NPR Admits Suicides Most of 'Gun Deaths,' Still Calls For Gun Control

AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

It's not been a good couple of weeks for NPR. It started last week with a bombshell report at The Free Press by NPR staffer Uri Berliner where he talked about the lack of ideological diversity there. They have since suspended him for the crime of WrongThink.


That was met with calls of him being out of his mind, that they're perfectly fair and balanced, and so on.

I've been following it--not here, but on Substack--and nothing Berliner said surprised me. The attacks against him didn't, either. Heck, I'm not even shocked that he's been hit with a five-day suspension for daring to speak up about the bias. 

All of that ran through my mind when I saw a report from the aforementioned NPR about how suicides account for most gun-related deaths, something we've long pointed out.

Could this be an attempt to set the record straight? An attempt to note that "gun deaths" aren't the same thing as homicides and we should start looking them differently?

I didn't think so, and for once, NPR didn't let me down.

No, that's not a good thing.

When gun violence in America is discussed, people typically think about mass shootings, homicides or even domestic violence. But, in fact, the majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides.

In 2023, more than 42,967 people died from gun related injuries. Over half of those deaths were suicides. 


Adam Garber, executive director of CeaseFirePA, a research group that advocates for stricter gun laws, says big cities have typically had the highest gun death rates. But that trend has started to shift. Last year, York, a small city in Pennsylvania, had a higher per capita gun death rate than Philadelphia, Garber said.


Paul Nestadt, a psychiatrist and professor at Johns Hopkins University, is one of the country's leading researchers in suicide and what leads to it. He says most people don't know how prevalent suicide is because we shy away from the topic in our personal relationships and in the media.

"When there's a mass shooting or homicides, there's a lot more coverage, and of course, those are very tragic, but suicides kind of kind of slip under the radar a little bit," Nestadt said. "There's not as much willingness to talk about them. I think that's changing. It becomes hard to ignore as the rates climb."

Easy access to guns in America has also worsened the issue, Nestadt said.


Of course, they don't talk to any of the groups of gun owners seeking to take steps to reduce suicide; people like Walk the Talk or Hold My Guns. These are people who acknowledge that guns can and are used by people to take their own life, but that we can actually work within the community to address the issue.

Nary a mention of them, only an anti-gun group and an anti-gun psychologist associated with an anti-gun university.

Funny how that happened, isn't it?

Now, I'm glad to see them at least admit the role suicides play in gun deaths, but they continue to push this idea that preserving our right to keep and bear arms is the problem. Yes, guns are more likely to lead to a successful suicide attempt, but there are other methods that are damn near as likely to be successful, too. It's not the only way, so making a gun more difficult to obtain may well do nothing to reduce the suicide rate.

And if you look at the studies folks like this say back up their claims, they only look at gun suicide rates. They don't look to see if anyone is looking elsewhere for the means to take their life.

So it's biased research with the deck stacked.

Sounds a lot like NPR's biased reporting on this, reporting you and I help fund via our tax dollars.

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