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 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.
One gun control article I read yesterday had some new pieces of statistical data that I have not come across before. I have read many gun control articles listing innumerable gun control facts. In fact the gun control debate is kept alive by many a gun control article that hits the readers almost on a daily basis. The new gun crime statistics revealed by this gun control article are given below.
1)One of the most surprising piece of information provided by this gun control article is about the number of guns owned by the American people. This data is given as the number of guns for 100 people. i was shocked to find that this ratio is 89. That means for every 100 people living in our country, we have 89 guns!
2) With such a large number of guns relative to the population, we can only expect that the crime rate will be high. Gun death statistics presented in this article show that guns are used in about 60 percent of the murders (or homicides as they are usually referred to). The more guns are with the people, the more seem to be the number of gun deaths.
3) The conclusion that gun crime will increase in proportion to the gun ownership was confirmed by this gun control article by showing the positive effects of gun control. Two significant facts were reported in this gun control article. The first was the report of a study that found that countries which have implemented strict gun control laws experienced a decline in the number of murders. The second fact was more specific, describing the experience of Australia. Australia was one country that took the wise decision to bring in a strict gun control regime. This has resulted in a sharp decrease in gun violence by about 60 percent in that country.
4) Another stunning information provided by this gun control article concerned the US economy. It brought out the fact that the effect of gun violence was felt by the US economy also as seen by the fact that the United States has been losing close to four billion dollars every year on account of gun violence.
Sometimes, I wonder what the purpose of a gun control debate is. This is not like an academic debate that takes place either as a contest or as a form of entertainment. Gun control debate takes place at various levels making a threadbare analysis of gun control pros and cons with the aim of bringing out all the relevant facts and arguments into the public arena.
Unfortunately, the gun control debate has been going on for too long in our country. It has not thrown up any new issues. Gun control facts may need updating with new gun death statistics figures being compiled everyday. I have come across two updated gun crime statistics. One is that a high percentage of homicide crimes (about 60 percent ) are caused by the use of guns. The second one is the finding that strict gun control measures will bring down not only the number of murders but also the number of suicides. I am not sure whether the gun control debate will be enriched by this information since this is only a confirmation of the trend being witnessed over the past few decades.
But what is the response of the anti gun control lobby to these points brought out in the gun control debate? Either it should accept these facts or counter them, if it can. But opponents of gun control will do neither. They will only raise issues that have no bearing on the gun control facts. These people use frivolous arguments like the desirability of restricting the right to own guns that has been given to us by the 2nd amendment. Perhaps these people are not aware that about 99 percent of this act was prepared by people, though eminent and well versed in various fields, lacked a formal legal education. For its part, the National Rifles Association (NRA) has been threatening legislators that they would be defeated in the primaries and thus would not get a chance to be reelected if they supported gun control measures.
Not many people read gun control articles. The pages of newspapers and other periodicals and innumerable web pages are flooded with gun control articles. But what purpose will a gun control article serve if it is not read by many? I think that even if the articles are not read by many people, they still contribute to the gun control debate. This is because they carry a lot of information on gun control facts and these data can be used by anyone interested in studying the issue of gun control in detail.
I browsed through several gun control articles in the internet and was astonished at the vastness and depth of the information provided by them. Some of the gun crime statistics they provided were astonishing. For the first time, I learnt that the United states, one of the leading countries of the world performed worse than a relatively less advanced country like South Africa when the gun death figures were expressed as a percentage of population. It was difficult for me to digest that the US was ranked worse than South Africa in an issue relating to the safety of human lives.
Gun control articles also provided the answer to the question as to why the US performed worse than South Africa by presenting another set of gun crime statistics. The answer lay in the fact that the US citizens owned a disproportionately larger share of the guns in the world! The logical conclusion that fewer guns resulted in less crime was confirmed by the information given in another gun control essay.
Gun control articles currently being written should aim to answer the arguments raised by the anti gun control groups like the National Rifles Association (NRA). For example, the argument that gun ownership rights are given to us by the 2nd amendment can be met by making the point that the people behind creating this amendment had no legal background. Therefore, putting some reasonable restrictions on gun ownership cannot be deemed wrong.
Gun control articles should also bring to light the dubious ways of the NRA in threatening the legislators to toe its line if they did not want to lose their primaries.
I welcome gun control articles. They make their own contribution to the cause of gun control. Obviously a gun control article may support or oppose making gun control stronger. But either way, they will be making a valuable contribution to the gun control debate. The only thing I will expect from good gun control articles is that they should state gun control facts truthfully.
There are a number of studies resulting in gun crime statistics. The picture revealed by these figures will not but disturb anyone who values human life. Gun control articles will be doing a great service to the cause of gun control if they present gun death statistics appropriately, even if the articles are written opposing legislation putting curbs on owning and using guns.
People should be aware of gun control pros and cons so that they can formulate their opinions objectively. Otherwise they may be carried away by sentimental arguments that depict owning guns as a right conferred on us by the 2nd amendment. We have organizations like the National Rifles Association (NRA) that describe themselves as an association of sports people obscuring the fact that they are highly paid lobbies campaigning against any restrictions on guns. We have several pro NRA legislators who scuttle the efforts of institutions like the National Institute of health even studying gun violence. Gun control articles can probe the question whether the NRA is a political organization or a body of lobbyists. By presenting gun death statistics objectively, gun control articles will serve as a forum to counter propaganda with truth.
Gun control articles should highlight facts relating to the issue of gun death. For example, they can enlighten the readers of the fact that guns are used not only for murders but also for suicides. The message that gun control laws can prevent our near and dear ones from resorting to suicide on some emotional moment by putting restrictions on the availability of guns to anyone and everyone can be effectively conveyed by well written gun control articles.