If White House Is Serious About Suicide, Back Off On Red Flag Laws

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Suicide is a significant issue in this nation, particularly among veterans. As a veteran myself, I want to address this issue and I think our nation owes it to my brothers and sisters who have served in combat to try and take steps to help them.

It seems that the White House wants to do just that.

The Biden administration is rolling out a new initiative aimed at reducing suicides by gun and combating the significant increases in suicides by members of the military and veterans.

The White House is announcing the new plan Tuesday, which officials say is an unprecedented focus by the federal government on reducing the risk of suicide through awareness and training campaigns and new regulations to increase the availability of gun storage products.

The plan calls for federal agencies, including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, the Justice Department, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs and the Department of Transportation’s emergency medical services office to create public awareness campaigns to encourage safer storage of guns and training for counselors, crisis responders, and others.

The effort also includes the Justice Department finalizing a rule that was first proposed in 2016 and would require stores that sell firearms to also offer secure gun storage and safety devices, the White House said.

And yet, Biden and company are still hoping to pass some kind of red flag law, which could cause far more problems than it might address.

You see, one of the things people who are contemplating suicide need to do is to talk about what’s going on. They need to be able to say there’s a problem so people who care about them can help.

Yet if there’s a red flag law on the books, they might not.

Veterans, particularly combat vets, tend to like their guns. They grow very comfortable being armed and tend to prefer to stay that way. They’re not going to risk that by mentioning their suicidal thoughts.

While proponents of red flag laws argue that these laws prevent suicides, I’ve been extremely skeptical of those claims. Especially since the only statistics they can provide are a reduction in gun suicides in a given state. It doesn’t show whether those suicidal folks turned to other means to take their own life.

Meanwhile, people who just want or need help are being penalized because some lawmakers see guns as evil and seek to remove them instead of actually helping the people who need it.

Sorry, that’s never going to be acceptable.

While I have no issue with places like the VA urging veterans to store their weapons safely, I can’t help but feel that it’s hypocritical of the same White House that wants to take guns from these same folks to pretend they actually give a damn about them. So far as I can tell, there’s nothing further from the truth.

That’s based on the White House’s actions since Joe Biden took office.

If they want to change that perception, then they need to start walking the walk.