It seems that there has been an overdose of gun crime statistics. We have been exposed to this kind of statistics in gun control debates that have been going on for a long time with both the sides sticking to their guns (No pun intended!) So, it appears that we have to look beyond gun crime statistics and look at gun control facts from a slightly different perspective. One reason for this approach is that the pro gun lobby does not seem to be moved by gun death statistics and keeps on advocating its opposition to any form of gun control. Another reason is that gun crime statistics have been heard so often that there is no need to repeat them.
Instead of quoting figures of the number of gun deaths, we can discuss the gun control pros and cons by considering the issues involved and the arguments advanced by either side. We do not have to quote gun crime statistics to bring out the fact that countries that have fewer guns have been witnessing fewer murders. Anyone reading this statement can understand the import of this finding. If someone is interested in looking at the actual figures, they can always look up gun crime statistics that have been published in newspapers, gun control articles, official reports etc.
The information we get from countries that have gone ahead with making gun control laws have more teeth have reported positive results. The gun crime statistics from these countries reveal that after these laws have come into force, there has been a steep drop not only in the number of murders but also in the number of suicides.
So, how do the anti gun control groups react to these reports? Unfortunately, they have not been impressed by these facts. Their attitude to gun crime statistics has always been lukewarm. Since the facts are not on their side, they employ other means. The NRA (National rifles Association), for example, has made no secret of its decision to not accept any compromise on the issue of gun control. It has been threatening legislators that it will work for their defeat in the primaries, if they do not toe the line of the NRA. The threat seems to be working, with some legislators making attempts to change the rules in such a way that organizations like the CDC will not be able to study gun violence.
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.
There are many gun control articles that talk about the second amendment. One recent gun control essay completely ignored gun deaths and gun death statistics focusing instead on the idea that more guns in the hands of the public reduces crime. That’s crazy, there isn’t any evidence that having more guns reduces crime in the US.
Many on line gun control articles ignore the economic damages caused by gun deaths which are estimated at$3.7 billion a year. That is $3.7 BILLION! One is more likely to read about an “assault” on the constitution than the fact that children and women are much more likely to die if there’s a gun in their house. That’s a fact!
How can there be any rational discussion of gun control pros and cons when gun control facts are ignored? Sometimes a person might believe that the gun control debate is only about gun owners loosing the privilege of buying assault rifles while ignoring important facts such as there are presently about 89 guns for every 100 people in the USA! Gun owners need to stop crying about themselves and think of the greater good.
Why aren’t there more gun control essays about the harm of guns? It’s because of the NRA. The NRA gets most of its funding from weapons manufacturers. it spends millions in every election trying to defeat gun safety candidates. It raises the question: is the NRA a sports organization, a political organization or lobbyist for the gun industry?
Clearly the answer is political organization and lobbyist. Why else would pro NRA legislators pass write rules that block the National Institute of Health and CDC from even studying gun violence?! In a national debate on public health and safety the NRA has no place at the table. It’s interests are those of weapons makers not citizens.
Gun control is a matter of public safety not gun sales.
Gun death statistics have been constantly staring at us for long but we seem to be looking elsewhere. The idea of making gun control laws stronger just remains an ideal with no concrete action being taken. Yet gun control facts cannot be ignored pretending that they do not concern us. Gun death has been assuming serious proportions over the years. Gun death statistics are getting updated with every new crime committed by the use of guns. The big question is whether these figures will succeed in awakening us from our slumber and give life to stronger gun control laws that have remained in the realm of discussions for too long.
One item of gun death statistics reveals that guns have been used in about 60 percent of homicides. This data alone should have settled the gun control debate in favor of giving more tooth to the gun control laws. But it has not happened. Deliberations on gun control pros and cons are still going on as if talking about the issue itself is a way of solving it.
Gun death statistics show that the problem has other dimensions in addition to the loss of precious human lives. Gun deaths have taken a toll on our economy as well. You may not believe it but gun crime statistics do not lie. The loss to the US economy on account of gun violence is huge. It is estimated in the range of four billion dollars per year. Should our legislators not act at least on this count? They do not even seem to be ashamed by the revelation that our country has a more dismal record of the ratio of gun deaths to population than a country like South Africa has.
Gun death statistics disturb everyone except organizations like the National Rifles Association (NRA). Though it is an association of sportsmen in name, it has been functioning like a paid lobbyist for the anti gun control groups. Gun control opponents counter gun death statistics by claiming that in a democracy, there is no place for gun control. What they fail to realize that gun control is needed to protect democracy by preventing the tyranny resulting from gun violence.
When we read the newspapers, we often come across gun crime statistics. I have often felt that compiling statistics may not be of much use since most of the statistics are never used. But I feel differently about gun crime statistics. They are of great use in understanding the factors behind the crimes and give the authorities the needed information to take appropriate steps to curb gun crime and thereby prevent the unfortunate phenomenon of gun death from becoming a serious problem.
But unfortunately, I find that the arguments used in a gun control debate are not always based on gun crime statistics. In the name of discussing gun control pros and cons, people engaged in this debate bring in extraneous factors and sentimental values to support their stand against a strong gun control law. One of the often heard arguments advanced by certain groups is that the gun ownership rights conferred on us by the 2nd amendment are not to be tampered with under any circumstances. Apart from countering this specious reasoning by revealing the fact that the 2nd amendment for most part was the work of people with no legal education, we should use more of gun crime statistics available in gun control articles, to turn the gun control debate in the right direction.
The information that 30,000 people in America are killed by guns is more relevant to the gun control debate than sentimental objections like the one above. An organization like the National Rifles Association, (NRA) which is in the forefront of blocking any tightening of the gun control laws follows a policy of not compromising on its rigid stand against gun control measures. It has the support of some legislators who have been blocking the efforts of independent bodies like the CDC even from making a study of gun violence. But not withstanding all the efforts put up by the anti gun control lobby, gun crime statistics like the evidence of countries with fewer guns having fewer crimes bolster the case for a stringent gun law.