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.
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.
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.
Gun control articles are doing a good job. They have succeeded in putting the issue of gun control in perspective. The need for this has arisen because the anti gun control lobby has been working overtime to thwart all efforts to make gun control laws stronger. People who are opposed to gun control do not seem to take notice of the gun control facts that show the severity of the problem of gun crime. These people are not perturbed by gun crime statistics depicting the extent of gun violence caused by uncontrolled gun ownership, but keep registering their opposition to gun control laws in general.
If we go through the gun death statistics that are recorded in gun control articles, we can see that a large number of people are becoming victims of gun death. When figures for the number of gun deaths as a ratio of the population are compiled for different countries and compared, the United States occupies a position at a much lower level than does South Africa. This is one of the facts highlighted by gun control articles.
Notwithstanding the fact that gun control articles have listed the gun control pros and cons, thereby making it easy for the people to analyze these details and evaluate them for themselves, some legislators are busy making rules that will effectively block independent organizations like the National Institute of Health from studying gun violence. These legislators are obviously toeing the line of the National Rifles Association (NRA), which has been opposing gun control measures strongly.
If we compare the picture presented by gun control articles on the one hand and the activities of the anti gun control lobby on the other, we cannot but question the status of the NRA. Though the NRA calls itself an association of sports persons, it has been functioning more like a paid lobby. The NRA does not even qualify to be a political organization because it does not offer credible arguments in support of its stand the way gun control articles do. The NRA can only be called a lobbyist body.
I get disturbed whenever I read the gun death statistics. In general, statistics will make dull reading. After all, it is boring to go through the figures and understand them. But some kinds of statistics like gun crime statistics should be read by all even if it needs some effort to do that. The picture presented by gun death statistics will support the case for a strong gun control law.
Let us look at some of these gun death statistics. A study made on homicides in the United States shows that in 60 percent of the cases, the murders were committed by using guns. In fact, whenever we hear about a murder, before we know the details, we are likely to think that the murder was committed using a gun! Such is the association of gun with death. You may be shocked to know that every year 30,000 people are shot dead in the US. Gun control facts like this are only to be expected given the state of high gun ownership in our country.
You can find a lot more gun death statistics if you go through gun control articles. But none of these figures seem to have any effect on organizations like the National Rifles Association (NRA) who have made it a point to blindly oppose any gun control measure. The only way these people respond to gun death statistics is by claiming that in a democracy, there should be no control on guns. What they fail to understand is that democracy means rule of law and to ensure that the rule of law is properly implemented, tyranny has to be curbed. Tyranny resulting from guns should also be controlled in the interest of democracy.
The intransigence displayed by the NRA in spite of the grim realities presented by gun death statistics makes one perceive this body not as any kind of club but only as a paid lobby. This perception is confirmed by the policy of the NRA to not accept any compromise. It will not consider the gun control pros and cons and will not even look at the gun death statistics.
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.