United States, We have a Problem
In light of the recent Aurora Colorado travesty, gun control is once again in the spot light and the subject remains highly contentious. From a GOP senator defending a person’s right to buy high-capacity magazines to Mayor Bloomberg calling for the government to finally start taking gun control seriously, everyone in between has an opinion.
I am not anti-gun. If one wants to own a hand-gun or rifle for hobby shooting or to protect oneself and knows how to use it as well as takes appropriate precautions, great. I don’t own one, but would like to learn to shoot in case I ever have a need.
Regardless of which side of the issue you stand on, regardless of what argument you use to defend your position, some important facts remain true and must be considered.
In 2003, the World Health Organization assembled data from high income countries (Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland) and the United States) of firearm deaths. And article published in 2011 took that data and came up with the following statistics: Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care: January 2011 – Volume 70 – Issue 1 – pp 238-243
- US firearm homicide rates are 19.5 higher than the other high-income countries
- For 15-24 year olds firearm homicide rates were 42.7 times higher
- For US males, firearm homicide rates were 22.0 higher
- For US females 11.4 times higher
- US firearm suicides were 5.8 times higher
- US firearm unintentional deaths were 5.2 times higher
- 80% of all firearm deaths occurred in the US
- 86% of women killed by firearms were US women
- 87% of all children aged 0-14 killed by firearms were US children
Data on firearm deaths has been collected since the early 1900’s and it shows the same trend. This chart represents firearms deaths for one year between 1990 and 1995. The US leads these countries, even over such violent countries like Brazil and Mexico.
The United States has a problem. We lead THE WORLD in firearm related deaths. We have the most LAX GUN PURCHASE laws in the world. We, the people, must get engaged and expect our lawmakers to engage in honest and respectful problem solving on this issue. Rhetoric isn’t helping. Entrenchment doesn’t help. People keep dying. Every day. Do people REALLY want this to go on, unstoppable, until we all live in such fear we no longer delight in the basic joys of life like going to a movie, shopping in a mall, learning at school? Step up. Do something. Help stop the killing.
- Richard S. Brown | Let’s find common ground on guns (kansascity.com)
- The Booming United States Firearm Industry (homesecuritysystems.net)
- Weekly Republican Address: Speaker Boehner on the Tragedy in Aurora, Colorado (speaker.gov)