Once again, the number of suicides among soldiers outnumbered combat-related deaths for the year.
Through November this year, potentially 303 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers took their own lives. In Afghanistan 212 soldiers were killed as of Dec. 7. The trajectory for soldier suicides keeps getting worse.
The numbers have increased despite a range of training and awareness programs instituted by the service in the last few years.
More measures may be on the way:
- A bipartisan group of 36 lawmakers is pushing for new rules allowing military commanders and mental health specialists to ask unstable troops whether they own any personal firearms; lawmakers from both the House and the Senate are working on a final compromise version of the legislation.
- Gun rights advocates have opposed the idea, saying it could lead to commanders intimidating some individuals into giving up personal weapons.
"Gun rights advocates," (NRA) see a problem with "unstable" soldiers surrendering their weapons? I'd really like to see a poll conducted among the soldiers themselves to see how they feel about such a measure being enacted in the hopes of reducing suicide in their ranks.