Some people seem to think that gun death is like an accident and has to be accepted as an inevitable event we have to face as and when it occurs. They are right in a way since both a gun death and an accident are preventable to a great extent. We have traffic rules to minimize the incidence of accidents. Should we not have gun control rules to check the occurrence of gun death?
Just as figures for accidents are compiled, studied and used for monitoring the situation, gun death statistics should also be studied and analyzed. Gun crime statistics reveal the shocking information about the incidence of gun death in our country. There are about 30,000 deaths occurring every year due to gun violence. If this is not shocking enough, more shocking information is revealed by gun control facts. One such information is that in the regions where more people have guns, more children are killed by guns. People who keep arguing that possession of guns will be the best protection to our families against attacks by anti social elements have to ponder over this question. Do we have to risk the precious lives of our children just for asserting our irrational beliefs?
People interested in learning about the gun control pros and cons will like to know about the impact of gun control laws. Has strict gun control legislation helped reduce gun crime in other countries? The answer is a resounding yes. We have the example of Australia which has been able to bring down gun related crimes by nearly 60 percent after tightening gun control laws.
Though the gun control debate is weighed heavily in favor of gun control based on gun control facts, opposition to gun control comes from some quartets. The National Rifles Association (NRA) has been particularly carrying on a campaign against gun control. The activities of NRA and its indifference to the tragedy of gun death make one wonder whether it is an association of sportsmen as claimed by it or it is a lobbyist forum.
The gun control debate like any other debate should be clear about the issues involved. A healthy debate will present the gun control pros and cons with supporting information so that people who follow the gun control debate will be able to decide their own stand on the issue. Some of the issues to be considered in a gun control debate are gun control facts and the relative merits of the points made by either side.
A gun control debate should invariably discuss gun death statistics. What do these statistics reveal? Apart from showing the number of gun deaths per year and how the number of gun crimes in a region is related to the number of guns owned in that region, gun death statistics also indicate that gun crime impacts the economy as well. Every year, the United States is losing a whopping $3.7 billion as a consequence of gun crime.
One of the arguments we often hear in the gun control debate is the claim that crime can be reduced by equipping people with guns. This claim is not backed by any evidence. In fact, evidence only shows that having more guns results in increase in crime. gun control articles that contribute to a gun control debate should discuss such claims and bring out this fact so that people will not be swayed by such baseless claims.
Gun control debate should also examine some theoretical arguments presented by the pro gun control groups. One such argument is that gun control laws have no place in a democracy. This argument misses the point that tyranny is the antithesis of democracy and hence any kind of tyranny including the lawlessness created by gun violence should be curbed by laws. So, anti gun laws do not seek to prevent guns but only tyranny.
Gun control debate can be vitiated by taking the debate away from the real issues. This is often done by certain anti gun control groups including the National Rifles Association (NRA). The NRA, though considered to be an association of sportsmen, in practice, functions as a lobby. Participants in the gun control debate should also bring to light the fact that the NRA is not a political organization but just a lobbyist body.
Can gun control facts be interpreted in different ways? I had never thought it was possible. But I am surprised at how some people look at gun control facts and pretend as if they have no significance. If this were not the case, some action would have been taken on the basis of control facts to check the growing occurrences of gun death.
Gun control facts present gun crime statistics in a way that the message conveyed by them cannot be missed. Gun control facts, apart from presenting gun death statistics, also reveal some information which can be shocking. For example, gun control facts show that there is a risk of guns getting into the hands of children who may handle them inappropriately. You may wonder how kids can have access to the guns. Gun control facts show that in 30 percent of the cases, children living in the homes of people owning guns are aware where the guns are kept. Nothing can be easier for these children than taking the guns into their possession if they want.
New gun control facts are being presented in gun control articles that are being written almost everyday. According to one gun control article, strong gun laws will be able to prevent not only murders but also suicides. This is not a speculative conclusion but a conclusion arrived at by studying the developments in countries that have enacted effective gun control laws.
Some people choose to ignore gun control facts and present strange reasons for opposing gun control. One of the arguments emanating from these people is that gun ownership is a right conferred by the second amendment which cannot be taken away. I call this argument as strange because any law is subject to change. Moreover, people who were behind framing about 99 percent of this legislation had no legal background. They did not even have a college education. So, a law created by such people cannot be considered unchangeable.
One of the reasons why the gun control facts have not produced the results they should have, is that some legislators supporting the National rifles Association (NRA) do whatever they can to prevent a strong gun control law being brought in. These legislators even prevent gun violence being studied by organizations like the National Institute of Health. Gun control facts are lost on these people.
Gun crime statistics are compiled for a purpose. People who take the pains to study gun control facts and compile gun crime statistics intend that these statistics are taken note of by the people concerned and appropriate action taken to rectify the picture presented by these facts. But our legislators do not seem to be concerned about gun death statistics. The only people who seem to be interested in knowing the gun control pros and cons are those who have been keeping the gun control debate alive by bringing in new information as and when such information comes to their notice.
If you are one of those interested in gun crime statistics, you will see some presented in this article. Though there are innumerable facts and figures related to gun violence, I will mention only four of them here.
1) Every year, 30,000 people in our country are killed by the use of firearms. Why does this have to happen? When people can get free access to guns, the chances of some of them using the weapons for committing crimes will always be there.
2) Sometimes, comparative gun crime statistics provide us a better understanding of the gravity of a situation than absolute figures alone could. if somebody thinks that 30,000 gun deaths per year is not a big figure for a country like the United States, he is mistaken. Because, another study reveals that the US is placed in a worse position than South Africa, if the ratio of gun deaths to the population is considered.
3) Another disturbing piece of gun crime statistics is that the number of children becoming victims of gun violence is higher in those regions that have a high rate of gun ownership. The news about the safety of our children should definitely be a cause of concern to all of us.
4) It has been found that strict gun control laws can act as a deterrent against not only murders but also suicides.
Unfortunately, gun crime statistics like the above seem to be falling on deaf ears, if we consider the attitudes of our legislators. Some of them seem to be driven by the fear of losing their primaries if they do not toe the anti gum control stand of the National Rifles Association (NRA), since the NRA has been threatening them that it will work for their defeat in case they do not support its stand.
Gun death is a gruesome form of death. It is caused instantaneously from the bullet fired by a gun. It will be the most unfortunate experience for anyone to witness a gun death, especially if the victim is someone dear to him. You see a person lively one moment and the next moment he is dead from a bullet. It is therefore reasonable that there is a lot of concern that the prospects of gun death should be minimized by exercising some control over people possessing guns.
Many people might have learned to take death in its stride knowing too well that it is an inevitable culmination of anyone’s life events but such an attitude cannot be taken towards gun death. Gun crime facts show what the factors causing a fun death are. According to the gun death statistics, there have been a larger number of children becoming victims of gun death in places that have a larger number of households having guns. Look at this piece of information with another finding that the United States has half of the private guns of the world though the country accounts for only 5 percent of the world population! Anyone can see the risk of gun death being much higher in the US on account of this.
We can understand the gun control pros and cons by studying the experience of countries that have enacted stricter gun control laws. For example, Australia has been able to reduce the incidence of gun death by enacting stricter gun control laws which had the effect of bringing down gun violence by about 60 percent . Thus, gun control facts clearly establish a connection between gun death and gun ownership on the one hand and reduction of gun crime and stricter gun control legislation on the other.
One group in the US that seems to be neither concerned about gun death nor interested in joining a meaningful gun control debate is the National Rifles Association (NRA) which has been threatening US legislators that they won’t be able to contest the elections if they do not support the NRA stand since they would be defeated even in the primaries. Given this scenario, the prospects of gun death loom over the heads of the US citizens.
Why should an average person be concerned with gun crime statistics? Day in and day out, we are flooded with so much of statistics that we are apt to be fed up with them. But gun death statistics cant be dismissed cursorily. These present the gun control pros and cons in perspective.
When we talk about gun crime statistics, we have to start with homicides. Homicides are so common that an average reader of the newspaper may not even pay attention to news items about them. But the information that a high percentage of homicides fall under gun deaths cannot but disturb even an impassive person.
Take another piece of gun crime statistics. This is about children. You will naturally be more concerned about it, because it concerns children. If you have a gun in your house, what are the chances of a kid in your house getting hold of it? If you think that the chances are remote, you will be startled by the gun control statistics that nearly 40 percent of the children can get hold of the guns from the safe places stored by their parents! Read this along with another data about children that regions that have more households with guns have also recorded more gun deaths of children.
Gun crime statistics cannot but cover homicides. Research shows that gun death forms an unusually high percent of 60 percent of homicides. And every year, about 30,000 people are killed by guns in America. There is no wonder that gun death statistics compiled for various countries show that the US occupies a place worse than South Africa does, when the number of deaths per 10,000 people is considered.
Gun control facts point out how even the United States Economy is affected by the evil of gun death. There is an estimated loss of $3.7 billions to the economy on account of gun deaths.
Gun crime statistics, thus, are of great help in understanding the issue of gun control in all its dimensions and make the gun control debate more meaningful.