Does a gun in the home make your house safer?


February 20, 2004, 07:18 PM
"Does a Gun in the Home Make You Safer?

No. Despite claims by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that you need a gun in your home to protect yourself and your family, public health research demonstrates that the person most likely to shoot you or a family member with a gun already has the keys to your house. Simply put: guns kept in the home for self-protection are more often used to kill somebody you know than to kill in self-defense; 22 times more likely, according to a 1998 study by the Journal of Trauma.[1] More kids, teenagers and adult family members are dying from firearms in their own home than criminal intruders. When someone is home, a gun is used for protection in fewer than two percent of home invasion crimes.[2] You may be surprised to know that, in 1999, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, there were only 154 justifiable homicides committed by private citizens with a firearm compared with a total of 8,259 firearm murders in the United States. Once a bullet leaves a gun, who is to say that it will stop only a criminal and not a family member? Yet at every opportunity the NRA uses the fear of crime to promote the need for ordinary citizens to keep guns in their home for self-protection. Furthermore, the NRA continues to oppose life-saving measures that require safe-storage of guns in the home."

Taken from the Brady Campaign website. Wasn't the first "fact" taken from a study that only considered the instances where a criminal was killed as self defense? Also, I believe that that study was taken only on a limited basis in one neighborhood in Seattle. Perhaps I've gotten my facts mixed up, could someone point me in the right direction?

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February 20, 2004, 07:27 PM
Furthermore, the NRA continues to oppose life-saving measures that require safe-storage of guns in the home What the <explitive> are they talking about? Are they referring to the <explitive> trigger locks that are <explitive> <explitive> worthless? Can these <explitives> hear themselves?

February 20, 2004, 07:38 PM
"Does a Gun in the Home Make You Safer?


I agree up to a point. Guns don't necessarily make you safer.

Now with the proper mindset and some training, it will.

February 20, 2004, 07:45 PM
There is two real big problems with this argument. The first is that a correlation cannot imply causation. To put that plainly, just because some criminal that shoots someone has a gun in his house does not mean that having a gun in your house will make you go kill someone. Second, killing someone is not the only way to defend yourself with a gun. I mean we are trained to shoot until the threat ceases right? Its not about killing someone its about stopping them from killing you.
Personally, I have a gun in my house and I have it here for self-defense. If someone breaks into my house and endangers my family I will shoot them until they stop endangering my family. I dont want to kill them because I am not a murderer. Still, if the act of my shooting them results in their death that is not my responsibility. By breaking into my home and endagering my family they are endangering their own lives.
If someone can read that (^) and tell me that by being willing to protect my family at all costs I am more likely to kill my family or someone I know they have some out of this world logic. I can gather infromation that will correllate owning a car and dying in an accident that DOES NOT mean that by owning a car you are going to die in an accident.

February 20, 2004, 08:01 PM
Many of the "facts " out there have been twisted around to suit the agenda. However a gun is not a magic wand "it" can't do anything as it is an inanimate object. But a gun with an owner who has had proper training , and one who has the proper mindset can be a potent defence tool.Read the recent posting about the 13 year old who protected his family.

February 20, 2004, 08:02 PM
no...BUT..a gun and a dog do:D

February 20, 2004, 08:19 PM
What this pseudo-factual discussion is missing is all of the crimes prevented. Gee, think that counts?

El Tejon
February 20, 2004, 08:23 PM
Of course not! The firearm is merely an inert mechanical device. One needs to understand how to employ the weapon in a fight!

Knowledge and wisom will make you safer, not possession alone.:)

Dave R
February 20, 2004, 08:25 PM
Yes, a gun in the home makes you safer (if properly used). Didn't these people read any of the articles Drizzt posts? How many home invasions have been thwarted because the homeowner had the MEANS to resist?

Hmmm, I also wonder which way they count it when an abusive husband finds out the hard way that his formerly unprotected wife found the means to protect herself from his abuse? I think they would count that as "someone who already has the key using a gun against you", rather than someone who saves their life from an attacker.

February 20, 2004, 08:29 PM
public health research demonstrates that the person most likely to shoot you or a family member with a gun already has the keys to your house

"Only one US city, Chicago, reports a precise breakdown on the nature of acquaintance killings, and the statistics give a very different impression: between 1990 and 1995, just 17 percent of murder victims were either family members, friends, neighbors or roommates of their killers."

"If you exclude "domestic violence" murders, the actual number of "acquaintance killings" drops to 5 percent."*

Simply put: guns kept in the home for self-protection are more often used to kill somebody you know than to kill in self-defense

"The FBI defines "acquaintance" very broadly, to include a cab driver, pimp, prostitute, drug dealer, etc. If a guy uses his gun because of a bad drug deal, the FBI considers it an "aquaintance killing.""*

* More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott

M2 Carbine
February 20, 2004, 09:15 PM
"Does a Gun in the Home Make You Safer?

Break in my home and find out:D

Rule number one.

Everything the anti gun bunch says is bull****.

Rule number two.

See rule number one.

Ala Dan
February 20, 2004, 09:30 PM
If the occupants of the home are well trained and
well equipped with QUALITY firearms, I tend to
think it makes the whole household a lot safer!

As another poster previously said, "Break Into My
House And Find Out For Yourself"! Rest assured,
that we will be up to the challenge.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

February 20, 2004, 10:01 PM
Having a gun in the home, doesn't make the home safer, ME having the gun in MY hand makes my home safer.


Travis McGee
February 20, 2004, 10:10 PM
Oh come on, everybody knows that only trained, responsible government agents really need firearms. You know, the ATF, FBI, SS, etc.

/ sarcasm

Double Naught Spy
February 20, 2004, 10:20 PM
Renegade has it. El Tejon certainly does. The NRA and Brady folks do not.

A gun in the home does NOT make a home safer in any manner. Whatever dangers come to the home will still come. Some dangers may be able to be eradicated at some point with the help of the gun, but AFTER endangerment to the occupants. To make a home safer, you have to prevent the dangers from getting into the home first and without having to endanger yourself to engage the threat.

February 20, 2004, 10:48 PM
They're getting their numbers from the reports available to anyone with a browser.

Here's the link for the 1999 Report: 1999 Uniform Crime Report ( . See tables 2.10 and 2.17 for their sources.

Then go to table 2.13 and notice that there were 79 total muders during a burglary and 35 of them were by firearms.

It seems to me that:

The burglary data is what we need to focus on. That means 79 incidences of murder. The 8,259 number is bogus beyond comprehension with respect to home defense.

The 154 number for ALL non-LEO justifiable homicides. They don't specify which ones occured during a burglary. If you believe the NRA 's Armed Citizen report then you have to belive that a fair number of these are during burgalries or home invasions. If you use 2 the ratio is .0253 (79/2). The ration for the total is .0186 (154/8259).

They (the Brady's) don't take into account all of the circumstances surrounding murders that are in the UCR - at least publically.

The idea of having a firearm is not to kill an intruder but to prevent or stop an intrusion. They won't/don't take into account the non-homicidal uses of firearms for home defense or any defense for that matter. They only report the numbers that they can spin.

It's too bad that the general public will eat up the Brady statistics, but will never read the Uniform Crime Reports themselves. Ever wonder why the antis never provide links to their sources?

February 20, 2004, 10:51 PM
Their position if basically based on lies. :rolleyes:

Fred Thompson
February 21, 2004, 04:04 AM

the general public, for the most part, doesn't have the attention span required to go thru statistics. They like everything spoon fed to them, in small doses so they doen't get bored.

Pure and simple fact is, having a gun in the home has saved a lot of people, even if it was never fired...

February 21, 2004, 04:09 AM
"22 times more likely, ... "

Used to be 43 times more likely .... what's changed?

February 21, 2004, 04:50 AM
Used to be 43 times more likely .... what's changed?
They are either pushin daisies, walking with a limp, or still running for their lives:what:

Oh, and for standingbear, they have a set of K-nines firmly attached to their husty-dusty:neener:

February 21, 2004, 10:53 AM
That argument makes no sense whatsoever.
The vast majority of child abusers are known to the child - so is defending the child from known persons pointless?
If an abusive spouse decided to kill his/her mate- is defense unjustified? Can lethal defense only be justified against strangers who have to break into your home? Absolute BS

February 21, 2004, 11:15 AM
I think this is the often-cited study that was based on erroneous statistics. It came under so much criticism that the guy who conducted it went back and re-did the math and issued a correction, I seem to recall, which said the actual figure was something like "2 times more likely." Even then, there was some faulty logic.

Arc Angel
February 21, 2004, 11:50 AM
:p IMO, the presence of a firearm in the home does not necessarily make a family safer! It's very important to, also, know how to: store, carry, and use firearms. Even different firearms, themselves, may require different methods of storage or use with which the owner(s) must be familiar: e.g., I won't keep any Glock pistol loaded with a round in the chamber inside my home - and I carry a Glock Model 21! Moreover, if you keep a firearm hanging over the fireplace, is it operational? (It shouldn't be.)

If we had children at home, there would be functional locks on all firearm storage units; and all ammo would be stored far away from the guns, themselves, and locked up, too. Yes, I've, also, used trigger locks; and I agree with the many criticisms I've heard: They are worthless and may, even, be dangerous to employ.

Personally, I feel a whole lot safer with, both, my gun(s) and my Pit Bulldog. It might interest some shooters to know that the one time in my life that I needed to use a gun in my home, I didn't have one available; and it turned out to be my bulldog that saved me - go figure! ;)

February 21, 2004, 12:02 PM
What they are saying is that families are dangerous to your health.

February 21, 2004, 12:03 PM
The mere presence of the firearm does not make the home any more or less safe. It has the potential to do either, depending on the owner.

February 21, 2004, 12:21 PM
Used to be 43 times more likely .... what's changed? Kellerman did two, ahem, "studies." IIRC: In the first, he looked at just deaths and got "43 times" and in the second, he looked at deaths and injuries and got "22 times." Both were small scale studies (in Seattle and Nashville, IIRC).

Both excluded all forms of self protection with a gun that didn't end in a bullet entering a human body. Given that the vast majority of self protection incidents do not involve any shots (and still more involve warning shots or misses), he excludes the majority of self defense incidents. It's impossible to draw conclusions about the danger/benefit of self defense with a gun when excluding the majority of self defense incidents. The fatal flaw with Kellerman's work is that it assumes that self defense with a gun requires actually putting a bullet into someone.

Further, Kellerman also looked at only houses where shooting occurred, which doesn't give a real picture of the danger of owning a gun -- what about the millions of homes with guns where no shootings occur (including those where self-defense with a gun occurred with no shots fired). As flawed as Kellerman’s studies are, it is even more wrong for anti’s to cite his bogus numbers as some sort of indication of the dangers of gun ownership.

February 21, 2004, 01:13 PM
Does a gun in the home make your house safer?
The broad answer to a broad question is no.

All homes (with or without a firearm) are potential targets of crime.

Does a firearm in the home provide the ability to protect the occupants in a life-threatening situation?
Of course the ability depends on the user, whether the individual is properly trained in handling and protection technique and how the person responds to a stressful situation.

Does a gun in the home make your house less safe?
Not necessarily. Education and application of proper handling and storage will go a long way in reducing risk.

February 21, 2004, 01:57 PM
If I remember correctly, there are several flaws that are easily pointed out in the Brady arguement. In no particulare order:

- The study didn't compare the rate of murders between houses that didn't have a gun and those that did. So how can it propose to say that having a gun in the house makes it more likely that someone will die?

- The study didn't differentiate between intentional murders of family members or freinds, suicides, self defense shootings of family members, and self defense shootings of aquaintences who are attacking a household member. It lumped them all together in the "family and freinds" catagory.

- Most drug dealers and gang members know the people who are most likely to come and try to kill them. The study counts those as "family and freinds" if I remember correctly.

- The study counted deaths from gunshot. Attacks that stopped when a firearm was brandished or at a warning (or missed) shot were not counted. Nor were attacks where the criminal was shot, stopped, and then recovered in the hospital (or jail). This is much more likely to happen in a legitimate self defense shooting than it is when someone has set out to murder another (or in a suicide).

A. Partisan
February 21, 2004, 02:12 PM
Glock G17, Glock G21, Ruger P89, Ruger 22/45, Marlin 781, Savage 10FP(.308Win.). My house is unsafe.

February 21, 2004, 02:17 PM
Does a gun in the home make your house safer?No it doesn't. The SOB that operates the gun(s) makes the house safer.

February 21, 2004, 08:35 PM
I suppose that depends on whether you're inside
or trying to get inside. :scrutiny:

February 21, 2004, 09:20 PM
MY presence in my home makes it safer.... that and my 12 ga Winchester Model 12 pump with tube full of buckshot rounds.

Liberty Ship
February 21, 2004, 10:08 PM
"Does a gun in the home make you house safer?"

No, but it makes everyone in it safer!

February 22, 2004, 01:05 PM
like wildbill says:

No. The gun makes the home unsafe for the invaders and violent acquaintences

February 22, 2004, 01:14 PM
The arguement is true to a point -- having a gun doesn't make you safer but it does level the playing field especially if you remember to work on improving your skills, and keep up with training. As a woman, a gun is a must have but as Bruce Lee used to say, "The best self defense is common sense." It's important to remember that the gun won't solve all your answers. Making security improvements in the home, watching where you go at night -- or during the day -- where you park your car, how you walk -- all adds up. Only a complete liberal idiot though would suggest owning a firearm has no benefit. My mother worries someone could take my gun and use it against me. But as I always tell her -- not if I shoot first...:D

Malone LaVeigh
February 22, 2004, 05:45 PM
In a free society, everyone would answer that question themselves, based on the specifics of their own life situation. Guns, by themselves, won't make your home more or less safe, any more than a voodoo talisman. Individual circumstances and mind set make all the difference. What would be a hazard in one household could be a life-saver in another.

Art Eatman
February 22, 2004, 09:34 PM
True, Malone, but the preponderance of evidence is that most gun owners know how to make it go bang and are able to at teh very least scare off a would-be Bad Guy. When you look at the conclusions from all the statistical work by such as Lott, Kleck and the trio of Wright, Rossi and Daly, it's pretty clear that the usual homeowner who has a gun is better off than those who don't.


February 23, 2004, 03:05 AM
Art brings up a very very astute point. With all of the endless scenarios one might give, it all boils down to the bad guy being confronted with an armed homeowner.

Are you going to take the chance that the homeowner does not know what he is about with a firearm?

A movie line comes to my thoughts: Do ya feel lucky, punk??

February 23, 2004, 08:20 AM
Talking of bad statistics/logic, I found an article on some anti-gun website (trying to remember which one).

It was trying to argue that women are at more risk if they carry a gun.

The statistics they were using (I can't remember the figures) were basically:

* More women are killed with guns than kill in self defence with a gun.
* Most women don't carry guns.
* Most women who carry do so to defend against strangers.
* Most women who kill in self defence kill a friend or intimate aquaintance.

They concluded that women should therefore "think very carefully about the risks of carrying a gun".

I'm sure the only serious conclusion you can make from that data is "if you are in an abusive relationship and and may need to kill in self defence, but don't want to, don't carry a gun".

February 23, 2004, 08:46 AM
The weapons in my home do not make it safer.

Those weapons, do however, make VERY MUCH unsafe for those that enter with felonious intent.

February 23, 2004, 10:17 AM
A child is 100x more likely to die in a pool than get killed via a gun.
That's a statistical fact.

But if I were to take their fallecy and run with it; I would then be able to say:

"I bought a gun instead of a pool so my kid can be 100x safer."


A gun in the proper hands with proper training makes your home safer.

I completely agree with the article though; SHEEPLE shouldn't own guns.

February 23, 2004, 11:25 AM
"A house without a gun is not a home." - me

Bartholomew Roberts
February 23, 2004, 11:26 AM
Check out for a good debunking of this study

Carlos Cabeza
February 23, 2004, 12:50 PM
It depends on which side of the door you're on. ;) I'll be home tonight if any baddies want to give it a try.

February 23, 2004, 01:26 PM
My having firearms in my house does make my house less safe...because, in the event that a BG does enter the home and make it necessary for me or my wife to shoot, it is very likely that, despite our best efforts to put all bullets in said BG, at least one of those bullets is going to hit the house and damage it. Thus the house is endangered.

The guns do make my HOUSEHOLD safer, however.

February 23, 2004, 04:05 PM
A gun is a tool. If you know how to properly use it and follow the safety procedures for this tool and insure that other mebers in your house hold act the same way then it dose make the house safer. If you or your family fails to understand and follow the safety percatuions than it can become a danger in your house. Just like in wood shoop tool, vechicle or farm equipment there tools and education makes them useful lack of education can get some hurt or killed.

February 23, 2004, 04:16 PM
Does a gun in the home make your house safer?

Who cares?

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