So you’re probably wondering why I’m focussing on US gun laws as opposed to gun laws in countries elsewhere in the world or in my own country Australia. The answer; I’m sick of seeing the senseless slaughter of innocents in what’s supposed to be one of the greatest, and most developed, country in the world.
First, a few statistics about the use of guns in the US, just to create a picture of the use of guns. There are an estimated 310 million firearms in civilian circulation. That’s just civilian, not including their massive army which has the largest budget of any other in the world. Also, at the moment, just 49% of US household own a gun. That’s a lot compared to other some countries but it’s still less than half of US households. That means that under half of the US population own those 310 million firearms. In addition, out of the 132 million voters in 2008, only 55 million of them own guns. This shows that it could actually be possible to change gun laws, it’s just whether politicians are brave enough to do it. The majority of US citizens don’t actually own them, but those who do are very vocal about it.
One argument is that of self-defence which can be rendered moot. As a wise woman once said; “guns never solve problems they didn’t help make in the first place”. There are approximately 89 guns per 100 residents in the US in 2007 compared to 15 per 100 people in Australia and 7 in the UK. This correlates very well with the number of deaths per 1000 people which is 9 times higher in the US than it is in Australia, and 40 times higher in the US than in the UK. From these statistics, it is obvious that guns do not help to protect people, but instead cause more violence and harm than good.
Now, some alarming facts about the sale of firearms. They don’t need to be registered after purchase and a person as young as 18 can legally own a gun. Background checks are not required for private, unlicensed sellers. That means that anyone, even a known criminal, can purchase a gun completely legally, and without need of the Black Market. In addition, in some states it is legal to carry a concealed gun in a public place without a permit. How easy does this make it for the burglar, the killer? Anybody in these areas could be carrying a concealed weapon without anybody knowing about it.