US gun terror: Why is owning guns so important to Americans?

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey
NEW DELHI Updated: May 25, 2022, 04:53 PM(IST)

US lectures the world on human rights. But it has failed to check the rise in hate crimes at home. It has also failed to control guns. In New York, a man opened fire in a subway, on the same day 2 Sikhs were attacked with a rod. Palki Sharma raises important questions.

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Gun rights and gun control are two of the most contentious subjects in the United States today, with strong partisan divisions.In truth, changing gun regulations and enacting legislation to regulate the sale and purchase of firearms is a divisive political subject, especially as the US prepares for midterm elections in November.

From muskets to machine guns, Americans have had a long and tangled history with firearms.That close relationship with guns is being reexamined after the worst mass shooting in modern US history, which left 19 children killed in Texas.

The United States is a country founded on a brutal revolution, scarred by a gruesome Civil War and the annihilation of the indigenous population, and raised on stories of rugged Wild West heroes. Guns are a big part of the story. '

Americans are fascinated by weapons and devoted to them. The United States' identity is inextricably linked to elements like the Wild West and the Frontier, both of which had a strong gun culture. The gun occupies a significant position in the national mythos.

The gun, however, did not truly become a national emblem until several decades after the American Revolution, from 1775 to 1783.

According to the Small Arms Survey, an independent global research initiative located in Geneva, Switzerland, the United States houses half of all non-military guns possessed by private persons worldwide. According to the poll, the quantity of firearms in the country outnumbers the population: 393 million guns vs 328 million people. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which originates from 1791 and has long been a contentious issue in American legal, political, and social discourse, guarantees gun ownership.
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'A gun is a tool'

In the United States, there are more than 300 million guns—more than one per person—and firearms are implicated in almost 30,000 deaths each year, nearly two-thirds of them being suicides.

According to a June survey by the Pew Research Center, about four in 10 Americans live in a home with a gun, with 67 percent of gun owners saying self-protection is a major reason for having a firearm. 

Owning a gun is a fundamental right

Many Americans consider gun ownership to be a basic right guaranteed by the US Constitution's Second Amendment which states: "A 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." 

Fear of an increase in crime

While Hollywood Westerns and TV shows may have contributed to the romanticization of cowboy gun culture, Courtwright and others believe that a fear of increased crime that began in the late 1960s plays a bigger role in explaining gun ownership today.

The gun rights organisation, the National Rifle Association, was essential in persuading Americans that they needed a rifle for their own protection. This corresponded to the self-image that many Americans hold.

Gun rights and gun control are two of the most contentious subjects in the United States today, with strong partisan divisions.

In truth, changing gun regulations and enacting legislation to regulate the sale and purchase of firearms is a divisive political subject, especially as the US prepares for midterm elections in November.

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