Earlier this week the Journal News, an upstate New York newspaper, printed the names of all gun owners in the area with a map in an article called “The Gun Owner Next Door”. There has been an uproar about privacy by the gun owners who feel the newspaper was wrong to do this. From a legal standpoint the paper used the Freedom of Information Act to force the government to hand over the list.
Many feel the need to have a gun to defend their home and their family, to hunt, or to just collect. In this country, that is their right. This would be a good time to point out that studies show that your gun makes you less safe. Here are the findings of Arthur Kellerman of Emory University.
Keeping a gun in the home carries a murder risk 2.7 times greater than not keeping one, according to a study by Arthur Kellermann. The National Rifle Association has fiercely attacked this study, but it remains valid despite its criticisms. The study found that people are 21 times more likely to be killed by someone they know than a stranger breaking into the house. Half of the murders were over arguments or romantic triangles. The study also found that the increased murder rate in gun-owning households was entirely due to an increase in gun homicides only, not any other murder method. It further found that gun-owning households saw an increased murder risk by family or intimate acquaintances, not by strangers or non-intimate acquaintances. The most straightforward explanation is that the presence of a gun increases the possibility that a normal family fight or drinking binge will become deadly. No other explanation fits the above facts.
To me it comes down to one simple premise, safety. We make it very easy to go online to view all the sex offenders who live in an area. We are told that we should be able to know where the “predators” are, and that this would help keep our kids safe. By that same thought process, would you not want to know which of your neighbors are stockpiling assault rifles? I think we should know which house on Halloween has enough ammunition to take down an entire towns police department. While we have a national discussion about guns in this country, we should start by letting people know where the 300 million guns registered currently are.