A Detailed Look at the Dangers of Guns at Home, Work and School
Guns in Our Homes
Although only about 34.5% of households have a gun, there are an estimated 193 million guns in America. Some estimates range as high as 250 million. That's almost one gun for every man, woman and child in the United States. Guns are not just in urban and rural homes, they're in homes everywhere – cities, towns, suburbs and farms. According to a survey conducted by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in 1998, there is a gun in 43% of households with children in America. There's a loaded gun in one in every ten households with children, and a gun that's left unlocked and just "hidden away" in one in every eight family homes.
While the Brady Campaign does not seek to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning, using, or purchasing firearms, people have the right to know the true risks associated with keeping a gun in the home. The fallacy that a home is safer with a gun in it and that a gun is a necessary means of self-protection is widely promoted by the gun lobby. The gun lobby also downplays or ignores the risks families take when they introduce a gun into the home.
Guns in Our Workplaces
Gun violence in the workplace is a serious national problem:
* 77% of workplace homicides are committed with firearms.
* Murder is the leading cause of injury-related death for women in the workplace.
* 60% of major employers said in a 2005 survey that disgruntled employees had threatened to assault or kill senior managers in the last year.
* A May 2005 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that workplaces where guns were permitted were 5 to 7 times more likely to be the site of a workplace homicide compared to workplaces where guns are prohibited.
* Dozens of workplace shootings occur every year.
* In addition, car burglaries are a common source of guns on the black market. 28% of guns reported stolen were taken from parked cars, according to one study.
Guns in Our Schools
Guns in our schools would dramatically increase gun violence risks to students and trample on academic freedom. Drugs and alcohol use, plus suicide and mental health issues, all peak for people 18-24. Let's not add guns into that volatile mix. College campuses and schools are safer than the communities that surround them, precisely because those institutions have barred or tightly controlled firearms. We need to support those institutions, not strip them of the ability to control firearms on campus. Arming teachers is also a bad idea. Do we really want teachers shooting at students? Even police officers hit their targets less than 20% of the time.
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