The U.S. Culture of Violence is Killing Us All | Common Dreams Views
Although self-defense is often cited to justify the people’s right to bear arms, research has shown that a gun kept in a home is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household or a friend than an intruder. The number of teenagers who die from gunshot wounds in the U.S. is greater than those who died from all other causes combined.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017 saw more gun deaths in the U.S. than in any previous year in decades. Nearly 40,000 Americans who died of gun-related injuries in 2017 represent a 19 percent increase from 2012 and the highest annual total since the mid-1990s.
Although many Americans claim that guns are necessary for security, experiences such as in Japan and Australia show that this is not true. In Japan, which has adopted very strict gun-control laws and where –unlike in the U.S. – people who purchase guns have several background checks that include mental health, drug use, and a relative or a colleague’s perception of the applicant. A result of these policies is that there were 10 fatalities for a population of 128 million. Australia, which implemented a program against the use of firearms in 1996, saw the fatalities reduced by 40 percent.