A spokesman for the organization said they aren't pushing for a change in legislation which would disallow guns in homes, they're trying to educate the public which often suffers from the misconception that a gun in the home makes them safer.The group’s Know the Facts campaign uses data from a leading book in the gun debate -- “Private Guns, Public Health,” by David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health -- to make the case that a gun in the home generally does more harm than good.
There are estimated to be about 6.5 million guns in Washington State alone -- about one per resident -- and approximately 40% of homes in this state have guns. Many homeowners acquire guns for what they see as a means of protection against intruders, though the facts show that the risks of home gun ownership far outweigh the benefits. One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.
In one of the largest studies on the topic covering three cities -- Galveston, Memphis and Seattle -- there were only 13 legally justified acts of self-defense out of a total of 626 fatal and non-fatal shootings in residences. The survey was taken in 1994, and several subsequent studies validate the findings. According to ‘Private Guns, Public Health,” there has never been a study demonstrating that a gun in the home can meaningfully deter or thwart burglaries or home invasion.
Where do you think that misconception comes from? Cui bono, baby?
Another very interesting statistic was presented in the article.
There are almost 600 gun deaths annually in Washington state – a death toll higher than that from motor vehicle accidents -- including some 350 suicides. Indeed, a majority of completed suicides are via a firearm.I suppose in low gun states like New Jersey and New York, car accidents take a bigger toll. But Washington State must be typical of the high-gun states.
It all comes back to the simple fact that guns cause more harm than good.