One remarkable thing about the gun control debate is that though this debate has been carried on for the past few decades ever since gun control became a serious issue after President Kennedy was gunned down by an assassin, it has been able to sustain the interest of the people. We have listened to many gun control pros and cons but somehow, people engaging in the gun control debate have been successful in keeping the debate lively and engrossing. The debate itself has been kept alive because of our failure to bring in a strong gun control regime in spite of going over a volley of gun control facts again and again.
One reason for the gun control debate remaining lively is the emergence of new gun crime facts. With the gun crime continuing to take its toll everyday at several places, gun death statistics are getting updated. The updated statistics can be effectively used in a gun control debate to make the debate contemporary and interesting. Here are some gun control facts used in the debates.
The United States has a disproportionately large number of guns relative to its population. This can be seen from two sets of data. The US has 89 guns for a population of 100. It is easy to see that this works out to almost one gun for every person living in this country. Another data reveals that the US has about 50 percent of the number of privately owned guns in the country though its share of the population of the world is only 5 percent. Together, these two data show that there is a high concentration of guns in the US.
In addition to mentioning these points in the gun control debate, the protagonists of gun control should also bring to light the fact that the children and women living in houses where guns are present are under a greater risk of becoming victims of gun crime. If we contrast this with the fact that countries that have introduced strong gun control laws have reported a drop in the number of both murders and suicides, we can understand the connection between unrestrained gun ownership and the incidence of crime. An argument often heard in a gun control debate about the 2nd amendment giving people the right to own guns ignores the fact that 99 percent of this law was written by people with no legal background.
Why should we look at gun crime statistics? The obvious answer is that by looking at gun crime statistics, we have a better understanding of the gun crime scene. But this does not happen with some people. For them, gun death statistics are just some numbers with no significance. This attitude may be assumed for two reasons. Some people do not understand the significance of gun crime statistics. For some other people, gun control facts are irrelevant since they do not support their side in the gun control debate!
The second category of people, as you might have guessed, belong to the anti gun control lobby. This lobby is led by the National Rifles Association (NRA). Though the NRA is an association by its name, it is little more than a lobby of people claiming the right to own guns irrespective of the consequences of uncontrolled gun ownership revealed by gun crime statistics. The NRA has a policy of not compromising on its rigid stand against gun control. Obviously, gun crime statistics will be of no concern to the NRA and its supporters.
Te picture presented by gun crime statistics will be disturbing for anyone but uncomfortable for the anti gun control groups. Let us take a look at just a few facts revealed by gun control statistics. The number of deaths caused by the use of guns every year in the United States is estimated to be in the range of 30,000. Another fact is that the gun ownership ratio is the highest for the US. People in our country own about 50 percent of the guns in the world though our country holds only about 5 percent of the population of the world. We can see a clear correlation between high rate of gun ownership and high rate of gun deaths.
Another disturbing fact revealed by gun crime statistics is that in places that have a large number of people owning guns, not only the number of murders but also the number of suicides is high. Thus gun crime statistics show that unrestricted ownership will result in not only a large number of murders but also a large number of suicides.
Everyday, several people become victims of gun death. We all know that death is inevitable but we cannot say the same thing about gun death. Gun death, after all, is very much preventable, if only we are willing to act.
Gun death statistics are staring at us from the newspaper pages but most of us just ignore it treating them to be of no concern to us. We should understand that though statistics are given in figures, they are not just numbers. Gun crime statistics should be read like a report on crimes committed by the use of guns. Such an attitude will make us identify with the cause of gun control instead of treating gun death as yet another crime report in a newspaper.
Who is concerned about gun death? If we look at the fact that a large number of articles being written about gun crime, we can understand that a number of people are concerned at the tragedy of gun death and want something done to check gun crime. On the other hand, we have certain lobbies that are keen on preventing any strong gun laws from coming into existence. These lobbies are led by the National Rifles Association (NRA).
The NRA and its supporters counter the arguments in favor of preventing gun death by invoking the second amendment. Their logic is that the right of gun ownership given to us by this law should not be taken away. The flaw in this argument is that any law is subject to change. It is also relevant to remember that 99 percent of the information for the second amendment was prepared by people who never went to college, leave alone the fact that they had no legal background. The supporters of NRA also claim that in a democracy, we cannot have laws controlling gun ownership. They ignore the fact that democracy can survive only if anarchy is prevented and gun control measures are a way to prevent lawlessness.
Legislators who should be in the know of gun control facts are expected to weigh gun control pros and cons and act appropriately. But we have some pro NRA legislators who have no qualms about making rules to ensure that the National Institute of Health will be hampered in its efforts to study the problem of gun violence leading to gun death.
What is the role of gun control articles? In general some articles have the purpose of entertaining the readers and some have the purpose of enlightening them. Gun control articles fall under the second category. By discussing the gun control pros and cons, gun control articles help the readers have a clear understanding of gun control facts.
Gun control articles give a lot of statistics. The gun crime statistics given by them show the severity of the gun control issue. I read in a gun control article that gun death is not an isolated event affecting only an individual. It affects even the economy. The United States suffers an economic loss of 3.7 billion dollars every year on account of gun deaths. People who learn this kind of facts from gun control articles will definitely ponder over the need for measures to control gun ownership.
Why do people own guns? The reason given by the pro gun people is that owning a gun will protect us from possible attacks by criminals. But gun control articles reveal another side of gun ownership. They quote gun crime statistics to show that in about 40 percent of the households that have guns, children will be able to access the guns because they know where the guns are kept. After learning this fact, people will think twice about owning a gun. This is how gun control articles spread the awareness about the consequences of unrestricted gun ownership.
Gun control articles also highlight another fact by analyzing gun death statistics. The US fares worse than South Africa when we compare the ratio of gun deaths to the number of people living in the country. This is a shocking revelation about the perils of gun ownership. Gun control articles have also examined the claim made by the pro gun lobby that having more guns will help reduce crime and found that there is no evidence to support this dubious claim.
In spite of all such gun control facts discussed in detail by gun control articles, there are some legislators who are determined to ensure that the demand for strict gun control laws is weakened. They create rules which will prevent the CDC from studying gun violence and hence prevent more facts coming out. But the gun control facts already highlighted by gun control articles create sufficient ground for stricter gun control.
It is difficult to say when the gun control debate started but we can see the gun control debate going on forever as if it will never come to and end. The only way the debate can be ended is by the lawmakers taking some concrete action that will address the problem of gun death. Till that time, the gun control pros and cons will keep making the rounds by way of gun control debate. What are the gun control issues being debated?
1) People who are against any tightening of the legislation on gun ownership cite one popular argument by invoking the 2nd amendment. Their logic is that since the 2nd amendment has given us the right to own and bear guns, that right should not be taken away. By rising this point in the gun control debate, these people expect to silence the protagonists of stricter gun control laws. But the other side can effectively counter this by pointing out that people who wrote 99 percent of the 2nd amendment had no legal qualification and hence there is no legal basis for this point.
2) On the other hand, people advocating stronger gun control back up their stand citing gun crime statistics. In fact, there are several gun control facts in support of legislation to put restrictions on gun control. One such fact is that the gun owning population of the US is very high. America contains just 5 percent of the world population but it has 50 percent of the private guns in the world! Gun death statistics pointing out that gun control laws, in addition to preventing murders, also prevent suicides. With such strong points in their favor, the supporters of gun control laws seem to have an edge in the gun control debate.
Starved of points in their favor, the opponents of stronger gun control take to other methods to scuttle legislation coming up. The National Rifles Association (NRA) is known to be issuing threats to legislators that if they support gun control legislation, the NRA will work for defeating them in the primaries. In the background of such threats, some legislators cannot take a stand based on a healthy gun control debate.
A disturbing finding is the correlation between the ownership of guns and homicide of
children in many places. This point can support gun control pros and cons equally well.
While the advocates of stricter laws on gun control will interpret this to suggest that owning
guns often ends up getting the opposite results, people on the other side will point out that
such a correlation is irrational and possibly the child victims might have belonged to the
households that didn’t own guns.
There is yet another piece of statistics stating that about 30,000 people in the U.S. die of
gunshots. This can be an input for both gun control pros and cons. You can look at this figure
as alarming and plead for restrictions on gun ownership. But the other argument can be that
only a liberal policy of allowing people to own guns can bring down this kind of deaths.
Apart from causing deaths and injuries, gun crimes also take a toll on the economy. The loss on
account of various crimes involving guns is calculated as 3.7 billion dollars. This only adds
another dimension to the issue but doesn’t contribute to the scoring points for gun control
pros and cons
One of the topics that have remained controversial since long is Gun Control. Pros and cons of
controlling the ownership of guns have been presented innumerable times. Yet, the jury is
still out on this. So, the debate covering gun control pros and cons keeps going, with new
points getting added or old points being presented in more sophisticated ways.
Statistics will play a key role in structuring the gun control pros and cons. But statistics can be
used either way like a double edged weapon. For example, one study reveals that a majority
of homicide crimes ( about 60%), in the U.S. involve the use of firearms. This may look like
a point supporting stronger gun control laws. But the opponents can use the same facts
to argue that people should be allowed to own guns to protect themselves from possible
attacks by potential killers!
Another fact that may figure in the Gun control pros and cons debate is that America is worse
off than South Africa if we compare the number of deaths resulting from guns for a
population of 10,000. But the opponents of stringent firearms control acts may say that this
comparison is flawed since there are many differences between the two countries.
A more serious piece of statistics used by the proponents of gun control laws relates to children.
A study reveals that about 39% the children of gun-owning parents know where the guns
are kept in their homes! This may appear to be a dangerous situation, especially when we
consider that there have been increasing numbers of reports revealing the indiscriminate
shooting by some children using their parents’ guns. But opponents of stronger gun control
act can counter this point by pointing out that a few stray incidents can’t be used as a
justification for denying self-protection to the citizens. This problem should be approached
by creating greater awareness among parents about safe-keeping of the guns.
People are looking for unbiased gun control statistics to help them wade through the pros and cons of gun control. That is the purpose here. Help you find gun death statistics, gun laws by state and other gun control articles that will help you understand the pros and cons of both sides of the gun control debate.