I've thought about the "What ifs"...What if my family needed protection, what if someone was trying to attack me or a family member, etc.
Still considering the options for myself and my family, I've decided to share some of the statistics regarding the percentage of those who own guns and use them to protect their families as compared to the percentage of injuries, suicides and accidental deaths.
Statistics, Facts and Quotes
..."FACT: Contrary to popular belief, young children do possess the physical strength to fire a gun: 25% of 3 to 4 year olds, 70% of 5 to 6 year olds, and 90% of 7 to 8 year olds can fire most handguns."
..."FACT: In 2002, a total of 828 young Americans ages 10-19 committed suicide with firearms, a decrease of 11% from the 2001 total of 928 youth gun suicides. Unlike suicide attempts using other methods, suicide attempts with guns are nearly always fatal, meaning a temporarily depressed teenager will never get a second chance at life. Nearly two-thirds of all completed teenage suicides involve a firearm."
..."FACT: The firearms used in 72% of unintentional firearm deaths and injuries, and in firearm suicide attempts and completions, for people ages 0-19 were stored in the residence of the victim, their relative, or their friend."
..."FACT: 59% of students in grades six through twelve know where to get a gun if they want one, and two thirds of these students say they can acquire a firearm within 24 hours"
..."FACT: While handguns account for only one-third of all firearms owned in the United States, they account for more than two-thirds of all firearm-related deaths each year. A gun in the home is 4 times more likely to be involved in an unintentional shooting, 7 times more likely to be used to commit a criminal assault or homicide, and 11 times more likely to be used to attempt or commit suicide than to be used in self-defense."
While facts and statistics may be interesting to some, Paul Harvey summarized this issue quite eloquently, following the Columbine Massacre.
"Paul Harvey's comment on Columbine High shootings:
How can we blame it all on guns?
For the life of me, I can't understand what could have gone wrong in Littleton, CO. If only the parents had kept their children away from the guns, we wouldn't have had such a tragedy. Yeah, it must have been the guns.
It couldn't have been because half our children are being raised in broken homes.
It couldn't have been because our children get to spend an average of 30 seconds in meaningful conversation with their parents each day. After all, we give our children quality time.
It couldn't have been because we treat our children as pets and our pets as children.
It couldn't have been because we place our children in day care centers where they learn their socialization skills among their peers under the law of the jungle while employees who have no vested interest in the children look on and make sure that no blood is spilled.
It couldn't have been because we allow our children to watch, on the average, seven hours of television a day filled with the glorification of sex and violence that isn't fit for adult consumption.
It couldn't have been because we allow our children to enter into virtual worlds in which, to win the game, one must kill as many opponents as possible in the most sadistic way possible.
It couldn't have been because we have sterilized and contracepted our families down to sizes so small that the children we do have are so spoiled with material things that they come to equate the receiving of the material with love.
It couldn't have been because our children, who historically have been seen as a blessing from God, are now being viewed as either a mistake created when contraception fails or inconveniences that parents try to raise in their spare time.
It couldn't have been because we give two-year prison sentences to teenagers who kill their newborns.
It couldn't have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolved out of some primordial soup of mud by teaching evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy.
It couldn't have been because we teach our children that there are no laws of morality that transcend us, that everything is relative and that actions don't have consequences. What the heck, the president gets away with it.
Nah, it must have been the guns."
In my research, I've made a great discovery of alternative gun units where protection is still an option without the use and/or dangers of the standard gun.
"The statistics are staggering: 95,000 rapes reported every year in the U.S., 875,000 assaults, and 400,000 other violent crimes. Choose the most advanced personal safety solution on the market - the Avurt ™ IM-5 ™ gun.
“The Avurt IM-5 gun is a small, handheld unit that shoots up to five PAVA filled projectiles at attackers up to 40 feet away. It's non-lethal, easy to use, and highly effective at disabling attackers before they get close enough to do you harm."
There are many differing view points and opinions on gun issues. I have not made up my mind regarding which opinion is correct. I find myself split between protection and the dangers involved in gun ownership.
If you discuss the issue of gun control and ownership with anyone, it can become one of those heated issues, such as politics, which takes many sides, coming from varying experiences.
One conclusion I have made is that there is no definitive right or wrong. In my various discussions with groups and individuals, my conclusion is that each person must make their own decision and no government group can actually stop a person or population from getting their hands on guns, whether it is legally or illegally.