Mon, Jan 21, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Story of a goose helps illustrate dangers of US gun culture

One study in the US found that a gun is 12 times more likely to result in the death of a household member or guest than in the death of an intruder

By Nicholas Kristof  /  NY Times News Service

David Hemenway, a public health specialist at Harvard, says that having a gun at home increases the risk of suicide in that household by two to four times.

To reduce auto deaths, we’ve taken a public health approach that you might call “car control” — driver’s licenses, air bags, seat belts, auto registration. The result is a steady decline in vehicle fatalities so that some time soon gun deaths are likely to exceed traffic fatalities, for the first time in modern US history.

There are no magic solutions to the gun carnage in the US. However, in the same spirit as what we’ve accomplished to make driving safer, Obama has crafted careful, modest measures that will not solve the US’s epidemic of gun violence, but should reduce it.

If we could reduce gun deaths by one-quarter, that would be 7,500 lives saved a year. Unless life in the US really is cheap, that’s worth it.

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