Study: People with easy access to guns are far more likely to be killed or to kill themselves
THIS doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with gun control. It’s basically about whether you choose to have guns in the house or nearby.
People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded.
Though men and women with firearm access were about equally likely to take their own lives with a gun, the latest research turned up a gender gap when it came to homicide. Compared with all adults without access to a gun, men with firearm access were 29% more likely to die in a gun-related homicide. But the analysis found that a woman who had a gun in or available to her household was close to three times likelier to die by homicide.
Previous studies have found that three-quarters of women who are killed with a gun die in their home, and that women typically know their assailant. That suggests that women who live in homes with a firearm are more likely to be gunned down in a domestic dispute or by an abusive partner, the research team wrote in their study, published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine. But the group did not venture an explanation for why men with gun access were not much more vulnerable than other adults.
The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation’s gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data.
Many people cite those facts to argue that owning a gun is a household hazard. But gun rights advocates call that logic spurious and counter that by deterring threats, lawful gun ownership makes a household safer.
For the new study, epidemiologists from UC San Francisco combined and distilled the findings of existing studies of firearms-related injuries. While its conclusions were in line with a wealth of studies already in hand, they may provide a conservative estimate of the risk of gun-related death among those who own or have access to a firearm.