The home is a castle, and Americans cherish their right to protect it. Indeed, self-defense is conspicuous among the motives that have put firearms into about half of all U.S. homes. The results of such preparedness? A new study suggests that a gun in the house is a bigger threat to the inhabitants than to anybody else. In last week's New England Journal of Medicine, Physicians Arthur L. Kellermann and Donald T. Reay analyze 398 shooting deaths that occurred from 1978 to 1983 in households with guns in the Seattle area. The score: only nine deaths involved an intruder or were...

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