Guns in the home
I believe that, once the research is done, it will turn out that having firearms in the home is more likely to harm rather than protect the homeowner and his family: guns fired at family members in the heat of argument, guns during periods of depression for suicide, guns accidentally discharged leading to death or injury, and so on. Oscar Pistorius’s story in court today perhaps is one example, as stated in a NY Times report by Lydia Polgreen and Alan Cowell:
. . . Mr. Pistorius said he and Ms. Steenkamp had gone to bed early on Wednesday night, but in the middle of the night he heard a noise from the bathroom and went to investigate on his stumps, not his artificial legs.
“I am acutely aware of violent crime being committed by intruders entering homes,” he said in the affidavit. “I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and of burglaries before. For that reason I kept my firearm, a 9 mm Parabellum, underneath my bed when I went to bed at night.”
He was nervous, he said, because the bathroom window did not have burglar bars and contractors who had been working there had left ladders behind.
The room was dark, he said, and he did not realize that Ms. Steenkamp was not in bed. He felt vulnerable and fearful without his prosthetics and opened fire at the door, he said, calling to Ms. Steenkamp to telephone the police.
Only then did he realize that she was not in bed, he said. He put on his artificial legs and tried to kick down the door before breaking it open with a cricket bat to discover Ms. Steenkamp.
He carried her downstairs, he said, and “she died in my arms.” . . .