Report: Douglas County high on statewide list of of gun-related deaths
ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A new report is showing Douglas County is alarmingly high on a list of gun-related deaths in Oregon.
The county is currently ranked seventh in the state, according to the Oregon Health Authority's violent death reporting system, but more than half of those deaths are due to suicide.
The data shows Douglas County had 33 deaths by suicide in 2015.
Public health officials say gun usage is a factor.
"We don't know the most effective method to go ahead and prevent these gun related suicides,” said Douglas County Public Health Officer Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer. “We know that in places that have very low rates of gun usage, they have lower rates of suicide. And much lower rates of gun suicide."
Public health officials say banning guns isn't the most worthwhile option right now, but decreasing the rates of suicide should be a public health mission.