Gun Control

THE ISSUE

  • 310,000,000 firearms in the United States as of 2009 (Roughly 1 gun per every person)
  • Firearm related homicide is at a rate of 4 for every 100,000 people.
  • There were 4,368 shooting victims last year in a major U.S. city (Chicago) alone
  • In 2010, 19,392 people committed suicide by using a gun (amounting to two thirds of all gun casualties)
  • 372 mass shootings in 2015

WHY IT MATTERS

No matter political position, socio-economic status, or race, the debate on gun control affects all Americans. During any given part of their day, people are susceptible to gun violence. Due to the outburst of mass shootings throughout the US over the past decade, baggage claim, a school library, and a movie theatre are all locations susceptible to gun violence. Mass shooting victims are caught in a crossfire of carnage, and they often have no relation to the shooter. People cannot become numb to the mass shooting epidemic that has occurred in the US and cannot be complacent with the fact that mass shootings have become a norm.

  • Guns Kill

    • Proposed Legislation:  Background checks for those purchasing a gun, eliminating the ability for people to purchase high-capacity ammunition clips, and a ban on military style semi-automatic rifles, or assault rifles
    • Suicide Rate:  Suicide by gun is the most lethal suicide method with 85% of attempted suicides by firearm ending in death
    • School Shootings:  Since 2013, there have been 208 school shootings
  • Guns Protect

    • 2nd Amendment:  “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”
    • Protection:  Guns are used for protecting oneself. Supporters argue a civilian with a firearm can respond quicker than law enforcement
    • Guns vs. Gun Violence:  Gun sales have increased dramatically over the last 25 years, and the homicide rate has dropped significantly over that same time span
    • Defense:  Pro-gun Americans believe that the massive number of privately owned guns serves as a deterrent from a potential invasion by another country. Guns are seen as a last line of defense in the scenario where the heavily funded US military is defeated

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • The election of Donald Trump could indicate little potential for major gun reforms to occur over the next 4 years; however, Trump has stated that he is for background checks on those purchasing a gun.
  • As of now, a person can legally purchase a firearm at a gun show without a background check in the majority of states.
  • The majority of Americans agree with proposed gun control measures.
  • Senate recently voted no on several proposed gun control laws that mainly involved background checks. 

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

  • Will more restrictions on guns make the U.S. a safer place?
  • How are we addressing mental health in the U.S.?
  • Suicide rates in the U.S.?
  • Are we creating an international image as a violent country?