You may have heard that more guns make you safer. This myth raises fears that many people are coming to harm you and your family, or to violently steal something from you. This is actually part of the marketing campaign of the gun manufacturing industry, using fear of others in order to sell more guns.
The facts show the following results of more guns
- When a gun is in a home, it doubles the risk of criminal homicide.
- A gun at home triples the risk of suicide.
- Domestic abusers can threaten to or use guns/deadly force. Each year, over 600 women were killed by a current or former domestic/romantic partner or a family member. In addition, 4.5 million women reported being threatened with a gun.
- Suicides by using guns are deadly, making gun deaths the #1 killer of children & teens.
- Neighbor arguments, road rage, bar fights and racial prejudice now lead to gun deaths.
The research is clear: gun safety laws work in reducing gun deaths
States with strong gun laws have less gun violence. Overall, our weak gun laws are killing 43,000 people a year: 57% are suicides, 39% are homicides, 1.3% are shootings by police, and 1.2% are unintentional according to the CDC and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. The United States has the highest gun death rate of any developed country, and 4 times higher than the next lower country. White supremacists have also exploited weak open carry laws to threaten and intimidate others at rallies across the country, in front of houses of worship, and at electoral campaign offices. The U.S. must regulate guns not only to protect life, but to protect its citizens’ equal freedoms to speak, assemble, go to school, worship, shop and vote without fear.
Our gun violence epidemic has to stop. But as long as we refuse to do something about this epidemic, we are not “safe.” And neither are you. And everyone you love.
So what can we do?
- Provide information to friends and family to counter the myth that more guns make you safer. Write a letter to the editor. Source for facts: https://giffords.org/the-issue/
- Contact your federal legislator to improve gun safety laws. One issue affecting everyone is allowing open carry of firearms. This is not allowed in Illinois, but could be a threat if you travel or vacation in other states. Here is a state by state Gun Safety scorecard which shows most states rated D or F. Illinois is rated A-. https://giffords.org/lawcenter/resources/scorecard/
- Support federal bill S.25 – Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 which has been introduced and referred to the Judiciary committee. The description: to regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited.
- Advocate use of Firearm Restraining Orders to protect women from partners with a history of violence being able to purchase a firearm. Similarly, support Red Flag laws at the state or federal level to encourage reporting of individuals who are violent or endanger those around them so they cannot purchase a firearm or ammunition.
- Rally with Moms Demand Action in Springfield on Tuesday, May 16, 10:00 AM. https://act.everytown.org/event/moms-demand-action-event/51856/signup/
- Pay attention to state and local bills and decrees which impact our safety. In Naperville, a ban on the sale of assault weapons was passed last year. This may be up for reconsideration. Please write to Naperville City Council and tell them you want the ban to stay in place: firstname.lastname@example.org