Guns, many people believe, protect us from harm and crime. Moreover, guns themselves are protected: There is a clause in the U.S. Constitution that is often interpreted as a right to bear arms; there is a powerful gun lob-by that takes aim at any attempt to restrict firearm use; there are hunters who enjoy having weapons; and there are politicians who fight for more and easier gun ownership. Despite epidemics of shootings, including massacres of schoolchildren, many think the good in guns outweighs the danger. That belief is wrong. The data in an overwhelming number of scientific studies show that more guns actually mean more crime. They show guns are rarely used in self-defense, and when they are, the user is often injured. Access to guns also enables impulsive suicide attempts. The ongoing science is providing an ever clearer message: guns do not keep people safe.

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