There is an impressive array of statistics out there on the issue of gun control, and I suppose that perusal of them would indicate how easily it is that statistics can be swayed toward one point of view or toward another. Suffice to say, though, that so much of it is simply obfuscation and sophistry directly related to middle-aged men compensating for the physical impotence and desirous of the great equalizing factor; the firearm.
Myth: Guns protect women from gun violence.
Fact: Rates of female homicide, suicide and unintentional firearm death are disproportionately higher in states where guns are more prevalent.
Fact: In the US, regions with higher levels of handgun ownership have higher suicide rates. Although women have higher rates of depression than men, it is the handgun-suicide connection, rather than depression, that accounts for higher suicide rates.
Myth: Handgun ownership increases womenÕs ability to defend themselves.
Fact: In 1998, women were 101 times more likely to be murdered with a handgun than to use a handgun to kill in self-defense. Women were 302 times more likely to be murdered with a handgun than to use a handgun to kill a stranger in self-defense. Women were 83 times more likely to be murdered by an intimate acquaintance with a handgun than to kill an intimate acquaintance in self-defense.
Fact: In the rare cases in which women do use guns in self-defense, it is most commonly against an attacker known to them.
Myth: Guns protect women from rape.
Fact: Guns are rarely used by rapists - less than 2 percent of rapes are committed with guns, while almost 70 percent are committed with personal weapons (physical violence). Women would be safer knowing self-defense to fight off an attacker than using a gun which can easily be turned against them.
Myth: Women need guns to protect against stranger rape.
Fact: Stranger rape is not the greatest danger for women as most women (75 percent) are raped by offenders known to the victim. 60 percent of rapes are committed against victims under the age of 18 who are forbidden by law to own a gun.
1. Susan Glick, Female Persuasion: How the Firearms Industry Markets to Women and the Reality of Women and Guns. Washington, D.C.: Violence Policy Center, 1994.
2. Violence Policy Center, A Deadly Myth: Women, Handguns, and Self-Defense. Washington, D.C., 2001, 1.
3. Matthew Miller et. al., "Firearm Availability and Suicide, Homicide, and Unintentional Firearm Deaths Among Women." Journal of Urban Health 79: 26-38 (2002).
4. David Hemenway and Matthew Miller, "Association of Rates of Household Handgun Ownership, Lifetime Major Depression, and Serious Suicidal Thoughts with Rates of Suicide across US Census Regions." Injury Prevention 8: 313-316 (2002).
5. Violence Policy Center, A Deadly Myth: Women, Handguns, and Self-Defense. Washington, D.C., 2001, 2-3.
6. Ibid., 3.
7. FBI Uniform Crime Reports, The Structure of Family Violence: An Analysis of Selected Incidents. Washington, D.C., 1998.
8. Susan Glick, Female Persuasion: How the Firearms Industry Markets to Women and the Reality of Women and Guns. Washington, D.C.: Violence Policy Center, 1994, 3.