One in Three Gun-owning US Veterans Don’t Store Weapons Safely

A substantial percentage of U.S. military vets store guns loaded and ready to use, according to an American study that could have implications for suicide prevention.

“American veterans have a higher suicide risk than demographically matched U.S. adults and most of their suicides are actually related to firearm injury,” said lead author Dr. Joseph Simonetti of the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Colorado.

“On average, about 20 veterans die every day by suicide and about two-thirds of those suicides are firearm-related,” he told Reuters Health.

Simonetti and colleagues surveyed a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults in 2015, including 1,044 who had served in the military.

About 45 percent of veterans said they owned firearms and one in three of those gun owners reported storing at least one weapon loaded and unlocked.

Only about one in five gun-owning veterans kept all their guns locked and unloaded.

Storing weapons loaded and unlocked was reported by 34 percent of male veterans who own firearms and by 13 percent of female vets who were gun owners, according to the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Personal beliefs an influence

Respondents’ personal beliefs tended to influence their storage decisions, the authors found. For example, storing a firearm loaded and unlocked was more common among people who said guns were not useful for protection if someone had to take the time to load or unlock them. This group also felt having a gun at home increased safety.

“One of the more interesting findings was that we asked veterans whether or not they agreed having a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide for household members and only 6 percent agreed that a firearm in the home was a suicide risk    factor,” Simonetti said.

“But … we also asked veteran firearm owners … ‘If somebody in your household is at risk for suicide, what would you do?’ Eighty-two percent reported they would do something to limit firearm access for that household member. In fact, 25 percent said they would remove the gun from the home in that case.”

‘Really great study’

The results “are confirming what I suspected would be the case,” said Rajeev Ramchand, who studies firearm suicide prevention at research firm RAND Corporation in Washington, DC.

“It is now incumbent upon us to develop communication campaigns and strategies to help shift people’s internal perceptions of risks.”

“It’s a really great study because it really gives us a target for focusing on our suicide prevention campaigns,” Ramchand, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

The study was funded in part by the department of Veterans Affairs. VA efforts to prevent suicide among former service members include training health care providers to discuss firearm safety and distributing firearm “cable locks,” which can be attached to a gun to block its barrel or the use of ammunition.

Contentious subject

Gun control of any sort is a contentious topic in the U.S. But Simonetti believes both sides of the debate are likely to support safe storage practices.

“Nearly every gun advocacy organization out there including the NRA actually does promote the idea that guns should be stored safely when not in use,” he said. “I (just) don’t think most organizations have outlined exactly what that means.”

Ramchand is optimistic. “For so long we had a dearth of information about firearm storage. So this was a really great study to help us come up with data-driven policies and recommendations,” he said.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

One in Three Gun-owning US Veterans Don’t Store Weapons Safely

A substantial percentage of U.S. military vets store guns loaded and ready to use, according to an American study that could have implications for suicide prevention.

“American veterans have a higher suicide risk than demographically matched U.S. adults and most of their suicides are actually related to firearm injury,” said lead author Dr. Joseph Simonetti of the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Colorado.

“On average, about 20 veterans die every day by suicide and about two-thirds of those suicides are firearm-related,” he told Reuters Health.

Simonetti and colleagues surveyed a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults in 2015, including 1,044 who had served in the military.

About 45 percent of veterans said they owned firearms and one in three of those gun owners reported storing at least one weapon loaded and unlocked.

Only about one in five gun-owning veterans kept all their guns locked and unloaded.

Storing weapons loaded and unlocked was reported by 34 percent of male veterans who own firearms and by 13 percent of female vets who were gun owners, according to the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Personal beliefs an influence

Respondents’ personal beliefs tended to influence their storage decisions, the authors found. For example, storing a firearm loaded and unlocked was more common among people who said guns were not useful for protection if someone had to take the time to load or unlock them. This group also felt having a gun at home increased safety.

“One of the more interesting findings was that we asked veterans whether or not they agreed having a firearm in the home increases the risk of suicide for household members and only 6 percent agreed that a firearm in the home was a suicide risk    factor,” Simonetti said.

“But … we also asked veteran firearm owners … ‘If somebody in your household is at risk for suicide, what would you do?’ Eighty-two percent reported they would do something to limit firearm access for that household member. In fact, 25 percent said they would remove the gun from the home in that case.”

‘Really great study’

The results “are confirming what I suspected would be the case,” said Rajeev Ramchand, who studies firearm suicide prevention at research firm RAND Corporation in Washington, DC.

“It is now incumbent upon us to develop communication campaigns and strategies to help shift people’s internal perceptions of risks.”

“It’s a really great study because it really gives us a target for focusing on our suicide prevention campaigns,” Ramchand, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

The study was funded in part by the department of Veterans Affairs. VA efforts to prevent suicide among former service members include training health care providers to discuss firearm safety and distributing firearm “cable locks,” which can be attached to a gun to block its barrel or the use of ammunition.

Contentious subject

Gun control of any sort is a contentious topic in the U.S. But Simonetti believes both sides of the debate are likely to support safe storage practices.

“Nearly every gun advocacy organization out there including the NRA actually does promote the idea that guns should be stored safely when not in use,” he said. “I (just) don’t think most organizations have outlined exactly what that means.”

Ramchand is optimistic. “For so long we had a dearth of information about firearm storage. So this was a really great study to help us come up with data-driven policies and recommendations,” he said.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Trump to Address Drugs, Nuclear Weapons in UN Speeches

President Donald Trump will call for global action on the world drug problem, lay out his vision of the U.S. role in the world, and urge a halt to the spread of weapons of mass destruction during next week’s gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters Thursday that Trump’s focus “will be very much on the United States,” its role and the relations it wants to build, and “how we can make the American people proud, and what actions we can show that really live up to that.”

“He is looking forward to talking about foreign policy successes the United States has had over the past year and where we’re going to go from here,” she said. “He wants to talk about protecting U.S. sovereignty,” and “we want to continue to build relationships” with other countries that “share those values.”

‘Call to Action’ on drugs

Haley said Trump would address a high-level event Monday on the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, which 124 countries have already signed up to support. She said the U.S. was looking forward to more signatories.

The president will address the assembly’s 193 member nations Tuesday morning.

Haley said Trump would talk about the generosity of the United States. “But he’ll also lay down a marker that while the United States is generous, we’re going to be generous to those who share our values, generous to those who want to work with us, and not those that try and stop the United States or say they hate America, or are counterproductive to what we’re doing,” she said.

She said Trump on Wednesday would chair a Security Council meeting that was expanded from focusing on Iran to nonproliferation, including chemical weapons attacks in Syria and Britain.

Haley predicted, “I’m sure that is going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever.”

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, chaired two Security Council meetings, one in 2009 focusing on nuclear disarmament and another in 2014 on “foreign terrorist fighters.”

Pompeo on N. Korea

Haley said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would chair a council meeting Thursday to look at North Korea’s progress toward denuclearization — which she called “baby steps” — and the council’s commitments to enforce tough sanctions.

The White House said Trump would hold “pull-aside” meetings with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the General Assembly president. He will have longer bilateral meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

On the social side, Haley said the president and his wife, Melania, would host a reception for all delegates Monday night. Trump will also host a reception Tuesday evening for foreign ministers of the 15 current Security Council member nations and the five countries that will be joining the council Jan. 1.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Trump to Address Drugs, Nuclear Weapons in UN Speeches

President Donald Trump will call for global action on the world drug problem, lay out his vision of the U.S. role in the world, and urge a halt to the spread of weapons of mass destruction during next week’s gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters Thursday that Trump’s focus “will be very much on the United States,” its role and the relations it wants to build, and “how we can make the American people proud, and what actions we can show that really live up to that.”

“He is looking forward to talking about foreign policy successes the United States has had over the past year and where we’re going to go from here,” she said. “He wants to talk about protecting U.S. sovereignty,” and “we want to continue to build relationships” with other countries that “share those values.”

‘Call to Action’ on drugs

Haley said Trump would address a high-level event Monday on the Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, which 124 countries have already signed up to support. She said the U.S. was looking forward to more signatories.

The president will address the assembly’s 193 member nations Tuesday morning.

Haley said Trump would talk about the generosity of the United States. “But he’ll also lay down a marker that while the United States is generous, we’re going to be generous to those who share our values, generous to those who want to work with us, and not those that try and stop the United States or say they hate America, or are counterproductive to what we’re doing,” she said.

She said Trump on Wednesday would chair a Security Council meeting that was expanded from focusing on Iran to nonproliferation, including chemical weapons attacks in Syria and Britain.

Haley predicted, “I’m sure that is going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever.”

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, chaired two Security Council meetings, one in 2009 focusing on nuclear disarmament and another in 2014 on “foreign terrorist fighters.”

Pompeo on N. Korea

Haley said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would chair a council meeting Thursday to look at North Korea’s progress toward denuclearization — which she called “baby steps” — and the council’s commitments to enforce tough sanctions.

The White House said Trump would hold “pull-aside” meetings with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the General Assembly president. He will have longer bilateral meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

On the social side, Haley said the president and his wife, Melania, would host a reception for all delegates Monday night. Trump will also host a reception Tuesday evening for foreign ministers of the 15 current Security Council member nations and the five countries that will be joining the council Jan. 1.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Native American Teens Pulled From College Tour Want Changes

An attorney for two Native American brothers pulled from a Colorado State University tour earlier this year has demanded the school make policy changes, saying Thursday that campus officers violated the teens’ constitutional rights by patting them down without any suspicion of a crime.

A letter from American Civil Liberties Union attorney Sarah Hinger calls for the university to revisit its campus police policies and training to avoid another situation like the April 30 encounter, which resulted in the teens’ being “humiliated, scared and literally marginalized.”

Police video shows two officers stopping Thomas Kanewakeron Gray and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, who were then 19 and 17, respectively, during a group admissions tour and checking their pockets. The brothers from New Mexico had called the school their top choice.

Police said a mother on the tour had called 911, saying she was worried because the Grays were “real quiet” and wore dark clothing.

‘False promises’ of change

“My boys were publicly humiliated and told that their looks alone make them suspicious characters,” mother Lorraine Kahneratokwa Gray said in a statement. “We are all disappointed, not only with CSU’s meager response, but also with their false promises to right this wrong.”

The was one of numerous examples of racial profiling to make headlines this year. 

A Smith College employee called police last month on a black student at the all-girls school in Massachusetts because she appeared “out of place.” The school president announced the hiring of an outside investigator and ordered every employee to undergo mandatory anti-bias training. 

Meanwhile, Colorado State University has taken only “small steps” after promises to change protocols for campus tours, the ACLU said.

A message requesting comment from university spokesman Mike Hooker was not immediately returned.

The school previously said it would refund the money that the teens spent on travel and take steps to prevent a similar situation from happening again, including the use of lanyards or badges to identify tour guests.

University President Tony Frank decried the incident, saying the brothers “wound up frightened and humiliated because another campus visitor was concerned about their clothes and overall demeanor — which appears to have simply been shyness.”

The ACLU wants Frank to order additional campus police training and a review of policies dictating how officers and dispatchers respond to “bias-based” reports on campus.

In an interview, Hinger told The Associated Press that the ACLU is not taking “any avenues off the table” — including possible legal action — should the university not follow through on its requests.

“Although they were never suspected of a crime, the Gray brothers were detained and searched by CSU police officers,” Hinger’s letter said. “In addition to violating their constitutional rights, this experience left the brothers humiliated, frightened and with an understanding that they were unwelcome on the CSU campus.”

‘Paranoid’ caller

Police have not identified the 911 caller, except to say she was a white, 45-year-old mother of another prospective student on the tour. In the call, she acknowledged she might be “completely paranoid” about the teens, whom she guessed were Hispanic.

She said their clothing had “weird symbolism or wording,” which turned out to represent metal bands.

She also said they were disinterested and evasive, adding that they wouldn’t provide their names when asked. The older brother said he had approached the tour guide during a stop in the library to introduce himself and his brother after the two had gotten lost on campus and arrived late.

The brothers, both Mohawk, are originally from upstate New York and are graduates of the Santa Fe Indian School, a New Mexico high school.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Native American Teens Pulled From College Tour Want Changes

An attorney for two Native American brothers pulled from a Colorado State University tour earlier this year has demanded the school make policy changes, saying Thursday that campus officers violated the teens’ constitutional rights by patting them down without any suspicion of a crime.

A letter from American Civil Liberties Union attorney Sarah Hinger calls for the university to revisit its campus police policies and training to avoid another situation like the April 30 encounter, which resulted in the teens’ being “humiliated, scared and literally marginalized.”

Police video shows two officers stopping Thomas Kanewakeron Gray and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, who were then 19 and 17, respectively, during a group admissions tour and checking their pockets. The brothers from New Mexico had called the school their top choice.

Police said a mother on the tour had called 911, saying she was worried because the Grays were “real quiet” and wore dark clothing.

‘False promises’ of change

“My boys were publicly humiliated and told that their looks alone make them suspicious characters,” mother Lorraine Kahneratokwa Gray said in a statement. “We are all disappointed, not only with CSU’s meager response, but also with their false promises to right this wrong.”

The was one of numerous examples of racial profiling to make headlines this year. 

A Smith College employee called police last month on a black student at the all-girls school in Massachusetts because she appeared “out of place.” The school president announced the hiring of an outside investigator and ordered every employee to undergo mandatory anti-bias training. 

Meanwhile, Colorado State University has taken only “small steps” after promises to change protocols for campus tours, the ACLU said.

A message requesting comment from university spokesman Mike Hooker was not immediately returned.

The school previously said it would refund the money that the teens spent on travel and take steps to prevent a similar situation from happening again, including the use of lanyards or badges to identify tour guests.

University President Tony Frank decried the incident, saying the brothers “wound up frightened and humiliated because another campus visitor was concerned about their clothes and overall demeanor — which appears to have simply been shyness.”

The ACLU wants Frank to order additional campus police training and a review of policies dictating how officers and dispatchers respond to “bias-based” reports on campus.

In an interview, Hinger told The Associated Press that the ACLU is not taking “any avenues off the table” — including possible legal action — should the university not follow through on its requests.

“Although they were never suspected of a crime, the Gray brothers were detained and searched by CSU police officers,” Hinger’s letter said. “In addition to violating their constitutional rights, this experience left the brothers humiliated, frightened and with an understanding that they were unwelcome on the CSU campus.”

‘Paranoid’ caller

Police have not identified the 911 caller, except to say she was a white, 45-year-old mother of another prospective student on the tour. In the call, she acknowledged she might be “completely paranoid” about the teens, whom she guessed were Hispanic.

She said their clothing had “weird symbolism or wording,” which turned out to represent metal bands.

She also said they were disinterested and evasive, adding that they wouldn’t provide their names when asked. The older brother said he had approached the tour guide during a stop in the library to introduce himself and his brother after the two had gotten lost on campus and arrived late.

The brothers, both Mohawk, are originally from upstate New York and are graduates of the Santa Fe Indian School, a New Mexico high school.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Голова МЗС Угорщини засудив спроби української влади «залякати закарпатських угорців»

Петер Сійярто, керівник МЗС Угорщини, засудив у Будапешті 20 вересня спроби української влади «залякати закарпатських угорців».

Міністр зробив цю заяву після слів українського колеги Павла Клімкіна про можливе видворення з України угорського консула в місті Берегові Закарпатської області після оприлюднення на YouTube відео прихованої камери, що нібито зафіксувала момент складання українськими громадянами присяги під час процедури отримання громадянcтва Угорщини в консульстві цієї країни.

Сійярто назвав такі кроки «винятково недружніми», припустивши, що цей сюжет в Україні використовують у передвиборчій кампанії. За словами керівника угорської дипломатії, зафіксована на відео процедура складання присяги відповідає всім правовим нормам.

Міністр нагадав, що практика набуття подвійного громадянства є звичною в країнах Євросоюзу. Через це, на його думку, протести української сторони свідчать про те, «що Київ не сприймає серйозно перспективу євроатлантичної інтеграції».

Сійярто попередив, що його країна витлумачила би висилку угорського консула з  Берегова як недружній і ризикований крок, який перемістив би стан двосторонніх відносин у «новий вимір» і не залишився би без відповіді Будапешта. Міністр трактує цю ситуацію як посилення нападок на закарпатських угорців.

Політик додав, що Угорщина слідкує за розвитком подій і не виключив можливості застосування заходів для уповільнення процесу євроінтеграції України.

Раніше засоби інформації оприлюднили відео, на якому українцям роздають паспорти Угорщини у консульстві Угорщини в Береговому з проханням не повідомляти про це владі. Голова МЗС України Павло Клімкін зазначив, що відомство перевіряє автентичність відео і назвав можливим видворення угорського консула у Берегові.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

Голова МЗС Угорщини засудив спроби української влади «залякати закарпатських угорців»

Петер Сійярто, керівник МЗС Угорщини, засудив у Будапешті 20 вересня спроби української влади «залякати закарпатських угорців».

Міністр зробив цю заяву після слів українського колеги Павла Клімкіна про можливе видворення з України угорського консула в місті Берегові Закарпатської області після оприлюднення на YouTube відео прихованої камери, що нібито зафіксувала момент складання українськими громадянами присяги під час процедури отримання громадянcтва Угорщини в консульстві цієї країни.

Сійярто назвав такі кроки «винятково недружніми», припустивши, що цей сюжет в Україні використовують у передвиборчій кампанії. За словами керівника угорської дипломатії, зафіксована на відео процедура складання присяги відповідає всім правовим нормам.

Міністр нагадав, що практика набуття подвійного громадянства є звичною в країнах Євросоюзу. Через це, на його думку, протести української сторони свідчать про те, «що Київ не сприймає серйозно перспективу євроатлантичної інтеграції».

Сійярто попередив, що його країна витлумачила би висилку угорського консула з  Берегова як недружній і ризикований крок, який перемістив би стан двосторонніх відносин у «новий вимір» і не залишився би без відповіді Будапешта. Міністр трактує цю ситуацію як посилення нападок на закарпатських угорців.

Політик додав, що Угорщина слідкує за розвитком подій і не виключив можливості застосування заходів для уповільнення процесу євроінтеграції України.

Раніше засоби інформації оприлюднили відео, на якому українцям роздають паспорти Угорщини у консульстві Угорщини в Береговому з проханням не повідомляти про це владі. Голова МЗС України Павло Клімкін зазначив, що відомство перевіряє автентичність відео і назвав можливим видворення угорського консула у Берегові.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

США внесли до санкційного списку «ПВК Вагнера» й російську «фабрику тролів»

США внесли до санкційного списку 33 росіян та російських компаній, які пов’язані з оборонним сектором та розвідкою, повідомив американський Державний департамент.

У переліку, зокрема, «Приватна військова компанія Вагнера», яка, за даними американської влади, брала участь у збройних конфліктах в Україні та Сирії (Росія заперечує існування цієї структури), і російський бізнесмен Євген Пригожин. Останнього називають головним спонсором «ПВК Вагнера» та «кухарем [президента Росії Володимира] Путіна».

У списку є й інші компанії, які вважають підконтрольними Пригожину, – «Конкорд» та «Агентство інтернет-досліджень» (так звана «фабрика тролей»), яке США звинувачують у втручанні в американські президентські вибори.

У переліку також низка людей, які, за даними Державного департаменту, пов’язані з російськими спецслужбами.

Американське зовнішньополітичне відомство пояснює, що рішення ухвалили у зв’язку зі «шкідливою діяльністю» російських військових і спецслужб у різних країнах світу.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.

США внесли до санкційного списку «ПВК Вагнера» й російську «фабрику тролів»

США внесли до санкційного списку 33 росіян та російських компаній, які пов’язані з оборонним сектором та розвідкою, повідомив американський Державний департамент.

У переліку, зокрема, «Приватна військова компанія Вагнера», яка, за даними американської влади, брала участь у збройних конфліктах в Україні та Сирії (Росія заперечує існування цієї структури), і російський бізнесмен Євген Пригожин. Останнього називають головним спонсором «ПВК Вагнера» та «кухарем [президента Росії Володимира] Путіна».

У списку є й інші компанії, які вважають підконтрольними Пригожину, – «Конкорд» та «Агентство інтернет-досліджень» (так звана «фабрика тролей»), яке США звинувачують у втручанні в американські президентські вибори.

У переліку також низка людей, які, за даними Державного департаменту, пов’язані з російськими спецслужбами.

Американське зовнішньополітичне відомство пояснює, що рішення ухвалили у зв’язку зі «шкідливою діяльністю» російських військових і спецслужб у різних країнах світу.

Build a better website in less than an hour. Start for free at us.