In the United States, the debate on gun control is very heated. Regardless of how you vigorously assert claims or counterclaims, there are certain truths that aren’t just people's personal opinions.
Below are some of the facts that are right at the core of the gun control debate.
Number 1: The number of American citizens who die of wounds from gunshots is almost the same as to the number of people who die from motor-vehicle crashes, which is around 33,000. Over one million people in the US have died from civilian shootings in the past 3 decades. This number is even higher than the number of people who have died in wars over the past century.
Number 2: Today's homicide rate is lower than what it was back in 1991. This is good news for Americans as violent crime rates have plunged since 1990. Furthermore, violent crimes that involve guns have declined in proportion. However, it’s important to note that homicide is a serious problem even today. The homicide rates of the US remain higher compared to the UK, Canada, France, Australia, and other developed countries.
For American youth, homicide is among the leading causes of death. Although the United States isn't the most violent country in the world, criminal violence is usually committed using guns.
Number 3: Most gun deaths within the country are suicides. Approximately 20,000 gun suicides occur every year. It's true that most suicide attempts are carried out using cutting instruments and drugs, but half of all successful suicides involved guns. With guns, the rate of case fatality is 90% which is far higher compared to other common means.
Number 4: In US, the availability of guns doesn't cause violence but it doesn't prevent it either. The statistical relationship between gun ownership and the rate of domestic violence, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault is minimal. But in states where gun ownership is common, violence is likely to involve the use of guns, therefore, it's more deadly compared to violence in jurisdictions where guns are scarcer.
Number 5: A huge percentage of gun owners declare that the reason why they own guns is self-defense. However, guns have only been used in about 3% of break-in cases. That’s approximately 3,000 times a year. In order to understand how rare the use of guns is in the case of self-defense, you need to know this: on average, house occupants need guns to protect themselves from intruders only once in 1,500 years.
Number 6: Today, it's your Constitutional right to keep a handgun in order to protect yourself against danger. States and cities don’t prohibit private possession of a handgun. However, the Supreme Court doesn't rule out regulations of gun use and possession.
Number 7: Gun regulation is established with the primary goal of saving lives by separating violence and guns. State and federal laws regulate gun possession, the circumstances where guns can be carried, certain design features, penalties in the case of criminal use, and record keeping when transferred. Regulation is there to lessen the likelihood of a criminal assailant using a gun. There's also evidence that indicates some of the regulations have been effective and have saved lives.