Idaho's sixth-highest suicide rate in the nation is directly tied to access to firearms.
This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that in 2010, of the 199 Idahoans who were killed by a firearm, 183 of those victims pulled the trigger on themselves. Of all suicides reported in the Gem State, 63 percent involved a firearm. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare tracks the statistics, which led the Suicide Prevention Action Network to conclude that Idaho had the sixth-highest suicide rate in the U.S. in 2011.
Ross Edmunds, division administrator for behavioral health at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, told the Times-News that education "rather than a banket ban on guns" could help lower the gun death rate.
"We live in Idaho and in Idaho, we take our gun ownership seriously," Edmunds told the Times-News.
Lt. Kevin Haight of the Idaho State Police added, "Idaho is a Western, rural state and it is common and normal to encounter law-abiding citizens with a concealed weapons permit. The overwhelming number of people are not a problem."