Gottlieb and Stuber: Locking up guns, medication can help prevent suicide

Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. (Photo: Guns.com)

With the country’s suicide rate at an all time high, a gun rights advocate and college professor are offering some simple advice that may help in its prevention.

Second Amendment Foundation founder and president Alan Gottlieb and University of Washington professor and co-founder of Forefront Suicide Prevention Jennifer Stuber write about the complex problem in an opinion piece published by the Seattle Times.

The pair discuss working together on a public-education campaign — Washington’s Safer Homes, Suicide Aware — and say that simply locking up firearms and medications is a step in the right direction to helping prevent suicide.

Special training for firearms-safety instructors and firearms retailers, distribution of suicide awareness materials and videos, and the giving away of locking devices for guns and medications are all part of the initiative that aims to tackle the problem from multiple angles.

In the state of Washington, nearly 80 percent of gun-related deaths are suicides, and Stuber and Gottlieb argue it is common sense to lock up firearms and educate the community as preventive measures. The same goes for medications, as together the two means are used in a majority of suicide attempts and deaths in the country.

Gottlieb and Stuber are also working with state lawmakers and members of the health care community on the initiative. As a result, Washington is currently the only state in the country to require every mental-health and health-car professional to go through suicide-prevention training.