They manage to make several important points:
Guns are particularly lethal. Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85 percent of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2 percent of cases, according to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.
And yes, suicides can be prevented. For many people, especially teenagers, the suicidal impulse is transitory; if a quick and lethal gun is not available, by the time the would-be suicide cobbles something else together the urge has passed:
Suicidal acts are often prompted by a temporary surge of rage or despair, and most people who attempt them do not die. In a 2001 study of 13- to 34-year-olds in Houston who had attempted suicide but were saved by medical intervention, researchers from the C.D.C. found that, for more than two-thirds of them, the time that elapsed between deciding to act and taking action was an hour or less. The key to reducing fatalities, experts say, is to block access to lethal means when the suicidal feeling spikes.
They also offer a fascinating speculation on the correlation between gun ownership and suicide:
Still, some dispute the link, saying that it does not prove cause and effect, and that other factors, like alcoholism and drug abuse, may be driving the association. Gary Kleck, a professor of criminology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, contends that gun owners may have qualities that make them more susceptible to suicide. They may be more likely to see the world as a hostile place, or to blame themselves when things go wrong, a dark side of self-reliance.
The dark side of self-reliance... hmm. Obama's Julia will never kill herself, since that would be taking charge of her own life; the boldest step she will ever take is voting for an even more compassionate Democrat.
This article is almost like reporting. No attempt is made to explain how an 'assault weapons' ban or limits on magazine capacity could bring down the suicide rate. And the one area where reforms might be helpful in preventing suicide - background check reporting on the mentally ill - goes unmentioned. For a bit on that, here is Dr. Swanson of Duke, who has been studying violence and mental illness for decades:
Depression is the particular psychiatric illness most strongly associated with suicide. Social disadvantage plays a role both in the etiology of depressive illness and disparities in its treatment. Depression is not, however, a disorder that gets most patients a gun-disqualifying record of involuntarily commitment. In other words, people suffering from the one mental health condition that is most closely and frequently linked to suicidality are unlikely to show up in a gun background check.
Dr. Swanson has more:
To date, the only empirical evidence that gun restrictions on people with a history of mental illness might prevent firearm violence in the US population comes from a national evaluation of the Brady Act (Ludwig & Cook, 2000). That study found that gun purchaser background checks and waiting periods had no significant effect on homicide rates, but did reduce the suicide rate by 6 percent in people over age 55.