When it comes to the ownership of guns Americans have more, particularly handguns, compared to other citizens from developed countries. According to studies conducted in the last few years, and published in Science Daily, around one-third of American households have a firearm, posing a greater risk to a person’s health and safety within their household.
With the on-going debate about gun control in America it would seem that while there have been countless studies demonstrating the high risks with guns there are some, such as Gayle Trotter who think otherwise, as reported in the New York Times. As a member of the Independent Women’s Forum, which is believed to be a right-wing policy group providing pseudofeminst support, Ms Trotter claims that a woman using a gun to protect her home and family would bring her the peace of mind and courage to fend off criminals with a powerful weapon such as an AR-15.
But, what studies have proven time and again is that the figures don’t lie when it shows the amount of killings related to gun violence in American households. According to data from a study from the Harvard School of Public Health published in The Journal of Trauma in 2002, they found that over a ten year period (1988-1997) 253 children aged five to 14 had died as a result of firearm accidents in high gun states (AK, AL, AR, ID, KY, LA, MO, MS, MT, ND, SD, TN, VT, WV and WY) compared to low gun states (CT, HI, MA, NJ, NY and RI).
These fatalities, however, are only the tip of what has become a contentious iceberg in America. A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Suicide in the home in relation to gun ownership” found that homes with guns were five time more likely to experience the suicide of a household member than homes without guns.
Of course, the use of guns is not going to stop anytime soon with discussions still taking place from both sides. The general public, however, need to know that they have a choice to make when it comes to defending themselves from harm, and that there are other ways of achieving this than by using a firearm.