Without question one of the most controversial and divisive issues in our country today is gun control. Conversations, debates, and arguments on the back of gun violence in this country seem to be an all to frequent occurrence anymore. The blame is laid at the feet of everyone from gun owners, to the NRA, to the government, to the state of heath care for the mentally ill, all depending on who you ask. So, just how prevalent is gun violence in America? Let’s take a look at some recent statistics.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, firearms (excluding BB and pellet guns) were used in 84,258 nonfatal injuries, 11,208 deaths by homicide, 21,175 by suicide with a firearm, 505 deaths due to accidental discharge of a firearm, and 281 deaths due to firearms-use with “undetermined intent” for a total of 33,169 deaths related to firearms (excluding firearm deaths due to legal intervention). 1.3% of all deaths in the country were related to firearms. Are these problematic numbers? Some may say 1.3% is a drop in the bucket. Others may say that that 1.3% or 33,169 deaths could have been scaled down dramatically with tougher legislation, and with laws and provisions in place to help keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, and those with criminal intent.
Some say that even one preventable death by gun is unacceptable, while others will argue that if not by gun, then those with intent to kill themselves or others will simply find another means to so. And so we play the blame game. And we go round and round, and back again with the same fight. Do guns kill people? Or do people kill people? Or do guns just make it easier for those people who might not kill otherwise be able to kill, to get the job done?
But, who is really to blame?
What do people think about the gun control laws we have now?
As one person we spoke to said, “the gun control laws that we have now, really don’t prevent gun violence. All it does is lengthen the time it takes for honest law-abiding citizens who wish to own a firearm to get one. People who wants guns, are going to get guns. If they are honest and do it the right way, they’ll get a gun. And if they are a criminal and do it illegally, they’ll get a gun too.”
And another had this to say, “in other countries, countries with much tougher gun legislation, you simply do not see the kind of gun violence, school shootings, and violent crimes that you see here in the U.S. And something has to be done about it!”
So, where do you stand? This week we’ll be talking to people about gun violence, gun control, and what they think the real problems and solutions are. Voice your opinion. We want to hear from you! With yet another mass casualty school shooting barely in our rear view mirror, it’s a good time for suggestions and for action. It’s pretty evident that there is a problem. The question now is, is there a solution? And what is it?
Tell us in the comments where you stand, stop by our Facebook page to join the discussion, or private message us if you’re a little too shy to share.