The Obama administration position has been watered down some by Congress, but it still leaves that notion that if you can only get rid of privately owned guns by those who are at risk of suicide, you can prevent them from occurring. The problem is that there are so many ways to commit suicide and that people will merely do it some other way. I have a discussion on suicides in chapter 10 in More Guns, Less Crime (for a much earlier discussion on this point see here). See this article from the New York Times:
But with suicides continuing to rise this year, senior Defense Department officials are developing a suicide prevention campaign that will encourage friends and families of potentially suicidal service members to safely store or voluntarily remove personal firearms from their homes. . . .
The new amendment, part of the defense authorization bill for 2013 that has passed in the House of Representatives but not in the Senate, would allow mental health professionals and commanders to ask service members about their personal firearms if they have “reasonable grounds” to believe the person is at “high risk” of committing suicide or harming others. . . .
When active duty troops who live on bases or are deployed are identified as potentially suicidal, commanders typically take away their military firearms. But commanders do not have that authority with private firearms kept off base. Instead, they would often urge potentially suicidal troops to give their guns to friends or relatives, or have them stored on base. . . .
Labels: military, ObamaGunControl, suicide