California Adults Living With Gun Owners Face Double The Risk Of Homicide
It is a belief that helped drive a historic rise in US firearms sales and first-time gun owners during the COVID-19 pandemic: Having a handgun at home for personal protection will make you safer, Melissa Healy reported for the Los Angeles Times.
Photo Insert: The findings suggest that for every 100,000 unarmed adults whose cohabitant acquired a handgun, 4.03 more were killed by a firearm in the ensuing five years than would have been if their households had remained gun-free.
Groundbreaking new research conducted over a 12-year period in California shows that the opposite is true.
Between October 2004 and the end of 2016, adults in the state who didn’t own a gun but took up residence with someone who did were much more likely to die a violent death than people in households without a handgun, researchers from Stanford University found.
Those who lived with a handgun owner were almost twice as likely to die by homicide as their neighbors without guns, the researchers found. More specifically, adults who lived with the owner of a handgun were almost three times more likely to be killed with a firearm than Californians in households where no handguns were present.
The study was published Monday, April 4, in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
In addition, people who lived with a gun owner and were killed in their homes were especially likely to die at the hands of a spouse or other intimate partner.
Among the 866 homicide victims who died in their homes during the period studied, cohabitants of handgun owners were seven times more likely than adults from gun-free homes to have been killed by someone who ostensibly loved them.
Rendered into the statistics of public health, the findings suggest that for every 100,000 unarmed adults whose cohabitant acquired a handgun, 4.03 more were killed by a firearm in the ensuing five years than would have been if their households had remained gun-free.