After every mass shooting in America, there is outrage and mourning but nothing seems to change. Why?
No other developed country in the world has anywhere near the same rate of gun violence as America.
- In just a weekend second mass shooting has taken place in America. This time, a shooter killed 3 people and injured at least 12 others at a festival in Gilroy, California.
- After every mass shooting, the debate over guns and gun violence starts up once again and some bills get introduced. This has become an American routine.
Why is America’s gun problem unique?
- The US has nearly six times the gun homicide rate as Canada, more than seven times as Sweden, and nearly 16 times as Germany, according to UN data compiled by the Guardian.
- Americans make up less than 5% of the world’s population, yet they own roughly 45% of all the world’s privately held firearms.
- Opponents of gun control tend to point to other factors to explain America’s unusual levels of gun violence, particularly mental illness.
- Michael Stone, a psychiatrist at Columbia University who maintains a database of mass shooters, wrote in a 2015 analysis that only 22% of the killers in the database were mentally ill.
After controlling for variables such as socioeconomic factors and other crime, places with more guns have more gun deaths not just homicides but also suicides, domestic violence, violence against police, and mass shootings.
- Researchers have found time and again that America’s high levels of gun ownership are a major reason the US is so much worse in terms of gun violence than its developed peers.
- According to Pew Research Center surveys, most people in the US support universal background checks, a federal database to track sales, bans on assault-style weapons, and bans on high-capacity magazines.
- Other developed countries have had huge successes with gun control
- Australian lawmakers responded with legislation that, among other provisions, banned certain types of firearms, such as automatic and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns.
- Since 2012, there have been, by some estimates, nearly 2,200 mass shootings. And there is every reason to believe there will be more to come.