At times of mass indiscriminate shootings we often reflect on why this kind of thing can happen in the 21st Century. First there is the outpouring of emotion and empathy for families who have lost loved ones. Then come the recriminations from the politicians and media, who is to blame? Why did this happen? Could this have been avoided? Inevitably the debate swings around to gun control.
The shooting in Las Vegas on October 1st was another in a long line of mass shootings that have taken place on American soil over the past few years. Many Americans will still quote the right to bear arms as in their constitution under the 2nd amendment. Others will say that America is awash with guns and making them freely available just gives ease of access to psychopaths or those with mental illness who wish to cause harm to others. The media is also part of the problem, by sensationalising the debate they give attention to these people who may otherwise may not have even though about going on a violent gun rampage.
Let’s look at the facts. America has by far the greatest number of guns per capita of population. It works out at around 112 guns per 100 people in America owning guns, well over 300 million guns! That’s a staggering figure. Whilst I’m sure many American’s use guns proportionately for hunting purposes, the fact that there are so many readily available in the community means mass shootings are inevitable. No other country comes close to this figure. Serbia is next on the list at 58 guns per 100 which shows just how many guns are out there in American society.
If you look at firearm rated death The USA is in 11th place with 10 gun related deaths per 100,000 population. This figure may sound small but they have a huge population and this is way higher than the rest of the developed world. The fact remains that if guns are freely and readily available then mass shootings will happen from time to time. Is America willing to put up with this to keep their 2nd amendment rights? For now, it seems so but how long can they stop ignoring the long list of casualties?