With nearly half of all suicides in the military having been committed with privately owned firearms, the Pentagon and Congress are moving to establish policies intended to separate at-risk service members from their personal weapons.A thorny issue is right. How many disturbed gun owners are going to listen to the wife and get rid of the gun? Not too many.
The issue is a thorny one for the Pentagon. Gun rights advocates and many service members fiercely oppose any policies that could be construed as limiting the private ownership of firearms.But as suicides continue to rise this year, senior Defense Department officials are developing a suicide prevention campaign that will encourage friends and families of potentially suicidal service members to safely store or voluntarily remove personal firearms from their homes.“This is not about authoritarian regulation,” said Dr. Jonathan Woodson, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. “It is about the spouse understanding warning signs and, if there are firearms in the home, responsibly separating the individual at risk from the firearm.”
This needs a bit more than non-authoritarian regulation, I'm afraid. Since military personnel are subject to their superiors, the commanding officer should be able to do more than inquire. He should be able to order the surrender of privately owned weapons. It would save lives. Don't we owe as much to our servicemen and women?
This is where the gun-rights fanatics fail. They are so biased in their single-minded crusade they lose sight of the big picture.
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