The headlines last week were filled with news of gun violence.

--- Kwilson Coleman, accused of gunning down Gregory Wright in the 400 block of Prospect Street in York last Thanksgiving, was found guilty of first-degree murder.

Coleman, 18, was accused of shooting Wright after a confrontation about an alleged stolen cell phone. Wright had confronted a friend of Coleman's about the alleged theft, and the shooting occurred after Wright pistol-whipped the man, according to testimony.

--- Shannon Leroy Mayo Sr., 54, of the 500 block of South George Street, was charged with criminal homicide, accused of shooting and killing Donnell McIntyre outside his home Tuesday morning. Mayo claimed it was a case of self-defense as McIntyre tried to rob him. Police said the multiple shots fired and other circumstances led them to believe otherwise.

--- John Houseman Jr., 45, of Red Lion was found shot in his car on East Boundary Avenue on Tuesday evening and later died at York Hospital. Police had not made an arrest in the case.

If all that violence makes you want to get a gun to protect yourself, you might think twice about that.

Thursday's paper carried the story about the murder of a Lebanon woman who made national headlines last year for wearing a pistol on her hip at her daughter's soccer game. She caused a stir by wearing a gun for protection at the youth soccer game, and her permit was revoked by the county sheriff, prompting a lawsuit and a lot of debate about Second Amendment rights.


Meleanie Hain was found dead in her home Wednesday evening, an apparent victim of a murder-suicide by her husband, a parole officer and former prison guard.

It's a tragic story -- especially since the couple's young children were reportedly home during the incident.

And it suggests that guns are usually not the protection people hope they will be.

In far too many cases, people are shot by their own weapons -- either accidentally or during domestic disputes or even as they are being robbed. Worse, children are too often able to get their hands on loaded weapons with tragic results.

And all this local gun violence comes in the wake of a new study released by a University of Pennsylvania professor that found people in possession of a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.

"This study helps resolve the long-standing debate about whether guns are protective or perilous," said study author Charles C. Branas, associate professor of epidemiology. "Will possessing a firearm always safeguard against harm or will it promote a false sense of security?"

Probably the latter.

That's not to say that people don't have Second Amendment rights or shouldn't be allowed to carry concealed weapons.

But if you do have guns, you should have the proper training to use them -- particularly in stressful, threatening situations. More importantly, guns should always be locked up safely away from children.

And don't fool yourself into believing that because you're carrying a weapon, you're invulnerable to criminals -- or even your own friends or family members.

You're not.

If this study is accurate, you are, statistically speaking, more at risk.

Also of interest

· For 12 years, Franklintown, in northwestern York County, required all residents to own guns.