Efforts to curb gun crime continue in the USA with lawmakers legislating even while many of them see woefully uninformed about what guns do. California’s Governor Gavin Newsom wants firearms dealers to be sued if they sell guns to anyone under 21.
While we all pray that mass shootings and violent crime would be brought to heel, folks who follow the chatter around firearms will probably be aware that the biggest proportion of gun deaths (62%) are actually suicides. Overdoses contribute to the most suicide attempts but the majority of completed suicides are gun-related.
There are many groups doing good work where gun ownership and mental health issues overlap – you can find them pretty easily by searching the internet. One such group is “Walk the Talk America.” Jake Wiskerchen & Michael Sodini from this organization joined a podcast for an episode of Unsafe Space.
During the long conversation, the men point out that the disconnect between firearms manufacturers and mental health professionals leaves gun owners afraid to seek help when they most need it. Transfer laws in many states make it difficult for a responsible gun owner to place their firearms in the care of someone they trust should they face hard times and the temptation to take their own life.
“Walk the Talk America” aims to educate medics, counselors and other professionals to dispel stereotypes about gun owners as well as providing places for people to go when they need help without fear that they will have their firearms confiscated. As we said earlier, there are a number of organizations helping here, but WTTA has free, anonymous screening to encourage gun owners to understand their “baseline” mental state and identify when they need help.
We know our readers don’t take gun ownership lightly. Responsible firearm ownership is very important and should include knowledge of yourself and knowing your weaknesses. Supporting each other without condemnation is something the church should excel at. Check in on the folks down at the gun range and especially your brothers and sisters.