Home Nonmilitary action News18 explains | Debate around gun laws in the United States and who oppose gun control measures

News18 explains | Debate around gun laws in the United States and who oppose gun control measures

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As US President Joe Biden took to the podium in the White House briefing room and addressed the nation following the Uvalde school shooting in Texas, he urged citizens to ” stand up against the “powerful pro-gun lobby.

The US President said it was time to act.

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the gun laws of the right, conservative and far right of the American political establishment are a fundamental right enshrined in the second amendment of the American constitution.

Although the interpretation may be disputed, over the past decade conservative leaders, primarily in the Republican Party, have made it easier to buy and carry guns and rifles through legislation that even allows the “carrying without a licence” of firearms. Gun control activists say more people with concealed firearms in public places can endanger the safety of cops and communities.

The debate is this: anti-gun activists say introducing background checks and other rules can reduce gun violence and deaths (some stop short of calling for the banning guns because it could hurt electoral chances) while pro-gun activists say any such attempt is an attack on the Second Amendment.

Pro-gun activists are calling for looser gun laws in a bid to reinvigorate the far-right, especially ahead of the November election.

They also aren’t fighting for criminal background or mental illness checks, as they believe it’s a “time-consuming step for people who want to arm themselves to protect themselves,” according to a PewTrusts report. .

The Multimillionaire NRA

The most powerful pro-gun lobby is the National Rifles Association or the NRA. With its own political action committee and an annual budget of $250 million, it is the largest gun advocacy group in the United States. There are other advocacy groups, but none spend like the NRA – $3 million a year to influence gun policy.

The NRA also has a rating system for politicians – ranking them based on their perceived sympathy for gun rights on an A to F scale.

Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, late actor Charlton Heston and even former US President George HW Bush have been members of the NRA.

There are other gun lobbies, but none are as powerful as the NRA as they have the ability to change the outcome of the polls due to their proximity to Republican politicians and lawmakers.

A 2017 Pew Research Center report indicates that of all gun owners in the United States, 19% are members of the NRA. The majority of gun owners (61%) are Republican or lean toward the Republican party, while 77% of NRA members who own guns are Republican or somewhat Republican.

“Gun owners who say they belong to the NRA tend to own more guns, on average, than gun owners who don’t belong to the NRA,” the study says. from Pew, pointing out that some of these NRA members have more than four guns. .

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More guns than people

According to a survey by a Swiss-based independent global research project, half of all privately owned firearms worldwide, for non-military purposes, are in the United States. The survey – Smalls Arms Survey – revealed that the number of firearms exceeds the total population of the United States – 393 million firearms for 328 million people.

However, lawmakers have not been persuaded to lower their stance on the issue despite these statistics. In 2021, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and Utah and 16 other states no longer require residents to hold a license to carry a concealed firearm under ” constitutional support”.

For example, the bill introduced by Wisconsin would prohibit local governments from banning guns on public transportation.

These measures do not reflect the wishes and feelings of the American public whose attitudes toward firearms are changing in the wake of an increase in violent crime using firearms.

Another Pew research report in 2021 found that half of Americans (48%) view gun violence as a very big problem. More than 80% of adult men in the black community say gun violence is a very big problem for the community – the statistic was higher than that of Hispanic and white men. While gun ownership is common among men who live in rural America and are white, the number of men (all ethnicities) who own guns in urban spaces is half of that number – 41% in rural areas compared to 20% in suburban areas.

(with contributions from Statista, Pew Research Center, PewTrusts and the BBC)

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