One of the daunting realities of present America is unequivocally mass shooting caused by popular culture of owning private firearms. Eventually, it has given rise to some basic questions regarding gun use in US.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to own and bear arms. At the same time, modern day mass shootings have sparked debate over the proposal of limited use of gun control inside both country’s law and administrative bodies, as well as in public spheres.
Data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 39,773 people died from firearms in 2017 alone. The total brings the country’s gun death rate to its highest point in more than two decades.
Gun death rate of 12.0 per 100,000 people is higher than the rate of death from car accidents of 11.5 per 100,000 people, once the leading cause of fatal injury.
The last time the gun death rate reached similar heights was in 1996, according to data from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), another CDC database.
Here are a few interesting facts about the gun culture in the US.
30% owns personal firearms; 11% lives with an owner
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March and April 2017, nearly half of U.S. adults (48%) grew up in a household with guns, nearly 59% have friends who own guns and around 72% have fired a gun at some point in their lives – including 55% of those who have never personally owned a gun. Two-third Americans own one and one-third says more than five or more.
Protection tops the list behind gun ownership
67% claims to own a gun for security purpose. Considerably smaller shares mention hunting (38%), sport shooting (30%), gun collecting (13%) or their job (8%) are the major reasons.
The majority wants a strict gun control
Nearly six-in-ten U.S. adults (57%) say gun laws should be stricter, while smaller shares say they are about right (31%) or should be less strict (11%), according to a survey conducted in September and October 2018.
Gun policy proposals are politically divisive
Republicans are much more likely to say gun laws are about right or should be less strict than they are today. When 80% Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say gun laws should be stricter only 28% of Republicans and GOP learners say the same. Around three-quarters of Republicans (76%) say it’s more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than it is to control gun ownership, while just 19% of Democrats agree.
Confusion over the ‘restrict’ solution
Americans are split over whether legal changes would lead to fewer mass shootings, according to the fall 2018 poll. Nearly half of adults (47%) say there would be fewer mass shootings if it was harder for people to obtain guns legally, while a similar share (46%) says there would be no difference. Very few (6%) say there would be more mass shootings if it was harder for people to obtain guns legally.
Many know someone who has been shot
44% of Americans say they personally know someone who has been shot, either accidentally or intentionally, according to the spring 2017 survey. Separately, about a quarter of Americans (23%) say someone has used a gun to threaten or intimidate them or someone in their family. Both of these statistics have racial gaps.
Increase in gun deaths driven by suicide
2017 marked the highest gun rate in 20 years and sixty percent of them were self-inflicted. While the rate of gun homicides has fluctuated over the last decade, the rate of gun suicides has steadily increased. Americans who ended their lives with guns in 2017 were white (91 percent) and male (87 percent).