Letter: The NRA Speaks; Congress Cowers

To the Editor:

A headline in the May 3 Valley News screamed the findings of a recent report: “Middle-Age Suicide Rate Up Sharply.” According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 28 percent increase in middle-age suicides in the decade from 1999 to 2010. In 2010 alone, 38,350 folks took their lives, and nearly half of those did so with guns, far and away the leading method. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our nation, and 39 out of 50 states experienced a significant uptick of suicide in this age bracket.

However, buried in the story is this startling fact: “The CDC does not collect gun ownership statistics and did not look at the relationship between suicide rates and the prevalence of firearms.” No need to guess who chokes any federal funding of guns and violent death in America. Thank the National Rifle Association. While NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre spouts bogus bromides about freedom, Congress cowers and sweeps this lethal problem under the rug. Time to wake up before it’s too late.

Bob Williamson

South Woodstock


Middle-Age Suicide Rate Up Sharply

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New York — The suicide rate among middle-aged Americans climbed a startling 28 percent in a decade, a period that included the recession and the mortgage crisis, the government reported Thursday. The trend was most pronounced among white men and women in that age group. Their suicide rate jumped 40 percent between 1999 and 2010. But the rates in younger …