Dr. Harris, the Extreme Risk Protection Law is law as of Aug. 16, 2017. Both Dr. Harris and the Wall Street Journal (https://wapo.st/2tY1q42), take the underlying data (https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/suicide/) out of context, citing most gun-related suicides are in rural Republican areas. Dr. Harris infers it is the fault of rural Republicans that we have access to firearms. What he does not state is that suicide by firearm among those known to have mental health issues is 41 percent; that means 59 percent is by other means.
Dr. Harris, an instructor, head of the Democracy club at LBCC, should be ashamed of himself for taking the report and article out of context. The report does not specify the number of suicides committed by veterans. The report and article fail to address the hopelessness felt by those in rural areas where unemployment rates skyrocketed. Loggers and ranchers and others have been locked out of their livelihoods, causing thousands of families to become financially decimated.
Suicide by gun has nothing to do with political leanings. Suicide is mental/emotional health crisis, a feeling of hopelessness, despair; feelings of letting others down and nothing to contribute. Stop spending money, time, and effort attempting to strip us of our Second Amendment and Oregon, Article 1, Section 27 Constitutional rights. Instead, lawmakers, anti-gun activists and other organizations that do not believe in private gun ownership, should focus on helping those in real crisis.
I am hopeful with increased employment and wages along with more opportunities, suicide rates will decline again.
Jo Rae Perkins
Albany (July 5)