Gun Control In The US

On 31 May 2019, a mass shooting in Virginia, the United States left 12 people killed and several injured. Mass shootings have become a sad reality in the United States. There have been more than 100 mass shootings in the United States till end May in 2019. In 2018, there were more than 300. The most recent case in Virginia triggered another round of debate over gun control.

Majority of Small Arms in Hands of Civilians

According to Small Arms Survey in 2018, out of 1 billion small arms in the world, close to 860 million were in the hands of civilians while 393 million or 46 per cent were in the hands of American civilians. The United States has a population of about 4 per cent that of the world. This works out to be 120.5 firearms for every 100 civilians, making the United States the world’s No. 1 civilian gun-owning country. In 2017, 25.2 million guns were bought by American civilians, more than the total number of guns in the possession of all law enforcement agencies in the world. With guidance from your economics tutor in your economics tuition class, discuss the implications of a large gun market on the country’s gun policies. You may sign up for economics tuition with a reputable economics tutor should you need help with the subject.

Some argue that the high rate of gun ownership may lead to higher rate of homicide. Studies revealed that about 40 per cent of American people had access to a gun. 5 per cent carried the gun with them while over 7 per cent stored their gun in an unsafe place. Researchers found significant correlations between gun ownership and homicide in the United States. The rate of homicide using a firearm is among the highest in the United States, with over 10,000 deaths as a result of gun-related homicide. In consultation with your economics tutor in economics tuition, list out the possible social problems as a result of high gun ownership.

Ongoing Debate over Gun Control

In the United States, guns are widely accessible and highly affordable. A handgun costs approximately US$200 and a rifle approximately US$1,500. There is ongoing debate in the United States over gun control and gun right. Families and friends of the victims of the many mass shootings in the past years have been pushing hard for a gun ban. Others are in support of a less drastic move towards stricter gun control, such as thorough background checks and restriction of sale to people who have mental problems or are on “no fly” or “watch” lists. You may discuss with your economics tutor in economics tuition the effectiveness of these measures. Consult your economics tutor in your economics tuition class on a more effective measure such as a heavy tax on gun purchase.

Despite the rising number of mass shootings and rising number of victims as a result of mass shootings in recent years, policy makers in the United States are unable to introduce stricter controls. This is mainly due to the influence exerted by the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful special interest group in the United States. It enlists about 20 per cent American people as its members. NRA has been actively campaigning against any forms of gun control in the country. It has an annual budget of US$3 million to lobby against gun control. This is only the recorded contributions to lawmakers. Millions more is spent on supporting the election campaigns of political leaders who oppose gun controls. For a detailed case study on NRA’s influence over the gun policy in the United States, you may sign up for Mr Edmund Quek’s economics tuition. Mr Quek, principal economics tutor of Economics Cafe Learning Centre is the best economics tutor in Singapore.

The US civilian firearms market is estimated to be worth US$4 billion per year, the largest in the world. The substantial commercial value has been and will continue to be the biggest obstacle for the country to achieve stricter gun control.

Linda Geng

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