Psychiatrist Claims Gun Range Employees Can't Stop Suicidal People

A psychiatrist argued that gun range workers shouldn’t be held responsible for suicidal shooters, UHC TV reports.

Philadelphia gun ranges have had a streak of tragedies this year. There have been at least three instances of people using a firearm at a gun range to attempt to commit suicide. A 22-year-old West Chester man shot himself in the head on Aug 22, 2011, and another man committed suicide at the same club on Feb 12, 2012. Just last month, a 26-year-old intentionally shot himself at a Philadelphia gun range.

You’d think that the logical thing to do would be to teach gun range workers how to spot potentially suicidal customers, but a Philadelphia psychiatrist thinks that’s just wishful thinking. When asked if workers would be able to spot the clues, Dr. Pietro Miazzo, a forensic psychiatrist at Temple University Hospital, said, “Probably not.”

He points out that one of the main indicators of suicide is that patients will talk about it as an option. Past that, there really isn’t any way to tell if the person whom they’ve just handed a gun and ammunition to is suicidal, depressed, or simply a gun fan there to squeeze off a few rounds.

Maizzo explained that gun ranges can be a tempting option for suicidal individuals. A single suicide can spark a chain of tragic events, and gun ranges offer “the opportunity of handling a gun without anyone becoming alarmed necessarily.”

Hopefully, this expert opinion should be able to alleviate some of the guilt that gun range workers might be experiencing, as well as protect these businesses against misguided lawsuits.

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