Will your Gun Protect your Family?

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Many of my very reasonable, quite peaceful friends keep guns in their homes to protect their families. They fear intruders intending harm to them or their children. Seems reasonable, until you study the risks.

Home Invasions:

There are 100 home invasions per year that result in homicide. With 115,000,000 households in the US, your chance of having someone come into your home and shoot a member of your family?

Less than 1 in 1,000,000.

 The risk it will happen anytime over the next 25 years? 

1 in 46,000

Compare the risk someone will invade your home to harm you with the risk someone in your family will be hurt by the gun you keep to protect yourself.


There are 39 million households in the US with guns and 21,000 suicides committed with guns each year. The chance someone in your family will take his own life with that gun you keep for safety?

The risk a family member will kill himself with your gun sometime in the next 25 years?

1 in 74

Accidental Injuries:

There are 74,000 accidental shootings each year reported by hospitals in the US.

The risk a family member will accidentally shoot and injure himself with your gun within the next 25 years?

 1 in 21

Accidental Shooting Deaths:

There are over 600 unintentional deaths each year from firearms. 

The risk a family member will be unintentionally killed with your gun within the next 25 years?

1 in 2,720


The risk your home will be burglarized to steal your gun within the next 25 years?

1 in 11
Domestic Violence:

In two-thirds of the homes with guns present, the gun has been used to threaten the victim. The risk that the victim will be murdered by her abuser increases five-fold if there is a gun in the home. Two-thirds of women murdered by guns were killed by their partners. 

1 in every 4 women in the US has experienced domestic violence. 65% of domestic violence victims in homes with guns have had their violent partners use their guns to threaten them. If we assume the prevalence is the same in households with guns and households without them, then...

What is the likelihood a woman in a household with guns will be threatened to be killed by her partner?

1 in 6

Want to keep your family safe? Make your decision based on actual risks, not your fears.

Preventing Future Slaughters

Please Note: In the original posting, risk values were based on total households (115 million) instead of total households with guns (39 million). Numbers have been corrected.