CAMBRIDGE, MA (CBS) – A new study suggests people who have access to a gun are three times more likely to commit suicide and nearly twice as likely to be murdered.
According to David Hemenway of Harvard’s School of Public Health and researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the proportion of U.S. households or people with access to guns is the highest in the world, and firearm-related deaths in America are among the highest among high income countries.
Furthermore, while men who have access to firearms have a higher chance of committing suicide than women do, women with access to guns are more likely to be victims of homicide.
The researchers say they analyzed 15 studies on accessibility to firearms and its risks related to suicide or homicide, and in all but one of those studies, a higher risk of death was associated with access to a firearm.
“The evidence that we synthesize here helps to elucidate the risks of having a firearm in the home; restricting that access may effectively prevent injury,” the study concludes.
Thirty-one-thousand deaths a year are attributed to firearms in the United States.
“If you have a firearm readily available and something bad has happened to you,” said study lead author Andrew Anglemyer, of the University of California, San Francisco to Health Day, “You might make a rash, impulsive decision that will have a bad outcome.”
To see the study, click here.