Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who led the Center for Disease Control's gun violence research in the 1990s when he was head of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, described the research's results before Congress cut off funding for it in 1996:
One of the critical studies that we supported was looking at the question of whether having a firearm in your home protects you or puts you at increased risk. This was a very important question because people who want to sell more guns say that having a gun in your home is the way to protect your family.
What the research showed was not only did having a firearm in your home not protect you, but it hugely increased the risk that someone in your family would die from a firearm homicide. It increased the risk almost 300 percent, almost three times as high.
It also showed that the risk that someone in your home would commit suicide went up. It went up five-fold if you had a gun in the home. These are huge, huge risks, and to just put that in perspective, we look at a risk that someone might get a heart attack or that they might get a certain type of cancer, and if that risk might be 20 percent greater, that may be enough to ban a certain drug or a certain product.
But in this case, we're talking about a risk not 20 percent, not 100 percent, not 200 percent, but almost 300 percent or 500 percent. These are huge, huge risks. (Joaquin Sapien, "What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Funding," Pro Publica, Feb. 25, 2013)
About 30,000 Americans die annually because of gun violence. None of those Americans dies defending her or himself against governmental tyranny. The evidence very strongly supports debating the merits of the second amendment, with an eye toward advocating its repeal.
If you're unwilling to go that war, consider that political columnists David Brooks and Mark Shields, one a conservative and the other liberal, who rarely agree about anything, last week agreed that implementing a universal requirement for a background check for anyone wishing to purchase a gun was a good idea. (PBS News Hour)
Guns are dangerous and generally unnecessary, except for the relative few people who hunt or target shoot. Even in those cases, storing the guns unloaded, with the safety on, under lock and key is an important step toward avoiding injury and death.