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ky_hunter57 karma

This is why continual conversations about guns and gun safety are so important. Waiting until someone is in crisis is often too late. 

It is often hard for people to talk about guns - knowing this, we need to be sensitive to how difficult the conversation is. One tip is to bring it up in conversations when you are talking about other more light hearted topics. Make it seem like it is natural to have the conversation. This may diffuse some of the tension. 

Also, it is helpful to frame the conversation as storing your guns securely in order to protect others. This takes some of the stigma around mental health crises out of the conversation. Our End Family Fire messaging research confirms this - when people feel like they are protecting others they are more likely to act in ways that will ultimately protect themselves.

ky_hunter18 karma

Safe storage respects the personal dignity of firearm owners while acknowledging the importance of the safety conversations we need to have with our loved ones depending on their ages and stages - whether it’s an elderly family member with memory issues, or a young adult going through a tough time, we can balance safety concerns with respect for individuals.

Focusing on safe storage, rather than just removal of firearms, allows individuals to keep their identity as well. Many people see gun ownership as a key part of who they are - whether a veteran, a hunter, an avid sports shooter, or someone wanting self-protection. Leaning into safe storage is a means by which this identity is maintained and safety is promoted. 

We know that putting any barrier between an individual and a gun in a time of crisis - even a safe they know the combination to - reduces the likelihood of death. Safe storage is the best means of respecting both gun ownership and ensuring safety.

ky_hunter10 karma

It is very hard to make a clear policy on this. Most people who experience a suicidal crisis don’t have a history of action that could be deemed as disqualifying for gun ownership. Anyone can experience a suicidal crisis. We need to make having the conversations about gun access during these crises more common so that we can save lives. Engaging in conversations is the key - whether with a family member, friend, or care taker. We need to also be aware of how those close to us are doing so we can have the hard conversations when loved ones are in crisis and at risk of suicide, which can vary according to life circumstances and stages

ky_hunter8 karma

This is an important question. Having hard conversations with your loved ones is often scary but it is so necessary. If you are uncomfortable having them, sometimes asking another veteran to be present or even start the conversation is helpful. We know that veterans have a unique relationship with guns - and starting the conversation is often best done by someone who shares that relationship.

ky_hunter2 karma

They are among some of the best and most secure, particularly if you have loved ones in the home you are worried about gaining access to the gun.