Understanding The U.S Gun Culture

Understanding The U.S Gun Culture

United States of America has 4% of the world’s population but Americans own around 46% of the firearms in the world, as per a 2018 Report. The deadliest year for America was 2020, with 13.6 death per 100,000 people owing to the rise in gun-related injuries that year. This was the highest rise since the 1990s resulting from a massive increase in mass shooting incidents.

But why are firearms so easily available in the country? In USA, it is regarded as the right of every citizen to own a gun, rifle, or machine gun, even without the requirement of a license in certain areas. Resultantly, any person with a mental health problem or any young kid can simply acquire a pistol from a gun shop without having to explain why and this is protected by the second amendment to the constitution.

Talking from a historical perspective, it can be seen that the second amendment in the constitution allowed every citizen to have a gun. As Article 2 states, “Well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” which was made part of the constitution of 1771 to have a militia in order to fight against England in 1776. The second amendment thus came into being solely to provide freedom to warriors.

However, it is important to consider that the threat dissipated over time as the United Kingdom recognized the independence of American colonies in 1783 by signing the Treaty of Paris. However, fast-forward two and a half centuries, the second amendment is still present and very much in action.

This clause was subsequently misused by gun manufacturers, who started to sell guns to civilians after a period of only selling them to army officials and defense companies. They utilized various advertisement campaigns to sell firearms to ordinary citizens. They made males carry a rifle as a show of masculinity. American gun-producing states associated security and valor with firearms. Citizens were subconsciously influenced by their marketing campaigns, and they advertised weapons as a tool that promises power, respect, and equality.

The American gun manufacturer did not stop there; to maximize profits, they began promoting commercials and posters to convince women and children that if you want to live in a harsh world, a gun is the only instrument that would assure your survival. As a poster of the SAVAGE rifle-making industries reads, “Is your lady powerless or dangerous in these days when more idlers produce more brutes and thugs?”

When the gun culture expanded throughout the country and violence intensified, the manufacturers established security services and sold their guns to these agencies. In 2018, 1.1 million security guards were engaged to maintain the country’s law and order. Gun manufacturing facilities benefit from all of these scenarios.

A survey report in 2018 mentioned that America has more guns than its population it accounts for 4% of the world’s population but owned 46% of the firearms in the world. They possess 393.3 million weapons. The sale is not stopped yet they considered having a new gun as a fashion and last year in 2021 Americans buy 20 million weapons.

When a plan to rein in gun culture was presented in 2020, millions of Americans came out to protest by marching on the road in Virginia. The National Rifle Association warned about Barack Obama’s profound antipathy against firearms. The gun manufacturers grew their roots so far that the president was unable to put a stop to the gun culture. In fact, amid the worldwide recession of 2008, gun sales surged over the previous year. The American Supreme Court also serves as the defender of gun laws. A recent addition to the Gun Law 2022 that requires a buyer to state why he needs a gun was overturned by the Supreme Court, and it increases gun rights in the United States.

The National Rifle Association guns causes about 106 deaths every day, and 210 people are injured. From 2000 until the present, half a million Americans have been killed by gun violence. According to a BBC poll, around 50 million weapons are in private hands in America, and four out of every 10 individuals carry guns, accounting for 30 percent of the population. The curse of firearms is that they are freely accessible, which disproportionately impacts youth. According to research on gun culture in America, by 2020, more people will be killed with firearms than in accidents or other incidents.

The national rifle association bankruptcy and internal revolts but it continued to counter the anti-second amendment activities and act as a trustee of promoting firearms safety. The national rifle association has powers to influence members of congress this made it the most powerful lobby of gun manufacturers. They funded more pro-gun right member compared to their rival.

The last significant effort of legislation to curb the curse of gun violence was in 1994. Which expires a decade ago and aims to stop the sale of rifles to civilians. 25th June 2022 is a historic day for America as President Biden signed the gun control bill into law. This is a historic day as only the National Rifle Association opposed it, that this will not help to stop violence and both democrats and republicans support the move of Biden. This bill helps to check and balance the buyers of guns and also this bill helps to implement ‘Red Flags’ laws to get firearms from those who were a threat.

Critics argue that stricter gun control measures are needed and that the harm inflicted by gun violence is much greater than that caused by acts of terrorism. The problem isn’t a mental illness; it’s the massive quantity of uncontrolled guns available to civilians with no checks and balances. Regulation of the type of guns, with relevant classifications regarding the criteria of individuals who can own a gun, and gun manufacturers should be held accountable as well, that can aid in the abolition of the gun culture.

Published in Global Affairs September 2022 Edition

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Muhammad Wasama Khalid

Written by Muhammad Wasama Khalid

Muhammad Wasama Khalid is a Correspondent and Researcher at Global Affairs. He is pursuing his Bachelors in International Relations at National Defense University (NDU). He has a profound interest in history, politics, current affairs, and international relations. He tweets at @Wasama Khalid and can be reached at Wasamakhalid@gmail.com

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