Reducing Access To Means

Reducing a suicidal person's access to guns can help save lives. And who better to take on this suicide prevention effort than the gun community, asserts Cathy Barber of Harvard’s Means Matter Campaign. Ralph Demicco, a former gun shop owner agrees, “I’ve experienced an awful lot of incidents where friends, customers, and acquaintances have taken their lives with firearms, so it’s a very striking issue to me.” Barber, Demicco, other gun owners, and public health professionals joined together to form the Gun Shop Project, forging an unlikely but highly successful partnership with the mission of reducing a suicidal person’s access to guns.

Cathy Barber
Cathy Barber, MPA & Ralph Demicco

Cathy Barber directs the Means Matter Campaign at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center. The goal of the Means Matter Campaign is to educate suicide prevention coalitions about the link between firearms and suicide.


Ralph Demicco is a gun owner and the former owner of Riley's Sport Shop in New Hampshire. After three suicides occurred in a short period of time with guns purchased from his shop, Demicco helped spearhead the Gun Shop Project in an effort to reduce suicide.