Support for gun control is highest among 18 to 29-year-olds, according to a study by the Pew Research Centre, with a spike after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. The overall trend though suggests a slight decrease in support for gun control over gun rights since 2000.
Pew found that one-third of over-50s said they owned a gun. The rate of gun ownership was lower for younger adults – about 28%. White men are especially likely to own a gun according to the BBC.
About 40% of Americans say they own a gun or live in a household with one, according to a 2017 survey, There were more than 11,000 deaths as a result of murder or manslaughter involving a firearm in 2016. There are about 270 Million guns owned or possessed by civilians in the country.
Mass shootings have contributed to the recent outcry against gun ownership. The following chart shows some recent shootings involving multiple victims.
- Las Vegas (58) – 2017
- Orlando (49) -2016
- Virginia Tech ((32) – 2007
- Sandy Hook (27) – 2012
- Sutherland Spring, TX (26) – 2017
- Kileen, TX (23) – 1991
- Parkland, Florida (17) – 2018
- San Bernardino, CA (14) – 2015
- Fort Hood, TX (13) – 2009
- Columbine, CO (13) – 1999
OUR FREE OPINION
There were near twice as many suicides involving firearms in 2015 as there were murders involving guns, and the rate has been increasing in recent years. Suicide by firearm accounts for almost half of all suicides in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The fact that most suicide victims use guns to end their lives is understandable. The desired result occurs quickly.
Apart from gun ownership concerns, we again call for more mental health funding across the spectrum including suicide victims. About the gun issues, we maintain that the second amendment provides citizens with broad rights. We are not opposed to certain limitations including the possession of fully automatic weapons and those that have been adjudicated mentally ill because of past, violent actions. We are also opposed to unlimited gun possession prohibitions placed on certain felons. For example, some states seek a lifetime ban on the possessions of weapons for certain first-time drug offenders including marijuana. These restrictions are far too severe.