We cannot take gun death incidents lightly. Crime is inevitable in any society and gun deaths are bound to occur. But when we find a larger number of deaths occurring due to gun violence, we cannot treat these incidents as natural or unavoidable. When we see gun death statistics in newspapers everyday, our conscience is disturbed. We ask ourselves: Can we not bring down gun violence through better gun control?
Let us take a look at some gun control facts to understand the severity of the problem of gun control. You will be shocked to know that we have about 90 guns for every 100 people living in the United States. When the density of gun ownership is so high, is it not necessary that something is done to check this? People do not own guns for fun. The scenario of so many people being armed with guns is a pointer to the potential for great danger from gun crime.
People who have been advocating unrestricted gun ownership have been arguing that when people have guns, they can protect themselves from attacks by criminal elements and this in turn will result in decrease in crime. But gun crime statistics show that there is not only no evidence for this perverse logic but that the evidence supports the opposite viewpoint as well. Far from having a salutary effect on crime, gun ownership only contributes to increase in crime. As pointed out by many gun control articles based on several studies, the larger the number of guns in an area, the larger are the number of murders and suicides in that area. The fact that gun ownership encourages suicides is highly disturbing.
Countries that have implemented strict gun control laws have been able to reduce the incidence of gun death. Interestingly, gun death statistics from these countries show that stricter gun laws not only bring down the number of murders but also the number of suicides.
Notwithstanding such strong evidence showing that only tough gun control laws can bring down the incidence of gun death, organizations like the NRA (National Rifles Association) have been opposing any move towards tightening gun control laws. This attitude of the NRA leads us to the inference that the NRA is neither a club nor an association of sportsmen but is just a lobby. There cannot be any other explanation for the NRA not getting perturbed by gun death statistics.
The print media abound with gun control articles. These articles have been written over a period of several years. The objective of the people who write these articles is to inform readers of gun control facts and help them understand the issue in the right perspective. The contribution made by gun control articles is very significant since in a gun control debate, we often hear only points supporting one side. Gun control pros and cons are not objectively discussed there. Since gun control articles are written by different people at various points of time, the information contained in them is more comprehensive and will cover the diverse aspects of the gun control issue.
In addition to listing gun crime statistics, gun control articles also take up the arguments advanced by both the supporters and opponents of gun control and analyse them. Since the opposition to gun control is led by the NRA (National Rifles Association), the role of NRA and its attitude come under scrutiny in gun control articles. It is good that the unethical practices of the NRA and its supporters is brought to light so that people could realize what the facts are. Here are some shocking truths about the NRA as revealed by gun control articles.
Contrary to the claim of the NRA that it is an association of sportsmen, it has been functioning as a lobby of gun control opponents. It also does things which lobbyists normally do. The NRA is known to have issued a threat to many legislators that they should espouse the anti gun control cause failing which the NRA would work for defeating them in the primaries thus denying them a chance to contest in elections! Unfortunately, this threat seems to be having its effect at least on some legislators. This can be seen from the blatantly partisan role played by some legislators. Some legislators have gone to the extent of altering the rules in such a way that independent organizations like the National Institute of Health will find even studying gun violence difficult. A similar situation has been created for the CDC, another independent body engaged in studying gun violence. We cannot blame people who feel that the NRA is not a gun club but a highly paid lobby. With one side resorting to such unethical practices, we need gun control articles to educate people of the real issues involved.
Gun control facts will have value only if they are used properly. Facts by themselves have no value. It is what we derive from facts that will deliver value. To make gun control facts useful, we should first understand them and then analyze and interpret them. Often, opinions are confused with facts. While facts are real, opinions are reflections of one’s thinking. Therefore in analyzing gun control facts, we should be able to separate facts from opinions.
Where do we find gun control facts? We can spot them in newspaper reports and in several other places. We can readily access these facts in gun control articles dealing with gun control pros and cons. Let us start with some gun crime statistics. It is often claimed by opponents of gun control that the idea of allowing people own guns is to prevent crime. Obviously, this is an opinion and this can be valid only if it is supported by facts. No evidence has been found in support of this view. Gun death statistics only show the opposite to be true.
Gun control facts also include information on gun ownership. Studies have shown that we have about 90 guns for a population of 100 in our country. This is a fact but what conclusion can we derive from them? A simple interpretation of this is that on an average, almost every American has a gun! If we exclude children, then it will mean that there is more than one gun for each person residing in the US. We can understand the potential for danger from this abnormally high gun ownership. Another study shows that suicide rates are high in those regions that have a large gun owning population. This suggests that gun ownership leads not only to murders but also to suicides.
Gun control facts are sometimes countered by arguments. One such argument is that in a democracy, there is no place for any control including gun control. This argument fails to consider that curbs on gun ownership are needed to prevent tyranny, which will be a direct threat to democracy. With gun control facts strongly favoring a stricter gun control legislation, the pro gun lobby adopts various means to sabotage any move towards gun control. The action of some pro NRA (National Rifles Association) in making rules that make it difficult for the CDC to study gun violence is an example of this.
The gun control debate has been going on for the past few decades with the issue still remaining unresolved. Can there be news issues for discussion in the gun control debate? I will suggest that the only two issues that need to be focused on in a gun control debate are gun control facts and the attitude of the two sides to the issue of gun control.
Let us start with gun control facts. Though gun control pros and cons are routinely included in a gun control debate, I feel that gun crime statistics have not been adequately discussed. The debate has been going on more on the academic aspects. If only gun death statistics had been given the seriousness they deserved, the gun control debate would long have been settled in favor of making the gun control laws tighter.
The gun control debate should study the comparative results for different countries. For example, gun death statistics reveal that the US is ranked worse than South Africa in the ratio of the number of gun deaths to 100,000 people. Results obtained in countries that have implemented stricter gun control laws should also be discussed. Statistics show that gun control laws have brought down not only murders but also suicides, in these countries. This is an interesting fact since while talking about gun crime, we think only about murders. The fact that gun is a very convenient weapon for people seeking to kill themselves should weigh heavily in favor of restricting gun ownership. Since it has been well established that many suicides take place on impulse, the danger of people using guns to end their lives in an emotional moment looms large. Gun control debate should send the message across that we have a duty to protect our near and dear from resorting to suicides using the guns we make so readily available to them.
When it comes to examining the attitude of people supporting either side, the gun control debate should being to light the recalcitrant attitude of the pro gun lobby symbolized by the assertion of the NRA (National Rifles Association) that it will not compromise on its opposition to gun control laws. The gun control debate should also highlight the actions of the pro NRA legislators in creating new rules with a view to blocking independent organizations like the CDC and the National Institute of Health from even studying gun violence.
Most American are familiar with the basic gun crime statistics, at least the most important one: How many Americans die from gunshots each year. In case you don’t know, the number is about 30,000 people. Of these about 8500 are homicide and the rest are suicides. These are shocking gun facts.
Perhaps even more significant is that almost three times that many people are wounded, grievously, by gun shots but don’t die. This is an appalling gun fact. Added to this shock is that Americans cannot get an exact number of gun injuries because the agencies charged will collecting this data are prohibited from doing so regarding gun crime statistics.
Our national health agencies, specifically the National Institute of Health and the Center for Diseae Control have been subjected to regulations that restrict them from collecting facts if those facts will cast gun ownership in a negative light!
Naturally, the prohibition on gun facts inhibits conversations on gun control. How can American have an open sensible gun control debate if gun crime statistics are prohibited from being collected? Gun control is a burning issue in America and yet gun crime statistics are intentionally kept from us.
How did it come to pass that in the United States of America basic data like gun crime statistics are prohibited from being collected? Blame the NRA. The NRA and a few unethical legislators who worked quietly outside of public scrutiny to shield gun manufacturers from having to confront the facts of the harm their products do in our society.
Here are the facts from journalist Anne Landman: “Why? Because the National Rifle Association (NRA) has long worked behind the scenes to block laws allowing the collection and dissemination of data about the impact of gun ownership on Americans’ safety. The NRA quietly pushed a provision that was inserted into the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) restricting the data doctors can collect from their patients about their ownership and use of firearms. From 1986 and 1996, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control conducted peer reviewed research into the impact of the presence of guns in people’s homes. While there is a widespread belief among gun owners that the presence of guns in their homes makes them safer, the CDC found the opposite — that having a gun in the home creates a 2.7 times greater risk of homicide and a 4.8 greater risk of suicide for the occupants. The NRA took action to prevent CDC from publicizing these results, and blocked continued funding of government research into the impact of firearms on citizen safety. An NRA congressional lobbyist got an amendment slipped into an appropriations bill cutting $2.6 million from CDC’s budget (the amount CDC had been spending on firearm research annually) along with a clause that says say “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” What’s more, the federal agency responsible for regulating guns in the U.S. has been without a permanent director for six years…by design. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was split off from the U.S. Treasury Department nine years ago and since then Republican elected leaders, beholden to the gun lobby, have blocked confirmation of a director.”
Americans have the right to all gun crime statistics so that we can make the best gun law!
Writing a gun control essay appears to be the easiest thing in the world. This is the impression one gets by looking at the countless number of gun control articles that appear in the print media. But, in my opinion, a gun control essay should serve a purpose. Gun control is such an important topic that has been gaining nationwide attention. A well written gun control essay will enrich the gun control debate by highlighting the facts that are relevant to the issue of gun control.
The gun control essay should start with the discussion of gun control facts. These facts include gun crime statistics and information relating to gun ownership. Some of the facts and figures that should find a place in the gun control essay are listed below.
1) The most important information that should be included in the essay is about the gun ownership. How many guns are there in the United States and how does this number relate to the population of the country? Studies show that the US has about half of the guns in the world, though the population of the US is just 5 percent of the population of the world. Another item of statistics reveals that for every 100 people in our country, there are 89 guns. The ratio is close to almost one gun per person.
2)The next set of data to be covered by the gun control essay is gun death statistics. The number of people killed by guns every year in the US is estimated to be about 30,000. When this data is read along with the data on gun ownership, a person reading the gun control essay can understand the link between gun ownership and murders.
3) Comparative figures will always depict any situation more effectively. So, the gun control essay can present the number of gun deaths as a ratio of the population for each country. When this ratio is computed for different countries, it is found that the US performs worse than a much less developed country like South Africa. The significance of this is bound to be noticed by people reading the gun control essay.
4) In addition to discussing gun control facts, the gun control essay should also examine the attitude of the gun control opponents by pointing out that the National Rifles Association (NRA), despite its claim to be a political organization, is only a lobbyist group.
We will expect that people who become aware of gun crime statistics will be concerned about the loss of human lives and will think of doing something by way of making gun control more effective. But there are certain groups who seem to be totally unconcerned by gun death. This attitude looks perplexing. How can anyone be impervious to such gun crime statistics that show that children become the biggest victims of gun ownership? Gun death statistics have established that a lot more children have been dying in those regions where there are a large number of households possessing guns. This fact alone is sufficient to demolish the argument of the anti gun control groups that guns offer protection to those who own them and their family members.
But people who are not interested in a meaningful gun control debate are not moved by these appalling facts. They show no interest in understanding the gun control pros and cons and persist with their agenda of unrestricted gun ownership. The groups that are unmoved by gun crime statistics includes the National Rifles Association (NRA). The NRA calls itself an association of sports persons but in practice, functions like a lobby. The NRA is said to have forced several legislators to support its stand in the gun control issue by threatening them that they will be defeated in the primaries if they do not fall in line with the stand of the NRA.
The fact that some legislators have chosen to ignore gun crime statistics and have been doing everything in their power to work against gun control is revealed by their actions. For example, the pro NRA legislators have been creating new rules with a view to preventing the CDC from studying gun violence. The fact that they have been adopting a similar ploy to stymie the efforts of another independent organization,the National Institute of Health, reveals a pattern in their approach and raises questions about their motives. Gun crime statistics will have no impact on such people blinded by a single point agenda of uncontrolled gun ownership irrespective of its consequences.
Gun crime statistics are a reliable indicator of the perils of unrestricted gun ownership. People who oppose any kind of law that will restrict owning and using guns cannot close their eyes to the scenario revealed by gun death statistics. Let us take a look at a few gun control facts to understand the gun control debate in a proper perspective.
1) We will start with the gun ownership data which has a direct bearing on gun crime statistics. Do you know how many guns are there in the United States? The absolute number of guns may not indicate anything. But consider the fact that there are 89 guns for 100 Americans. This means that there is almost one gun every American citizen including new born babies! This fact will help us understand why gun crime statistics show such a pathetic picture.
2) The second item of gun crime statistics that I am going to share will make the situation even more horrifying. Gun control opponents have been arguing that owning guns will make their homes safer. But gun crime statistics tell a different story. In those regions that have a high rate of gun ownership, the number of children becoming victims of gun violence is also high.
3) By way of corroborating the above facts, another item of gun crime statistics says that if there is a gun in a house, there is a high risk of women and children living in the house getting killed by guns.
4) The other side of children becoming victims of gun crime is also presented by gun crime statistics. A study has come out with a shocking finding that about 39 percent of children of gun owning parents know where their parents keep the guns. This points to the danger of guns falling into the hands of children, leading to the inappropriate use of guns by the children.
5) The consequences of the possibilities discussed above are revealed by gun crime statistics that when gun death is expressed as a ratio of the population of a country, the United States ranks below South Africa.
It is in keeping with the healthy practice of looking at both the sides of an issue that gun control pros and cons are being considered. In any gun control debate, people taking up positions on either side will present their arguments supporting them with facts and figures on the one hand and logical arguments on the other. Gun control pros and cons include gun crime statistics which cannot be ignored while studying the issue of gun control.
Let us take a few gun control pros and cons to understand the topic in proper perspective. What are the gun control facts supporting stricter gun control laws? Gun death statistics have brought out the fact that in areas where more people own guns, gun crimes are also more. In fact, a study shows that not only murders but even suicides increase with the number of guns in a place. It is an irony that while the pro gun ownership people claim that having a gun is a good way protecting oneself and one’s family, the reality is that it increases the chances of gun death in the family by way of murder or suicide.
The other side of the above mentioned fact is also revealed by gun crime statistics. The number of murders is smaller in countries where the number of guns is smaller. Thus, gun control pros and cons show that gun crime varies directly with the number of guns. Another fact to be included in the gun control pros and cons is that 39 percent of the children know where guns are kept in their houses! This shocking revelation raises the question of safety arising from gun ownership. How are we going to stop the children from using guns indiscriminately?
Now, what are the gun control pros and cons raised by the anti gun control lobby? This lobby which is led by the National Rifles Association (NRA) does not bother to present arguments in support of its stand. The NRA has made it clear that it will not compromise on its stand. This means that gun control pros and cons will have no impact on the thinking of the anti gun control groups. The action of the pro NRA legislators in placing obstacles on the path of CDC in its efforts to study gun violence is in keeping with this attitude.
There are only two ways of dealing with gun death statistics. Either we should understand the message delivered by them and take appropriate action or we should just dump them. Though you may find the idea of dumping gun death statistics to be repulsive, some people may like this idea! Let us examine the response of some people to gun crime statistics.
1) We have the National Rifles Association, popularly known as the NRA, which has been opposing gun control stiffly and has even said that it will not compromise on its stance. So, what impact can gun control facts have on the NRA and its supporters?
2) We can understand the opposition of the NRA to gun control but if it wants its views to be heard, it should join the gun control debate and explain its position with respect to gun death statistics. But, instead of following this sensible course, the NRA has been threatening some legislators that they will face certain defeat in the primaries if they do not endorse the stand of the NRA on the issue of gun control.
3) Apparently yielding to the threat given out by the NRA, some legislators make it difficult for people and organizations even to compile gun death statistics. I can cite two instances. The pro NRA legislators have created some rules that would make it difficult for the CDC to study gun violence. These legislators have been adopting similar tactics for preventing the National Institute of Health from studying gun violence.
Notwithstanding such unreasonable methods followed by the anti gun control groups, gun control pros and cons have been brought to light by gun control articles that frequently appear in the print media. Thus gun death statistics are available in the public domain and the people are becoming increasingly aware of these figures. People will be able to judge the issue of gun control based on gun death statistics and not on rhetorical statements like claiming gun ownership as a right. When gun death statistics reveal that in countries that have implemented strict gun control laws, not only murders have come down but suicides have decreased as well, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about what the right course should be.