In 2015, my dear friend Paul took his own life with a firearm. As his friend, I knew he had struggled with depression ever since being laid off from a job he loved. I also knew he had sought therapy and was taking an antidepressant. He was vehemently anti-gun violence and had never owned a gun.
I had just seen him at a mutual friend’s home the weekend before. He seemed upbeat and happy. One week later, while his partner was out of town, he purchased a gun and used it to end his life. He was 60 years old. In the U.S., the majority of gun deaths are attributed to gun suicides. I believe my friend would be alive today had he not been able to purchase a gun.
Guns and depression are a lethal combination. This is one reason why I fought so hard for Washington state’s red flag law. It’s why I continue to fight to end gun violence and advocate for gun safety laws in our state through Moms Demand Action.