I've seen a lot of posts indicating that firearms are an effective tool for self-defense. The way I see it, there are two possibilities for any given day: 1) you will be in a situation that requires lethal force to defend yourself. 2) you will not be in a situation that requires lethal force for self-defense. If you are in this situation, and have a firearm, you may well increase the odds of effectively defending yourself - I don't disagree with that. However, I also believe maintaining a firearm inherently increases the odds of a firearm-related accident occuring that impacts you or someone around you (in the same way that a football player is more likely to sustain a football injury than someone who never plays football). So, given that there are risks in having a firearm and in not having a firearm, the real question is: "which is riskier?". This basically depends on how likely you are to find yourself the victim of a crime. I keep hearing that densely populated metropolitan areas are more crime-ridden, so I've obtained metropolitan crime stats and only used those (inherently providing bias to the pro-gun position). http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/table-6 Based on these stats, about 310,205,095 people live in metropolitan areas of the US. In a year, the average number of "violent crimes" was 392.8 per 10,000. This means the odds of the average city-dweller being victim to a violent crime over the course of a year is one in 25. In other words, the average citizen is likely to be the victim of a violent crime once every 25 years. Given that the national life expectancy in the US (http://gallery.mailchimp.com/de3259be81e52e95191ab7806/files/HAG2013.pdf), this means that the average citizen living in an American city may or may be the target of a violent crime 3 times in their life, on average. Given that about two thirds of "violent crime" are aggravated assault (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/uc...2011/violent-crime/violentcrimemain_final.pdf), this means that the average person is likely to get pushed or punched twice in their lifetime (without the situation escalating into attempted murder or anything more severe), so even these experiences do not require lethal force. It seems the need for “self defense” by firearm is fairly low. Given this, what benefit would I gain by exposing myself, my family members, or my friends to the risk of an accidental shooting that may occur if I overlook a safety precaution once?