A controversial story


The Orlando Sentinel published a story this weekend that shows more Floridians committed suicide with a firearm than were murdered by a firearm.

Not surprising, this.

Suicide has always been much more common than homicide.

According to the Centers For Disease Control, suicide rates by whatever means dwarf homicide rates, especially as people age – the older the victim the less-likely they are to be murdered.

What struck me about the series – and based on my inbox, many of you – was the fact that the victims were named – their photographs were published in a photo gallery – and firearms were implicitly blamed for their deaths, rather than a mental illness.

Most newspapers shy away from reporting suicides unless the victim was a public figure or the death occurred in a public place, and even then it’s a controversial decision to publish a story.

What are your thoughts on this?


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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