Gun violence refers to violence committed with firearms, especially murder, assault, rape, robbery, and suicide. While most advanced industrial societies have much lower rates of gun violence than less developed countries, the United States is a major exception. Firearms are comparatively easy to obtain in the United States compared with other wealthy liberal democracies, and it presents high rates of victimization to prove just how costly that is.
Contrary to popular expectation, suicide with firearms actually takes more lives than any other form of gun violence. Of the 28,663 gun related deaths in 2000, some 16,586 or 57.9%) were suicides. Another 10,801 or 37.7% were homicides and 776 or 2.7% were unintentional. Another 500 or 1.7% were either police shootings or or undetermined.
Because of the political power of the gun lobby, recent efforts at gun control in the U.S. have focused on preventing guns purchsed legally from beign resold on the black market, restricting access to guns by the obviously dangerous people, such as the mentally ill, and removing weapons that make for atrocity such as high-capacity magazines for semi-automatic weapons and sniper rifles.
Children and Gun ViolenceEdit
American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. According to the centers for Disease Control in one year firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and an astonishing and shameful 5,285 in the United States.
In 2002, some 3,012 children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States. That is one child every three hours; eight children every day; and more than 50 children every week. And every year, at least 4 to 5 times as many children and teens suffer from non-fatal firearm injuries.
Some of the examples are heartbreaking. 4-Year-Old Kentucky Boy Fatally Shoots 6-Year-Old Sister Huffington Post July 1, 2013.
Non-Threats Perceived as ThreatsEdit
Road Rage Random ViolenceEdit
Easily available firearms and the anonymity of automobile transportation on highways and streets has resulted in More than 1000 'road rage' murders since 2007.
Conservatism and Gun ViolenceEdit
Ideological conservatism is associated with feelings of social distrust and fear of strangers, especially members of minority communities. Conservative ideologues actually benefit from gun violence because the grief of the surviving victims, their family members, and friends and the fear of unpredictable violence for everyone else who hears about cases of gun violence reinforce feelings of distrust and disconnection. The perfect Republican voter is a white Southern suburban gun owner who suffers long commuting times alone in a vehicle and who has only minimal social interaction with neighbors and interaction with non-whites limited to tense brief conversations involving buying and selling.
- CDC Report
- Gun Control Legislation Congressional Research Service, June 9, 2011
- Kristin A. Goss. 2006. Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691124247.
- Do Armed Civilians Stop Mass Shooters? Actually, No. Mark Follman. Mother Jones. December 19, 2012.