Will arming women on campuses make them safer? No, says expert

Ten states are currently considering measures that would allow people to carry firearms on college campuses. And some lawmakers say that arming students could help make women safer by preventing rapes. But all evidence points to the contrary, according to an expert from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“What we know is where there are more guns, more women die,” Deborah Azrael, associate director of the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center, said in a February 24, 2015 Salon article. “That’s just incontrovertibly true.” She added, “Gun use in self-defense is a very rare event.”

Azrael said that “everything we know suggests that access to firearms increases the likelihood of death and injury. Disproportionately to women, disproportionately to children, but to everyone. The notion that somehow increasing access to guns to women is going to be an exception to that rule is, to me, unfounded.”

Read the Salon article: “Where there are more guns, more women die:” A Harvard public health expert breaks down the data on firearms and women’s safety

Learn more

Gun Threats and Self-Defense Gun Use (Harvard Injury Control Research Center)

New safety measures needed to reduce gun violence (Harvard Chan feature)