As shooting incidents become more prevalent in our society, it’s becoming more important for us, responsible gun owners, to know the risks when it comes to bearing arms. In fact, in the infographic below, you will be surprised to see that there is a direct correlation between careless gun ownership and resulted accidents that could have been prevented.
Don’t get me wrong, I am personally a strong advocate that every individual should have the right to defend themselves. However, as gun owners, we have to increase our game in preventing gun related accidents and slipping of gun into the wrong hands – tainting our reputation as proud and responsible gun owners.
Also, we will be talking about advantages of a responsible armed society, securing our future by lowering crime rates.
Modern day America has 88.8 guns per 100 people, roughly 270,000,000 guns in the country, the highest total number of guns in the world. About 22% of Americans claim that they own one or more guns. This prevalent gun culture originates in part from the country’s colonial history, revolutionary roots, border expansion and the sacred Second Amendment, which states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Careless Firearm Storage is a Ticking Time Bomb
A stronghold of gun supporters come into consensus that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearm; that it is necessary for self-defense from threats; and that gun ownership dissuades crime from happening at the first place.
Although some studies show that guns prove to be successful to be used in self-defense, where criminals are more reluctant to attack civilians for fear of backfire, but the sinister of guns doesn’t lie on the streets. Evidence shows that the presence of a gun at home puts house owner and their families life at greater risk, caused by mishandling of firearm, careless mistakes and unstable minds of family member that is not under scrutinized.
Research show that staying in a home where guns are kept increased an individual risk of death by homicide by between 40% to 170% due to unchecked mental disorders. The ease of accessing high powered weapon by people that can’t find help for their own mental illness, or domestic violence – are like ticking time bombs lurking in the house, thus increasing the risk of death by fatal shot wounds that guns can cause.
Another study found that suicide are the alarming concern for shooting incidents, it is the main cause of death with up to claims up to 20,000 and more lives annually. The concern group are unstable teenagers and young adults left unsupervised, taking their lives effortlessly by the pull of a trigger. The convenience of a click and critically short time frame to see consequences clearly in their head accelerates and add a bulk number of deaths of these victims.
Even so, all these nasty disaster can be prevented, starting from ourselves, the parents and supervisors. If we could spend a little bit of time making sure that guns are locked away from the reach of kids, ensuring no live guns are laying around children, keep it out of reach from family members with mental disorder, we could prevent half of the deaths by shooting incident annually.
Surge in Gun Owners After Elections
The stereotyped typical gun owner doesn’t exist, they are not at all a monolithic community. There are many reasons American purchase firearm, most of them are pushed by fear, to protect themselves from intruders and assailants. A research from Harvard and Northeastern University has investigated that a majority of Americans now admitted that they own firearms primarily for defensive purpose, rather than recreational sports and hobby, or even hunting. The study also reveals that the quantity of guns in civilians’ hand has increased one third to an estimated of 265 million weapons over the past two decades.
In recent years, people have attributed the increase in gun purchases to the nasty presidential election campaign, violent protest from different political groups and terrorism. A concerted campaign by the National Rifle Association and pro gun groups persuade voters that Hillary Clinton would have drastically impose a restriction on Second Amendment rights, convincing them that America’s crime will rise. While on the other hand, many retailers believe that Donald Trump’s victory would decrease their sales because gun enthusiast would be more relaxed.
Firearm sales often fluctuates and increase around election period, currently there are no uniform source of sales data, but reports from background checks by the FBI confirms that Americans are really swayed by the media’s portrayal of violence growing in the country. New gun owners grow by the day after election period, this can be attributed to citizens afraid of being attacked. It is in no deny that there has been a growing trend in rampage shootings, particularly the Charleston church shooting to the Orlando nightclub mass killing – the deadliest mass shooting ever in the United States.
Ironically, with the prevalent gun shooting incidents happening lately, the national crime rate remains at history lows. However, a number of biggest city in America, especially Chicago, have seen an increase in violent gun crime.
Symbolism and Gun Control
For Americans, bearing arms can be an embodiment of strength, freedom and security. On the contrary, those who oppose guns are the people that perceive it of violence, oppression and chaos. While gun may be driving American voters apart, there is a surprising amount of consensus on many aspects of gun control policy. Research shows that almost all party, even the pro gun activist and gun owners support for universal background checks on gun transfers, not allowing the mentally ill to bear arms and blacklist people that are under suspicion of terrorism from buying guns.
Americans also broadly speak out against carrying of concealed weapons without a permit. The trend shows that the majority of gun owners are responsible, and they are heavily against the minority gun owners that taints their reputation, by being careless and uncontrolled.
Guns can slip into the hands of dangerous people, even with background checks and concealed carry application requirements. In the past few years, 14 police officers and 622 citizens were killed by private individuals legally allowed to carry concealed weapons. Another report from Texas states that concealed handgun permit holders were arrested for crime at a rate of 81% higher than the rest of the population. Most pleaded guilty to a felony, some had outstanding warrants and some had active active domestic violence injunctions.
Advantages of a Responsible Armed Society
Majority of Gun Owners Are Responsible
Although the statistics doesn’t lean towards a good prospect for shooting incidents to decline, the underlying problem is far more deeply rooted in the culture. Nevertheless, a responsible gun owner knows that there are silver linings in this growing mess of society. Study found that most adults who carry concealed handguns are law abiding citizens, they do not misuse their guns. Generally, the public is 5.3 times more prone to be arrested for violent offenses and 14 times more likely to be arrested for nonviolent offenses than weapon holders.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that only 1 out of 100 incidents of gun-related homicides are the act of concealed-gun carriers. Another analysis of crime data calculate that concealed carry permit holders in North Carolina are also 5 times less likely to murder someone than the general public and 5.48 times less likely to commit a violent crime with a gun.
Gun Owners Save More Life Than Police In Mass Shootings
There are times when emergency rises, and people who legally carry gun are the hero of the day. Carrying a concealed handgun actually helps to stop public shooting sprees. In 2003, the state of Colorado enacted the Concealed Carry Act to allow law-abiding citizens the right to carry a concealed gun after the Columbine High School massacre. This Act saves countless live, one incident where in Dec 2007, at New Life Megachurch, a volunteer for the church who was carrying a handgun shot an attacker who had opened fire in the church, thus preventing a massacre that could have shook the nation.
According to John R. Lott Jr, PhD, “when states passed concealed carry law during the 19 years they have studied (1995 to 1995), the number of mass shooting victim declined by 84%, with deaths from these kind of incidents plummeted by a solid 90%, and injuries by 82%.
Citizens Can Defend Themselves as Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Them
When the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers have no legal duty to protect citizens from violent crime, citizens know that they cannot always rely on the authorities for security and protection. It is well known that violent crime happens and police can do very little to prevent them, especially solitary attacks. The best that law enforcers can do is to investigate crime after the shootings. A recent research concluded that the average police response time to an emergency call is 11 minutes, with most of the response taking much longer. One of the longest wait is Detroit, with the average response time of 58 minutes due to the intense level of crime plaguing the city.
People Feel More Safe and Free With Gun
Truth to be told, violent criminals will always have guns in their hands, and will always find a way to illegally obtain gun even though hypothetically, the United States bans gun. According to the Second Amendment, and with the current situation in America, responsible citizens should have the right to bear arms, to defend themselves against criminals with guns. Instead of becoming a victim, concealed handgun carriers will have a sense of safety and security, particularly when they are going to shady areas at night.
Women are also becoming more concern of their safety, and are actively taking defense on their own hands. As shown in studies, in Florida, the number of concealed handgun permit holders who are female rose 15% in the last 10 years. According to a study by the National Opinion Research Center, 60% of people carrying gun outside home makes them feel safer.
Victims That Shoot Back Tends to Live Longer
The need for feeling of security also pushed a lot of Americans to become first time gun buyers, especially young adults who live in large urban areas. Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology disclose that when someone draws a concealed gun in self-defense, the assailant retreats 55.5% of the time. And it Is proven that robbery and assault victims who used a gun to defend themselves survive better and have less chance of injuries than people who used other methods of self protection.
As the famous saying goes, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Guns are here to stay and America, and it is the responsibility of the people to keep our country safe.