Wednesday, March 25, 2009

US facing gun crisis

According to the 2007 Small Arms Survey, there are currently 270 million guns owned by civilians in the United States–that’s nearly half of all guns owned worldwide!

Research shows that gun violence is directly linked to the easy availability of firearms. The key difference between the United States and other industrialized nations, however, is our rate of lethal violence from guns — not our overall rate of violence.

Shockingly, in the United States:

* There are approximately 90 guns for every 100 people.

* Each year, an estimated 4 million guns are sold by licensed dealers.

* Between 34-40% of households have a gun.

You would think Americans were stock piling weapons for a revolution or war, but the truth is it’s simply become part of our culture — a culture of violence that we have become increasingly numb and accustomed to.

Additionally, the gun lobby is very effective at convincing Americans that they need guns in their home, in their cars and in the workplace for self-defense. To be effective though, a homeowner, for example, would need to be sitting by the door holding a loaded gun and ready to fire it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It would be an isolating and anxious way to live.

Facts are not on the gun lobby’s side either. Rather than making us a safer society, the proliferation of guns in the U.S. is in fact making us less safe as a nation. With more than 30,000 gun deaths each year, over 12,000 of which are homicides, we are the most violent industrialized nation on earth.

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