The gun control debate is an ongoing exercise. It will be difficult to say when it started but the debate has intensified over the years. Though the arguments for or against gun control may be on traditional lines, new information added by gun crime statistics provides the needed fuel to ensure that gun control remains a burning issue. If you want to join the gun control debate, you should keep yourself updated on gun crime statistics so that you can use them effectively. I do not know which side you will take on the gun control debate but I will be covering a few points to be used in support of gun control.
Since gun ownership remains a point of contention, you need to use gun crime statistics having a bearing on gun ownership, in the gun control debate. A census of guns owned by people in the United State presents an interesting picture. If we calculate the number of guns relative to the population, the figure works out to be 89 guns for 100 people. You can dramatize this fact in the gun control debate by pointing out that this means that on an average, there is almost one gun for every American, including children!
Apart from discussing gun control facts, you should also deal with the stand of the people opposing gun control and expose some of their lobbying activities which will show that they are interested not in a healthy gun control debate but only in getting what they want using whatever means they can. The approach of the NRA (National Rifles Association), the leader of the anti gun control group, to the issue is not in keeping with the spirit of the gun control debate. The NRA has made it clear that it will not compromise on its stand. Where is the scope for a debate when one adopts such a stand? Another disturbing development is the activity of some legislators whose loyalty to the NRA is well known to all. These legislators seek to sabotage the process of collection of gun death statistics by creating strange rules that seem to be specifically aimed at preventing the CDC from even studying gun violence. This kind of activities of the NRA and its supporters makes one wonder whether the NRA is a gun club as its name suggests or it is a highly paid lobby.
Facts are facts and so are gun control facts. Then why do we choose to ignore them? Though gun control facts are made available to us almost continuously and the picture presented by the gun crime statistics show that gun control is the need of the hour, this issue still remains unresolved. We can ignore gun death statistics and keep enjoying uncontrolled gun ownership only if gun control facts are not facts but lies. But everyone knows that only gun control facts are for real and they show how the gun crime scene of our country has been worsening every day.
Let us take just two gun control facts and see what message we can logically derive from them. Let us also examine how certain groups react to gun control facts.
1) Gun control articles have brought out the information on gun ownership of Americans. When we look at the number of guns available in the United States and see how this number is related to the population of the country, we are faced with an astounding revelation. For every 100 people in our country, there are 89 guns. This means that the number of guns in the US is very close to the number of people living in the country.
2) Gun control facts also indicate that countries that have made gun laws stronger are able to bring down the number of guns. Comparing this information with the gun ownership in the US, we can see that gun death is directly proportional to gun ownership!
How does the National Rifles Association (NRA)react to these gun control facts? The NRA has placed two arguments in the gun control debate. First, it says that since the right to own guns is a right given to us by the 2nd amendment, it cannot be touched by any other law. The NRA is not unaware of the fact that close to 99 percent of this amendment was based on the data prepared by people with no legal education.
Another argument presented by the NRA to counter the gun control facts is that in a democracy, there cannot be a restriction on people owning guns. The NRA has ignored the fact that gun control measures have the aim of curbing anarchy that may result from uncontrolled gun ownership and the idea is not to prevent people from owning guns. Gun control facts should be understood in their perspective.
Traditionally, a gun control debate will use general arguments to support or oppose the cause of stricter gun control laws. I think some new issues should also be covered in these debates. One thing that should invariably find a place in a gun control debate is gun death. When I say gun death, I am referring to gun death statistics. A gun control debate will become more meaningful if it quotes some relevant gun crime statistics and use these figures to drive down a point.
For example, a gun control debate can bring out the startling information that the United States has about half of the privately owned guns in the world. People listening to you will not understand the significance of this data unless you add that the US has only 5 percent of the population of the world. So, what will happen if a country with such a small share of the population of the world has such a large share of the firearms of the world? By raising this question, the gun control debate will trigger a thinking among its audience. The audience should then be presented with another information that will unravel the consequence of disproportionately large gun ownership. The fact to be brought to light by the gun control debate is that when the number of gun deaths for a population of 100,000 citizens is calculated, our country ranks below South Africa, a country than ranks below us under various other parameters.
Gun control facts also indicate that women and children are more likely to suffer gun death if a household has a gun. Not only that. A study of homicide crimes reveals that in about 60 percent of the cases, guns are used as murder weapons. A gun control debate will be effective only if it makes the audience look at all these facts together and understand the big picture which is that more guns will result in increase in crime.
A gun control debate should not stop with discussing the pros and cons of gun control. It should also look at the credibility of the people who oppose gun control. For example, the fact that the National Rifles Association (NRA), which leads the anti gun control campaign is not an association of sportsmen but is only a anti gun control lobby.
In the coming months there will be a great deal of discussion on gun control pros and cons. Today, in our society the voices against strict gun control laws has a huge advantage. For the last thirty years the lobbying forces of the gun manufacturing industry has conducted a wide, coordinated and relentless campaign to persuade Americans that gun ownership is a near sacred, constitutional privilege. However, rather than advance the debate on gun control pros and cons this lobbying has made many citizens rigid and absolutist in their opinions.
For decades in thousands of gun control articles across America, uneducated civilians have been loudly pronouncing their unimpeachable knowledge of the second amendment to the constitution. Quite literally, only a tiny fraction of 1 percent of these all pundits have any legal education, much less any special knowledge of constitutional law. In one gun control article after another rank amateurs expound on the “facts” of the constitution unencumbered by their ignorance. What gives these self appointed experts their certainty? The propaganda from the NRA combined with poor self esteem or what we commonly call, “a chip on the shoulder.”
From a near endless parade of anti gun control essays, few of which try to analyze gun control pros and cons, gun deaths and gun control facts are consistently ignored, distorted, underreported or dismissed. All the pundits rant about is a perceived attack on a narrow perception of their own personal “rights.”
What Americans are really “entitled” to is a fair and balanced, rational, unemotional debate of gun control pros and cons. The only way we will get that is for the angry, uneducated and vocal opponents of gun laws to quiet down and LISTEN.
The facts about gun deaths in America is shocking. Two thirds of all homicides are committed with hand guns. Terrible massacres are carried out using military style assault rifles. Both of these weapon types must be examined and ways found to limit their access.
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.