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Friday, July 20, 2012

Guns Don't Make Citizens Safer

Do you really want the facts about gun ownership and gun violence, or do you prefer the NRA's false rhetoric? At Harvard School of Public Health, where I worked until recently, its Injury Control Research Center website tells the truth about the causes and consequences of our precious "right to bear arms" -- more like a "right to be killed by a gun."

Some examples: States with higher gun ownership rates have higher rates of gun homicide. Same holds true for countries. (the point -- guns don't make people safer) And guns in the home are more likely to be used to intimidate intimates than to fend off strangers. Meanwhile, young people who commit suicide by firearms almost always do it with a gun owned by a parent. How tragic is that? Completely preventable. Guns give no second chances. Of people who attempt suicide by gun, 85% are "successful". Compare this to attempted suicide by poison/pill overdose -- 2% success. And the vast majority of people who have a failed attempt at suicide will not eventually die by suicide. Instead they will go on with their lives and die sometime of other, different causes. But, as I said, no second chances for people with a gun in their hands.

The right to bear arms is bunk. Semi-automatic weapons too easily turn violent psychotic people into mass murderers. Think about if the guy at the movie theater last night in Aurora, a suburb of Denver,  had only had a knife...

At this posting, 12 people were killed in the massacre and 59 were wounded.

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