90 of every 100 Americans own a gun yet, despite 85 fatal shootings daily, the powerful US gun lobby is as mightier as ever. In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing, NationalTurk reports on USA’s deadly attachment to firearms and its dire consequences.
New York / NationalTurk – Guns and purchase of firearms in America are no trifling matter. There are approximately 90 guns for every 100 people in the USA (a rate almost 15 times higher than England and Wales). More than 85 people a day are killed with firearms and more than twice that number are injured with them. Gun murders are the leading cause of death among male African Americans under the age of 44.
America loves guns, National Rifle Association loves money
America’s close relationship with guns and firearms is as deep and complex at home as it is perplexing abroad. The fact that most British police are not armed confounds even the most liberal here. And even though the nation is evenly split on whether there should be more gun control, every time there is a gun-related tragedy, whether it is the shootings in Arizona, Virgina Tech or any number of schools, the issue has been effectively removed from the electoral conversation. And at the centre of these apparent contradictions stands the National Rifle Association (NRA), once an organisation that represented the rights of hunters and sportsmen and now a major political player closely linked to the US gun industry.
Unfortunately the National Rifle Association is no joke. Claiming gun ownership as a civil liberty protected by the second amendment, it opposes virtually all gun control legislation. NRA claims more than 4 million members, has a budget of more than $300m and spent almost $3m last year – there were no nationwide elections last year ! – on lobbying.
US constitution second amendment : The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed
The second amendment to the US constitution reads: ‘ 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.’ There has long been a dispute about whether “the people” described refers to individuals or the individual states. However there is no disagreement about its broader intent, which is to provide the constitutional means to mount a military defence against a tyrannical government.
Traywon Martin’s killer to walk free ?
People can kill people far easier with firearms than almost anything else and that, in a country such as the United States of America with levels of inequality soaring high, poverty and segregation leave their marks in the society. NRA’s role in pushing legislation such as stand-your-ground laws that allowed George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, to walk free for more than six weeks.