Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Handguns: The Real Cost of Self-Defense

Once again, the public debate about handguns is hot.

Here are my thoughts. It seems very simple to me.

Handguns are lethal weapons. They are not used for hunting. They are used to kill people.

Those who are injured or die from handgun injuries fall into four categories:
(1) Suicide (or attempted)
(2) Accident
(3) Homicide (or attempted)
(4) Legal self-defense

Accurate statistics for the combined morbidity and mortality from handguns are difficult to find and vary widely by locale, but rough numbers for the whole country are about 40% suicide, 40% accident, 20% homicide, and less than 1% legal self-defense.

Ownership of a gun for either self-defense or sport dramatically increases the likelihood that the owner will successfully commit suicide, die in a handgun accident, or be a victim of homicide. The risk of these also is dramatically increased for all the members of the household. The chance that they will ever use the gun for self-defense is, essentially, nil.

I could go on (and on and on and on), but is that not enough information upon which to base an honest decision?

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