We all want to be safe and secure, and to live without fear, and that’s a human right that we all have. But in the U.S., gun violence is an epidemic that directly threatens these rights. Shooting homicides are on the rise, though other common methods of murder remain flat, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As rich, advanced and accomplished as the country might be, the U.S. has somehow not been up to the task of coping with the plague of gun violence.
But as the nation comes to grips with yet another mass murder carried out by an angry man with a deadly weapon, it is perhaps time to review how often Americans turn to guns to express discontent, hate and prejudice against their compatriots.
In 2018 alone, including the most recent carnage at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, there have been 47,220 gun-related incidents resulting in 11,984 deaths in the United States, according to data compiled by Gun Violence Archive, an independent data-collection and research group.
That breaks down to 157 incidents and 40 deaths a day and does not include 22,000 suicides. Of the total fatalities, 548 were children, while 2,321 were teenagers.
GVA defines gun incidents as all types of shootings, including officer involved, accidental, children shooting themselves, murders, armed robberies, mass shootings, home Invasions and drivebys.
“Only by being totally inclusionary in our definitions is our data accurate, allowing the researcher to decide which parts of the complete dataset they need for their work. Our goal is to provide a complete picture of impact,” said the group in a statement on its website.
There are, of course, arguments from staunch gun-rights supporters that an armed citizenry is a safer citizenry.
Nothing stops a bad guy with a gun like a good guy with a gun, is a popular National Rifle Association talking point.
And President Donald Trump pondered aloud whether guns inside the synagogue might have led to a less tragic outcome.
Attacks in US become deadlier
The Las Vegas attack was the worst in recent US history – and five of the shootings with the highest number of casualties happened within the past 10 years.
America is an exceptional country when it comes to guns. It’s one of the few countries in which the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected.
Amnesty International says:
“A staggering number of people are killed with guns in the United States every year. More than 30,000 men, women, and children are killed with guns each year in the United States. Among high-income countries, the United States accounts for 80 percent of all gun deaths in the world, 86 percent of all women killed by guns, and 87 percent of all children younger than 14 who are killed by guns. Fueling this epidemic, laws on guns in the United States are inconsistent and weak – and federal, state, and local governments are not meeting their obligation under international law to protect people’s safety.
America’s relationship with guns is unique in another crucial way: Among developed nations, the US is far and away the most homicidal — in large part due to the easy access many Americans have to firearms.
– Politicoscope / BBC / Market Watch / Amnesty International