Gun Violence in the United States
Name of Institution
Gun Violence in the United States
Today, the issue of gun violence is one of the most polarizing debate topics in the United States. Gun violence continues to threaten one of the fundamental human rights, the right to life of many Americans. According to statistics, an average of 500 people die or are killed through gun violence-related activities in the United States (Amnesty International, n.d). The increase in mass shootings has become a worrying trend that has left many people dead or injured. The politicization of the issue has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks to achieving a permanent solution to gun violence. Democrats and Republicans do not seem to agree on how to end the gun violence epidemic. This paper will look at how different groups perceive the issue of gun violence and how they propose to deal with it.
The issue of gun violence has deeply divided the country along party lines making it extremely hyper-partisan in the U.S congress. For instance, Democrats are in support of stricter gun laws aimed at controlling and combating gun violence. A study by the BBC showed that “nearly 91% of Democrats are in favor of stricter gun laws” (BBC News, 2022). Democrats stand on the issue of gun violence has polarized the public, especially the Republicans who do not agree with almost everything they propose. The study also showed that only 52% of the American public supports stricter gun laws, signifying a significant drop compared to previous years (BBC News, 2022).
On the other hand, Republicans are in fierce support for the gun laws to remain the same, claiming that the issue of mental health is the biggest contributor to gun violence and not guns. The arguments by the Republicans are misleading especially on the issue of mass shootings as the presence of high-capacity magazine guns in the hands of the public is the biggest contributor to the problem (BBC News, 2022). Although mental illness is one of the factors contributing to gun violence, the lack of strict background checks and open carry laws in some states is what is causing increased violence.
However, there are independent Americans in the United States who do not support stricter gun laws but also do not want the gun control laws to remain as they are today. These Americans are in support of making gun control laws moderately strict. For instance, unlike the Democrats who want a total ban on the sale of assault rifles in the market, the independents want the government to strictly control who has access to such weapons (Schaeffer, 2021). This view is far from the Republican who wants nothing to be done to control who has access to or buys assault weapons.
In conclusion, the contentious issue of gun violence has deeply divided the American public and led to the rise of hyper-partisan politics around it. However, there are multiple arguments that many Americans have raised that go beyond party lines. Coming up with a solution for the issue of gun violence in America will require a comprehensive view of the issue that goes beyond partisan politics and includes other people with diverse views.
Amnesty International. (n.d). Gun violence – key facts. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/arms-control/gun-violence/
BBC News (2022, May 25). America’s gun culture – in seven charts. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081
Schaeffer, K. (2021, Sept 13). Key facts about Americans and guns. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/09/13/key-facts-about-americans-and-guns/