The national debate over gun control was brought into question by a series of incidents. In July 2012 when a gunman opened fire inside a movie theater 12 people were killed and 70 were injured in Denver. That’s when the debate was revived. Five months later in Connecticut another incident at the Newton Elementary School in which 10 children and 6 other adults were killed intensified the argument.
However, while the trial of Aurora theater shooter James Holmes is due on Monday, the gun debate in Colorado has settled. Gun control supporters say they have found the best way to pass their policies in a libertarian state, while democrats forced new laws in the state legislature of 2013 which required banning storehouses containing more than 15 rounds.
Floyd Ciruli, a nonpartisan pollster from Denver, remarked:
“It’s in a sort of gridlock. The violence issue we’re playing out right now is the Ferguson issue of police shootings. You see nothing coming out in terms of gun control.”
Scientists have also tried to find an answer to this question. Professor David Hemenway of Harvard’s School of Public Health has shared the results of his survey which aimed to find out how dangerous it is to own a gun.
The author of the study acknowledged that scientific consensus may not always be right, but he said that it is the best guide scientists have to understand the world. He pointed out that reporters should stop speculating that just like politicians, scientists are evenly divided on guns because that is not the case.
Hemenway started his study almost a year ago. He sent monthly surveys to scientists who were involved in research on criminology, public health and various social sciences. The results of the study suggest that owing a gun makes homes more dangerous, it increases the risk of suicide and the number of women who are victims of homicide.
All the answers that the 150 scientists involved in the study gave indicate that over 60% of them are against gun ownership. The significant majority agreed that the strict gun control does not reduce suicide, that more permissive laws on guns have not reduced crime rates, that women in houses with guns are more likely to be murdered, that guns are used more often not in self-defense, but in crimes and that owing a gun increases the risk of suicide. All in all the results indicate that a home with a gun is not a safe one.
Image Source: Prinz-waffen