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Gun Violence in America

Updated on August 21, 2014

Guns in America

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Gun Violence in America is a Growing Problem

Gun violence in America is a not just a growing problem, but also a heated debate amongst the citizens of the United States, as well as those who represent them in the Congress and the Senate.

The growing problem of gun violence and gun related crimes in America causes a wide variety of issues.

Two of the issues include a decrease in tourism due to rising gun related violence as well as the increase in gang violence due to unrestrictive and loose gun control laws. These are two social and political issues that are affected by the increase in gun violence and the lack of gun control in the United States.

The problem of gun violence needs to be addressed not only for the safety of the citizens of the United States, but also for the prosperity of the country as well.


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Gun Violence as an Epidemic

Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States. Gun violence and gun-related crimes are on the rise all across the United States and neither the Congress nor the Senate has seemed to be able to come up with a solution for how to cut back on the violence and the growing number of gun-related crimes.

“According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, 467,321 persons were victims of a crime committed with a firearm in 2011. In the same year, data collected by the FBI show that firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 41 percent of robbery offenses and 21 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide. Most homicides in the United States are committed with firearms, especially handguns” (Office of Justice Programs, 2012).

On average, 33,000 Americans are killed with guns each year, and the burden of this violence falls disproportionately on young people. Stand Your Ground laws, combined with weak state permitting laws that allow potentially dangerous individuals to carry concealed, loaded weapons in public with little law enforcement oversight or discretion, can produce deadly results.

With more than 44 million legal and registered gun owners living throughout the United States, and an uncounted number of unregistered citizens carrying a weapon, it is estimated that the number of firearms possessed by citizens in the United States is somewhere near 310,000,000 (GunPolicy.org, 2012).

Gun Control and Gun Violence

Guns- A Heated Debate in America

The long and ongoing, heated debate in the United States Congress and Senate over the second amendment and a citizen’s right to bear arms has only exacerbated the gun violence and the gun related problems because nothing ever gets solved and nothing ever changes.

Whenever measures to change the gun control laws in America come up in the government, both sides just butt heads and nothing gets resolved.

The NRA and the majority of Republicans remain steadfast that citizens hold a right to carry and possess a firearm, while most Democrats argue that changing the gun policy laws in America will drastically lower gun related crimes, as well as gun related fatalities. “Weaknesses in U.S. gun laws may cause skepticism about whether gun control can work” (Webster, 2012).

As both sides continue to bicker over what way is best, people continue to die, and horrific incidents like the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon Massacre occur.

School Shootings on the Rise

In the wake of such horrific events like the Newtown Connecticut Shooting, the Boston Marathon Bombing, which led to shootings at the MIT campus, the Virginia Tech shootings and many other mass acts of public violence involving guns, other countries are beginning to second guess whether or not traveling to the United States is the safest decision.

“In most of the rest of the world private gun ownership is heavily controlled, heavily limited....and in countries that I’ve been sent to in order to cover extreme massacres.... they think we’re crazy.... they do not feel the need to have AK-47’s or assault riffles or unlimited ammunition” (Aaron Schachter, How the Rest of the World Views Gun Violence in America, 2013).

Countries that America is currently invading are looking at the United States and questioning their tactics on gun control and gun policy. If countries that the United States views as terrorist threats view America as out of control when it comes to gun laws and gun control policies, what must the rest of the world think? Well it just so happens that tourists from other countries all over the globe are choosing other tourist destinations instead of America due to safety concerns related to an increase in gun related violence in the United States. This is a huge blow to the tourism industry, which has been hard to recover since the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001. If the United States wants to draw more tourists to America, they need to make their visitors feel safe- they need to reform their gun control policies. Until they do, America will be the dangerous place where scary people with AK-47’s run free, and that doesn’t sound like a fun vacation.

Do Guns Kill People or Do People Kill People?

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Gun Violence Poll

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Gun Policy in America

The United States policy on gun laws has too many holes in it, allowing prisoners, ex-convicts, people who are psychiatrically unstable as well as gang members to get their hands on lethal weapons, putting innocent civilians at risk. These loose laws almost promote the use of guns by providing easy access for almost anyone to get a hold of at least some form of a gun.

While gangs have been around for centuries, the increase in gun violence in the United States is a cause for alarm due to the fact that many of the gun related deaths in the United States occur as a result of gang violence. Although gang members frequently have criminal histories and should not be able to buy or possess firearms within the United States,

“Most people believe that criminals should not be able to possess firearms lawfully. Yet, our current laws permit many people who have been convicted of crimes—most misdemeanor crimes adjudicated in adult court and felony crimes handled in juvenile court—to possess firearms.... Some may assume that persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes do not pose a significant threat for committing serious violent crimes. But many suspects charged with felony crimes are convicted of lesser charges as a result of a plea agreement. Research has shown that misdemeanants who were legally able to purchase handguns committed crimes involving violence following those purchases at a rate two to ten times higher than that of handgun purchasers with no prior convictions.” (Webster, 2012)

With guns getting into the hands of those who should not have them, those who normally would not want them are feeling the need to purchase a gun continuing the cycle of gun sales and gun violence.

Stop the Gun Violence

Annual Deaths Resulting from Firearms in the United States

Year
Number of Deaths
2011
32,163
2010
31,672
2009
31,347
2008
31,593
2007
31,224
2006
30,896
2005
30,694
2004
29,569
2003
30,136
2002
30,242
2001
29,573
2000
28,663
Source: GunPolicy.org (http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states)

Wake Up America

The United States of America needs to realize that their policies regarding gun control are far too loose, that the gang problem in America is getting far too out of control and that the combination of these two factors are causing most of their problems when it comes to violence, especially gun violence, in America. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates that there are around 33,000 violent gangs in the United States, with an estimated 1.4 million gang members spread out from coast to coast. More than 10 children are killed by gun violence everyday and over 4,000 gang members are indicted every year for weapons related crimes (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2012).

Gun violence is a heated issue that needs to be addressed. While some people feel like it is their inherent right to bear arms, is it their inherent right to take the life of another person? Carrying a weapon comes with a lot of responsibility and this type of responsibility should be taken seriously. Gun control is out of control in America. People who should not have firearms are getting their hands on weapons and using them to harm innocent citizens. Changes need to be made to the current gun control policies to prevent these things from happening. Gang members should not have access to firearms and people should not be scared to come to the United Stated of America. We are the “land of the free, home of the brave,” not the land of the foolish and the home of the scared.

End Gun Violence

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    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      Guns were made illegal in Germany in 1919, the rules were relaxed very slightly in 1928 and in 1938, the laws that you are talking about and the only significant change to gun law in Hitlers Germany, deregulated the transfer of guns and ammunition, extended the permit period from one year to three years for those that needed permits, exempted all members of the Nazi party entirely from guns laws and essentially reduced all gun regulations. He did, admittedly, ban some social groups, including Jewish people, from owning guns, but it in no way contributed to the holocaust because even with guns the Jewish people could not have prospered against the Nazi movement which enjoyed populist support in Germany.

      My proposal is simply one of reducing the number of guns that are in the system. I have not at any point said that responsible owners should have no access to guns, I have suggested that the current regulations mean that guns are permitted for a large number of people who are a proven risk to others and themselves. Deny these people the opportunity to get guns, or at the very least allow a cooling off period between the triggers which put them in a high risk category and the permit being issued, and the number of legal guns entering the system will reduce. Offer gun amnesties across the country and the number of illegal guns will reduce. Register guns through serial numbers and ensure transfer of ownership is documented and the routes for guns to enter the illegal market are reduced.

      Nothing that is a quick fix, and nothing that prevents you from having a gun (or guns) in your home unless you are a danger to others, but moves that will help to reduce illegal guns over time and reduce gun crimes and deaths. Progressive polices that don't hurt those responsible owners but help to reduce the problems that irresponsible ownership brings.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Sorry to rain on your parade, Mark. I'm originally from Germany where both of my parents were born. Despite the failure of the liberal media to perpetuate Hitler's legacy (out of the belief that it would be used in this very manner) Hitler did indeed institute a gun ban "for the protection of the children" prior to the start of World War II and his aggressive agenda of conquering Europe for the greater good.

      Many of that 20% figure is indeed reported from parts of the world that are not licensed at all. However, the article pointed out that 7% on average of drivers from nations where licensing is required are operating illegally. That number rises in the US (12%) and in Europe (14%) and tapers off in nations where car use is nearly nil in rural areas. Yet overall, it provides a sobering statistic for the numbers of people who are willing to bend or even break the law when it doesn't suit their requirements. Intriguingly, the statistics for illegal gun ownership are FAR higher. And how are you proposing to stop people who shouldn't have guns from getting their hands on them again? Until you find that means, keep living in your perfect gun free world in your own mind. I'll keep living in my gun protected one.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      No, Hitler, who made no guns laws because he had a state control mechanism which meant everybody was too scared to oppose his government or were too patriotic due to the right wing propaganda machine he employed, openly only wanted to make the world safer for a small group of people. He was only interested in promoting German interests and "Aryan" interests above all others. Trying to compare a humanist with Hitler is pretty much the stupidest thing that is repeatedly used on the internet and it shows ignorance of Hitler and Nazi Germany.

      I haven't read that study and can't find a reference to it on google (after an admittedly quick search) and I think it is unlikely to be accurate. But even if it is it is still showing that the driving laws are effective at making the roads safer because of fear of the law. Although I also know that in places with no license requirements there are plenty more road hazards and incidents per user mile than there are in the UK where we have stringent laws.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      "I have certainly not proposed a witchhunt, just a sensible and progressive look at the laws which will make the world safer for everybody."

      Interestingly enough, Hitler made the same claim.

      As for the driving laws comparison, there is an interesting statistic that most people are not aware of. I read recently that nearly 20% of drivers worldwide on average are either driving with no license or a suspended or revoked one. Also, interestingly enough, those drivers tend to operate more safely than licensed drivers out of fear of getting caught. Go figure.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      It isn't a question of valueing your safety more than we do, I value my safety very highly and am thanjful that guns are not common in the UK as that makes me safer.

      The gun analogy is one I hear often and it seems strange to me. I am not sure what the US laws are but in the UK we have a very stringent test for new drivers to take before they are allowed to drive and very strict rules which allow licenses to be revoked. They are also revoked on grounds of health and mental instability, and once a driver has reached an age where his physical and mental skills are likely to be slipping away they are regularly retested. It is not foolproof but it does remove a lot of dangerous drivers from the road.

      The background checks should look for the key indicators of people likely to commit crimes. For instance, a juvenile offender who subsequently gets a gun is seven times more likely to reoffend. A juvenile offence, even a violent one, will not usually act as a bar on getting a gun license but if they introduced a coooling off period between the juvenile offence and the ability to get a license it would give the youngster a better chance of getting away from crime and reduce gun crime at the same time.

      I think a family history of mental health issues shouldn't be reason to be barred but if you personally suffered from severe depression or had any type of psychotic break that should serve as a reason.

      I have certainly not proposed a witchhunt, just a sensible and progressive look at the laws which will make the world safer for everybody.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Unfortunately, you're right. It is impossible to prevent someone who shouldn't have the ability to possess a firearm from obtaining one to use as they see fit. It is equally impossible to prevent someone who shouldn't be driving from getting behind the wheel of a car.

      More people die in auto accidents every year than are killed by firearms. This is an indisputable fact. Yet no one is screaming about taking away cars from responsible people who know how to drive. Unfortunately, too, it is equally possible that someone who is proficient at driving today may become a menace on the road tomorrow. There are many factors involved, yet not every factor can be addressed or may even be visible or openly aware until the day an incident may occur.

      Do we need better background checks for people before they are able to purchase weapons? I don't think I'd have an issue with that, but you would have to prove to me that the propsed check would actually work to prevent the wrong people from getting their hands on guns. What are the criteria for a good background check? And what can be red flagged? Would I be ineligible, for example, if there's a history of mental instability in my family even if, at 50, I have exhibited no signs (outside of the aggression that was trained into me when I joined the Marine Corps of course - and is THAT, in itself, grounds to curtail my gun rights even though, in 30+ years of gun ownership, I have yet to commit a serious crime involving the guns I own?)

      This isn't an easy situation to resolve (nor should it be). As I indicated, I don't need a gun at all to seriously damage or kill an intruder who enters uninvited into my home. I'm also conditioned to take a life, though, which many people who own guns are not, thus making the gun less of a deterrent in those homes than it would be in mine. From a pure safety standpoint, firearms are not always the answer. But I think gun owners are more responsible than many people give them credit for. It isn't the people who responsibly own guns, store them safely and keep their families educated about the responsibility that gun ownership entails that are the problem. But until guns can be reliably kept out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them (just as car keys should be kept out of the hands of the 5% of the populace who every day are out driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs - and that number is conservative by all estimations), those of us who have proven that we are capable of owning firearms that are no threat to anyone other than lawbreakers shouldn't be the target of witchhunts just because we value our safety more than you do.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      I have explained several of the reasons why gun violence is higher in the cities with the tighter laws but I will explain it a little further for you.

      The cities with the tougher laws tightened the laws in response to high levels of gun crime caused by financial and social inequality. The problem of social inequality (and by this I mean mass poverty and deprivation) as not been addressed so changing the laws is not going to fix anything. But the gun laws are not the cause, they are a symptom of the problem.

      I have not suggested a blanket ban because that obviously will not work. I have suggested a progressive law which will reduce the number of future guns entering the system combined with a gun amnesty for illegally owned firearms, a move which has had success in many places around the world, to reduce the current number of illegal guns in the system.

      I have never suggested stopping responsible adults owning guns, but at present it is possible to get a gun even if you have a history of violent crime or mental disorders. That is asking for problems. People at risk of hurting themselves or others should not be allowed guns. This includes substance abusers.

      The issue is a complex one but it is clear that the laws as they exist are not fit for purpose so progressive moves to rectify the problem need to be taken, but that does not mean that responsible adults will be denied access to firearms.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      It was not meant as a threat, Kathleen. I'm simply pointing out that people who seem to think that gun violence won't affect them since they live in areas with gun bans often find themselves victims of it. I know a few people who always believed that their homes were safer without guns...until their home was broken into and a family member was shot and killed by a criminal who had one. Guns aren't a problem when they're in the hands of people who respect life and the law. They are a problem when they're in the hands of people who just don't give a damn about you, your property or your right to live.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      I approved that comment Bernie, but you are toeing the line between debating and threatening Mark, who is just voicing his opinion. I will deny any comments that go further than this. But you need to stop.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      The bottom line is simply this, Mark. Violent crimes are actually significantly reduced in areas where guns are legal and significantly increased in areas where the right of law abiding citizens to own guns is curtailed. I pointed out cities that have draconian gun laws like Chicago, Detroit and New York City as examples and you have yet to point out a valid statistic that disproves this fact. America will not be able to effectively reduce the gun crime statistic until it can effectively take away guns from EVERYONE and that is not possible. So, until they can figure out a way to make criminals surrender their weapons, I'll be damned if I'm giving up my own. If you like the statistics the way they are in London, then so be it. Stay in London. I just hope no one rudely awakens you from your dream of Utopia with a shot to head someday.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      You can't even quote me properly, you are the one who introduced the "proportion of gun owners" I said guns deaths and murders by population. You have massively proportionally more gun deaths than we do.

      As I mentioned earlier we have a lower value on what is considered assault in the UK, so we will automatically have more "assault victims", in the UK you are considered an assault victim if you are pushed or is anybody present believes you to have been a victim of assault, even if you yourself do not believe you have been assaulted.

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements...

      I post this link just because it is succinct, but they are many more academic studies which go through this in more detail.

      The way crimes are measured and reported are hugely different, so direct comparison is impossible. But we can go a bit further with your spurious statistical analysis if you like.

      0.75% of gun owners will commit an offence per year according to you analysis. Of course, that is only reported crimes, but lets roll with that. It is reasonable to believe that a gun owner will have guns for at least 40 years on average. So times the 0.75 by 40 and you get 30% of gun owners will commit crimes. Of course, that is not the way statistics work, but then nor was your analysis, so both are equally valid for the purposes of this discussion.

      The British government were once world leaders at appearing to endorse freedom while actaually curtailling it, but for the last 60 or 70 years they have been playing second fiddle on that front to the US. And to try to imply that the injustices of a "liberal" government are representative of the views of the people is absurd.

      The advantage a British person has in the gun debate is that they are not biased. I am not stubbornly clinging to outdated beliefs just because I like owning a gun. I don't believe that laws created 236 years ago are necessarily still relevant today, they should be treated on their merits. If something clearly isn't working then it should be changed.

      And you say only 50 gun deaths for children are reported each year, but there are many other accidental gun deaths and also many thousands of unreported incidents where, luckily, nobody is hurt. Just because negligence doesn't kill a child doesn't mean you are responsible.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 2 years ago from The Midwest

      300,000 is not a "significant number of gun owners" which is what you originally were posting about. NOW you are trying to change the goal posts to mean something else. That is not allowed in proper discussion.

      Yeah, let's look at real numbers instead of made up ones for that paradise of England.

      Rapes: Ranked 6th among nations, compared to America's 13th., with 2 times as many per capita. I guess those Brits know that you demand the women be helpless lambs, eh.

      Assualt Victims: Ranked 2nd, with twice as many per capita as the U.S. which is ranked 9th. It's easy to assault someone who can't fight back because of your "lower tolerance" eh.

      http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/U...

      Or, we might want to consider the effect of guns on keeping one's family safe and sound at home compared to England.

      "In America, it's called a "hot" burglary - a burglary that takes place when the homeowners are present - or a "home invasion", which is a much more accurate term. Just over 10 per cent of US burglaries are "hot" burglaries. But in England and Wales it's more than 50 per cent and climbing. "

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3...

      But best yet, if one wants to know the true attitude of England towards the concept of "freedom" one needs to look no further than this.

      http://www.steynonline.com/6300/denial-is-a-river-...

      Yes, there are about 50 children injured or killed each year due to their parents carelessness with firearms. Again, if you want to claim that somehow tars the remaining 99.9999 percent of gunowners with the charge of being irresponsible then go for it. I won't stop you from beclowning yourself or destroying your credibility.

      You can't even q;uote bogus studies correctly, can you. Taking advice from a Brit about how carrying a firearm makes one safer or not safer is pretty much like asking a five year old on a trike about proper strategy to winning NASCAR races.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      300,000 is a significant number.

      Our murder rate is significantly lower than yours and while on the surface our violent crime rate is similar it is distorted because we count many things as violent crimes which are not recorded the same way in the US, such as using violence in self defence. We also have a much lower tolerance on "reasonable force", so our actual violent crime rate is far lower than that in the US.

      We have bad guys to, but they kill a whole lot less people than they do in the US. Could that be cos they don't have guns, or do you just make a whole lot of "badder" people? Who knows?

      Just because most gun owners are not criminals does not mean they are responsible. Just yesterday I read about a four year old shooting his brother because the gun was not stored safely away from the child.

      And as for having a gun save your life, it is possible. But again research has shown you are more likely to be shot if you are carrying a gun. Having a gun is statistically more likely to get you shot. If it makes you feel safe, great, but the self defence argument is only about how you feel and not about actually being safer.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 2 years ago from The Midwest

      "300,000 crimes per year"

      If you want to argue that 0.75 percent is a "significant number" then go ahead. Should be entertaining to read.

      "So no, you don't do well managing it yourselves, and when you look at stats for gun deaths it is far worse. "

      Britain has similar crime rates to ours. If you want to argue that a crime committed with a gun is somehow morally and ethically worse than a crime committed any other way then go for it.

      "One death that is avoidable by better regulations is too many "

      And how many lives are saved by guns each year? Hundreds of thousands according to the best research. Including mine a few years back. One death that is caused by gun regulations is one too many.

      "but in the US you have thousands per year that are avoidable. "

      You just now figured out that there are bad guys out there doing bad things?

      "So no, I don't consider that you doing well by yourselves."

      Hmmmm.... a 99.25 percent rate is not quite good enough, eh. You somehow think the human experience can be perfected to reach 100 percent. Let me know when you come up with a way to do that.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I agree with you - to a point.

      The best way to remove the growing disparity that pushes the poor into lives of drug abuse and crime is to put them to work, but that's difficult to do when there are no decent jobs available for an unskilled workforce.

      The government can fix this, but chooses not to in it's infinite wisdom while trying to cement its marriage to corporate America. Laws that have been developed over the last several years allow businesses to relocate their workforces in other countries where substandard merchandise is manufactured for reimport into the United States where consumers can then purchase these goods for a fraction of the price they would pay for an American made product.

      The reason that is true is the bloated over inflated price that American labor has placed on itself courtesy of America's labor unions. When a company negotiator demands that a moron pushing a broom in a factory gets paid $30 an hour, is it any wonder that the company will fold up the union shop and move their operations to a country where the labor rates are more realistic?

      Here's my solution for the whole mess. The US should lower, not raise the minimum wage to encourage job growth at every level of the private sector. American corporations can better set the prevailing wages in their respective industries than the government can by overregulating them. Abolish the labor unions. They're useless anyway and only line the pockets of the heads of the organization with little to no assistance for the workers that truly need the support and protection.

      The US should tarriff the crap out any merchandise reimported into the US by ANY company with a toe hold on foreign soil. More companies would then move their operations back here where they belong and the uneducated and lazy would have to go back to work in manufacturing positions since the welfare rolls will dry up and theywill be told to go back to work or starve to death. Since the labor pool would increase again, this shouldn't take long before every able bodied American is back to work and the only people we continue to support on welfare and disability are those that are truly in need of the aid those programs provide.

      As for those foreign countries whose labor forces are now out of work? I say, "oh, well". Charity begins at home and I'd rather see Americans at work than our continued support of workers in third world nations where American dollars have substantially improved quality of life while our people live in poverty. Besides, there will always be foreign based call support centers where you can barely understand the person who's trying to help you reset your computer anyway.

      Maybe when more Americans are productive and earning a living, they will be able to buy their own goods instead of trying to steal mine. In the meantime, though, I will continue to sleep lightly with a firearm by my side.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      Structural inequality is what leads to "cesspits", so the only way to change it is to have policies which reduce inequality, not follow neo-liberal policies which increase inequality.

      Using the stick without the carrot in punishing crime has been shown to be totally ineffective at reducing crime rates or reducing re-offending rates so it is nothing more than a short term fix which will cost exponentially more year on year as crime rates grow.

      The thing that stops most people from breaking into an house is the fact that most people are not criminals. Burglars are skilled at entering quietly without detection and if they wanted to they could kill you in your bed without you having the chance to defend yourself. They are more likely to do this if they think you may have a gun - having a gun is only more likely to get people killed including the gun owner.

      "My kind" don't believe in labelling people when you have no experience of their lives. If you had been bought up in a ghetto and suffered from the social issues that those in deprived areas do then you would probably have ended up the same as they are because it is society which shapes peoples lives. It is not some innate aspect of a person which leads them to crime.

      Cause and effect is if you treat people as savages they will act as savages, so your way is only going to increase the problems that are caused, and as the US economy struggles against cheap international labour the deprived areas will grow and the number of "cesspits" will increase. But at least you will have the illusion of safety that your gun confers.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Yes, but if you examine the statistics closer you will see that the bulk of the crimes and deaths are located in large urban cultural areas like Chicago, Detroit, New York, Washington D.C. and other areas with large multi cultural, uneducated and unemployed populaces who are content to wreak havok among each other with total disregard for laws and ordinances. It's when these urban disreputes stray out of their ghettoes that crime is perpetrated on folks who have removed themselves from urban cesspools in order to live more secure lives apart from the downtrodden riffraff that is either unable or unwilling to better their existences with education or a job.

      This harkens back to the issue of our country coddling and catering to the unworthy. We clothe them, feed them and attempt to educate and employ them but they respond with a callous disrespectful and even hateful attitude expounded by scumbags like Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who incite the hatred and loathing so prevalent in downtrodden minority communities which in turn fosters the criminal behavior born of wanton disregard for other lives and personal property.

      Your argument holds no weight or water. The only way to resolve the issue is to remove criminals from their environments and lock them up for the good of the populace. It won't completely eliminate all gun crime, but it would cut your statistic by an extraordinary number. Even if you added up all the mass shootings in upscale suburban areas from the last 20 years, the total of those crimes would be less than 10% of the total gun violence figures that occur throughout urban areas by the aforementioned problem children. To fix the problem, we need to be willing to lock up the perpetrators and throw away the key, not coddle and rehabilitate those that have chosen the path they follow with no inkling of effort to redirect themselves along a path toward redemption and civility. Safety comes from locking up animals that are dangerous and those that continue to kill or exhibit violent behavior need to be put down. But the liberal mindset refuses to embrace the death penalty, so there is no deterrant for abnormal and dangerous behavior and prisons are nothing more than concentrated reflections of those same urban cesspools that define and develop the criminal behavior that causes the violence that creates your statistics. Cause and effect. Meanwhile, your kind would strip the rest of us of the only defenses that deter those criminals from upending the lives of law abiding citizens who just want a reprieve from all the violence. The only thing that prevents a criminal from breaking into a residence is the uncertainty that the owner just might possess a legal firearm which can be used to curtail a useless life before it has the chance to cut short a productive one.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      Best estimates are that 300,000 crimes per year feature guns, not counting all the totally unreported gun crimes which are a prominent feature of gang v gang, so your figures are already suspect.

      In the UK the figure is far lower. Only around 7000 per year, and that is ALL gun crime. Our population is a little over 20% of yours so for it to be proportional your gun crime figures would be less than 40000 per year, not 300000+.

      So no, you don't do well managing it yourselves, and when you look at stats for gun deaths it is far worse. One death that is avoidable by better regulations is too many but in the US you have thousands per year that are avoidable. So no, I don't consider that you doing well by yourselves.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 2 years ago from The Midwest

      "siognificant portion"

      Let's see.... best guess is between 40 million and 80 million gun owners

      Going with the lower figure to avoid any arugments....

      About 100,000 bad things happen each year with a gun under the control of a bad person. Now, let's assume that each and every one of these incidents involve a separate person instead of one person doing mulitpe bad things.

      That means that 1 out of 400 people with access to a gun do bad things each year. This is one quarter of one percent, or 0.25 percent.

      I am not sure that anyone can justify one quarter of one percent as "significant proportion" in any language.

      In addition, the large majority of these people who do bad things are people who are already forbidden from owning a gun. The fact that they have a gun no more makes them a legal "gun owner" than someone who robs a bank with a stolen car now becomes a "car owner."

      If we want to "change the gun culture" then we need to be honest. The gun culture doesn't need to be changed. We do quite well for ourselves without the need of anyone's assistance.

      This is why the gun controllers cannot gain any traction. The first place, the second place, and the last place they always point their fingers are at the law abiding citizens. It is impossible for them to admit that 0.25 percent of those who have a gun are responsible for the 100 percent of the crimes with guns.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      Most experts agree that there are not many illegal guns in the UK based on the actual gun ownership figures and the number of crimes which feature guns. In 2012 if you exclude air pistols there were only just over 7,000 gun crimes in the UK, a country with over 63 million people. The UK had only 58 gun deaths.

      The US had more Gun murders than the UK had total gun crime, coming in significantly over 8,000 from a population of 310 million. This is totally disproportional.

      I have lived in one of the most deprived area's of the UK and have seen countless crimes and violent incidents and in only one have I witnessed a "firearm" - a man was shot with an air pistol. People do not routinely own or carry guns in the UK- even criminals. I know gun owners but the laws on how we store and transport guns mean they are useless for self defence unless you know in advance you will need them, therefore it is not usual for British people to go to that. The increase in people carrying knives is worrying, but the statistics show that you are far more likely to be stabbed if you are carrying a weapon than if you are not. For that reason it is illogical to carry weapons for self defence.

      I am glad that you hold to beliefs about soldiers preventing abuses of government, unfortunately most soldiers do not. They follow orders. A militia will never be a match for fully trained and equipped soldiers.

      The Bundy case is an example of capitalism merging the state and corporate interests in a way that is reminiscent of the rise of fascism in Europe and is something that all Americans (and, given US foreign policy, the entire world) should be very worried about. Not the fault of Obama specifically but the fault of a continuous erosion of separation between the state and corporate interests which has been escalating since Reagan's neo-liberal ideas took hold. Mussolini said that fascism is the perfect partnership between state and corporate authority.

      I don't think there are any easy answers to changing the gun culture in the US but I do think that the statistics show that something needs to be done and that should be tightening of laws to ensure responsible ownership. Most gun owners are responsible, but a significant proportion are not, and many are people that we would all be concerned about owning guns, people with a record of violent crimes or mental disturbances which have not reached the trigger point for barring them from owning weapons.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Perhaps you're right in your assertion that restricting gun access may eventually reduce the numbers of illegal guns, however I'm not entirely certain that you will ever be able to eliminate the black market altogether. I can point to the UK as a perfect example. The number of illegal guns there is speculated to be far higher than the published number. Much like the unemployment rate here in the US, the numbers will be skewed to make the liberal argument look better than it really is.

      As for the desire or ability to use deadly force, I simply point that out as an option that I have available to me. If someone breaks into my home without invitation, my first option will be to throw them out a plate glass window. That would be eminently more satisfying than killing them and the expense of replacing the window afterwards would actually be worth it to me. Alternatively, if that fails to stop them, breaking their necks might be a secondary option. Of course if their intent is to use deadly force afterwards, I will happily oblige them with reciprocal deadly force. Oh, and by the way, there is no such thing as a "former Marine."

      And lastly, the Bundy example is a perfect one about why Militias are necessary. When I took my oath as a Marine, I swore to defend this country from all threats both foreign and domestic, however the deployment of the military to stop a few farmers from attempting to recoup their cattle from an overreaching government is proof positive to me that the military should have stood down and refused to obey the deployment order in the first place. The military has a moral obligation to carry out orders where a legitimate threat to the safety of our nation comes into play. The military is NOT supposed to be used to defend a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats who overstep their authority to seize the property of a private citizen even if that property is grazing on public land as they had been for years. I support the milita and their stand and I would have happily pulled the trigger right along with them to stop the miscarriage of justice. Alternatively, if I had been actively deployed to that situation, I would not have lifted a finger to save any bureaucrat from being killed and if I had been a position of command, I would have ordered my men to also stand down rather than escalate a confrontation based on the whining of a few government officials. In my book, what the government did was wrong and they would gotten exactly what they would have deserved in the end.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      Gun control was instigated in Germany before the Nazi's ascended to power to try to stop the violent and militarised movements of the extreme right and left - it was not to stop private individuals owning guns it was an attempt to disarm militia's which ultimately did not stop the Nazi ascent to power through legal means - gun control just forced them to take legal routes.

      Weapons amnesties have been very successful in a number of countries, even where guns are not legal. In the US because of the sheer number of guns, both legal and illegal, changes to culture will take time but the simple fact remains that less guns means less gun deaths.

      You say the constitution is organic, and so it should be, but if the defence for not changing a law is that it was what was right for people 230 years ago it is failing to be organic and meet the needs of a modern society.

      Why do feel the need to use lethal force? If somebody comes into my home uninvited I feel perfectly capable of forcibly evicting them without killing them. Willingness to use lethal force is nothing to be proud of. The ability to restrain from using it is.

      The gun laws in the US are not fit for purpose, and that is clear by all of the gun crime statistics.

      The Bundy case is not a good example of why a militia can be good, because as a former Marine you will be more than aware that if the government had sent in a small, well trained unit of troops they would have comfortably beaten the Bundy "militia". All guns did was escalate a dispute that should have been handled through diplomacy into one where lives were at risk on both sides.

      If you are anywhere in the US you can easily get guns and there are no checks on entering Chicago from any other city or state of the US, so guns are still readily available, and when government polices through a number of decades have created huge economic inequalities then crime will grow and you are quite right that criminals are more likely to break the gun laws, but in countries where guns are hard to get hold of almost no criminals have guns.

      Of course just changing the law will not have an immediate effect but overtime restricting the access to guns will also reduce the number of illegal guns available. Not immediately, but over time.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Wrong, Mark.

      It's been proven in the past that gun control equals people control. In Germany in the 1930s, the government took guns away from law abiding citizens to ensure the safety of the military and the polizei who subsequently rounded up large numbers of the populace who didn't conform to the government's idea of perfection and summarily executed them for "the common good".

      The wonderful thing about the US constitution is that it is a living document, designed to grow and change with the society over which it governs. That "militia" that was referred to is necessary even to this day as epitomized by the overreach of the government on the Bundy ranch a few weeks back. People like you always seem to assume that, when the guns you refer to are made illegal, all guns will be surrendered, even by the criminals. I beg to differ. Last Easter weekend, in Chicago, one city that has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, over 40 gun homicides occurred and 67 gun related crimes were perpetrated in a city that's supposed to have almost NO guns. How does that happen? Well, let me think...the adage rings true yet again - When guns are outlawed, etc., etc.

      I've said it before and I'll repeat myself. I'm a law abiding gun owner to a point. Ask me to register my guns and I will respectfully refuse. What you don't know I have is none of your business. Also, what I do own is no threat to anybody - unless you break into my home, threaten me or my family or try to take them from me either through immoral laws or by force. And just for the record, I don't even need a gun to lethally stop you from entering my home without my permission. I just prefer to have the guns strictly for convenience. My Marine Corps training still serves me well, though.

    • Mark Lees profile image

      Mark Lees 2 years ago

      A great hub.

      There are two things that always strike me about the absolute commitment of the gun lobby to gun control.

      1) The insistence that they need guns to defend themselves. In countries with strict gun controls, such as the UK, the people have no need for guns to protect ourselves as our criminals almost never have guns either. In addition, without guns to defend ourselves we don't feel the need to escalate the situation when crime does occur, so far less people get hurt protecting property which is i) less important than human life and ii) usually insured anyway.

      2) The belief that a constitution that was created 230 years ago to meet the needs of the time are perfect now. The constitution was largely written by Thomas Jefferson, a wealthy slave owner, yet nobody would think that was appropriate today, so why do they think that the constitution is still as valid.

      Nobody here is suggesting totally outlawing guns but having stricter controls to ensure responsible ownership can only be good for American society. Only the gun manufacturers suffer.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      well said brown073, very well said

    • brown073 profile image

      Cameron Brown 2 years ago from Gainesville, FL

      The problem in this county is that the gun lobby has managed to convince paranoid right wing zealots that any common sense measures to mitigate the likelihood of guns ending up in the wrong hands, are tantamount to an all out gun ban. The Manchin--Toomey bill was the most watered down gun control proposal that I've ever seen, but somehow Faux News and conservative talk radio managed to convince enough idiots that the government was trying to create a gun registry in order to confiscate their weapons. I'm not speaking as someone who is anti-gun because I personally have two safes full of firearms; but just like most responsible gun owners, I think our government should work to ensure that guns are not so easily acquired by criminals and people with mental illnesses. In most states private sellers can sell firearms without a background check and Guns shows and gun trading websites help facilitate millions of transactions like this each year.

      But if you listen to the tone of many of these people promoting unfettered access to firearms, they're really talking about arming themselves in order to fight against their own government one day as if we live in Mogadishu. This is an irrational group of people and it is absolutely ridiculous that they have so much influence in this gun control debate.

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Nice article even though I don't agree with your opinion.

      I've said it in the past - My guns are no threat to anyone unless they plan to try and take them from me. Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation yet it has some of the highest gun crime rates in the US. Correllation? Uh, ya think?

      Criminals who have no regard for laws will continue to be able to get their hands on guns through the black market. Unless you could find a way to simultaneously eliminate every gun on the planet instantaneously, gun control arguments don't hold water. And until every criminal out there surrenders their arms, I will keep mine for my own protection. If new laws make me a criminal, then so be it. There's a reason most law enforcement offices refuse to enforce the new gun control laws coming down the pike. They have no desire to start a new civil war where they are likely to become the first casualties of an over reaching government.

      Coincidentally, I live in New York State. Governor Cuomo opened a huge can of worms when he forced through the so called SAFE Act. New York, though, is no safer now than it was before the law passed. Last time I checked, no bank robber stopped to check his gun before striking to ensure that he was only carrying seven bullets in order to comply with the law.

      Nice writing, but I can't vote this hub up since I don't concur with your opinion. In deference, though, I like reading your work and have voted up other hubs of yours. On this subject, though, we will agree to disagree.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thanks Barry!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      posted on my Twitter and Pinterest Site. Naturally I agree with your facts. Worth a look at 'Cost of Gun Deaths in America.' Published by Wharton

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      thank you

    • Michael Murcott profile image

      Michael Murcott 2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      The numbers of Gun murders in the States are basically flat with a marginal increase in the last year (2012) that there are statistics for. However it isn't the increase or decrease that is really the factor but the huge number of them that are occurring. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/sep/...

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 2 years ago

      Then don't act like a victim when you get called out and back up your claims. "Just cause I say" does not make something a fact. Especially when you are trying to discount the National FBI Crime statistics that EVERY law enforcement agency uses, and every politician.

      If they are accurate when they support one point of view then they are damn well accurate when they support the opposite point. You can't have it both ways.

      I spent almost 20 years as an LEO so I know of which I speak.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Did I come off as angry? Because I am not. I understand that this topic has people on both sides of the fence, but I am certainly not bothered by your opinions of my writing. Trust me, my skins quite thick.

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 2 years ago

      You assert something as fact that anyone with any knowledge knows to be untrue. Maybe you should try growing a thicker skin, seems like you just want everyone to accept anything you say as gospel then act like some sort of victim when you are called out on your blatant inaccuracies. This is the internet, get used to it or don't come out to play.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      But I do appreciate your web traffic.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      I don't appreciate your accusations, and if you want me to gather my facts, I will, but I will save them for another hub. I don't let people antagonize me. If you don't agree with my article, stop coming here. I have nothing to prove to you.

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 2 years ago

      Do you have some statistics to prove your assertions? If you are going to say that the FBI statistics are not accurate you better be able to prove it.

      Seems like those numbers are good enough for everyone else but since they don't prop up your flawed agenda you claim they aren't accurate. I bet you would cite them if they *did* prop up your agenda though, wouldn't you?

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      I don't feel like this is a rant, nor do FBI statistics give an accurate portrayal of gun violence since many gun violence cases never involve the police, so please don't attack me.

    • profile image

      wdc39 2 years ago

      Your entire article starts with and is based on a lie. The gun violence problem in America is shrinking, not growing. Try checking out some FBI statistics before you rant next time.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thank you for your kind words!

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

      For many years some people have guns in their house , inside their purses. I see how people suffer when they have one with them. They talk how they regret having one gun with them. They talk how tney ruin their record because when they are legal with the gun . The police already know. For those who have it eligal. They are braking the law. Some people do not have the training , and they kill themselves or

      others . Because they do not how to handle the gun. It is sad.Thank you for the informative hub. You did a goo job. Miss.kathleenodenthal excellent article.

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 2 years ago

      New Yorker, do you understand what a semi-automatic weapon is?

      Teens cannot buy guns legally now, but they are allowed to hunt and shoot with parental supervision. I know people who have been hunting since they were 9 or 10.

      Gun ownership is a right guaranteed in our constitution, in what way do you think it should be 'controlled' anymore than it already unconstitutionally is?

    • NewYorker11 profile image

      NewYorker11 2 years ago from New York

      I could not agree more with you, Kathleen. Even though I am a libertarian, I do believe that the excessive spread of guns in America is a reason for many deaths that would not have happened otherwise. I am not saying people should not carry guns, but why do they need a semi-automatic for protection? Why do teens have access to guns? Gun ownership should be controlled.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      No offense taken! I appreciate the different view points and the discussion, thank you for commenting on my hub

    • mgeorge1050 profile image

      Alan 3 years ago from West Georgia

      Humans have always killed each other, even thousands of years before the gun was invented. If there were no such thing as the gun, people would still be killing each other. It is simply human nature, as sad as that may be. If they made guns illegal then only criminals would have guns. Just my opinion, don't mean to offend.

    • Michael Murcott profile image

      Michael Murcott 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      "Private self-defense" is not in the constitution as I pointed out it is just written by someone from several centuries ago in a society radically different from the modern one and one without a police service. There is no certainty about the meaning of "well regulated" just like lots of old documents you can make them mean different things and whether it means under government control or not the need for militia has past hence the need for a right to bear arms has also passed according to the direction of the constitution. Being in the UK and walking down the streets in peace (for the most part) without the threat of violence from anyone is really pleasant. The so called Muslim patrol were a few individuals attempting to stop people going about their lawful activities, as the actions of the Muslim patrol were illegal they were soon arrested and jailed and people go about their normal lives with any interference from bigots and extremists of any type. The Muslim patrol was no more representative of life in the UK than the Westboro Baptist church is representative of life in the USA.

      Now for Lee Rigby who was rammed by a car then had his head almost cut off with a knife an incident which no one could have stopped no matter what they were armed with. The people who committed the crime were converts to the Muslim faith as with most converts they tend not to have a broader view of the religion that they converted to and are more easily radicalised. Unarmed police secured the perimeter of the incident and when armed police arrived (yes we do have them but in relatively small numbers and they very rarely use there weapons) they attempted to get the individuals to surrender. When Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale charged at the armed police, the police fired a total of 8 shots wounding both men and then arrested them. This seems the way any democratic civilisation should have dealt with the actions of two terrorists. One of the two men did have a 9.4mm KNIL model 91 revolver, it was illegal for them to possess such a firearm just like several of their actions that day were illegal such as carrying a knife in public. However both guns and ammunition are hard to come by in the UK evidenced by the fact that gun was 90 years old and they didn't have any ammunition for it. If they were in a country where they had easy access to ammunition and automatic weapons the death toll from this terrorist incident would almost certainly been far greater than the sad death of one off duty soldier.

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 3 years ago

      Yet you totally ignore where he says " private self-defense."

      In the parlance of the 18th century "well regulated" meant well equipped, not regulated under the government.

      The framers intended for citizens to be able to bear arms for the purpose of defense of the state, to overthrow tyranny either from a foreign invader or our own government should it become so. And, of course, self-defense.

      That you brits have allowed yourselves to become unarmed and helpless victims in the face criminals is a sad thing, but we, as Americans, are not about to suffer the same fate.

      This is one reason the Muslims feel they can stand on public streets in London and declare the place a "Muslim Patrol" zone or whatever those jackwagons were calling it. And intimidate British citizens simply walking down the street in their own country.

      Remember Lee Rigby? His murderers stood around, splattered in blood, knives in their hands and one with a gun (in Britain, say it ain't so!! that's illegal, right?), and all the 'men' I saw simply averted their eyes and acted as if they just hoped they would not hurt them. You are lucky they did not decide to simply kill a few more infidels while they were at it.

      Where I live all the police would have been doing is tagging and bagging those two animals.

      No son, you all over there be victims and sheep if you like. me and mine, we will not be made helpless and defenseless victims because you all think it's a more enlightened way of being. The only thing that does is make you a dead being.

      It's an American thing, you wouldn't understand.

    • Michael Murcott profile image

      Michael Murcott 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      I see the key part of the sentence as "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" since this is the only amendment that gives a reason for its existence and this need has long since passed. The Jefferson quote does refer to the overthrow of tyranny, which is a direct reference to British rule in the States where the people had no influence over their taxes and laws, but not to an overthrow of their directly elected government. There is of course little reason to follow now what Jefferson, Washington or other founding fathers or drafters of the constitution thought was right for the country, the world has moved on; after all the generally held view of these people was that slavery is acceptable and that women should have no role in the selection of a government. The USA is now in the 21st Century and any country that has a need to sell bulletproof backpacks for school children needs to examine its relationship with guns.

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 3 years ago

      " the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

      Key sentence right there, and if you look at the writings of our founding fathers you will see that their intent was for people to be able to defend themselves as well as to be available for duty in militia if needed.

      "Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense."

      -Thomas Jefferson

      So you can see by the above quote, and many others, their intent was not so we could further kick the hell out of you lot should you ever return, but to defend against criminality or tyranny from within as well.

    • Michael Murcott profile image

      Michael Murcott 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      The amendments were written when the USA had a very small standing army and they were concerned that the state could easily be attacked and overcome if there wasn't enough guns held by the population at large to form a well armed militia hence the full text of the 2nd amendment being "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." Shows the reason why the state wanted people to have the right to bear arms and along with the 3rd amendment "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law" you can see where the country was focusing its intentions. With the need for "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" no longer needed since America has by far the most powerful army in the world the right to bears arms is no longer needed to protect the "security of a free State"

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 3 years ago

      Michael, there is a reason that the first 10 amendment are called the Bill of Rights.

      The constitution only recognizes my God given right to self defense, it does not, in any way, confer that right to me.

      If the 1st amendment says what it means and means what it says, then so does the 2nd.

      "Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

      -George Washington

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Michael.....In an effort toward full disclosure, I can assure you that 1.) In no manner do I believe that our right to own firearms is God-given....not figuratively and certainly not literally.

      2.)I am well aware of the reason(s) we have this right in our constitution, although I can agree, many people do not.

      I see no reason to think that anything is "different" in terms of those reason....in our country TODAY. In fact, Michael, we continue to have the same fears, if not stronger....here in the USA. I should think the UK believes this as well.

      Thank you so much for your response to my comment and especially for the link. I am always open to further discussion and education. Peace........

    • Michael Murcott profile image

      Michael Murcott 3 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Part of the issue is some Americans think that it is a god given right to carry guns rather than just an amendment to the constitution. To understand why it is in the constitution you have to look at it in the historical context alongside other amendments that came into being at the time and understand the full wording itself rather than the abbreviated one which is often quoted. For more details on this you can watch this - http://youtu.be/sh3zzs9Tmsw

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it very much. I understand the touchy nature of the subject and that everyone has a different stance on gun control and I knew that writing this would bring up a lot of feelings in a lot of people, but it is something I feel strongly about as a person who lives in a high crime area where gun violence truly is an issue. I appreciate your insightful feedback and thoughts on the subject and thank you for reading my article!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kathleen, "Heated debate" is clearly an understatement. On this we agree. In all of the hubs, forum discussions and Q&A that can be found right here on our writer's website, I have offered very little, if any comments/opinions.

      However, the fact is, I do have some fairly staunch opinions on this topic.

      I should explain that I am a Realist, to my very core, come from a strongly Patriotic family, including members of the Military (U.S. Marine Corps & U.S Army....from WWII to Operation Iraqui Freedom members of law enforcement, as well as avid outdoor sportsmen who live for hunting season. My point being, "guns" have played a part in our lives for various legal reasons.

      I personally believe in holding firmly to our Constitution. Our founding fathers KNEW what they were doing....

      There is no doubt that guns, actually, lethal weapons of any kind, should ever be in the hands of criminals, gang members or the mentally ill & unstable.

      Having said this.....Does it not make perfect sense that THIS is where the strongest efforts and most money and attention should be paid? The supervision and laws, overview and continual monitoring to see to it that individuals who fit these profiles, cannot possess a firearm at ANY time, under any circumstance. In today's world, controlled by high technology, this CAN be done.

      It is easier and the Lazy way to simply use a broad brush and attempt to regulate, change our constitution and cover the entire U.S. population. Not only is this an egregious theft of our constitutional rights, it's downright insane (speaking of the mentally ill!)

      I do not happen to own a firearm, never have nor even considered it. This is beside the point to my opinion for every other law-abiding citizen.

      I respect the opinions of others and make a sincere attempt to understand that some concessions need to be made for the benefit of all.

      There is not a single benefit to ripping from the American people, the right to protect and defend themselves, family and property from those who can and DO steal, harm, injure and kill innocent people via their criminal behavior and activities.

      Please understand my beliefs. This is an excellently written hub and speaks highly of your writing talents. Up+++

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      I agree with you, I don't understand them, and I have no desire to own one, touch one or ever have one in my possession

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 3 years ago from The Netherlands

      I never understood this obsession with firearms (in the usa).

      I had to handle guns when I was called for military service. Have never held one or longed to hold one in my hand or in my possession ever since leaving military service.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      And this is why it is a heated a debate.... You are entitled to your opinions, but please don't call me names.

    • Superkev profile image

      Superkev 3 years ago

      A very naïve rant to say the least.

      "The United States policy on gun laws has too many holes in it, allowing prisoners, ex-convicts, people who are psychiatrically unstable as well as gang members to get their hands on lethal weapons, putting innocent civilians at risk."

      This sentence, among others in your hub show a deep, almost comic, lack of knowledge as to the law.

      By law ex-convicts, gang members (if they are felons) and the mentally unstable are already banned from the legal purchase and ownership of firearms. What you are trying to make people believe is that criminals will follow the the laws concerning guns, by definition they are criminals, and therefore, wait for it.........DON'T OBEY THE LAW!!!

      And how do 'prisoners' buy a firearm? Do they carry them in the prison canteen perhaps?

      So, if these types are not going to follow the law, and use firearms anyhow, to rob, rape and pillage, can you tell me why I should have to be unarmed and helpless when faced with someone who wants to harm myself or my family? Why? Because YOU don't like guns?

      Being a helpless victim is not an enlightened state of being, it's just stupid. And I have the God given right to defend my life, the constitution merely recognizes that fact.

      So, how would you propose that the government make people who, by their very definition do not follow the law, follow more gun laws? Keeping in mind this is the same entity that spent a half-billion dollars on a web site that still doesn't work.

      You have the right to be helpless and a victim if you like, you don't have the right to force me to be.

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