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Ralph Demicco was sitting in his sporting goods shop one Saturday morning when he noticed a customer who was acting slightly ... off.

She was conspicuously overdressed and refused to make eye contact when she came up to the counter and asked to look at a pistol.

Demicco asked the woman if she should really be buying a gun — and she immediately broke down crying. He told WBUR that he brought her into the back room of the store, where she confided that she was planning to kill herself. He let her stay there and collect herself while he reached out to her doctor.


Demicco may have saved a life that day. But he has good reason to be so careful.

Note: not actually Ralph Demicco. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

During one week in 2009, three different people bought guns at different times from Demicco's store.

Each of them used the gun they'd bought to take their own life later that same day.

"Apparently our marginal screening process did not pick up on any of these individuals," Demicco told The Trace in 2016. Unfortunately, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System only flags people who've been committed to a mental institution against their own will.

So, technically speaking, the employees at the store did everything they were supposed to. But according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, guns are responsible for nearly half of the more than 40,000 suicides each year, and suicide accounted for almost two-thirds of the total gun deaths in the country — meaning it's an even bigger problem than the homicides and mass shootings people tend to hear about.

Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images.

In 2011, Demicco decided to do something about this.

He teamed up with public health professionals and local firearm dealers to establish the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition, taking an active role in preventing suicides.

It began with a simple plan to reach out to all 67 gun shops in New Hampshire — first to start a conversation, then to see if they'd be willing to display posters or pamphlets in their store to raise awareness about suicide. The NHFSC also provides training to firearms dealers to help them spot warning signs in customers.

Within a year, half of the firearm retailers in the state were on board with the cause.

One of the posters, which includes a list of warning signs to look out for.

"We’re learning about warning signs and spreading an additional message of gun safety to our customers," Demicco said in a press release.

"If you’re worried someone is suicidal, offer to hold on to their guns until they are in a better place."

"It's not that gun owners are more likely to be suicidal or depressed," coalition co-chair Elaine Frank added in an interview with USA Today. "It's that guns are the most lethal way for someone to take their own life."

She's right: Most suicides are fairly impulsive, and 70% of people who survive an attempt won't try again. Unfortunately, only about 10% of people survive a suicide attempt by gun. Which makes gun intervention that much more important.

Another NHFSC pamphlet, which aims to normalize the additional gun safety rule of "consider temporary off-site storage if a family member may be suicidal."

While New Hampshire may have been the first state to launch this kind of program, the idea is starting to make its way around the country.

And the results are looking pretty good.

A new law passed in Washington state in March 2016 with the support of both the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation. The law will increase training and messaging about suicide prevention among gun dealers and other firearm professionals, as well as in all gun sport safety materials.

Even more recently, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention teamed up with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to research, create, and implement a plan that reduces suicide rates 20% by 2025.

The official AFSP infographic for Project 2025.

Overall, more than two dozen states have launched programs similar to the one in New Hampshire in the last five years.

According to the Trace, this includes famously pro-gun states with higher suicide rates like Alabama, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Colorado.

There has been some resistance, of course.

"I think there’s a fear among some stores — it’s been expressed vehemently — that it’s just another backdoor attempt at grabbing guns," said one New Hampshire firearm dealer. "You gotta convince people that this isn’t about gun control, it’s suicide control."

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images.

Mental health and gun deaths are both complicated issues.

There's no one-size-fits-all-solution to either one, of course, but it's encouraging that people are working toward systemic solutions.

Perhaps the most inspiring thing about these kinds of programs is the way they bring people together from all across the spectrum.

As one Harvard researcher who was following the New Hampshire coalition told U.S. News & World Report: "The suicide prevention people were largely not gun owners. The gun owners on that committee didn’t have a background on mental health or suicide issues. We learned so much from each other."

When it comes to saving lives, actions speak much louder than words. And as these initiatives prove, that's something everyone can agree on.

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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