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US gun debate is loaded with belligerence

By Stephanie Stone | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-18 08:27

Americans urge against gun in the street.[Photo/Xinhua]

America's streets and schools are looking less like part of a civilized society and more like the Wild West. As of July 2022, there have been over 300 mass shootings in the United States, leaving over 300 people dead, over 1,000 injured, and many more wondering why there is such staunch resistance from politicians and pro-gun advocates to even reasonable gun regulations.

In part, it's because gun culture is almost synonymous with American culture. Many people have positive gun associations, spending time hunting or shooting with their family. There's also a pervasive film trope of the all-American hero rushing in, guns blazing, to save the day! Many people come from military families and they're proud to carry forward the tradition of the "well-regulated militia" as mentioned in the Second Amendment of the US Bill of Rights, which also states that a person's right "to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".

So, this is a very complicated topic, and in my research I found that all of my questions could, really, be distilled into one, which is: do guns keep us safe? Or, do more guns keep us safer?


Some cling to the myth that, "the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun". This happens far less than the oft-cited, and flawed study from over 20 years ago suggests. And, while data on defensive gun use is limited, what we do know for sure is that there are higher rates of suicide, homicide, and accidents in households with guns and states with lax gun control laws.

But, the counterargument goes, if we take guns away from good people, only the bad guys will have guns. This is a misrepresentation of the issue. Nobody said they wanted to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. That said, about 70 percent of guns used in crimes are either stolen from the aforementioned good citizens, or bought from states with lax gun control laws. So really, implementing some reasonable regulations nationwide, and making sure people report gun theft could really go a long way in helping ensure that guns stay out of the hands of criminals.

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