Letters to the Editor

Gun safety at issue in teen suicide | Letter to the Editor

In light of the tragedy and loss of Palmerston Burk, it is hard to ask questions when our community is in shock and grieving. I cannot imagine the profound grief and loss his family and friends are experiencing. We have had supportive meetings with students and staff at the schools, which I participated in on the day after the death.

We also had experts on youth suicide come to a parent meeting where we learned that, according to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control, boys are far more likely to take their lives than girls, due in part to the fact that boys more frequently use firearms, which carry an 80 to 90 percent chance of fatality.

I would hope that our community, and parents in particular, can be informed about gun safety in the home. Teens with severe emotional stress and impulsive thinking, even those with training and experience with firearms, need to be protected from themselves by not having easy and ready access to firearms. I do not know all the facts in the loss of this beautiful young man and do not wish to bring any more hardship to his family, but education on teen suicide prevention must include education on safe gun ownership.

 

— Stephen Bogan

 

 

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