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The Boston Globe

Ideas

Ideas

The gun toll we’re ignoring: suicide

You wouldn’t know it from the national debate, but most American firearm deaths aren’t murder

Gun violence, when most Americans imagine it, is what happens when one person shoots another. We picture turf wars between gangs, abusive husbands turning on their wives, armed robbers punishing their victims, mass murderers opening fire on defenseless people. When we talk about how to reduce gun violence in America, what we overwhelmingly think about is preventing murder.

But murder is not the kind of gun violence that kills the most Americans.

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