Do More Guns Mean More Murders?

Gun violence is a major threat to the security in many communities across the globe. No society is unscathed from the deaths caused by guns. Debate about firearm laws flash up every now and then with every tragic episode. Such events compel us to reflect on whether there is a need to reevaluate firearm laws so as to reduce the gun violence.

Gun violence includes intentional crime portrayed as homicide (although not all homicide is considered a crime) and assault with a fatal weapon, as well as unintentional injury and death resulting from the misuse of firearms, sometimes by children and adolescents. Gun violence statistics also may include self-inflicted gunshot wounds (both suicide, attempted suicide and suicide/homicide combinations sometimes seen within families).

The intensity of homicide with firearms varies considerably across the globe, with very high rates in Thailand and South Africa. The level of gun violence is reaching high points in some of the developing countries like; Colombia, Slovakia, Guatemala, and some other developing countries. On the other hand, the rate of gun violence in Singapore, Ukraine, Moldova, and many other countries is very low. Among developed countries, the USA has the highest rate of firearm murders compared to Singapore with the lowest.

A recent United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime “Global Burden of Armed Violence” study by the UN, shows that firearms cause an average 60% of all homicides. The study has provided some answers about the relationship between gun ownership and murder rates. Across the United States, where guns are more available, there are more homicides.

In addition a wide array of indications evince that gun availability is a risk factor for homicide, both in the United States and across high-income countries. Case-controlstudies, time-series and cross-sectional studies point towards homes, cities, states and regions in the US, where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.

However, most of the firearms possessors believe that the intent of a gun depends on whose hands the guns are in, which is true to a great extent. Many gun owners want to keep the guns to ensure the safety and protection of their family and kids. According to the U.S. Justice Department, which reports the United States has the largest number of privately owned guns in the world, with an estimated 250 million privately owned firearms nationwide. And this upward trend of keeping firearms at homes is resulting in guns going into the hands of juveniles

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