The latest rise in Islamophobic incidents, especially in NYC have shocked me. This has happened in a city that is known for its diversity and tolerance. The city I grew up in. A recent attack on a hijabi who was set on fire while window shopping on Fifth Avenue and the murders of a woman walking home and the imams leaving jumuah are among the incidents that had made it into the national headlines. There are many more cases that have not gotten as much attention. All of these incidents along with the current climate of Islamophobia going mainstream have made me consider purchasing a gun. I know there are more cons than pros but are we just making ourselves sitting ducks by not arming ourselves for self protection?
The NRA seems to think that the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. I question who they consider “good” and “bad”? Doing the research has led me to believe that it can do more harm than good. In 2015, the American Journal of Epidemiology found that risk of death by homicide for gun owners shot up to 90% more than those who don’t own one. A person with a gun is also 4.5 times more likely to be killed than someone that is not armed in an assault. The likelihood of killing oneself goes up three times more for gun owners than for non-owners. Even in cases of mass shooting, it is rare that the shooter is stopped by a good guy and hard to tell who is a good samaritan and who is not during those tense moments. Also, there is more of a possibility of getting shot by the law enforcement. Also, for those with little ones at home, the crazy stories of children accidentally shooting themselves, their friends or their parents. There are some scary statistics from the Brady Center. One out of three homes with children have guns and 1.7 million children in the U.S. live in a home with an unlocked gun. That is an astounding number! A good question to ask before sending children over for a playdate is “do you have a gun?”
Another concern I have is the possibility of getting on some kind of watch list for purchasing the firearm. Would I be looked at with suspicion for having purchased a gun? Would I be blamed for any accidental deaths that might happen? These statistics have given me a lot to think about. I still don’t feel 100% safe in public but I know that carrying a gun won’t make any safer.
Please leave your thoughts on the issue below, would love to hear your perspective.