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How to save a life.

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

Did you know? In Oregon, at least one person every day takes his life by shooting himself to death.
Lines for Life: 800-273-8255 OR TEXT ‘273TALK’ TO 839863
Each year an average of 379 people in Oregon committed suicide using a gun.

The highest rate of suicide by firearm is by White males over the age of 65.

Removing firearms from the home, even temporarily, can save the life of someone you love.

From 2010 to 2014:

  • 2,280 Oregonians died from firearms injuries.
  • 1,897 were suicides.
  • The highest firearm injury death rate occurred among White males, aged 65 and older, due to a high suicide rate (38.7 per 100,000).
  • Firearms were used to kill in 87% of the homicide/suicide murders in Oregon.
  • Almost half (44%) of people who died by firearm suicide had a depressed mood.  One-third had a diagnosed mental illness. About a quarter (27%) were being treated for a mental illness and 13% had a history of suicide attempts.

To reduce the risk of suicide, keep all firearms securely locked, unloaded and stored separately from ammunition or store the firearms in another location such as a firearm storage facility. (If you transfer firearms to a friend, even temporarily, you are required by law to perform a background check on the person to whom you are transferring the firearms.)

Firearm owners are not more suicidal than non-firearm owners; rather, their suicide attempts are more likely to be fatal. If highly lethal means are made less available to impulsive attempters and they substitute less lethal means, or temporarily postpone their attempt, their survival odds greatly increase.

For more information: Oregon Violent Death Reporting System, Oregon Injury and Violence Prevention Program and Ceasefire Oregon: Guns and Suicide.