There is about to be a war in America. The war will be waged in gun control articles and those will often be fearsome, exaggerated and occasionally hostile. This gun control debate will be conducted as the majority of Americans demand our leaders pass legislation banning assault weapons, requiring background checks for gun buyers and generally strengthening our gun laws. The opposition to the majority will be a small fraction of irrational citizens who are blind to the facts of gun violence. The debate will often be steered to the 2nd amendment. It is fair to call these folks irrational because any gun control debate must be based on facts. The facts of the issues are well established but they have been deliberately distorted, mischaracterized or lies substituted for truth. In addition, all manner of illogical argumentation techniques will be used in the coming gun control debate. For example, gun control statistics will be responded to with claims about the 2nd amendment. It is irrational in a gun control debate to respond to the facts of gun violence with an argument about the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms. The Supreme court has ruled many times on the 2nd amendment. They have found that gun ownership is legal and protected. However, they have found that the 2nd amendment also protects the government’s right to regulate guns. What is gun control? First, it is not about taking away people’s guns. This would likely be impossible. Rather, it is about changing American culture to end the perverse worship of guns and gradually make their use understood to be a symptom of a social disorder rather than a point of cultural pride. Gun control is also about making the acquisition of guns more difficult and ensuring that anyone who should not have a deadly weapon does not get one. Finally, it is about banning weapons that are most effective when used to massacre groups of people and reducing the number and ease of handguns. Why are these worthy goals? Any sound gun control debate must include relevant gun control statistics. Here are some from a recent gun control article on gun violence toward women in America: * In 2010, nearly six times as many women were shot by husbands, boyfriends, and ex partners than were murdered by male strangers. Guns do not make women safer. * A woman who has been a victim of an abusive partner is more than seven times more likely to be killed by her abuser if he has access to a gun. Access to guns is a terrible risk for women in abusive relationships. *Women in states with higher gun ownership rates were almost five times more likely to be murdered by a gun than women in states with lower gun ownership rates. The more guns; the more gun violence.
Gun control statistics are regularly looked at by people on both sides of the debate. Some individuals may used them to defend the 2nd amendment. Others may believe that they give more than enough reason to further restrict the right to bear arms. One of the reasons why gun control statistics are used by both sides is because like most kinds of statistics, they can be interpreted in different ways. It all depends on who is looking at them, and what they are using them for. Some people who look at gun control statistics to argue for the continued ownership of “assault rifles” will go on about how the highest percentage of gun crimes in the United States are committed with handguns. After that, they will point out how so many of them take places in cities like Chicago, which already have some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Like so many other kinds of stats however, people can take gun control statistics and turn them right around, and still seem to make sense. Recent gun control statistics have also shown a high concentration of shootings taking place in suburban schools and colleges over the last decade. While these represent a relatively low percentage of overall gun injuries and deaths in the country, most people will agree that even one such incident is too much. Whether someone gets their gun control statistics from an independent researcher, or from the FBIs own website, the one thing they will see is that there are thousands of gun deaths each year. In order to put things into perspective, people should always make sure to separate violent crimes and murders from accidents. With new gun control statistics coming out every year, only time will tell if the new laws coming on the books will be enough to make an impact for good.
In the sincere effort to reform gun laws in America, the effort to have open, honest conversations about gun control have been consistently and aggressively undermined by the gun manufacturing industry and their lobbying agency, the NRA. Irrelevant issues, such as the right to bear arms in the 2nd amendment, have been raised as smoke screens to confuse meaningful gun control debate. So, what is gun control? At present, gun control is a debate on how to change American society so that there are fewer homicides, shootings, mass murders, and gun violence. The approaches include changes to our entertainment industry, improved offering of mental health care and laws that both outlaw certain weapons and restrict ownership of others. What Is Gun Control? It is an effort to search for answers. It is national soul searching to find ways to ensure that the horror of the Sandy Hook school massacre never happens again. What Is Gun Control? It is a national self examination as to why America is so much more violent, especially with guns, than every other civilized western nation. What Is Gun Control? It is the search for truth against a well organized lobby that has had years of practice in creating fear, telling lies and distorting gun control statistics. It is a process by Americans to stand up to the liars and demand the truth. What Is Gun Control? It is every American gaining the courage to say we don’t want to be considered a violent and crazy nation by all the other modern countries of the world. It is about demanding the truth, the facts of gun violence and then acting to bring it to an end. What Is Gun Control? It is each of us looking in the mirror and saying, “This has to stop. People don’t need guns. We are a better people, a better community, a better nation without them.”
In the struggle to bring sane, civilized gun control in America, the debate has long been poisoned by the lobbying efforts of the gun manufacturing industry. Headed by the NRA, an organization that was once a sportsman’s association but is now funded by the gun industry to the tune of about $20 million per year, the conversation about rational laws has been muddied by irrelevancies such as the 2nd amendment. Truthful gun control statistics are hard to find. The fact is, “the right to bear arms” is well established and often protected by the SCOTUS. However, so has the government’s right to regulate guns. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. The NRA has been very successful in disseminating all manner of disinformation. Here are some truthful gun control statistics: The Federal agency charged with the enforcement of gun law violations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has not had a permanent director for over six years because of a rule, snuck into legislation unrelated to guns and sponsored by the NRA, that requires the Senate to approve nominees to the position. The result? No nominees have been approved! The gun industry has claimed that more Americans are becoming gun owners. This is false. Even as far back as 1973 only half of Americans said they had a gun in their homes. That per cent has steadily declined. Today less than 32 percent of American households have guns. The NRA has consistently tried to present gun ownership as non gender based. This is contrary to truthful gun control statistics. 80 percent of gun owners are men. More disturbing is that they now average 7.9 guns per person. Two hands, eight guns. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. Truth about gun control statistics is essential for an open, honest dialogue on gun control. Let’s demand the NRA tell the truth!
Gun death statistics do not lie because these are figures compiled by government and non government agencies including the United Nations Organization. So, we can rely on gun death statistics to understand the reality of the situation arising out of unrestricted gun control. People who are against gun control have been using an argument that owning guns will make life more secure for people. But gun death statistics have exploded this myth. Gun control facts indicate that in the United states, there are about 90 guns for every 100 people. This high gun ratio is what is advocated by the anti gun control groups as an insurance against crime. But has it given security to the people? Gun death statistics show that in areas that have a large number of guns, a much larger number of children and women get killed by guns. Gun crime statistics, by thus showing that the reality is opposite of what was projected by the gun control lobby, have exploded the myth that gun ownership gives more protection to people. Gun death statistics also show how the reach of gun crime has affected the country’s economy as well. As a result of gun deaths, the US economy suffers an annual loss of about 4 billion dollars. Whenever facts supporting a particular argument are revealed in a debate, we will normally expect the other side to respond by refuting them or otherwise dealing with them appropriately. But this does not happen with gun control debate. The pro gun groups have nothing to say about gun crime statistics. So, they raise sentimental issues like protecting the right of gun ownership given by the 2nd amendment. The fact that about 99 percent of the second amendment was written on the basis of inputs given by people with no college education and hence no legal education does not appeal to them. People who oppose gun control legislation routinely treat gun death statistics casually, since the scenario presented by these figures cannot be comfortable to them. The anti gun control movement is led by the NRA (National Rifles Association) which functions more like a lobby than like a political organization. Some legislators supporting the NRA are making rules which will be impractical to follow and stymie the efforts of organizations like the CDC involved in studying gun violence. Perhaps, they expect that compiling more gun death statistics will be prevented.
Can gun control articles play any role in bringing about a strong gun control regime? Yes, they can. The written word has a power of its own. Gun control articles are doing a great service to the cause of controlling gun ownership in two ways. Firstly, these articles discuss the issue in great detail by using gun control facts and put the issues involved in proper light. Secondly and more importantly, gun control articles help in mobilizing public opinion in favor of the right side by making people aware of the facts. Since many people do not have the time, knowledge or inclination to study the issues involved in gun control and make up their minds, they depend on gun control articles published in the newspapers, periodicals and the internet. Gun control articles thus enlarge both the scope of and the level of participation in the gun control debate. They do it both by bringing gun crime statistics to the knowledge of their readers and making the readers understand the picture presented by these statistics. Without gun control articles making the issues clear to them, most of the readers may have only a superficial understanding of the subject. Let us see how gun control articles present some of the facts relating to gun control. People who oppose gun control laws claim that allowing people to have guns will help prevent crime. Gun control articles present evidence to disprove this claim. Studies have found that if there is a gun in a house, the women and children living in that house have a greater risk of falling prey to gun violence. Another finding is that states that have high gun ownership have a higher number of children becoming victims of homicide. A third fact that corroborates these two data is that the number of gun deaths for 100,000 citizens is higher for the United States than it is for South Africa, resulting in the US getting ranked below South Africa in controlling gun crimes. The one group that seems to have ignored all these facts presented by gun control articles is the National Rifles Association (NRA), which is leading the fight against gun control. By following a policy of not compromising on its stand, the NRA has reduced itself from the status of being a club to that of a highly paid lobby.
For many people in the United States, the Second Amendment is much more than just another part of some old document. For them, it is a sacred part of their lives. Many people consider the right to bear arms as much a part of being an American as Baseball and apple pie. People who fear losing the right to bear arms get upset not just because they feel that they will not be able to protect themselves, but because they feel that part of what makes them American could be ripped away. While there are gun control statistics that both sides of the debate use to try and prove their point, attempting to tell someone that their feelings on their personal and national identity are wrong is very difficult to achieve. Fundamentalists believe that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. These individuals believe that certain gun control laws have already crossed the line. The right to bear arms is part of what makes America unique among the rest of the first world, and there is a lot of pride that goes with that for most supporters of the 2nd Amendment. For others of course, the right to bear arms is an inconvenience. They see is as not only something that the majority of first world nations had the good sense to avoid or do away with, but as the reason we have gun violence today. Despite the fact that most crimes are committed by illegal or stolen guns, those that are against the right to bear arms still push for further gun control. No matter what happens, the push to either repeal or constrict the 2nd Amendment will not be over any time soon. Until those who are for increased gun control and against the right to bear arms realize that it means more to a majority of Americans than just being able to target shoot and hunt, the dialogue seems doomed to keep going around in circles.
When we read a gun control article, we may wonder whether such an article serves any purpose. We all know that gun control is a contentious issue. The gun control debate has been going on for long, with the issue still remaining unsettled. How relevant is a gun control article in this scenario? I think that the relevance of the gun control article arises from the fact that we still need to mobilize public opinion in favor of stricter gun control laws. The opponents of gun control are well organized. They are able to mobilize political power in their favor. Take for example the leading anti gun control organization, the NRA (National Rifles Association.) This organization stubbornly refuses to participate in a meaningful gun control debate and openly follows a policy of not accepting any compromise on this issue. It therefore becomes necessary to mobilize people in support of gun control by bringing gun crime statistics to light. This job is being done by the gun control article. The best way to present the gun control facts to the people at large is through the media. Though everyday the newspapers carry gun death statistics, a vast majority of people are apt to ignore them. But people spend time to read newspaper articles including the gun control article to understand issues clearly. The gun control article should first counter the argument made by the pro gun lobby that having more guns is the way to prevent crime, by revealing the fact that there is no evidence to support this assumption. Gun crime statistics,in fact, show the reality to be the opposite. Even if the gun control article brings to light a few facts like the ones listed below, it will be doing a great service to the cause of arresting gun crime. 1) About 30,000 deaths are reported every year as resulting from guns. 2) About 40 percent of the children living in the houses that have guns are well aware where they can find the guns in their houses. The danger potential of the children getting guns into their hands can be easily understood by anyone. 3)In the states and regions which have a large gun owning population, a larger number of children become victims of gun violence than in those regions with a smaller gun owning population. A gun control article highlighting the above issues will be highly relevant to the issue of gun control.
Compiling gun death statistics will have value only if we are able to use them to gain a better understanding of the gun crime scene. Many a gun control article has been written packed with gun crime statistics. But if people look at statistics only as numbers and do not make an effort to understand the picture presented by them, gun death statistics will be of little value to us. For example, what will a person reading a fact that there are 30,000 deaths in the United States every year understand about gun crime? He may not even be able to judge whether this figure is normal or abnormal. One may even think that this figure is not high considering the population of the country. It is the duty of gun control articles to present this fact in perspective by expressing this as a percentage of guns owned by the US citizens and making a comparison with other countries. Such a comparison will show that countries that have a smaller number of guns have a smaller number of murders. Such a presentation will make people understand the gun death statistics in an appropriate way. Since gun death statistics unequivocally support a case for stricter gun control laws, opponents of gun control are doing their best to stop the gun control facts from coming out. We all know that the National Rifles Association (NRA) has been stiffly opposing gun control laws. It has been threatening the legislators that it will work for their defeat in the primaries if they fail to extend their support to the NRA. Apparently propelled by these threats, some of the legislators have taken sides with the NRA and have been putting obstacles in the process of collection of gun death statistics. They create rules that will make it difficult for the National Institute of Health to even study gun violence. Having no answers to the facts revealed by gun death statistics, the NRA and its supporters have been relying on the 2nd amendment to defend their right to own guns. But the fact that about 99 percent of this law was based on the information written by people with no legal education makes their argument sound weak. The picture presented by gun death statistics is real and cannot be ignored.
Why do we need to understand gun control pros and cons? The logical answer to this question is that once we are aware of the gun control facts, we will be able to formulate our opinion on the need for stronger gun control laws. This is true for anyone studying gun control pros and cons. But when we find that our legislators are indifferent to gun crime statistics, then we will be justified in asking whether we need to study the gun control pros and cons at all. Let us look at the attitude of some people. We have the National Rifles Association (NRA)which is firm in its opposition to gun control. This organization has made it clear that it will not compromise on its stand. Given such an obstinate attitude, the NRA will have no use for gun control pros and cons. The problem arises from the fact that the NRA has the support of some legislators. The NRA has been functioning more like a lobby than like a club and has been influencing the legislators to act in its favor. What will the pro gun lobby do when it is faced with gun death statistics that show that gun death has been becoming a major problem to handle? It will not join the gun control debate by presenting gun control facts in support of its side. It will come out with arguments like the claim that gun ownership being a right given to the people by the 2nd amendment, it should not be taken away. The fact is that about 99 percent of the information behind this amendment was written by people who had no legal education and hence were not aware of the legal implications of uncontrolled gun ownership. Notwithstanding the specious arguments made by organizations like the NRA, gun control pros and cons present a different scenario. Just two gun control facts will be enough to show that gun control is an imperative need. One, the United States has a high proportion of gun ownership by its citizens who own about half of the guns in the world, though the US has only 5 percent of the population of the world. Two, in regions that have a high ratio of gun owning population, a higher proportion of children die due of homicides. Looking at these two facts together, we can understand what picture then control pros and cons present.