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Press release:

Seattle —  Washington Ceasefire, the citizen activist group that has fought for almost 30 years to reduce gun violence in this state, announces its most extensive public health ad campaign ever:  a multi-media effort including 250 bus transit ads in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties . . .

The group’s Know the Facts campaign uses data from a leading book in the gun debate —  “Private Guns, Public Health,” by David Hemenway of the Harvard School of Public Health — to make the case that a gun in the home generally does more harm than good.

There are estimated to be about 6.5 million guns in Washington State alone —  about one per resident — and approximately 40% of homes in this state have guns. Many homeowners acquire guns for what they see as a means of protection against intruders, though the facts show that the risks of home gun ownership far outweigh the benefits. One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.

In one of the largest studies on the topic covering three cities —  Galveston, Memphis and Seattle — there were only 13 legally justified acts of self-defense out of a total of 626 fatal and non-fatal shootings in residences.  The survey was taken in 1994, and several subsequent studies validate the findings. According to ‘Private Guns, Public Health,” there has never been a study demonstrating that a gun in the home can meaningfully deter or thwart burglaries or home invasion.

There are almost 600 gun deaths annually in Washington state – a death toll higher than that from motor vehicle accidents —  including some 350 suicides. Indeed, a majority of completed suicides are via a firearm.

One of the Know the Facts transit ads highlights the fact that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 5x greater chance of a completed suicide. The likely victims are young males and older, single, adult males, as well as those with psychological challenges such as manic depressive disorder. Unlike homicides, suicides tend to cut across all ethnic groups and income categories.

According to a CeaseFire board member, “The purpose of the campaign is not to drive a legislative ban on guns in the home, but to educate the public so everyone can make their own informed decision. Too many homeowners possess a gun under the mistaken notion it will make them safer, when the facts clearly show that home gun ownership significantly increases the chances of a tragic event. Indeed the one metric that most closely correlates to the level of gun violence in a given state is home gun ownership. If we can reduce the percentage by even a few points, we believe we can save dozens of lives annually”.

Since 1983, Washington CeaseFire has been devoted to reducing gun violence in Washington state. The non-profit group attempts to do this in a variety of ways including communication outreach with the media, public education and advocating for legislative change in Olympia. The group includes among its alumni the leate former Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas C. Wales – himself a victim of firearms violence — and former King Broadcasting President Ancil Payne.

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  1. Kind of insulting to anyone who is able to have a household argument without wanting to commit homicide… so virtually everyone…

    • Yup, kinda adds credence to the “projecting” of the anti-gunners. Just because they would shoot someone rather than have an argument does not in anyway imply that everyone else is that mentally immature. My parents have arguments all the time, no shots fired. I’ve had my share of arguments with roommates and significant others. I’ve never fired on, or even thought about firing on, them.

      • Yeah, I think this projecting thing is real. Being into guns is an anomaly for my general demographic so I end up talking about these things a lot with the other side of the issue. I have very often noticed a strong correlation between people who self identify as having a large innate capacity for hot-headed and violent over reactions and their fear of weapons ownership, and also the strength of their effort to emulate pacifism. Fear of “the self” is an ironic reason to go that way. I am a 100% believer in pacifism when it comes to offense, BUT when it comes to defense and when your intelligence has failed to keep you out of harm, you can only work with the common denominator which is and always will be force.

    • Idk. I kinda see their point. I’m mean, I’m wanted in 5 states because it seems like EVERY single room mate insists on cooking rambe the wrong way! EVERYONE KNOWS you’re supposed to add the flavoring AFTER you microwave, but NOOOOO all of these IDIOTS keep doing it the WRONG way and so what is a guy to do?! The only option left is to shoot them obviously.

  2. It’s going to be interesting to see how the local media covers this due to the large numbers of recently reported DGUs where homeowners successfully defended themselves against home invasions. The local Seattle media has been portraying guns in a pretty positive light lately, acknowledging that residents are taking their protection in their own hands. At last count there were over 360,000 CPLs in the state, and rising at a record rate.

  3. I do not trust in the objectivity or integrity of the groups stated numbers as to what is justified or not, and even to the numbers of home residents injured/killed by guns. Why should I with what I know of their bs track-record? BTW, how many times were BGs driven away without shots fired when a gun was pointed at them?

    Collectively — love that word 🙂 — home gun ownership forms a steel line of defense into the intentions of potential home robberies against what would otherwise be a huge increase in home intrusions by criminals. Take away or drastically reduce gun ownership and break-ins with innocent residents getting hurt will jump way up. Consider the home break-in rate in England vs. America when residents are home: 55% vs. 11%. Robbers fear getting shot.

    The motor vehicle accident death rate in Washington is very low at somewhere below 600 annually. In San Francisco, annually there are about 700 pedestrians hit and killed by cars.

    If these groups want to save innocent lives and reduce injuries they should partner with the pro-gun community to help spread education and common-sense to gun owners regarding how to safely handle, clean, and secure (store) firearms based on individual owner needs.

    • The motor vehicle accident death rate in Washington is very low at somewhere below 600 annually. In San Francisco, annually there are about 700 pedestrians hit and killed by cars.

      IMO, we could reduce the motor vehicle accident rate in WA even more if we didn’t honor CA driver’s licenses. Those guys just don’t know how to drive in the rain (and the ones from LA seem to think the posted speed is the recommended minimum). 😉

  4. “Since 1983, Washington Ceasefire has been unsuccessfully misleading Washington voters, but it still gets its ass whooped whenever it manages to get an anti-gun initiative on the ballot.”

    I would also point out that gun-friendly Washington’s rate of 8.7 firearms deaths per 100,000 population is only marginally higher than that of anti-gun California’s (8.5) and Illinois (8.4).

    According to the FBI’s annual ‘Crime In The United States’ report, Washington’s 2010 homicide rate was 2.3 per 100,000 population and the overall violent crime rate was 313 per 100,000. Anti-gun California’s homicide rate was more than twice as bad (4.9 per 100,000) and violent crime was 440. Anti-gun New Jersey stood proud at 4.2 and 307, and New York delivered a 4.5 and 392, respectively.

    The Gun-Free Paradise known as the District Of Columbia’s homicide rate? 21.9 homicides per 100,000 population, and 1,330 violent crimes.

    FACTS: 2A-friendly Washington State has fewer homicides and violent crimes per capita than CA, NY, IL, and less than 1/4 the violent crime and 1/10 the homicides per capita of the ‘other’ Washington (DC).

    I think I like things just the way they are here in Washington State, thank you very much. Ceasefire, kindly STFU and FOAD. If you’re so afraid of guns, you ought to move to Chicago or DC where there aren’t supposed to be any.

    • How clueless can a group be? Most people seeing “Think Twice About Having a Gun in Your Home” will reflect and realize, “OMG, I don’t have one in my home. Better fix that.” Polls show that even liberal democrat females are increasingly buying a gun on the sly. “I’m not going to let some red-neck thug smelling of cheap whiskey rape me. No way.” Everybody’s got a reason. My most liberal empathizing social-worker relative recently asked me to recommend a caliber and model. True story. See one of those buses three times in a day and a gal’ll be sold on the need. For guys it’s twice in a day.

    • As another fellow Washingtonian: Agreed!

      Washington Ceasefire can spend all the money they want, but most folks around here can think for themselves and know that the recent rash of gun-related accidents is entirely due to people being irresponsible and careless, not the actual act of owning a gun, such as the kid who brought his meth-addicted mom’s illicitly acquired .45 to school and accidently shot his female classmate.

      The bus signs are an annoyance, but I think it’ll be a good starting point to have honest conversations with other people about the issues of responsible gun ownership / self-defense.

  5. That poster might as well say something as stupid as “think twice before bringing food into your home. it could mean the difference between a healthy body and type two diabetes.”

    I know whenever i get into an argument in my home i just cant help but shoot somebody.

  6. What does one expect from a state full of touchy feely commie leaning bleeding heart leftists? They would rather run your life, than allow you to make an adult decision. The sign is great, it truly shows just how much they are in control. Now if only the real adults in those areas will go out and support the neighborhood gun show/shop/emporium.

      • It’s only some Seattle boo-hooers who want to spoil everyone’s fun. Luckily they only have a handful of seats in the state senate, so their verbal pollution can only foul the Puget Sound area.

  7. If anyone is stupid enough to be seriously turned off to practicing their rights and defending themselves due to a sign on a bus, maybe it’s best they don’t have a gun.

    Maybe Ceasefire just thinks everyone is as soft-minded, cowardly, and sheep-like as themselves and their followers.

  8. One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.

    I must point out that whether guns in the home increase danger or not isn’t a smoothly distributed statistic: it runs in families, whether they live in a cabin or a castle, a sort of ‘tragedy gene.’ I’ll only offer anecdotal evidence:

    Today it was reported in El País In English that another tragedy has befallen Spain’s reigning monarch, King Juan Carlos. His 13-year-old grandson Froilán has shot himself in the foot with a small-gauge shotgun. The king himself, at age 18, accidentally shot his 14-year-old brother fatally with a revolver given him as a present by General Franco.

    [It has also been noted that people in Seattle owning boats more often experience drowning than those who do not, whether due to being thrown overboard by some enraged passenger, by accidental man-overboard, or resulting from a overwhleming urge to indulge suicide-by-drowing. In any case these are fates they could avoid simply by forgoing needless pleasure boats and remaining on dry land. A family-owned pleasure boat is much more likely to lead to a family member’s death than that of a total stranger. ]

  9. Think twice about having KITCHEN KNIVES in your homes! No one is ever afraid about getting stabbed to death, but terrified about getting shot in their own kitchen.

  10. “One of the Know the Facts ads educates the public that when there is a gun in the home, there is a 22x greater chance of killing a family member or a friend than an intruder.”
    22? I thought it was 27. Or 15. Or was it some other made-up number? I can’t keep all these “statistics” straight anymore…

  11. “22 times more likely”? This can’t be true!
    Would NOT having a gun in your home make you 100% less likely to have a gun-related accident?
    On the other hand, not having a gun in your home makes you 100% more likely to be victimized by bad guys who target you.
    The REAL difference in accident avoidance is caused by training in safe firearm handling, and in secure storage practices.
    IMHO: NO ONE should have the authority to REQUIRE training in order to realize a RIGHT; but that doesn’t relieve any who acquire the means to self-defense from the RESPONSIBILITY to also acquire the skill to safely and effectively employ those means.
    To restate: If you have the RIGHT to “keep and bear arms”; you also have the RESPONSIBILITY to learn to use those arms effectively – this also implies safe handling and storage.
    Safe storage means that whatever you are not carrying is secured against theft or “curious little hands”. Whatever arms you have ready for defense must be locked, loaded, ready to pick up (or draw) in order to “repel boarders”. If it’s in the next room, or beyond arms’ reach, it is too far away for defense, and it’s unsecure against “little hands”.


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