3. Interest groups are the biggest resistance to gun control efforts in the United States. In addition to the deep-rooted gun culture in US society, interest groups are another important factor causing difficulties in achieving proper gun control in the United States. The legal factor is just a reason on the surface, the real reason is the influence of interest groups. The production, sales, and use of guns in the United States have formed a huge industrial chain that generates tremendous interests. According to a National Broadcasting Company (NBC) report in 2015, the gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States earned a collective annual revenue of approximately $13.5 billion; guns and ammunition stores had an average annual income of $3.1 billion, and their actual profits reached $478.4 million. Gun production and sales industries paid $2 billion in taxes, and provided 263,000 full-time jobs, with 100,000 retailers officially registered to sell weapons. The total economic impact of the US gun and ammunition industry is estimated to be valued at $42.9 billion. The associations that oppose gun control and represent the interests of the gun industry and the people who carry guns wield great influence on the issue of gun control. In the United States, the interest groups that oppose gun control include 12 national organizations, such as the National Rifle Association of America (NRA), Gun Owners of America (GOA), National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and the National Association for Gun Rights, etc. These interest groups have made substantial political donations to US presidential elections and congressional elections. They donated $113 million through the Political Action Committee (PAC) from 2010 to 2018 alone. Founded in 1871, the National Rifle Association of America, the leading organization that opposes gun control in the United States, has 5 million members, including powerful gun manufacturers and distributors. To fulfill its mission to oppose gun control, the association conducts specific activities to advocate gun ownership, oppose gun control, lobby, and make political donations. The NRA is the most influential lobbying organization in the United States, with annual operating expenses of $250 million and more expenses during election years. According to relevant statistics, the NRA donated $54.4 million for political campaign funds during the 2016 presidential election, among which $30 million was donated to Republican candidates. According to CNN, at present, 307 of the 535 Senators and Representatives of Congress have either obtained campaign funds directly from the association and its affiliates, or have benefited from the association's advertising campaigns. The NRA has made numerous political donations to congressmen, among which 20 large donations were given to Republican congressmen. In recent years, the US interest groups that oppose gun control, represented by the NRA, have achieved great success. They have succeeded in killing off almost all gun control bills and further relaxing gun control in the United States.
4. The proliferation of guns is closely related to the excessive use of guns by the US police. The US police often use guns excessively and resort to violence in performing their duty. Their excessive use of guns has caused a large number of casualties when dealing with targets suspected of carrying weapons. In 2017, the US police shot and killed 987 people, many of whom were innocent. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that as of July 8, at least 124 of the 509 people shot by US police in half a year were mentally ill. The policemen abuse their authority to shoot civilians but are rarely investigated for criminal responsibility. Every year, about 1,000 civilians are shot by the police and at least 400 of them die. In contrast, from 2005 to 2016, only 77 policemen were accused of manslaughter or murder, averaging only 7.7 people per year, and the vast majority of them were exempt from prosecution. In the first five months of 2015, the number of deaths caused by US policemen by using guns reached 385, an average of more than two people per day. In sharp contrast, only three policemen were accused during this period, less than 1 percent of the total. This situation has caused great social repercussions. In 2015, the Chicago police officer who fatally shot the 17-year-old African-American boy McDonald was not prosecuted for a long time, which resulted in a protest by the public. This police officer had suffered 20 complaints before, but he had never been investigated.
Due to the above-mentioned fundamental institutional reasons, the gun issue in the United States has no hope to be settled, and the US government is in a dilemma regarding gun control, which fully reflects the predicament of its so-called liberal democracy. The US political system fails to resolve the contradiction between individual liberty and public security and cannot maintain a balance between the two. The United States government is unable to correct the deteriorating situation in which the individual freedom to carry weapons causes heavy casualties and threatens public safety. "US Democracy" can't find a way to solve the gun issue because the foundation of US democracy is general elections, which are inseparable from money. Gun-related interest groups gain political influence through monetary donations and they prevent the government from controlling guns. At the same time, candidates, with the purpose of winning more votes, often cater to voters who advocate the right to hold guns. In addition, US partisan politics has penetrated into the federal Supreme Court, which should be an independent national judicial body, causing divergence within the federal Supreme Court on gun control issues. The gun control issue reflects the fundamental dilemma of the US political system and declares that the US-style liberal democracy has encountered a dead end.