BY NINA VINIK
When done well, storytelling brings sterile data to life. But stories can also be told in ways that ignore data and perpetuate harmful myths. And when it comes to gun violence, the stories that loom largest threaten the hard-fought progress made in recent years on this issue.
We’ve all heard the classic, every-man-for-himself saying, “When seconds count and the police are minutes away.” Those nine words are as memorable as they are emblematic of Americans’ views on firearms—when polled by the Pew Research Center in July 2023, protection was the number one reason people decide to get a gun. In reality however, a gun at home makes families less safe—not safer. Wielding the family gun to stop an armed intruder? Unlikely. A household gun used to kill the gun owner or their loved ones? Far more likely. But the latter story has less of a probability to be shown in modern entertainment.