America · Social Issues

America’s obsession with guns has become an epidemic.

America’s obsession with guns has become an epidemic.

If you live in America you can wake up with your coffee and pancakes, go to work on the subway and have a great day following the American Dream. You can come home to your white picket fence and your 2.5 children and talk about their school day; you can make sure they’re in bed by 7pm so you can watch the late night news and then have your scheduled 8 hours sleep- life sure is great in the land of the free. While you’ve done this 33 people will have been shot and killed, more than 60 people have been injured by a gun and 1 mass shooting has taken place. But of course, it’s not time for tougher gun laws; this isn’t fair because not all Americans abuse these privileges, how are you expected to protect yourselves if people take your guns away. Well it isn’t working, Americas ‘good guy with a gun’ is not helping.

The far right republican crème-de-la-crème such as Ted Cruz , Donald Trump and Marco Rubio argue that guns are necessary for protection, they argue that one “good guy with a gun” is all it takes to stop a mass shooting. Gun sales can be seen to increase after every mass shooting  as the nation scrambles to protect itself, to be the good guy. This doesn’t work. It never has worked. In the period of 1987-90 less than one percent of gun crime was stopped by a potential victim at the scene. While this has risen to 3% in 2015 it’s a rhetoric with little basis, furthermore, placing law enforcement in the hands of untrained citizens is almost never a good idea, and by  almost never, I just mean never.

Placing guns in the hands of untrained citizens not only increasing the risk of them shooting someone else unlawfully, but it also puts them at serious risk of killing themselves. America’s levels of accidental gun death are twice the average of the developed world. So for those people saying that it’s not just America’s problem. It is.

Gun crime costs America $516million per year in hospital funds, it costs America 12,000 lives per year – more Americans die per year from gun crime than they did in the entire occupation of Iraq/ Afghanistan, so the question of ‘why has no one put a stop to this?’ is still gaping. Well there’s no definitive answer, sorry. There is no outstanding reason why it hasn’t been stopped. However one important thing to consider is the influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the related gun lobby’s. The support of the NRA is almost vital for any Republican candidacy, since 2000 the NRA and the other gun lobbyists have pumped $81million into the Senate and various presidential candidates. This support means that it’s almost vital for the Republican candidates to defend gun rights tooth and nail.

It’s a legacy no other western country has, America has astronomical levels of gun crime compared to other developed countries, and when compared to countries like Kenya, Jamaica, Russia and South Africa who are notorious for gun crime, it has the second highest. It’s time for Americans to stop funding the NRA, stop standing for divisive ‘Muslim free’ areas. Its time they did their bit to stop this epidemic before it is one of their friends or a member of one of their families who is shot.

Because I used a lot of statistics in this article, here are the sources I found them at.

Howell, Embry M. (September 13, 2013). “The Hospital Costs of Firearm Assaults”. Urban Institute. Retrieved12 September 2015.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34424385

http://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/#

http://www.humanosphere.org/science/2015/10/visualizing-gun-deaths-comparing-u-s-rest-world/

http://www.armedwithreason.com/militia-myths-why-armed-populations-dont-prevent-tyranny-but-often-lead-to-it/

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