U.S. & World
U.S. & World

Gun Violence Problem in the United States

By on July 14, 2013

Gun violence in the United States has been a controversial topic that is regularly debated politically; it has drastically captivated the media’s attention due to recent tragic events such as the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and the Aurora shooting. Tragically, many American families lost family members and were affected directly in such events.

However, shootings massacres is just one form of gun violence that has had major publicity in the news due to the large number of children that were involved. There are also other types of gun violence incidents such as homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. In the year 2010, the total number of people killed by guns in the United States was 31,672. Undoubtedly, it is obvious that gun violence is a big problem in the United States.

Shooting Massacre Gun Violence

It is recognizable that many massacre incidents involving gun violence have been horrific tragedies. One of the most recent fatal, horrific incidents was the Sandy Hook Elementary Shootingwhere a man named Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adults at an Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012). It was an unrealistic event. No one would have expected that someone was capable of killing first graders in cold blood. The children killed during the catastrophic event were in the age range of 5 – 10 years old.

The outcome from the massacre shooting was so extensive that brought marches and protests, flaming advertisements, celebrity endorsements, contentious congressional and state hearings. Many American families suffered after hearing the horrific news of little children being killed in cold blood. The persons most affected were the families that lost their kids, “That wasn’t just a killing. That was a massacre,” said Neil Heslin, who lost his 6-year-old son at Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, Jesse Lewis. Four month before the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, there was another shooting incident on July 20, 2012, inside of a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises. James Eagan Holmes, dressed with bulletproof vest, set off tear gas grenades and shot into the audience, who were watching the film, with various firearms, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.The American population after hearing that news, many were scared of going to the movie theaters fearing that something like would happened again.

After the Aurora shooting in Colorado, everyone thought that the authorities would be more careful regarding suspect individuals trying to do something similar; however, the events turned out differently and another tragic event occurred, Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting. The problem caused by the massacre shootings was extremely extensive and the whole United States suffered from such tragic events.

Homicides Gun violence

Homicides contribute to the big percentage of the gun violence in the United States. In the year 2011, data collected by the FBI shows that firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 41 percent of robbery offenses and 21 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide. Gun related homicide is most predominant between gangs.

This shows how gun violence has caused a great impact in our society and that is problem affecting the United States nationwide. Gun violence not only affects our government directly with bad reputation on their regulations law but also all the American citizens that are exposed to such incidents. The statistics of the homicides in the United States are outrageous. The total gun homicides in 2010 were 11,078 people killed.

The average of people killed per day was 85, which means one person killed every 3 hours. This data is scary for any American citizen and shows how anyone could be part of the data. Every person that lives in the United States is exposed to homicides in either first degree or second.

Suicide with Guns

Believe it or not, suicide is the leading cause of gun deaths is the United States. An article on the Huffing Post said, “More than 19,000 of the 31,000 deaths from guns in the United States in 2010 were suicides, far more than the number of homicides or unintended shooting deaths. The overall suicide rate is rising so rapidly that it now outnumbers deaths from car crashes”. The number of suicides in 2010 was 19,392, creating nearly 62% of all gun deaths.

On estimate day, 49 gun suicides were committed for the years 2005-2010. This number certainly shows how immense suicide caused by guns affects the American population. A research of California handgun purchasers found that in the first year of buying a gun, suicide was the leading cause of death among the people who bought the guns. In the United States, guns were used in approximately 44% of suicide deaths between people under age 25 in 2010.

The people that are more exposed to suicides caused by guns are those people suffering from depression; however, it does not mean that people not suffering from depression are safe because anyone is able to act in impulse of angry and commit action that are irreversible.

Accidental Shooting

From the year 2005 to 2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from accidental shootings. However, it is not as big as the other types of gun violence in the United States but still is a number were people are killed and people should be aware of it; especially because children are the most affected by accidental shooting. A federal government study of unintentional shootings found that 8 percent of such shooting deaths caused from shots fired by children under the age of six.

In 2008, there were 680 deaths caused by accidental shooting in the United States, with approximately 15,500 shooting injuries. Every day, nearly five children are injured or killed nationally because of gun violence. Each year approximately 100 people are injured or killed while cleaning or playing with a firearm. The numbers do not lie and accidental shootings occurs frequently causing accidental deaths among American citizens and their children.

children psychologically

In addition, Gun violence not only causes death but also affects children psychologically. Children that are exposed to gun violence not only suffer physically but also emotionally.  Researches have recognized that children exposed to gun violence experience permanent emotional scars. Some children may develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can affect brain development. Gun violence jeopardizes the safety of all these children and causes a great impact on their psychological state, which later on might cause problems on their adult life. Research done by, they stated that, “Children do not necessarily have to experience it themselves, just by hearing about incidences of gun violence or learning about them on television; they may feel that their safety is threatened”. Evidently, children are the most affected psychologically by gun violence in United States.

The gun violence in the United States without a doubt is major problem that covers a great scale of the country. The most affected are the American families that suffer loss of their family members. Many lives are lost due to gun violence and many people are affected in a second degree with scars for life. It affects our society directly with shooting massacres, killings, suicides, and unintentional shootings.

Sources: CDC.