American Gun Control in a Global Context

Posted on April 23, 2018 by


America, the land of freedom and guns. Guns are a big part of American culture. The Constitution has given Americans the right to bear arms, but did our founding fathers understand the degree of dissent this would imply in the future of their country?

There are more public mass shootings in America than any other place in the world. Americans are killed by more fellow citizens than any other people in the world. Americans also own the most guns per person in the world, about four in ten saying they either own a gun or live in a home with guns, according to a 2017 study by  Pew Center. Forty-eight percent of Americans said they grew up in a house with guns, while three quarters say they cannot imagine living without a gun.

Globally, restrictive gun laws have been proven to make a difference in curbing massacres. For example, after four mass shootings occurred between 1987 and 1996, Australia’s Parliament passed stricter gun laws. Australia hasn’t had a mass shooting since.

Massacres like Columbine, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, Pulse, Parkland, etc. have prompted the debate for gun control, but they also increase a demand for weapons. Regulations covering the sale of firearms are looser now than they were two years ago.

In February 2017, President Donald Trump signed a measure that scrapped an Obama-era regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of severely mentally ill people. Americans own nearly half (48%) of the estimated 650 million civilian-guns worldwide. The number of firearms available to American civilians is estimated at 310 million according to a 2009 National Institute of Justice report, making it easier for dangerous and mentally ill individuals to formulate more mass shootings.

Americans are divided on whether the country’s gun deaths could be reduced through tougher laws on gun ownership. Liberals argue that legal restrictions on gun ownership could save lives. Conservatives say that stricter gun laws would do nothing to curb the behavior of violent criminals. The future is still unclear, and mass shootings could be preventable.

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