Fort Bragg Tragedies
Focus Attention on National Plague of Murder-Suicide
VPC Study Documents
Six Months of Murder-Suicides Across Nation, Finds Guns Used in 95 Percent
of All Murder-Suicides, Estimates That at Least 1,300 Lives Lost Each
Year to Murder-Suicide
Study Finds That
73.7 Percent of All Murder-Suicides Involved an Intimate Partner�Of These,
93.5 percent Were Females Killed by Their Intimate Partners
WASHINGTON, DC �At
least 662 Americans died in murder-suicides during the first half of 2001,
and almost all (94.5 percent) were killed with firearms, according to
American Roulette: The Untold Story
of Murder-Suicide in the United States, a recent study by the
Violence Policy Center (VPC). Since June 11, 2002, two Fort Bragg soldiers
have killed their wives and themselves.
The VPC study, based
on news clips collected nationwide, is one of the largest and most comprehensive
studies ever conducted on murder-suicide. Using the VPC figures, more
than 1,300 Americans die each year in murder-suicides. During the six-month
study period, 20 North Carolina residents were killed in murder-suicides.
The study notes that murder-suicides range from high-profile mass shootings
like the April 20, 1999, Columbine massacre to familial shootings claiming
the lives of spouses and offspring.
Josh Sugarmann, VPC
executive director, states, "Guns are the catalytic component in murder-suicide.
Just as important, it must be understood that the emotional factors that
drive suicide can be all too easily turned outward on friends, family,
co-workers, and complete strangers because of the unmatched lethality
of firearms. Every major murder-suicide study ever conducted has shown
that a firearm�with its unmatched combination of lethality and availability�is
the weapon most often used to murder the victims, with the offenders then
turning the gun on themselves."
For the study, the
VPC used a national clipping service to collect every reported murder-suicide
in the United States from January 1, 2001 to June 30, 2001. Currently
there is no national tracking system for these incidents. As a result,
the VPC study provides the most accurate portrait of murder-suicide in
Seven states had more
than 10 murder-suicide incidents during the study period: Florida (35),
California (29) and Texas (29), Pennsylvania (17), New York (14), Virginia
(12), and Ohio (11). North Carolina had nine murder-suicide incidents.
The Violence Policy Center is a
national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence
in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals.
The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research
on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related
death and injury.
Monday, August 5, 2002
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x105