I enjoy your articles. I wish my writing on the topic could get the responses that yours receive.
Suicide is an interesting problem. Yes, I do have some experience with suicide: my neighbor across the street took his own life with a handgun; a young whose was a friend of my younger son and who I did know hanged himself.
In 2016, the CDC’s fatal injury reports say that firearms were used in 50.5% of suicides. However, closer study shows that the reduction in the number and rate of firearm-involved suicides is more because of an increase in the suicide rate among women, a rate that exceeds the increase in suicides by men. In fact, from 1999 to 2016, the national suicide rate rose 33.1%; the rate among men rose 27.8% but the rate for women jumped 54.0%.
Poisoning, usually by a drug overdose, and suffocation, usually by hanging, More than 58% of suicides committed by women involved one of those methods and poisoning was used more often than a gun.
This is the main problem with lumping suicides in with “gun violence.” It’s a totally different problem and one unlikely to be resolved by any gun measures, including red flag laws.
Your idea of a nationally mandated gun safety card runs into a problem: The prohibition on creation of a gun registry also prohibits the creation of a registry of gun owners. See 18 U.S. Code § 926 (3)(a).
I asked the ATF about a new rule requiring licensed dealers to inform gunbuyers about safety training resources either by posting a bulletin board of local sources or by making a flyer listing those sources available. The ATF responded that it did not have the authority to create such a requirement.
Regulating access to firearms by registration of owners is no different than registering firearms. In fact, courts might rule that it creates a larger infringement of the rights protected by the Second Amendment. After all, the right belongs to the people, not the guns.
There are so many flaws in existing gun laws that it’s not surprising the Supreme Court has dodged the issue since the McDonald decision. If Kavanaugh is confirmed it is quite possible that more Second Amendment cases will be granted certiorari, as he could join Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch in voting to accept the cases.
The recent appeals court ruling in the Young v. Hawaii case could prove quite interesting as could a revisiting of the issues raised in Peruta v. San Diego County and the NRA challenge to the Florida law raising the purchase age to 21 for all firearms. On that issue, I was delighted to see that Oregon officials have filed discrimination charges against Walmart for refusing to sell a rifle to an 18-year-old woman. It seems the company may have overlooked age discrimination laws in a few states when it decided to bump up the purchase age.
Anyway, kudos for your well-researched articles.