This book may help you (the author is a FReeper): More Guns, Less Crime -John R. Lott Jr.
I know the research in this area very well, and Lott’s research is consistently debunked. Also, I certainly don’t read popular books for my scientific information!!! He’s also been involved in several scandals which undermine his credibility.
Incidentally, Lott advocates that even in households with children families should keep their guns loaded and unlocked because you need to have them available to defend yourself. He advocates this because of his own (albeit poor) research he conducted on the topic. If you want to tout this guy, then go ahead.
I happened upon this forum by accident, and felt it necessary to correct the misinformation in the original post. I don’t know the members of this forum and if they don’t think critically or hold to rigid idealogies (it’s useless and very time-consuming to have a discussion with these people from my experience) so forgive me if I check out of the conversation from this point on. I have a busy life! Thanks.