Opinion Piece: Gun Control

Catherine O., Writer

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In America, we have both a gun and a people problem. Mass shootings have become more common in America, and it is happening everywhere. Schools, places of worships, bars, concerts, banks, nightclubs, anywhere, you name it. But why is this happening? Americans lead the world in gun ownership. But how does that affect society? Here are statistics in relation to firearms:


    -Firearms: 300 million

    -Firearms owners: 85 million

    -3 in 4 American gun owners have two or more guns

    -The U.S. accounts for 4.4% of the world’s population and 46% of the world’s guns


    -More than 30,000 people died in gun-related incidents in the U.S. in 2009.

Causes of gun-related deaths

      Accident: 554

      Suicide: 18,735

      Homicide: 11,493

Homicide was the 15th-leading cause of death in the United States in 2009. And guns were involved in more than 68% of those deaths.

      Homicides: 16,799

      Firearm homicides: 11,493

Among some of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world, the United States’ homicide rate is one of the highest. The homicide rate in the U.S. is 12 times that of Japan.

On The Average Day In The United States:

      -270 people in America, 47 of them children and teens, are shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, and police intervention

      -8 children and teens die from gun violence

      -87 people die from gun violence, 33 of them murdered

      -183 people are shot but survive their gun injuries.

      -38 children and teens are shot but survive their gun injuries


      -Repeated studies have shown that the presence of a gun boosts the risk of gun-related violence in the home.

      -2.7 times increased risk of homicide

      -4.8 times increased risk of suicide

      -Men are more likely to be homicide victims overall, but women are over 3 1/2 times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner compared to men.

      -In 2005, about 40% of female homicide victims ages 15-50 were killed by a current or former intimate partner. Guns were used in 55% of those cases.

       -37.5% Female murder victims in 2005 were killed by their husbands or boyfriends

        -Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher in December 2012 shot his longtime girlfriend to death before turning the gun on himself outside the team’s practice facility (he had shown evidence of CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which in people who have had multiple head injuries)


      -243 is the average number of justifiable firearms homicides, such as the shooting of a home intruder, between 2005 and 2010

     -2.1% is the proportion of all gun-related homicides

     -A 1998 study showed that for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

     -Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault.


      -Strong gun regulations aren’t always paired with strict enforcement

      -2 out of 5 guns sold in the U.S. are without background checks. This means that out of one million guns sold, 400,000 guns go home with people who have not had a background check


By all means, if people want to own a firearm, they may. It is a right that shall not be infringed. But America needs more background checks to certify who gets a gun. We also need to check for mental illness history and status. We can stop this issue, but only if we can come to a better solution on gun control.

From: Guns in America: The impact of having more guns in society