Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1615-3100
Nova Southeastern University, Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship, USA
Albert A. Williams, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8262-0278
Nova Southeastern University, Huizenga College of Business & Entrepreneurship, USA
Khalil S. Wardak, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1891-3575
Ross University, College of Medicine, USA
Suicides have been a reality of life due to many factors across nations. In the United States alone, about 30,000 to 40,000 individuals are likely to take their own life this year. During the Covid-19 Corona virus months, telephone calls to the suicide hotlines in the United States have increased significantly. As such, suicide is a huge, complex and costly problem in our society even when people are not dealing with a pandemic like Covid-19 and racial inequalities. In this study, we look at the relationship between suicides, guns and mass shootings based on age, gender and ethnicity, using data of 3,238-recorded suicides in South Florida’s Broward County. Through a review of descriptive data and regression analysis, we found that the top three methods of suicide are gunshot, asphyxiation, and hanging. Gunshot represents the largest majority of all suicides. In addition, there are statistically significant differences in suicides based on age, race, and gender. Overall, this article provides literature, reflections of morality, and some common reasons for suicides, while also offering reflective data on the epidemic of mass shootings during the past few decades, where the method used was entirely by the usage of various types of guns, assault rifles and military-grade artillery. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings along with specific recommendations for policy makers to prevent suicides and mass shootings in the future. Some acts of violence and suicide might be caused by illnesses or mental health issues, but most are caused by intentional acts of perpetrators due to misunderstandings, stereotypes and unnecessary aggressive behaviors. In the modern society, we see that millions of people in the United States and many other countries around the world are protesting against police violence which are disproportionately and negatively impacting minority groups. Today, we see both children, adults and even official police officers who are showing aggressive behavior which have become a concern as such behaviors are often reinforced over and over again through television and social media. If such behaviors become normal then we need better coping strategies to effectively deal with them because violence only begets more violence, which increases poverty in the society. For most adults, being stuck in poverty through societal inequities, despite their persistent hard work and efforts, can cause depression which might lead to further protests and suicides. It is recommended that policy makers and professionals work to stop unmanageable and aggressive behaviors at an earlier stage of a person’s life because it helps prevent problems in the future. If we do not effectively deal with aggression, violence, and ineffective use of guns, this could lead to more problems on the job, suicides, mass shootings, and/or other crimes in general. This article discusses the root of the suicide problem based on empirical analysis, while also offering recommendation for educators, researchers, and policymakers.
Keywords: suicide, gunshot, mass shooting, asphyxiation, hanging, Broward County, Florida, subtle suicide, theory of reason action (TRA), ethical emotism.
JEL Classification: F10.
Cite as: Mujtaba, B.G., Williams, A.A. Wardak, K.S. (2020). The Relationship of Suicides, Guns and Mass Shootings in the United States: An Ethical Dilemma. SocioEconomic Challenges, 4(3), 77-92. https://doi.org/10.21272/sec.4(3).77-92.2020
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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