VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Do you have a gun in your home? That question can lead to controversial discussions.
A recent survey revealed firearms in homes increases the likelihood for problems.
But off paper, is this really the case?
It can be a touchy topic.
Viewers on the WTHI Facebook page were up-in-arms after hearing about a recent university survey.
The research says guns in the home triples the risk of suicide and doubles the risk of homicide.
One viewer wrote, “If someone is truly going to commit suicide, they will do it ….regardless.”
Another says, “I would think robbers would be less likely to rob a house with someone that they know for sure has a gun.”
And yet another thinks, “Home invasions and burglaries happen everyday… why be a victim when you have the right to defend yourself?”
News 10 spoke to a suicide prevention specialist here in Indiana who says the research is valid.
With a gun in the house, someone feeling troubled may reach for what’s accessible.
“A lot of these decisions are made very quickly. When someone is upset or desperate or chooses to hurt themselves or end their life,” said Chief Deputy Clark Cottom, Vigo County Sheriff’s Department,
Law enforcement respond to suicide and domestic violence calls every day.
The first thing they do when responding is get rid of weapons inside the house.
“There’s a statue in the state of Indiana that allows for firearms to be removed from a home any time there is a domestic or family violence offense occurring or a threat thereof,” said Chief Deputy Cottom.
But seeing this on a regular basis, Chief Deputy Cottom can’t honestly say having a gun in the house leads to increased suicide.
“Sometimes it’s medication that they choose to hurt themselves with,” said Chief Deputy Cottom.
That being said, the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office worries about guns in the hands of un-trained citizens.
“It can be a valuable tool, but it needs to be handled correctly, it needs to be stored correctly,” said Chief Deputy Cottom.