Guns make you deadly, not safe

Several letter writers have suggested that it would be prudent to arm ourselves and perhaps our schools for self-protection against bad guys with guns. If you are someone who feels safer with a gun, consider this: Owning a handgun affects the safety of every member of your family. Your curious toddler, your volatile teenager and your occasionally enraged partner are also living with a gun in the house.

According to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who have guns at home are 2.7 times more likely to die from homicide and 4.8 times more likely to commit suicide than people in similar homes without guns.

Owning a gun makes it more likely that you will kill yourself or someone you thought you loved. Gun ownership also makes it more likely that you’ll die in an encounter with an armed intruder.

If you have a gun in the house to protect yourself from bad guys, take a look in the mirror. The person you’re most likely to kill with a pistol is yourself, followed by your family members and neighbors. Having a handgun increases the odds that you’ll die in a hail of gunfire.

Guns don’t make you safe. They just make you deadly.

Alice Outwater