It’s 2021 and the gun debate is probably as fierce as it’s ever been thanks, in part, to the rise in mass shootings the past four years and the increase in gun violence in 2020.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows Americans the right to bear arms and won’t be overturned anytime soon if at all. As a result, President Joe Biden and Members of Congress have proposed new restrictions on firearm access to help make our streets safer.
If you’re an anti-gun advocate, this might explain why it seems enough isn’t being done.
Forty-eight percent of Americans insist gun violence is a “very big problem” while 24 percent say it’s a “moderately big problem.” And 28 percent, nearly 3 in 10 Americans, think it’s a “small problem” or not an issue at all. In all, 72 percent agree gun violence is a significant issue, per an April 21 survey by Pew Research Center. And while that number may seem staggering, the federal deficit, violent crime, illegal immigration, and the coronavirus outbreak are more critical issues, per the same study.
|Issue||Percentage who think the |
problem is significant
|Health care affordability||86|
|Federal budget deficit||82|
|Quality of public schools (Pre-K to high school)||79|
|Infrastructure issues (roads, bridges)||74|
Do you think gun violence should be higher on the list? After all, in many cases it overlaps with violent crime which ranks second.
Per the FBI, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – and a gun can certainly play a role in each of them. In fact, per Statista, handguns are by far the most common murder weapon used in the United States, accounting for 6,368 homicides in 2019. This is followed by firearms of an unstated type, with 2,963 cases in that year. Combined, murders with guns comprised around 73.6 percent of the 13,927 total homicide victims recorded by the FBI in 2019.
Perhaps the survey should be taken again, combining violent crime with gun violence?
Violent crime / gun violence?
Of course, critics would assert a gun isn’t required to commit a violent crime.
Stricter gun laws won’t put an end to senseless murders and mass shootings but a permanent and consistent drop in those activities would probably save a lot of lives in the coming years.