Have gun, will shoot

Published: Wednesday 15 December 1993

DON'T KEEP guns at home for the temptation to use them may be too strong to control. According to a recent US study, firearms kept at home increase by three times the risk of murder by a family member or intimate acquaintance (The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 329, No 15).

The study, conducted in the states of Tennessee, Ohio and Washington, also found that guns kept at home were of no benefit in homicide cases, even those involving forced entry. In an earlier study on suicides within the home, the same investigators found gun ownership increased the risk of suicide by five times.

The results provide further ammunition to people campaigning against USA's easy licensing procedures for hand-guns.

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