America has the highest murder rate in the world yet it wants to export its way of life to others. The ready availability of guns and frustrating any debate on gun-ownership by the National Rifle Association (NRA) means Americans will continue to kill each in large numbers. Families pay the price while vested interests ensure murder statistics keep climbing.
Washington DC, Crescent-online
June 7, 2014, 21:23 DST
In the United States, gun violence is peaking to an all time high. On Thursday, July 5, 2014, a lone gunman killed one person and injured several others in the college campus of Seattle, a mere two weeks after Elliot Rodger (son of Hollywood director) opened fire and killed six people in the college town of Santa Barbara on May 23.
Before Santa Barbara, there were mass shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and in Tucson, Arizona.
Gun violence in the United States illustrates the social illness plaguing society. For a nation that starts military conflicts over other countries’ right to possess weapons, the US has notoriously lax gun ownership laws. Each time, a massacre is perpetrated, memorial services are held, a few tears are shed and then life returns to business as usual with more gun deaths.
The US also has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. USA Gun Violence statistics report that 88 out of 100 people in the country own guns; a fact that is especially shocking considering that many of the massacres have been committed by teens or young men who had easy access to guns. This comes out to approximately 283 million guns in private hands.
Each year, about 4-5 million handguns are sold in the US. Each year, more than 30,000 people are murdered by using firearms; and every day in the US, 30 people are shot dead with guns.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds and the primary cause of death among African Americans in this age group.
In addition to the social impact and trauma caused by gun violence, medical costs are quite high as well. U.S. lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries total an estimated $2.3 billion, while US taxpayers pay for almost half ($1.1 billion or 49%) of lifetime medical costs for gunshot injuries.
In a society where violence is glorified, it is not surprising that so many murders are caused by gun violence because of the ready availability of such weapons.