Part 3 The Serious Social Problems Caused by the Proliferation of Guns
The proliferation of guns and gun violence in the United States has serious consequences. In addition to causing a large number of casualties, it has also bred more violence and crimes, which has greatly reduced the sense of security in US society.
1. The proliferation of guns has led to a large number of murders in the United States. Guns are closely linked to murders. The US people own a large number of private guns. The easy access to guns leads to a high possibility of using guns in conflicts. With the intervention of guns, small quarrels may escalate into murders, and criminal acts such as robbery and theft may turn into murder cases if the criminals carry guns. When drugs and guns are linked together, more violent crime can be bred. Organized crimes of the gangs will cause greater harm when employing guns. Given the widespread private gun ownership in US society, it is unavoidable that a large number of guns will be sold illegally and possessed without registration, which increases the difficulty in gun control. All of this directly enhances the murder rate in the United States. According to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center's study of multinational conditions, there is a positive correlation between privately owned guns and murders. In the 1990s, an average of 2 million violent criminal cases and 24,000 murders occurred in the United States per year, 70 percent of which were related to guns. According to a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, between 2005 and 2012, about 60 percent of intentional murders in the United States were carried out through the use of guns. The close link between guns and violent crimes is also proved by a crime data analysis released in the United States in 2017. According to the study, violent crimes in some states have increased by 10 to 15 percent in 10 years after relaxing restrictions on the issuance of Concealed Pistol Licenses.
2. The proliferation of guns has led to the constant occurrence of school shootings. Frequent school shootings are a peculiar phenomenon and the consequence of the proliferation of guns in the United States. No country with strict gun control suffers as many campus shootings as the United States. As campuses are densely populated public places, it is easy to cause heavy causalities in school shootings. A large collection of juveniles on campus cannot defend themselves, respond to unexpected situations, and are vulnerable in shooting incidents. The horrific experience of shooting incidents can cause long-term harm to many children, leading to problems such as poorer academic performance, social disabilities, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, and drug abuse. The families of the students are affected as well. Therefore, the social impact of school shootings is extensive. In 2018, there were 25 campus shootings in the United States, affecting 25,332 students, 33 of whom were killed and 61 were injured. More than 4 million children have experienced a campus blockade in the 2017-2018 school year, and many have suffered physical and psychological trauma. Due to the frequent occurrence of school shootings, a peculiar phenomenon that teachers and students carry guns in school has emerged in the United States. Some states have even enacted laws requiring that teachers be equipped with guns.
3. Gun violence has seriously undermined the US people's sense of security. One argument for supporting individual gun ownership is that guns can protect personal safety. But the paradox is that if everyone holds a gun, he or she will become more insecure. Due to the massive shooting incidents and widespread gun violence, the United States has become an extremely insecure country. Its people live in fear and are forced to rely on guns to protect themselves. The laws reflect the fear of the US people. Many state laws allow citizens to shoot in the event of a threat, even if they can escape the threat without the use of weapons. This adds to the sense of insecurity in society. The United States has fallen into a vicious circle. On the one hand, the increasing proliferation of guns in the United States has brought more security risks and increased the number of vicious criminal offenses. On the other hand, every time a shooting incident occurs, more US people will buy guns out of safety concerns and the need for self-defense.
The US people are living with a strong sense of insecurity. According to a Gallup poll in 2015, 37 percent of interviewees said they did not dare to walk one kilometer away from their household at night, and above 40 percent of the low-income people with annual family incomes below 30,000 US dollars dared not to walk anywhere at night. According to a 2017 survey by the American Journal of Public Health, 9 million American citizens carry a loaded pistol outdoors at least once a month, and 3 million of them even carry guns every day. A February 2016 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Americans were 10 times more likely to be shot than those in other developed countries.
Rampant gun violence is an epitome of serious human rights problems and the consequence of extremely overwhelming individualism in the United States, reflecting its inherent institutional problem. Many people in the United States mistakenly believe that they can protect themselves only with guns. They have forgotten that personal security is inseparable from protection by the state. On the issue of gun control, the United States has driven into a dead end. The demands of US society simply cannot change the legislation and decision-making of the gun issue. On the issue of gun control, we cannot see the effectiveness of US democracy, as it has been undermined by political polarization. Both parties have done nothing and failed to respond to the demands of the reality of US society. Every moment, US society is in danger of suffering from gun violence, and human rights are being trampled on.