Do Guns in the Home Make It Safer or More Dangerous?

Do Guns in the Home Make It Safer or More Dangerous?

Do Guns in the Home Make It Safer or More Dangerous?

Anti-gun activists consistently emphasize not owning guns in general and especially keeping them away from children so they will not favor gun ownership when adults. Some believe just the opposite that guns can be used by good folks to protect themselves from the inherent evil and the bad folks with harmful purposes who have guns and are intent on jeopardizing others with them for their selfish purposes. They believe that children at an appropriate age should be taught about guns as tools used by well-motivated individuals in the real world for positive reasons, rather than having their heads in the sand oblivious to what actually occurs. Stop, don’t touch, leave the area, tell an adult. A mantra used by some gun classes for children these days. Yes, there is both good and evil in our world and while we want to emphathize the positive and good, we must be prepared just in case to deal with evil and crazy folks using a gun as their tool of destruction. Sadly, others do not share the righteous, good intentions, positive values, behaviors, and goals that most of us have. We cannot assume that all others share our goodwill and friendly well-meaning for societal values and positive behaviors. So what do others think now in 2014 about having a gun around? Will a gun in the home make it safer or more dangerous? Is there any recent supportive data one way or the other?

A well-recognized and reliable independent source for what Americans and others in the world are thinking about various topics is the Gallup Analytics research group. For about 80 years, they have researched and gathered specific data and metrics for the U.S. and over 160 countries. They are involved with documented and reliable statistics and opinions about such attitudes and behaviors as economic confidence, employment and unemployment, job creation, consumer spending, approval-disapproval leadership ratings for political figures, religion, food, environment, stress topics, and gun ownership. Gallup Analytics includes objective research, expert analysis and factual reporting. So I was pleased to read their latest report from October 2014 about guns in the home and what others believe about if the presence of a gun in the home makes it safer or more dangerous. Here is what I found and some other related data.

You should know this about the Gallup Survey methods. Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted October 12-15, 2014, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. You can go yourself to see their results here.

Some claim you are more likely to have a problem if you have a gun in your home, than if you don’t. However, Gallup and other researchers have some very recent data that show Americans are acquiring guns at record levels for their homes and that 63% now in 2014 believe that having a gun in their home makes it safer. As you can see from the chart below, this is almost double the percent that thought this in 2000, 14 years ago.

GALLUP RESEARCH SURVEY
Survey Question: Do you think having a gun in the house, makes it a safer place to be or a more dangerous place to be?

Gun in the House Survey% SAFER% MORE DANGEROUSDEPENDS
Oct.12-15, 201463306
Oct. 9-12, 200647437
Oct.11-14, 2004424610
Aug.29-Sep.5, 2000355111
Source: Gallup Research Surveys

So this is good information to know, but I wanted more specifics. I wondered what is the difference among males and females and whites and non-whites, and even political parties about this topic. Well, Gallup came through in their 2014 research study with data about this, so I want to share with you what Gallup said about these topics.

Support for Guns in the Home- by Demographics

GALLUP RESEARCH SURVEY- 2014
Survey Question: Do you have a gun in your home?

Gun by Demographic Group% YES% NO
Men4748
Women3859
Whites4946
Non-Whites2870
East3166
Mid-West4449
South5145
West3957
Republicans5538
Independents4353
Democrats2772
Source: Gallup Research Survey-

Oct. 12-15, 2014

As you can see from the summary charts (and from Gallup’s website data), Gallup reports that they found recent support for having guns in the home, reporting support from a large percentage of men, women, whites, and people in major geographic U.S. regions. I would think that individuals’ reporting actually having a gun in their home would be highly correlated with supporting the idea of having guns in the home and not being anti-gun. The objective data shows what I subjectively felt that more men than women support having guns in the home, while more whites than non-whites support guns in the home. It is interesting to note that having guns in the home is supported more by those living in the South and Mid-West U.S. regions. Also, note that 55% of Republicans, 43% of Independents, and only 27% of Democrats reported actually having a gun in the home. So 2014 Gallup survey data shows then that 72% of Democrats reported NOT having a gun in their home. I wonder if this is actually true? Interesting and draw your own conclusions.

I noticed from the data that 28% of non-whites reported having a gun in their home, with a large 70% of non-whites reporting NOT having a gun in their home. This was somewhat of a surprise to me and I thought it would be closer to the whites reporting of 49%. Well, again this is just one survey, albeit a respected one, but I would like to see more data and a larger sample size, even though this survey had a statistically-valid 95% confidence level. Not for just this demographic, but for all of them. But, this is some researched information and data to consider and to combine with your opinions and other sources.

Conclusions

The 2014 Gallup Research Survey findings that most Americans today believe that guns enhance their safety at home should cause anti-gun activists, some politicians, and others to re-think their ideas, beliefs, and activities. This is a major research-based conclusion that should not be ignored. This survey and others find that personal safety is the main reason that we own guns today. The earlier Gallup survey in 2008 found that almost 75% of Americans believe that the Second Amendment to our U.S. Constitution definitely protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. While some today deny, think it old-fashioned, misinterpret the meaning and intent of our Constitution, and even want to dismantle or do away with it, we must not overlook the major, landmark U.S. Supreme court decisions that reaffirm our right to keep and bear arms present in our Consitution. Remember, the Supreme Court of the United States’ District of Columbia v. Heller decision in 2008 that reaffirmed that the Second Amendment to our Constitution protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes and self-defense within the home. Further clarification came from the Supreme Court of the U.S. that ruled in 2010 in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment does apply to individual states and the right of an individual to keep and bear arms as incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment for states. The highest law in our land supports guns in the home and for self defense. Recent Gallup research supports guns in the home. Do you?

Continued success!

Photo and rights from Fotolia-sfrey .

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.

© 2014 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].

  • tomah57

    I do own a gun I also have several fire extinguishers throughout the home and one in each vehicle ,health insurance ,home owners insurance , life insurance,full coverage insurance on all of my vehicles and they are all (with the exception of the fire extinguishers and vehicles) in a fireproof safe except when on my person and Several first aid kits throughout the home and one in each vehicle .
    Am I paranoid ? No
    Am I wishing something will happen ? No
    However my family and I are protected against most of life’s nasty little surprises as well as we can foreseeably be ,as it is best to have these things if needed than need these things after something happens.

  • C.M. Dawson

    While the majority here may agree firearms in the home make it safer, I have a huge problem with owners not keeping theirs away from small children, or curious teens. I have no children at home, but all unused firearms are kept in a a safe, ammo is also in several smaller safes within the mothership safe.

    It would take a determined thief some time with a grinder to get in the box.

    It saddens me when parents or kids are accidentally shot and killed by owners’ negligence with firearms. It really tugs at my heart strings when it is innocent kids that are killed by that negligence. Senseless tragedies.

    The recent death of a mother killed by her toddler in a walmart was just such a tragedy.

    • Schernobyl

      This 28% doesn’t surprise me if someone randomly calls me for a survey and asks if i have a gun in my home i would say no. Why? I don’t know who is calling and prefer that only people i yrust know about any potential firearms/weapons in my home
      “I noticed from the data that 28% of non-whites reported having a gun in their home, with a large 70% of non-whites reporting NOT having a gun in their home”

      • SameOldSongAndDance

        Also, we can’t get an accurate count on the illegal firearms in these houses (contributing factor to why the number was so low).

        I agree though, I don’t know if this is a gun-grabber survey and they are making a list for Obama’s next executive order. I would probably just hang up on the caller.

      • C.M. Dawson

        Makes perfect sense…I hadn’t thought about that. Doh!

    • Schernobyl

      That incident you mentioned is the fault of a firearm not properly under the control of the carrier. Any concealed carrier has to be additionally attentive to their gun and any who may try to access it. A purse with a gun should not be in reach of a child.

      • C.M. Dawson

        I agree, that’s why I brought it up. It was accessible to the child.

    • Wibbins

      you should teach A child gun safety before they become curious, forbidden fruit is too tempting when no one is around

  • P

    The same question could be asked about lots of different things in our house. The anti-gun folks only want to focus on guns because there real concern is on banning guns. If their primary concern was about the lives of children they would focus more on the leading causes of child deaths. Drowning, poisoning, suffocating and falls are often shown to kill more children than firearms. But yet they never ask if our homes are safer with or without cleaning products and recommend that we remove cleaning products from our homes for the safety of our children. Not only are firearms not the leading cause but by percentage firearms usually account for less than 2% of the deaths. I just can’t take people seriously when they are saying they want to make a difference by saving 1.4% of whatever it is they are claiming to try to save. If they were honestly in it for the children firearms would not be their top evil item in the home.

  • CrustyOldGeezer

    Mandatory Firearms Safety K-12 with hands on beginning at grade ONE, live Fire at Grade THREE.

    Larger calibers and types of guns as the child grows to control the weapons safely.

    Indoor Ranges in EVERY SCHOOL.

    Competition shooting beginning in Grade SIX.

    MANDATORY because even antigun parents have children that will, someday be confronted with a “gun” and they NEED to know something besides “RUN AWAY IN FEAR”.

    In ONE GENERATION, we will have a 90% Firearms Ownership, with concealed and Open carry commonplace on the streets as well as in every Business.

    The criminal elements will be minuscule for fear of being shot, not only by their intended victim, but others nearby. There would be a 100% chance that most passersby would be trained and armed.

    Society is Safer, Corrupt politicians will be in fear and remove themselves from positions of power and probably leave the country for safer climates in case their corruption shows up.

    The Military gets well-TRAINED recruits as well as Snipers that excel at their jobs with very little additional training required.

    There is NO DOWNSIDE to America or her Citizens.

    • Yami Sen

      until I lo0ked at the check saying $886O , I didn’t believe …that…my brother was like realey earning money parttime from there labt0p. . there best friend haz done this 4 only twenty three months and a short time ago paid for the depts on there house and purchased a gorgeous Jaguar E-type .From this

      ✒✒✒✒✒✒ www.Cashfeed90.com

    • American_Father

      My sentiment is as COG’S, Training up our children, and especially when it comes to the criminal element. Their gene pool would be reduced to a very small percentage and eventually wiped out.
      As Ted Nugent says, “An armed society, is a polite society.”

    • SameOldSongAndDance

      Corrupt politicians won’t be giving up their seats any time in the near future, although it would open up a lot of jobs 😉

      I agree that there should be a sufficient level of training and education related to firearms as well as defining criminal acts and the consequences following said criminal acts. Criminal Justice 101 (1st grade, day one). However, Inner city schools should probably start it in preschool.

      Instead we will continue to allow our children to be brainwashed by the public school systems as well as most colleges that are overrun with “teachers/professors” who do nothing more than push the liberal (read: socialist) agenda down onto the shoulders of our youth. Unfortunately it is too late for #GenerationBrainwashed #AmericanSheeple.

  • I’m a retired police officer and i always have a fire arm close to me and alot of people i know now got a fire arm that a few years back didnt have one,, and alot of its due to people breaking into your home and looking for drug money and alot got there conceal carry permit to because of these gang bangers trying to rob you in the streets.

  • Brian McMillen

    This piece does not answer it’s question. Whether or not people THINK that guns make them safer does not mean that they ARE safer, just stupid. I live in a remote location and I do keep a handgun in my bedroom, except when the grandchildren come or other children and then I lock it away with my other guns and the key is in an adjoining cabinet way up high. I call that responsible ownership. Too many do not practice responsible ownership. In the two weeks after the Newtown shooting there were three children killed in eastern NC by accidental (or at least authorities accepted that explanation) discharge of guns in someones home. Recently, a mom killed her two adult sons and then herself in OK with a gun in the home. A man in FL killed, his step-father who was a deputy sheriff, his mother and step-sister with a gun in the home. And two days ago came a report that a police chief seriously wounded his wife by accidentally discharging his service weapon in his sleep (or so he claims). ARE you safer with a gun in your home? It’s different than a fire extinguisher.

    • SameOldSongAndDance

      …you sound like a gun-grabber in disguise.

      I agree there are quite a few stupid folks out there who own guns and do not handle them responsibly, there are way more stupid folks who have heavy machinery that can easily be more “dangerous” than a firearm. I think we call them cars. Yet in most places, it is much easier to own and operate a vehicle than it is to even purchase a gun let alone cruise on the streets with it. Even better, if you are cleared in one place to operate this heavy machinery then you are clear to utilize it how you see fit (within the letter of the law) anywhere in this country. Why is it that one state thinks you are capable of operating a firearm, and most of the other states don’t give a damn about what your state thinks. Where is the logic?

      • Debra Moore

        He may not be, but I am. Hand up and ready to get ALL guns off of the street and out of our homes. A dreamer? you betcha. Does not change how I feel about guns.

    • L.L. Smith

      I have a loaded gun in most every room in my home. If I am in any one of the other
      rooms there is a loaded gun in that room. You think I am stupid. A forceful entry into your home will prove you are. There is no doubt I am safer. I am prepared to defend my self, my family and my home on a seconds notice. How long will it take you to open the safe and load a gun? You will be dead before the combination is dialed. I just held an election about this matter. I am the only one allowed to vote. You lose. My vote is the only one that counts.

    • Col Ben

      BM, People can use guns safely OR not use them safely. Guns are a tool to be used by a person appropriately or inappropriately… for good or for evil. They do not discharge by themselves. It is a very personal and individualistic application process, significantly influenced by thought processes, beliefs, and a myriad of other things. So the individual’s use and application of guns as a tool can influence whether or not they are used safely. The intangible belief does have an impact, just like perception does influence reality. Something to think about. Continued success!

    • Guest

      I am safer in my home with my firearms. My weapons are all locked away with the exception of my sidearm, holstered and at my side at all times.
      Like on the streets a gun is not going to kill somebody, the individual making the decision to pull the trigger is.
      Brian, all of your examples of individuals being killed by firearms are examples of troubled people and irresponsible gun ownership. Are you safer with guns in your home? Not if you have a psychopath living with you. And just an observation, Mr. Brian Mcmillen, probably not a good idea to disclose the location of your key for your gun safe on the internet. It wouldnt take much for “swim” to find out personal information and potentially use that for illegal and nefarious purposes. To me, that is just plain stupid and a very good example of irresponsible gun ownership. Besides your grandchildren, what other children hang around your remotely located house?

  • American_Father

    To be safe or safer in your home, weather you own a gun or not, you first have to be safety proactive in thought with your whole household and everything and everybody in it, i.e. If I use a portable heater in my house, where would it be less likely to cause a fire, is there a chance my child or Grandchildren will have access to it and would it or my family members cause a potential accident or death. There are far more
    accidental deaths caused by ordinary house hold appliances or even unsecured stairs, power cords in a home than firearms. I believe the reason for gun related accidental deaths standing out more or are published more often is because of the environment we live in. By the government and liberal agenda
    trying to disarm law-abiding citizens for their own personal hidden agenda, I believe we are heading down a road of tyranny, well-traveled through history, the government taking away your freedom and imposing their will on the population. Why do we fail to see the future, because we stop teaching the history that has brought to this point in time many times before, indoctrination at its finest.. The government cannot protect you and your family all of the time, that is an personal responsibility. To be safer, look at your environment and adjust to its needs. Remember it doesn’t matter where you live, a bad person or the government is always going to want what you have and it is up to you to secure your environment from your home all of the way to government policy.

  • L.L. Smith

    Having a gun in the house definitely makes it more dangerous…..for those who do knock.

    • American_Father

      Shouldn’t that be for those who don’t Knock?

      • L.L. Smith

        OOPS!!!!
        Of course.

  • Red_Ruffansore

    Conservatives overwhelmingly approve of guns in the home. Liberals overwhelmingly disapprove of guns in the house because they are bed wetting panty waists and don’t know which end of the tube the rounds come out.

    • Alex M.

      @Red_. I agree with you about who approves of guns and who doesn’t. And, I’m also a strong pro-gun supporter and glad you seem to be too. However, from one Second Amendment supporter to another, a piece of advice I will offer: insulting those that disagree with us builds no bridges and continues a downward spiral of eliminating opportunity for us to explain why we believe what we believe about our Right to Bear Arms.

    • Ryan Kelly

      @Red_Ruffansore:disqus Man, that’s a broad stroke there. I don’t want guns in the house because my fiance and I both struggle with depression, having a firearm in arms reach wouldn’t be exactly smart.

  • SCfromNY

    SC currently has a bill up for consideration that would mandate teaching the 2nd Amendment in schools. This is a direct reaction to the ridicules PC reactions to children being reprimanded for pointing their fingers or making guns out of cookies. With any luck it will pass. I know our Gov. will sign it if it gets to her desk.

  • mule man

    The gun in my home is very dangerous to you,if you break in — my motto:break in my home tonight,service master will be here tomarrow

    • Arch

      Super Bowl commercial. ADT ad: Mother & daughter walk into their living room during a burglary. Smith & Wesson ad: Mom pulls out her 9 MM and properly ventilates his cranium. ServePro ad: Little green men arrive to make it like it never even happened.

  • D Max

    with regards to homes possessing guns, I would assume that would depend on the particular area as well…I live in WV and while I am a republican There are many registered democrats in WV (mostly due to heavy AFL-CIO and UMWA influence) but there are very few and I mean very few homes in WV without guns…That’s why I feel safer here 🙂

  • Trythis Last

    Ben should wonder about LEGAL vs ILLEGAL guns; honeys/ bros vs real homes
    ….and Chicago vs ??? Dallas ??

  • Bruce

    I get to know people in my area who do not support gun rights. I assure them I will make no effort to protect them should I see them in need. I save my skills for people who can own a weapon and be civil…not for those who are afraid of inanimate objects and who life in the land of make believe.

  • Albert Nygren

    The question on the survey about the person’s opinion of whether they think it is safer or not to have guns in the home, is meaningless because whether it is safer or not depends on how the parents are raising their children. If the parent is a permissive parent who lets the child do whatever he wants to and the parent stores the gun in an unlocked drawer, Then in that situation, it is more dangerous to have a gun in the home.
    If the parents give the child love and affection but set strict limits with their children; teach then how to handle guns safely, and store the gun in a safety locked safe where the child can not open the safe but the parent can access the gun quickly in the case of a home invasion; then it is safer to have guns in the home.

  • Debra Moore

    Nope and no. Not all of us WANT guns in our home nor do we find the need for them. Stats ALSO show that kids are much more apt to be harmed with a gun in the home. Period. Of the two times someone broke into my home a loud alarm and a taser was all that I needed.

  • Debra Moore

    So, the FAULT is the basis of your wanting more guns in the home? Really? Who give a flying f @#$ WHOSE fault it was. Guns kill kids and are more apt to kill them when there are guns in the home. No matter how much you train a child to be responsible makes not a whit of difference to a curious kid. Or a kid who is angry to the point of using that gun. Sorry, I will do what I have always done and avoid the entire problem. NO guns in my home, thank you.

  • libertarian

    People thinking having a gun in your home does not mean a thing. The reality is that the number of times a gun is used to thwart a deadly attack is far less than the number of accidental shootings, domestic attacks, children shootings, and suicides. It stands to reason that those who have a gun THINKS is make them safer – that is why it is there. Just because they think it doesn’t make it so. This article is a waste of bytes.

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