Abstract

Even though gun suicides account for well over half of all U.S. gun deaths each year, they largely are absent from collective attention, policy discussion, and rhetorical study. Using stories about gun suicide from Everytown for Gun Safety's website, “Moments That Survive,” this essay examines how the authors depict gun suicide as a public problem and a gun problem rather than as a private problem limited only to the individual gun user. In so doing, these stories revise three of the gun debate's key terms: collective grief, character, and agency. More than simply drawing attention to gun suicide, these stories critique the dominant narrative of protection (protection from “them”) and urge readers to reimagine suicide, protection, and gun violence.

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