In this article, Type Media Center fellow Rebecca Solnit discusses the significant role of firearms in suicide rates, particularly among white men.


  • The Probable Victim: Throughout this article, Solnit works to convey the point that, if you are a gun owner, “the person you’re most likely to kill is yourself”. She introduces a wide array of research and statistics which demonstrate the danger firearms pose to those who have access to them.
  • Sensible Reasoning, Poor Efficacy: Solnit establishes an understanding of the self-defense argument for owning a firearm, validating the motivation to protect oneself, while debunking the efficacy of this approach in reality. She argues that, while the “desire for protection is understandable[…] guns rarely provide it.”
  • Unheard Cries for Help: In the article, Solnit discusses the higher rate of death by suicide in white men in the U.S., underlining the intersects between methods of approaching mental health crises, and the dangers of firearms. She addresses the fact that many suicide attempts are “last, desperate pleas for help or change”, and survival rates are much lower when firearms are involved, impeding the chance of intervention.
  • Impact Analysis: Widening the scope of her article, Solnit also explores the impact of gun violence on various population groups. She notes that guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens, and the high rates of women who are victims of intimate partner gun violence.

Type Media Center’s Note

This article by our fellow Rebecca Solnit reflects Type Media Center’s dedication to nurturing independent journalism that not only informs but strives for societal change. Through her discussion of the role guns play in suicide rates among white men, as well as the impact of firearms on other populations, Solnit contributes to our broader mission of producing high-impact journalism that sparks national and global conversations.