New Delhi: The history of gun culture in America is as old as its Constitution. The US Constitution gives all its citizens the right to own a gun. Guns are as easy to find in stores in America as are fruits and vegetables in stores in India. The result of this is that in the last 50 years, more than 1.4 million people have died in gun violence in America.
Zee News Editor in Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Tuesday (September 21) discussed the gun culture in the US and its reluctance to do away with it despite the harsh consequences the Americans face due to it.
The gun culture in America dates back to the time when the British government was there. At that time there was no police or any permanent security force in America, The people had to protect themselves and their families, so they were given the right to bear arms. By the 19th century, America had understood that gun culture would never allow peace to be established. But due to pressure from the “Gun lobby” and some politicians, no strict law could ever be made against it. As a result, 100 people on average die every day because of gun violence in the country.
The American citizens were given the right to bear arms under the second amendment to the US Constitution way back in 1791.
Even after 230 years, America has not been able to change this law. Not far from the White House, from which some people expect laws to be framed against gun ownership, are located several gun stores selling some of the most lethal machines.
Our team visited a gun store in Washington DC to understand this gun culture. Inside we saw that there was a price tag on each gun exactly as one sees on a smartphone in any mobile store in India.
According to a 2019 report, there are 63,000 licensed gun dealers in the US, who sold guns worth Rs 83,000 crore to American citizens that year. This is much more than the health budget of India.
In the last 230 years, America has not been able to eliminate gun culture because the former presidents themselves were obsessed with it. There are several pictures showing former Presidents of America carrying guns. For example, former US President Theodore Roosevelt loved to be photographed with a gun. Similarly, there are pictures of Franklin D Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, George Bush Senior and George W Bush carrying guns. All these leaders glorified gun culture while being the president.
Let us understand America's gun culture with some statistics:
Between 2002 and 2011, 31 people on an average were killed in terrorist attacks in the US each year, whereas 11 thousand people an average lost their lives every year due to gun culture. Still, America has declared a fight against terrorism but has never been able to do anything to stop the gun culture.
According to data, 58 percent of Americans have faced gun terror at some point.
Every day 100 people on average are killed in gun violence.
In 2018, there were 27 major incidents of mass shooting in America.
The total population of America is 33.5 crore, but people there have a total of about 40 crore guns. This is the situation when about 60 percent of Americans want strict laws to stop gun culture.
In 2019, about 24 thousand people killed themselves using guns.
Buying guns in America is quite an easy task. There are only three requirements: 1. The buyer should be over 21 years old, 2. They should not have a criminal record, and 3. They must not be mentally ill.
It is, therefore, quite easy to understand the reason behind the gun culture in America.