Because America’s Second Amendment is ingrained in the Constitution, many American swear by legal gun ownership in the name of self-defense. One of the primary reasons for obtaining your pistol permit is to protect your home and hearth in case of an intruder who intends not only to rob you but perhaps to cause physical harm to you and your family. In such potentially lethal situations, your gun can become the great equalizer. In other words, if an intruder is smart, he will turn tail and run away as soon as he sees just how protected you are.
However, guns and shootings aren’t just limited to home intrusions. Says the professionals at SteinLaw (SteinLaw.com), shootings can happen anywhere at any time, including private homes, bars, gas stations, and shopping malls. When these “lack of security” shootings happen along with severe injury and death, it’s entirely common for a lawsuit to follow. The lawsuits are brought against the owner of the private property, an event organizer, a bar owner, and even security companies themselves.
But back to the home front and its security. Is it indeed a good idea to keep a firearm or firearms in your home, especially when there are young children involved? According to a recent report by Safewise, the great debate that surrounds the constitutional right to own a gun in the U.S. has been a controversial one, to say the least.
But answering the age-old question of whether keeping a gun in the house will keep you and your family safe is fairly simple. In fact, the best way to approach the subject is said to examine the stats that surround gun ownership vs. random gun violence, then draw your own research-based conclusions.
Guns Make Us Safer. Or do They?
In 2018 the Wall Street Journal and NBC News conducted a poll about this very subject. They found that nearly 60 percent of the country agreed that gun ownership will do more to increase overall safety since it allows law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families. Full stop.
Persons who already own guns believe in this self-protection idea at an even higher rate. The Pew Research Center discovered that 71 percent of women gun owners and 65 percent of male gun owners state their primary reason for carrying is self-protection. But while public opinion supports the notion that gun ownership makes us safer, the science behind it is said to suggest something different.
The Science Behind Gun Ownership
Says Safewise, keeping a gun in your home could be more dangerous for you and your entire family, especially if you have young kids or teenagers. In 2014 a report from the Annals of Internal Medicine stated that keeping a firearm at home, even if properly secured and stored, can potentially double the risk of becoming a homicide victim. It also is said to triple the possibility of suicide.
Since the majority of U.S. gun owners rarely do not keep their weapons secured, kids are at risk of gun violence inside the home. Says the Journal of Urban Health in a 2015 study, they estimated that as many as 4.6 million children can potentially be exposed to unsecured firearms in the home.
But common-sense experts agree that proper storing and securing your guns is the most effective way to address and keep at bay unintentional shootings, mass shootings, and suicide among teens and young kids. It’s highly recommended that parents who own guns take the extra precaution of doing the necessary research on the best car gun safes and home safes to substantially lower the risk of gun violence for kids.
It should be noted that safes also prevent guns from getting stolen and ultimately into criminal hands.
Do More Guns Equate to More Violence?
It’s the opinion of Safewise that the more firearms that exist in the U.S., be it for recreational use, concealed carry, self-defense, or all three, the higher the possibility for random acts of gun violence. Even considering demographics, crime levels, and income levels, Safewise states that many studies conducted over the last decade confirm this conclusion. However, they do not point to any of the specific studies to back up this claim.
But it’s true that Americans make up around 5 percent of the world’s population and, at the same time, own 42 percent of the firearms. Says a health policy professor at Harvard, it’s because of this statistic that there is a higher rate of gun-related homicides mainly in America’s cities than in other industrialized nations. However, he fails to mention that the vast majority of these homicides occur in poor neighborhoods and with illegally owned firearms.
In the end, legally owning a firearm for self-protection and the protection of your family is a good idea and a constitutional right that is here to stay. Used properly, guns can and will keep you safe from dangerous predators. However, it’s important to follow all safety and storage protocols for your firearms.