The Speaker
Thursday, 18 July 2024 – 18:31

What You Really Need To Know About The Gun Problem In The United States

NOTE: This is an opinion article – any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Speaker or any members of its team.

On average, every couple months the media tend to pump up the topic of mass shooting informing us about a number of people who have been killed and injured (in majority of cases by somebody of mental health problems), showing the pictures of solidarity candlelit vigil, and bringing up the concept of condemning gun ownership. This vicious never-ending circle of the gun issue is definitely out of control.

This year alone there have been 33,635 incidents involving gun violence which have raised the death toll to 8,435. In other words, forty people are shot dead every day in America. It is far from true that mass shootings happen every once in a while – people are getting killed on a regular daily basis. The recent data depict that more people have been killed by firearms in the last fifty years than in all US wars dating back to the revolutionary times of the 18th century.

What is the source of it? Simply, the Second Amendment to the Constitution:

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The text adopted in 1791 had certainly different meaning to that of 2018. There is no doubt that in the time of creation of the new state, particularly one that formed its basis on liberal political thought, it had been facing a very insecure future. Its survival was at risk and, hence, the armed men were substantial to the country’s withstand. In recent times the argument of self-defence is very often used by the gun supporters and, yet, only in about a thousand incidents, this has been the case. At the same time, the number of unintentional shootings has been also as often occurs. No other judgement comes to mind than that guns just purely make it worse.

It is disputable why the majority of Americans have an easy access to guns these days. It is either a matter of public opinion or amount of money spent on political candidates by lobbyist groups. In the end, it is the politicians who pass the laws. The Republicans are claimed to be paid tens of millions of dollars by the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, to name the most prominent ones. The Second Amendment to the Constitution seems to be just an excuse for the politicians who benefit from such contributions. John McCain is believed to benefit the most from NRA funding on the amount of $7.74 million. On top of that, $11.44 million was spent to support Donald Trump and another $19.76 to oppose Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. We are left in no doubt about what motivates the people in power.

It is worth noting that the gun ownership support amongst Americans remains very high. Statistically, 88.8 out of 100 citizens (including children) privately owned a gun in 2014, placing the country on a safe top position. To illustrate that slightly better, roughly 280 million guns were in circulation of 245 million adult population. There is no surprise it would be of interest to lobbying groups to support unlimited gun access. Big money is at stake.

Alike, homicide rate by firearms stands at 29.7 per 1 million people making the U.S., again, the leader in this category. You are more likely to get killed with a gun there than in any other peaceful country in the world. It tells us a lot about how crucial and necessary gun control is, however, we will have to face much more news regarding shootings and tragedies of friends and families of victims to be able to finally end this cruel circle. If ever, anyway. It is completely beyond belief that nothing much has been done in this regard so far.

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