Lisa Geller Op-Ed in The Washington Post

Despite what people think, guns don’t make us safer

The Feb. 5 news article “Background-check data shows U.S. gun sales skyrocketed in January” failed to debunk the myth that guns make you safer.

Research overwhelmingly shows that gun ownership and easy access to firearms puts individuals at risk for firearm injuries and deaths. Specifically, firearms access increases the risk of suicide threefold and doubles the risk of homicide. A woman is five times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to guns.

In a study of 27 high-income countries, the United States had the highest firearm ownership and highest firearm death rate. The firearm suicide rate in the United States is nearly 10 times that of other high-income countries, and the firearm homicide rate is nearly 25 times higher than other high-income countries.

Further, there is widespread support from both gun owners and non-owners for many gun violence prevention policies, including universal background checks, licensing and extreme risk laws.

In a time of increasing stress and economic uncertainty, coupled with disturbing growth in gun sales, it is more important than ever to highlight the risks firearms pose.

If guns made you safer, the United States would be the safest country on Earth. They don’t, and we’re not.

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