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We estimate that as many as half of the victims of gun violence had contact with at least one medical professional in the six months prior to the gun morbidity event itself. This estimate is based on the following considerations:
— Nearly 40% of older suicide victims (65+) saw a health professional within a week prior to their suicide, and more than 50% of all suicide victims saw a health professional within 30 days of the event. This means that at least 10,000 of the 19,000+ suicide victims who used guns probably were among this total population, a number that would certainly increase if we moved back to 6 months before the suicide event.
(Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness.)
— It is estimated that nearly four out of five homicides involved perpetrators and victims who knew each other and had experienced frequent contact with one another prior to the homicide event itself. It is also estimated that previous contact resulted in less-severe trauma which in many cases required some degree of medical attention.
(Source: Source: FBI – Expanded Homicide Data.)
Given the above, it would not be at all unlikely that medical professionals have contact with at least half the individuals who later commit gun violence, either against themselves or against someone else.