In the United States National Vital Statistics report written by AM Minino in 2002, it was indicated that annually there are about 30, 000 people who die because of firearm injuries. And within the United States 28, 663 deaths have been caused by gunshots and these are mostly suicidal acts. Some of the facts in the report say that next to suicides are homicides with the use of guns and the third highest numbers of deaths due to gun violence are unintentional shootings, since this is America; most of these people have been living in the metropolis (Minino, 2002).
These deaths caused by firearms would not reach that level if not a lot people own guns, legal or not. And according to Philip Cook in his National Survey on Firearms Ownership and Use Summary Report (1996), there are approximately 200 million firearms in America, and about 30% of these firearms are handguns or those guns that are easy to carry and can be brought by the owner unnoticed by other people. These statistics only mean that each adult living in the metropolitan areas in the United States of America possess more than one gun (Cook, 1996).
In most of the populations around the world the number of the youth always has an important part; they usually occupy one of the most noticeable roles in a community, which is why it can be understandable that even in the crime statistics, a lot of youth appear to be involved in different types of crimes, most of them are killings. And because of the rampant illegal distribution and illegal transactions, a lot of these young citizens have the capability of possessing a firearm. Since 1979, a lot of young Americans have died because of gunfire, and this number is greater than the number of soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. And today, about 3, 500 young people have been killed by gun violence, and this means that each day an average of 9 people die. Gun violence also has its effects on children including those who are below 15 years of age. In the United States, the number of children who died due to gun violence within this age bracket is twelve times larger than the summed up number of the same case in other 25 industrialized countries (Lake, Snell, Perry, 2001).
The increase in the records of the citizens that own a gun or any other firearm according to Arthur Kellerman in his “Journal of Trauma” (1992), are contributed on by the concept that women can be protected by guns. All over the world particularly in the areas that appears to have more cases of violence like in the metropolitan areas, the sources of firearm products along with the whole gun industry markets to women semblance of self-defense or protection. Most of them have been successful in the promotion and marketing of these products because they take advantage of making the people believe that the myth that a gun can protect a woman in case that she will be assaulted by rapists, strangers or criminals. But the facts on the reports present that cases wherein women are killed by their partners are two times larger than the cases that women are killed by strangers by the use of guns or any other means (Kellerman, 1992).
Kellerman emphasized that guns are used for self defense in rare instances and these guns just usually contributes to the increasing level of risks of injury and death and it as well generate an incorrect sense of being secured. In Kellerman’s “Journal of Trauma” (1998), it is indicated that a gun that is kept back at home is four times more likely to be the cause of an unpremeditated shooting, it is as well seven times more probable to be an accessory to criminal acts, for example homicide. Kellerman also suggested that guns to be used as a means of self defense, is less likely to succeed, because according to reports guns are used more often in committing suicides than to be used in defending one’s self (Kellerman, 1998).
The Centers for Disease Controls reports have shown that violence related to guns is one of the primary reasons of death of people in America who are included in the 15-34 age bracket and most of this people are African American and Hispanic youth.
The effects of gun violence are not only seen in the statistics and records of death and other criminal cases in the metropolitan areas. Since gun violence involves life and death situations, it is one of the major issues included and considered in public health issues. Gun violence is considered as one of the major reason why hospitals and taxpayers carry enormous financial problems. This issue costs too much that, according to Max Wendy (1993), in the early 90’s, researchers have estimated that over 20 billion dollars is the total cost of direct medical spending and lost productivity in the United States (Wendy, 1993).
Although the United States has been the point of comparison or basis of other industrialized countries in terms of development in the economic aspect, well when it comes to crimes and mortality rates there seems to be no particular basis and hierarchy, if we will look at it in a way that the numerical facts are not going to be considered. Death and violence are present anywhere, and they are rampant, it is just that the United States is at present the dominating nation all over the world, that is why other countries tend to compare themselves to the U.S. .And though this is the case, the U.S. also has its issues just similar to other countries. The reason why statistics was able to show high numbers of firearm deaths, is the weak implementation or may be the weak preparation of the U.S. laws that deal with gun violence. These weak laws enormously contribute to the increase of gun deaths and international small arms trafficking in the United States. And actually though the U.S. is known as the most powerful country, their laws regarding firearms are weaker than some other industrialized countries and the firearm deaths are even more than other countries records (United Nations, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division, 1997)
In addition to the above mentioned facts about gun violence, there is some specific information that should be considered and focused on regarding the increasing rate of deaths that is caused by gun violence especially in the metropolitan areas, or the countries where there are lots of cities that are considered as metropolitan areas. Majority of the cities in the United States are industrialized or already developed in a manner that they can stand and improve themselves on their own, since each state in the United States have their own constitution.
In these states in the United States or even in other industrialized countries, most of the type of the guns owned legally or illegally by adults or even underage citizens are handguns. Handguns are the most easy to carry, easy to hide, and easy to shoot type of guns. In a fact sheet about firearm violence in metropolitan areas, it is indicate that the most important function of a handgun is to kill human beings.
A lot of public officials and protesters try their best in promoting the ban on the easy ownership of handguns for the reason that the danger that can be provided by these handgun ownerships can enormously be important than any benefit.
In the summed up police records and statistics, it can be seen that these handguns have been used a lot more as accessory to homicides and suicides compared to any other kind of firearm. Handguns are very much different from rifles or shotguns because they can not serve any purpose for practical shooting sports. In addition to this, similar to what has been said earlier; studies showed that these handguns are the ones that can be concealed more easily than any other type and that is the reason why it is the usual weapon of choice for the criminals.
Another major issue that contributes to the increasing rates of death which are related to firearm violence is the regulation of these firearm products. It is also indicated in the gun violence fact sheet that the products provided by these firearms manufacturing companies are not that well controlled. Actually according to the fact sheet, products like toy guns and teddy bears are highly more regulated and controlled compared to the standardization level imposed to the firearm products especially the handguns.
In America, The Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is the division which deals with the issuance of licenses to firearm manufacturers and dealers, and in order to acquire these licenses these dealers and manufacturers only need to meet a minimal level of requirements meaning it is very easy for them to have this licenses which in fact should be issued more strictly and meticulously. In spite of that reports showed that there are no federal regulatory agencies and not even the ATF or even the Consumer Product Safety Commission possesses the power to necessitate the smallest amount of design and standards for safety on locally manufactured firearm products.
In America only the states California and Massachusetts have been able to impose safety and design criterions that would not allow within their states the selling and manufacturing of the firearms that do not succeed in meeting those certain standards prepared by their government.
Gun violence in the metropolitan areas all over the world is as we see rampant. And as we know it the issues that have been discussed are the issues or factors that are difficult to straighten up. For no clear reason people living in these areas often tend to depend on this kind of weapons for self defense, and it is one of the major reasons why these firearms continue to exist, and in connection to its existence the criminals usually pick them as their weapon of choice. In a world like ours, where violence could not be controlled totally, there should be strong rules and regulations to be implemented correctly to lessen this increasing gun related violence happening. People starting from childhood should be educated more about the benefits but should also be warned about the obvious consequences and responsibilities of the possession of a gun. This could be the best way to lessen up the crimes involving gun violence, especially in the metropolitan areas. Or we may say that this is our last resort.
FACT SHEET: GUN VIOLENCE. (2007). Retrieved April 26, 2007, from http://www.csgv.org/docUploads/Gun%20Violence%20Fact%20Sheet%2Epdf
Arthur L. Kellermann, M., MPH;. (1998). Injuries and Deaths Due
to Firearms in the Home., 45, 263.
Rice, W. M. a. D. P. (1993). Shooting in the Dark: Estimating
the Cost of Firearm Injuries. 12(Health Affairs), 171-185.