With the popular culture providing positive images of guns, the United States has a gun prevalence that is very rare in the modern world. While many people appreciate the “gun culture”, guns are heavily involved in violence in the United States. According to U.S. Department of Justice, since 1960, more than 750,000 Americans have died under firearms, including homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries. The figure 1 provides a comprehensive survey of U.S. violent crimes for the period from 1993 to 2011.This figure illustrates that from 1993 to 2011, about 60% to 70% of homicides were associated with a firearm. Over the same period, between 6% and 9% of all nonfatal violence, with about 20% to 30% of robberies and 22% to 32% of aggravated assaults involving a firearm.
According to Jeffery Goldberg, guns are responsible for 30,000 deaths a year. This causes people who hear about crimes with guns involved to immediately think that the gun is the issue, but often guns are what saved the vi¬¬ctims life. Sharon Harris cited leading criminologist Gary
Gun violence has been on the rise for many years and there seems to be no solution. People feel more protected with guns in their home, but actually this increases their risk to be in harm’s way of being hurt or killed because of the gun. The majority of gun ownership is owned by civilians “75 percent of the world’s 875 million guns are civilian controlled”(Gun Violence). People also feel more protected when they carry a gun on their person but this also increases their risk of being harmed “Philadelphia study found that the odds of an assault victim being shot were 4.5 times greater if he carried a gun" and that "his odds of being killed were 4.2 times greater when armed”(Gun Violence). If people knew that it increases their risk of being killed then not very many people will carry a gun around.
On Wednesday June 18, 2015 nine shot dead at a historical black church in Charleston, South Dakota and only a month later on July 16, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee with five dead leaving citizens devastated. The past year contains more than 350 mass shootings, averaging 1.02 shootings per day and continuous growing number of deaths, multiple mass shootings around the world leaving dozens of victims in its path. There is no exact definition of mass shootings, but most sources believe it is when four or more people are shot in one location. Citizens in America are easily able to obtain a gun and the growing issue is whether this should change and stronger laws in place. Although citizens believe gun control laws take away second amendment and right to protect themselves, mass shootings are increasing yearly and action needs to happen to prevent the next attack.
The Australian (2013) reported about a man who shot at workers at the naval headquarters in Washington and killed 12 innocent people. It also says that in America the murder rate related to gun shooting is three times more than other countries. These all are just due to easier gun laws and more access to them. As the U.S President Barack Obama said “The main difference that sets our nation apart, what makes us so susceptible to so many mass shootings is we don’t do enough, we don’t take the basic common sense actions to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people.” (The Australian , 2013)
According to the 2010 study there were 31,672 fatalities due to firearms. The following year the number went up to 32,163. Homicides that are a result from guns are relatively high in the States and they take more than eleven thousand lives a year. According to Vision for Humanity, an initiative for the Economics and Peace, the United States is ranked 99 out of 162 countries in the 2013 global peace index, homicide rates and violent crimes are among the various criteria used to determine the ranking (Vision of Humanity). Mass shootings at work places, schools, shopping malls and places of worship are happening in an alarming frequency. While the Newtown shooting is one of the horrific ones, it certainly isn’t the only one that happened in the last two years alone. There were several other mass shootings that took the lives of many all across America. While there are other significant problems in America that need our attention, in my opinion, increasing rate of Gun violence is the most significant problem in American that needs to be addressed.
“Interview the survivors of mass shootings and you hear these phrases a lot: Gunfire, they explain, rarely sounds like what it is… Many who have lived through the terror recall thinking it was a joke. A drill. Anything except the awful truth: that they might have only a few seconds to live” (“Stop the Violence” -Brody 220). Some people say guns make us feel safer, but in reality, they cause more harm than good. Arthur Kellermann and his colleagues concluded that, “Sadly, buying a gun does not make you safer. To the contrary, the evidence suggests that bringing a gun into your home increases the chances you will be killed” (“Feeling safe” -Vyse 27). Gun violence poses a very big threat to the U.S. “The U.S. has many more guns--and gun deaths--than any other developed country. In 2014, there were more than 33,000 such deaths in this country” (“Fight Over” 12). Guns are extremely dangerous and many deaths occur due to them, including murder, suicide, and accidental deaths, so stricter gun laws and technology should be used to decrease the number of gun deaths in the U.S.
Everyday 93 Americans are killed by guns. Whether it is due to homicide or suicide, it does not matter. At the end of the day gun violence is increasing exponentially. In numerous states, gun laws have been placed in the hopes of reducing gun violence. But now many people believe that gun violence should be treated as a public health problem. I for one feel that gun violence should be put in the category of public health. Every year more than 30,000 people are victims to gun related incidents. It has become such an issue that gun violence is causing more deaths than some life threatening diseases.
Researchers at the University of Alabama have conducted studies trying to find links between guns and mass shootings (Michaels). There are hundreds of millions of guns in circulation in America today. In fact, “the total number of guns in circulation is at least 240 million” (Ballaro and Finley). Adam Lankford, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama, suggests that “America’s high rate of public mass shootings is connected with the number of guns circulating in the country” (Michaels). Implementing stricter gun laws would cause fewer people to want to purchase guns, resulting in fewer guns in circulation in the coming years. In the United States, “around 30,000 people die from gun fire each year. Around half of these are murders, a little less than half are suicides, and the rest are lethal accidents” (Ballaro and Finley). (2) Currently there are several million guns in circulation, and gun deaths in America are higher than any other developed country. (5) If the trend continues, the number of gun deaths will continue to increase. As stated in the article “10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down.” author Dave Gilson states that “People with access to more guns tend to kill more people- with guns. States with higher gun ownership rates have higher gun murder rates- as much as 114% higher than states with lower gun ownership rates” (Gilson). (7) More
In 2000, nearly 30,000 people died due to uncontrollable gun violence, even though the US has many gun laws. Gun control is now one of the main political issues because of all the shootings in the past decade. There have been many studies taken on gun control, which shows more gun-control decreases deaths with a gun involved.
The Orlando nightclub shooting in Florida on June 12, 2016 was the single largest massacre in U.S history, taking the lives of 50 individuals, including the shooter himself, and injuring 53 others. This is one extreme example of the gun violence that has been occurring in this country, but mass shootings like this and the one at Newton in 2012 are only a small part of our gun violence issue. The everyday gun violence that takes place in cities all across the United States claims the lives of thousands every single year. According to The Guardian, 33,500 civilians die each year because of gun brutality- “that’s about 1 life every 15 minutes” (Beckett). Between the years of 1999 and 2013, there were 464,003 gun deaths in the U.S, about 58% of them were suicides 37% were homicides. (ProCon.org) Gun violence and the consequences of that violence, have become a real and dangerous problem in the U.S , why else would the CDC list the United States as having the highest rate of gun violence out of all developed countries today? (Gale Opposing Viewpoints) This issue is not just attributable to a single factor, there are several that play an important part in why gun violence is such an issue in the U.S, namely laws and poverty; and in these causes we can also find solutions.
Mass shootings are a huge epidemic in the United States right now. Many people live in fear of another mass shooting. Two important facts to know about mass shootings is what exactly a mass shooting is and how often they occur. CNN’s authors used the Gun Violence Archive to define a mass shooting in his article “A Visual Guide; Mass Shootings in America” as “any incident where four or more people are wounded or killed”(Willingham). The frequency of mass shootings depends on which source you look at; using the definition given by CNN as well statistics, the United States has seen “136 mass shootings in the first 164 days of this year”(Willingham). However, author Sam Harris has a staggeringly different statistic in his blog article “The Riddle of the Gun”. Harris claims that “seventy mass shootings have occurred in the U.S. since 1982, leaving 543 dead” (Harris). Harris’s article is three years older than CNN’s article, yet the facts are staggeringly different by an amount that is nearly impossible to reach in three years. The definitions the two articles used for defining mass shootings are obviously different, but are both capable of informing the reader on the statistics of mass shootings frequency.
According to the Violence Policy Center, there were only 211 justifiable firearm homicides in the U.S. during 2013. In that same year, there were 7838 criminal gun homicides. That means that for every justifiable gun homicide, there were roughly 37 criminal homicides committed with a firearm. Even having a gun can make a situation more fatal. An American Journal of Public Health study found that a person with a gun on them during an altercation with a firearm was 4.46 times more likely to get shot than those who did not. Guns ultimately do more harm than good in most
As the daughter of a victim of gun violence I know what it is like to hear about this rising issue and instantly feel pained. Gun violence not only harms those that have been injured or killed, but it takes a lot from close relatives and friends. Within in the past few years it has become normal to hear about this act of violence occurring in America. According to GunViolenceArchive.org, there have been a total of 14,259 incidents in 2016 thus far. This is shocking because the year just began a few months ago and this number is extremely high. The big question is why is this number so high? The gun violence rate in America has inclined over the years and if nothing is being set in place to stop or control it, it will only get worse as the years continue. The Washington Post’s article, “Gun Violence in America is out of Control” is simply stating that the gun violence in America is out of hand and as citizens we need to be aware of this issue and keep that in mind when we are voting for our next president. (Washington Post) In Vox.com’s article, “Gun violence in America, in 17 maps and charts” express that America is one of the most violent countries in the world and gun violence is happening more frequently because of the easy access of guns. (Vox) Both sources recognize that gun violence in America has reached an all-time high, but I agree with Vox’s argument because