The picture presented by gun crime statistics is gruesome. Anyone looking at the gun death statistics cannot ignore the fact that gun crime has been increasing over the years and that a strong gun control legislation is the need of the hour. Let us examine a few items of gun crime statistics and analyze them so as to understand the situation correctly.
Gun crime statistics demolish the argument we sometime hear in a gun control debate in support of uncontrolled gun ownership. Advocates of unfettered gun ownership have been claiming that arming people with guns is the best way to protect them from being victims of crimes. But the reality seems to be far removed from this claim. Gun control facts show that places that have a high concentration of guns report a large number of children getting killed by guns. This fact alone will refute the argument that guns give protection. Guns only increase the risk of gun death.
One of the most disturbing data obtained from gun crime statistics is that thirty nine percent of the children know where to find the guns in their houses. If there is a gun in a house, the chance of some kid living in that house getting hold of the gun is quite high. Nothing can be more dangerous than children getting hold of guns since the children neither know how to handle the guns properly nor are aware of the consequences of using them inappropriately.
Against the gun crime statistics like the above tilting the balance of gun control pros and cons in favor of gun control, the anti gun control activists refuse to accept the realities. The National Rifles Association (NRA) which has been leading the opposition to strong gun control laws functions not like a club as its name suggests but as a highly paid lobby. The NRA has been urging the legislators to be on its side in the gun control debate, threatening them with defeats in primaries if they would not toe its line. The threat seems to be working as revealed by the actions of some legislators who, with a view to obstruct the process of strengthening the gun control measures, have been making rules to ensure that organizations like the National Institute of Health will find it difficult even to study gun violence.
Anyone who studies gun control pros and cons should be assumed to have an open mind. The purpose of understanding both sides of an issue like gun control can only be for weighing the arguments in favor of both sides against each other and decide which side has more weight. This is the logical, rational, sensible and fair way of looking at gun control pros and cons. But the anti gun control groups do not adopt this approach. These people do not even seem to take a serious look at gun death statistics. They have already decided that gun control pros and cons support their stand against stricter gun control laws. So they will either ignore gun crime statistics or rubbish them.
Considering the fact that organizations like the NRA (National Rifles Association) take a distorted view of gun control pros and cons by presuming that gun control facts are in favor of their preconceived opinions, we have to conclude that their motives are questionable. Questions like whether the NRA is a club of sportsmen as its name suggests or a lobby of gun owners arise in the minds of independent observers of the gun control debate that has been going on for the past few decades. Notwithstanding the claim of the NRA that it is a political organization, it should be considered only a lobbyist body. Support for this view comes from its actions.
The NRA is known to have been coercing legislators to toe its line by threatening them that it will work for their defeat in the primaries, if they do not. This threat seems to have had its effect on some legislators who have started working to promote the cause of the NRA. Not bothering to look at the gun control pros and cons and act in a fair manner, these legislators have been engaged in creating rules that will block independent bodies like the National Institute of Health even from studying gun violence. Such attempts may not tilt the gun control pros and cons in favor of the anti gun lobby. We have incontrovertible gun crime statistics based on the experience of many countries that the smaller the number of guns in a society, the smaller will be the number of murders. This kind of data leave us in no doubt as to what inference we could draw by studying gun control pros and cons.
The term gun death is being increasingly used by many people because it has become so frequent a phenomenon. The issue of gun control is tied to the problem of gun death in that many people believe that stricter gun control laws will be able to check the number of incidents of gun death.
Some countries of the world have been concerned with the problem of gun death and tightened gun control laws. They have reported a dramatic improvement in the situation, as revealed by gun death statistics. Australia, for example, has found that it has been able to reduce the incidence of gun death by about 60 per cent after they brought in strict gun control laws.
Gun control facts reveal that the United States has the problem of too many guns owned by its people. This can be seen from the fact that people in the US own about half the number of all the privately owned guns in the world which is abnormal when considered along with the fact that the population of the United States is only about 5 percent of the population of the world! Such abnormal gun ownership is bound to result in an abnormal gun death rate. This is confirmed by gun death statistics that show that when the number of gun deaths is worked out for a population of 100,000 citizens, the US is ranked well below South Africa.
The stumbling block for the efforts to control gun death by controlling gun ownership is created by the anti gun control groups, of whom the National Rifles Association (NRA) is the most prominent. The NRA, which has never participated in a meaningful gun control debate, and seems to be totally unconcerned about gun crime statistics and has been using its power to influence the legislators. The NRA is reported to be threatening legislators that they will be defeated in the primaries due to the efforts of the NRA, if they choose to support proposals for stricter gun laws. The fact that some legislators have been framing rules which would make it difficult for organizations like the CDC from even making an assessment of the gun violence seeks to confirm the undue influence of the NRA on them.
Traditionally, a gun control debate will dwell on familiar arguments that have been heard several times by every one. But with new gun control facts emerging very frequently, the gun control debate has become more lively. There is no dearth of gun death statistics to be used in advancing the cause of tighter gun control laws. However,figures have to be correctly interpreted if they have to serve any purpose.
An argument that can be used in a gun control debate is about the share of gun death in homicides. Murders otherwise called homicides are committed by various means. The methods may vary from strangling with bare hands to killing with various kinds of weapons like guns, knives, clubs, sharp instruments etc. But surprisingly, a vast majority of homicides, 60 percent to be specific, are committed using guns. When this point is brought out in a gun control debate, people will realize the danger potential of guns.
Another factor that should be highlighted in a gun control debate is from the gun crime statistics. People who are interested in understanding gun control pros and cons will be definitely disturbed by the disclosure made in a gun control debate that 30,000 deaths per year result from guns in the United States.
A gun control debate can also bring about the link between different types of gun control facts by explaining how the different sets of statistics corroborate each other. The fact that nearly half of all the privately owned guns are in the US will be a shocking fact when viewed against the fact that the US population forms just 5 percent of the population of the world.
Unfortunately, a gun control debate may have no impact on certain groups. Notable among these is the National Rifles Association (NRA) which makes no secret of its policy that it will not compromise its opposition to any form of gun control. Since the NRA uses the concept of democracy to justify its stand, people interested in a gun control debate should enlighten the organization that democracy means a fight against tyranny and that gun control is a part of this fight.