Guns are an extremely controversial issue in America and have become a popular topic in political debate. Americans struggle to come to a consensus on how to improve public safety without infringing on people’s second amendment rights. There are thousands of deaths every year due to guns, and the number of unintentional shooting incidents is alarming. Guns should be heavily restricted because the number of incidents of guns used for violence outweighs the amount of defensive use incidents.
The table breaks down the total number of 2018 gun incidents into different categories; note the number of incidents of unintentional shootings compared to incidents of defensive use. In addition, the number of people killed in mass shootings is very concerning because as defined by the FBI, a public mass shooting results in the death of at least four people picked indiscriminately, so even if there are only a few hundred incidents compared to the thousands in other categories, many more lives are affected. It can be argued that the second amendment guarantees Americans ownership of guns for self-protection and that firearms are important for guaranteeing safety as there were 1,795 gun incidents for self-defense. However, the number of lives that guns have protected do not make up for all of the lives that have been taken by them. The number of unintentional shootings and defensive use are almost the same. Any benefits of gun ownership are negated by the large number of people hurt by gun use.
In 2018, guns have caused death or injury to over 40,000 Americans. There is no easy solution for fixing gun violence because so many Americans are adamant about their right to own firearms. However, to see a decrease in the massive numbers of incidents, action must be taken. Other countries, such as Australia have been able to limit the number of gun incidents by changing laws, and although the United States is a larger country, the government can look to Australia to change the gun culture.