There are very few issues that have remained in the public arena with no progress for such a long time as gun control has been. This topic seems to evoke strong feelings with some people stubbornly opposing any move towards gun control and other people, perturbed by the picture presented by gun crime statistics, demanding immediate action on the part of the government.
We need to find answers to two questions. One, why is gun control such an important issue? Two, why is it that this issue has defied a solution for such a long time, with the gun control debate going on eternally?
To understand the importance of gun control, we should take a look at the gun death statistics. We will pick out just a few gun control facts to understand the present scenario. Gun control facts show that the United States owns a very high proportion of the privately owned guns in the world. In terms of percentage, 50 percent of the guns of the world are in our country. Yet, our country holds only 5 percent of the population of the world!
The second fact that may interest people studying the gun control pros and cons is that in the US itself, regions that have a high proportion of gun ownership report a high proportion of children becoming gun death victims. Both these facts put together go to show that the higher the gun ownership, the higher are the crimes. This is confirmed by another study which has found that areas with a large number of guns also have a large number of suicides occurring.
Coming to the second question as to why the gun control issue has remained unsolved for a long time, the answer lies in the fact that there is a strong anti gun law lobby operating in our country. The campaign against gun control is spearheaded by the National Rifles Association (NRA). The NRA claims to be an association of sportsmen but behaves like a lobby because of its unreasonable stand. It will not be moved by facts like the one that Australia has been successful in bringing down its crimes by 60 percent as a result of a strong anti gun law implemented by the government. Following a policy of no compromise, organizations like the NRA have been successfully scuttling all moves towards better gun control.