The story in the March 2 edition of The News is frightening for a variety of reasons. First of all, the evidence is clear, the more guns in a community-the more deaths due to firearms—and not just homicides. Suicides and accidental deaths (typically involving children) are more frequent as well. Secondly, the fact that a significant number of people feel that they need to have guns for protection reflects a troubling level of insecurity and fear in our neighborhoods and indicates an alarming readiness to use lethal force in response to attempted burglary (typically by unarmed teenagers.) Finally, the combination of fear, racial stereotyping, Michigan’s “stand your ground” law and concealed carrying of handguns is an invitation to tragedies on our streets such as have occurred in Florida in the past 2 years. Our social problems should be attacked at their roots. More guns are not the answer—they are simply another serious problem to be addressed.
Andrew Zweifler M.D.
Member, Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence