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The Behavioral Science of FirearmsImplications for Mental Health, Law and Policy$
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Gianni Pirelli, Hayley Wechsler, and Robert J. Cramer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190630430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190630430.001.0001

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(p.273) 6 Suicide
The Behavioral Science of Firearms

Gianni Pirelli

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the authors cover suicide, both generally and more specifically related to firearms. First, they review suicide-related terminology and definitions. Understanding suicide is critically important, especially when considering the professions that interact with potentially suicidal persons with access to firearms, including civilians as well as law enforcement and military personnel. Second, grounded in the best available data concerning and research associated with suicide, the authors provide an overview of various theoretical perspectives as to why people die by suicide and present key risk and protective factors in this regard. In this context, they review firearm-related suicide statistics, risk and protective factors, and relevant laws and critique the limitations of available data and policies. They also outline considerations related to suicide risk assessment, management, and prevention. Finally, they provide various case examples of firearm-related suicides to highlight the need to develop best practices concerning suicide risk and firearm safety.

Keywords:   suicide, self-directed violence, firearm, military, law enforcement, corrections, interpersonal-psychological theory, public health, means restriction counseling, murder–suicide

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