People who bought firearms during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have much higher rates of recent suicidal thoughts, self-harm behaviors and intimate partner violence, compared with other firearm owners and people who do not own firearms, a new study suggests.
Pandemic gun buyers were also much more likely than the other groups to hold extreme beliefs, ranging from anti-vaccination views to support for QAnon conspiracy theories, according to the new findings published in the journal PLOS One.
The survey was completed by 1,036 adults living in the United States in October 2021. While not nationally representative, recruitment for the survey was designed to approximate the U.S. adult population in terms of the distribution of age, sex, race and Hispanic ethnicity with participants drawn from 47 states and Washington, D.C.
The findings suggest that pandemic firearm buyers have special characteristics that deserve attention to prevent harm to themselves or others, say the researchers, who are from the University of Michigan, the University of South Florida, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Michigan State University.
With 53% of all firearm deaths nationwide being suicides, and 6 million firearm sales to first-time buyers in mid-2020, the findings also have implications for local, state and national firearm policy.
This article discusses a study shedding light on the increased prevalence of mental health problems and antisocial behavior among individuals who purchased firearms during the pandemic. The study highlights a concerning trend where pandemic-related stressors and uncertainties may have contributed to a surge in firearm purchases, amplifying mental health challenges and antisocial tendencies.
The article dives into the study’s findings, emphasizing the need to address the psychological implications of this trend. It underscores the importance of promoting mental health awareness, proactive intervention, and suitable support systems to mitigate potential harm associated with increased firearm ownership during trying times.
The alarming insights from the study serve as a reminder of the critical role mental health plays in overall well-being. Seeking professional assistance and support is crucial for those grappling with mental health issues.
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