Monday, July 09, 2018

U.S. Has Too Many Guns And Too Little Control Of Them

These charts are from the Small Arms Survey. That survey estimates that there are 857,396,100 firearms in civilian hands worldwide. About 393,347,000 of them are in the United States (about 45.88%). In fact, the United States is the only country in the world that has more forearms in civilian hands than its total population. There are 120.5 firearms per 100 people in the U.S. (or about 1.2 guns for every citizen).

That's a problem, and the problem is exacerbated by a failure to control those firearms. We let each state make its own firearms laws. Some have stricter laws and others have very lax laws. But the states with stricter laws have a problem because their citizens can just go to a state with lax laws to get whatever they want.

This is the biggest reason we have over 30,000 gun deaths each year in this country (including over 12,000 homicides by gun) -- and an average of one mass shooting every day (a shooting that kills or injures four or more people). The other reason is that our politicians are too gutless to do anything about it. They put NRA campaign money over the lives of American citizens -- refusing to even plug the holes in the federal background check law for people buying a gun. This lets anyone (criminal, terrorist, dangerously mentally ill, perpetrators of domestic violence, etc.) buy any kind of weapon and as much ammunition as they want.

They will tell you the guns are needed for protection against criminals. That's ridiculous. All other countries have criminals. They just don't let them have easy access to firearms. They try to blame it on mental illness. But all countries have mentally ill people. They just don't let them have easy access to firearms.

Gun lovers and politicians can make all the excuses they want, but we have a gun problem in this country, and we need to do something about it.

The chart below shows the firearms per 100 people of some other prominent countries.

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