In the United States, there were a record number of 39,773 firearm deaths in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This number included 23,854 firearm suicides, 14,542 firearm homicides, 553 firearm deaths due to legal interventions (such as police shootings) and war operations, 486 accidental or unintentional firearm related deaths, and 338 firearm related deaths for which motive was undetermined. The total number in 2017 was an increase from the more than 38,000 gun-related homicides in 2016.
The firearm-related death rate has also shown a steady increase since 2014, from 10.5 in 2014 to 12. 2 per 100,000 in 2017. These statistics inspired efforts at the federal and state levels to enact gun control laws to reduce crime and violence.
Gun control advocates are seeking tougher restrictions on the sale and circulation of firearms. They point to the high incidence of firearm deaths in the United States compared to other countries, as illustrated in a 2016 study by the American Journal of Medicine, which showed that the United States has more gun-related homicides and suicides. of fire. fire than any other. High-income country, with Americans ten times more likely to die from a firearm-related death than people in 22 other developed countries.
On the other side of the debate, citizen groups and firearms manufacturers argue that gun control laws threaten their constitutional right to own and carry firearms. Gun rights groups aim to prevent new legislation and, if possible, overturn existing legislation. The National Rifle Association (NRA), which provides firearm safety training and resources, lobbies on behalf of firearm manufacturers and owners, and contributes financially to political campaigns fighting gun control, has it attracted considerable controversy for its political influence. Gun control advocates accused lawmakers of prioritizing campaign contributions over the safety of their constituents by accepting money from the NRA.
After the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School in Parkland, Florida, in which seventeen people were killed and at least seventeen were injured, the surviving students launched the student gun control organization Never. Again, MSD and federal and state legislators lobbied for effective gun control legislation. Many in the media have blamed young student activists for reinvigorating gun control advocates and renewing the debate on access to assault weapons, particularly among young adults and those who exhibited violent behavior. Several high-profile companies also responded to the shooting, announcing that they would cut ties with the NRA.
The second amendment
The right to own and bear arms was added to the United States Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights, which was ratified on December 15, 1791. The precise meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment has been the subject of frequent debate. . Advocates of gun control argue that when the newly founded country adopted the Second Amendment in 1791, each state maintained a militia made up of ordinary citizens who served as part-time soldiers. Under the amendment, these militias were “well regulated”, subject to state requirements for training, firearms, and periodic military exercises. Fearing that the federal government would use its standing army to impose its will on the states, the authors of the Second Amendment sought to protect the right of state militias to bear arms. According to some gun control advocates, in modern times the amendment should protect only the right of states to arm their military forces, including National Guard units.