Yesterday I posted "Mother of 9 year-old killed in Tucson shooting demands a plan to end gun violence; Giffords, Kelly launch anti-gun lobby campaign." It's gratifying to see a common sense movement take shape... finally. Rachel Maddow discussed that very thing here:
I also posted the eye-opening "VIDEO: Here’s proof that carrying a gun won’t protect you in a crisis." It's worth nine minutes of your time, believe me.
Today a friend linked me to a study that concluded that gun owners are 4.5 times more likely to be shot than people not in possession of a firearm.
Objectives. We investigated the possible relationship between being shot in an assault and possession of a gun at the time. [...]
Results. After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P < .05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P < .05).
Conclusions. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.
Not enough for you? The Harvard School of Public Health, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and and Arthur Kellermann--of Rand Health and Emory School of Medicine-- all did similar studies with similar goals that resulted in ...ta-daa!... similar results!
For example, an excerpt from Johns Hopkins:
When states expand firearm prohibitions to high-risk groups, and adopt comprehensive measures to prevent diversion of guns to prohibited persons, fewer guns are diverted to criminals, and there is less violence. [...]
[P]oliticians who want to correct flaws in our current laws, which enable dangerous people to get guns, could do so knowing that there is broad support for those policies, the reforms are constitutional, and the policies would enhance public safety.
And from Harvard:
1. Where there are more guns there is more homicide (literature review).
Our review of the academic literature found that a broad array of evidence indicates that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.
Kellermann states that as an emergency room doctor, he noted that the number of gunowners injured by their own gun or that of a family member seemed to greatly outnumber the number of intruders shot by the gun of a homeowner... On net, a firearm in the home represents a greater risk overall than the protection it may offer against intruders, either indirectly or by discouraging potential assaults.
There are studies and more studies, both sides claiming the truth is on their side. But when it comes to common sense gun safety, it seems obvious that erring on the side of prevention while still allowing people to own non-military weapons and lower capacity gun magazines among other rational, reasonable suggestions is the way to go.
Nobody is taking away gun ownership rights. Nobody is knocking on your door to yank your firearms away and trample on your rights. And as Rachel Maddow noted, if the military actually turned against its fellow U.S. citizens, well, we'd be way past the point where personal weapons could or would be very effective.
One more thing. This post from a few days ago was heartening: Pres. Obama willing to take on NRA, special interests via executive action on gun safety measures.
And it was confirmed today by Veep Joe: Biden: Obama exploring executive orders to combat gun violence.