It got brought up here and i thought it might be worth discussing. I apologise to all the americans cos this thread will probably be directed at them.
My personal opinion is that there is no good argument for having a handgun and personally would never want to live somewhere where they are commonplace.
I found this article here which has a few stats :
Theres some other interesting info in the article and it goes on to talk about various stuff that could be done for gun safety.Douglas Wiebe of the Firearm Injury Center at Penn (FICAP) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia agrees. Last month, Wiebe and colleagues found that people who keep guns at home have a 72 per cent greater chance of being killed by firearms compared with those who do not, and are 3.44 times as likely to commit suicide (Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol 41, p 771). A 1997 survey by the CDC that compared the US with 25 other industrialised countries, including the UK and Australia, showed that the number of gun-related homicides in the US per 100,00 children below the age of 15 was 16 times that of all the other countries combined. The proportion of children below 15 who use guns to kill themselves was 11 times higher.
16 times more, than 25 other industrialised countries, children either killing or being killed (the article isn't clear) with guns seems a rather excessive amount and the news reports that make it across to the UK about childred either succeeding or being caught before they go on killing sprees isn't all that encouraging. Also although not a handgun, what about that sniper, i thought that for an american that must have been a very worrying precedent.