential administrations have pledged to prioritize the military and veteran suicide rates. Intervention programs are announced but they don’t have enough traction to really do anything to help the numbers drop.
Biden has publicly acknowledged the lack of progress and his frustration with past programs. He’s said, “What’s needed now is a comprehensive, cross-sector, national effort — a public health strategy that unites us around a common mission to reduce military and veteran suicide, and lays out the steps to achieve it.”
We couldn’t agree with him more. However, is his administration really capable of establishing the strategy that is finally going to stick?
Well, we can’t be surprised to find out that the administration wants to pass some of the blame onto firearms. They want to make sure that people understand that they need to separate themselves from their personal firearms…in the name of safety, of course.
The Biden administration seems to forget something. Those who are or were in the military typically own firearms. They’re familiar with them and they enjoy using them. It’s a hobby. Many go to gun ranges on the weekends as a way to de-stress.
So, it’s really not surprising to learn that 70 percent of all suicide deaths were done using firearms.
Separating one from the gun doesn’t reduce the likelihood of suicide. The mental health is still fractured. They turn to the firearm because it is what is available.
The White House has a plan, but it’s already flawed. However, there are multiple steps to the plan, so let’s hope that it’s going to work. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait until a Republican gets into office to fix yet another thing that Biden promised to fix on his campaign trail.