Gun safety advocates seek new measures as deaths continue

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Murders and mass shootings draw a lot of the attention when it comes to gun violence, but nearly two-thirds of all gun deaths come by suicide.

Nationwide there are more than 100 gun deaths every day and of those, an average of seven per day are children. It’s those types of statistics that are inspiring people to act.

“The status quo is not good enough,” said Rev. Richard Gibson of the Greater Cleveland Congregation while speaking with the Gun Safety Consortium.

Less than one percent of gun deaths come from mass shootings and while they’re still a huge problem in the country, gun safety advocates hope that other gun-related problems get attention as well.

“Tens of millions of Americans carry the pain every day having lost someone by (suicide or homicide),” Gibson said.

Ten states were represented in the meeting, including Michigan. The mayor of Cincinnati was one of the speakers and he says there’s no reason a phone should be more secure than a gun.

“If I leave my phone at a restaurant, it locks up and nobody can use it,” said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “But a gun left behind is used for the vast majority of inner-city violence and suicides which are the two leading causes.”

Studies show more than 50 percent of gun owners don’t consistently lock their guns. Moms Demand Action — a group of volunteers who advocate against gun violence — also met today and their founder, Shannon Watts, echoed a similar sentiment.

“We have to talk about and advocate for solutions to all gun violence,” Watts said. “Whether that’s gun homicides, or gun suicides or domestic gun violence, unintentional shootings. whether it’s city centers or rural communities, all of it matters.”

Suicide attempts with a gun end up in death 90 percent of the time. All other suicide attempts end up in death just four percent of the time.

In Michigan, one person dies by suicide with a gun every 12 hours.

“It’s really important to educate people on suicide rates,” Watts said. “The gun lobby doesn’t want people to believe that gun suicide is gun violence, but we absolutely know it is.”

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