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Gun obsession is an issue of a nation, not just a male one

Obsession over guns runs deeper than just the male sex. It’s a problem for all of America. | Dana C. Jones/ The Cougar

The pandemic of guns in the United States is the problem of a nation, not a particular sex.

There have been endless discussions on internet forums about obsession with guns, an issue that brings in people domestically and from across the pond. Many argue that just men are gun-crazed rather than the United States as a whole.

Men may be represented as using guns the most often, but that is on a micro level. When we talk about mass shootings, gun ownership per capita and lack of legislation following mass shootings, we are discussing a country-wide problem, not one of gender.

The Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to bear arms, gets renewed attention and focus every few months because U.S. murder rate is so high. In 2017 alone, there have been 11,000 gun-related homicides.  

Every few years, at least one domestic mass killing garners national attention, and many more go unnoticed. To wit: the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, 2012’s Sandy Hook and Aurora massacres or the 2016 Orlando night club shooting.

In 2016, there were 477 mass killings in the United States. In this case, a mass shooting is defined as an incident involving four or more injuries or deaths. That is more than four people getting murdered or hurt by guns every single day. As of press time, there have been 319 mass killings in 2017.

When America stacks up against the rest of the world, we rank at the top for guns.

On a list of 33 mass shootings, America ranked second, with the 49 deaths from the Orlando shooting and had 16 other listings averaging 17 deaths per incident. The New York Times compared the U.S. to other rich — making more than $25,000 GDP per capita — Western countries in gun deaths. America has about 27 per day. Canada and Greece came in second with just five deaths per day.

A Pew Research study from this summer showed that even though mass shootings occur continuously over the years, views on gun ownership have steadily risen and support for gun control has dropped. People with views on either side have met in the middle; 47 percent support gun rights, and 51 percent are for gun control.

There are major dips on views in gun ownership when there are mass attacks like Sandy Hook, but they always shoot back up. And ownership continues to rise, partly due to America’s ability to isolate incidents and find other causes for gun violence. The reasons are deferred to mental health or domestic terrorism, instead of the common denominator found in all incidents: guns.

Norway, for instance, has a low gun homicide rate and has stricter, more reasonable gun laws. Norwegians need a hunting or sporting license, which can only be acquired by completing a “nine-session, 30-hour course on guns, wildlife and environmental protection.” A sports shooting license is issued only upon completion of a firearms safety course of at least nine hours.

Gun control is not synonymous with annexing the Second Amendment, but it does mean protecting the people who live in this country.

Opinion Editor Dana Jones is a print journalism junior and can be reached at [email protected].   


  • Support passing mandatory criminal control!

    Step one.

    If charged with having/using a firearm unlawfully….

    No reduced bail, Subject to an automatic dangerousness hearing, No plea bargains, No reduced sentences, No early release from prison, and minimum state sentencing laws for assaults and/or robberies committed with a firearm.

    No need for step two.

    If you believe jails are over crowded and think most criminals should receive community service, go for it. But, when a criminal gets to the point of carrying a gun, a different and more serious ball game and mandated rules needed.

    • No. The annual total is more like 33,000, or which 22,000 are suicides.
      The statistics do not include serious injuries, including life-changing injuries.

      • You are actually correct, but that’s only part of the story. Those 11,000 non-suicide gun deaths include justifiable homicide (aka self-defense) and police shootings. Also not mentioned is the fact that over 80% of the murders in this country are committed by known criminals and their victims are other known criminals (gang bangers mostly).

        Please explain how making it more difficult for me to buy a gun is going to prevent violent criminals, for whom it is already illegal to so much as touch a firearm, from killing each other.

      • Above you say 11,000 deaths this year so far. With this level of carelessness, you will go straight to CBS when you graduate. Where did that number come from? No government agency provides that data mid-year. Gun control groups may be giving you this data, but they are strongly biased on the subject with a bad track record on accuracy. /Not learning much in your journalism classes, are you?

  • The author is anxious to talk about Norway, but does not mention Venezuela. The Venezuelan government has virtually outlawed all private gun ownership. Yet the murder rate continues to climb. The intentional homicide rate in Venezuela is now approaching 100 per 100,000 population. Compare that with the US rate of 4.88. What happened? How could the murder rate be astronomically higher in a country where all the gun bans the writer wants have been enacted? Seems as if there was just one little detail: the criminals didn’t turn in their guns. Venezuela’s gun ban just left ordinary people disarmed and defenseless. And these gun control people can never explain to us how they intend to disarm criminals.

    • Any country that suffers a disproportional amount of corruption, disarms the civilian population has a repeatable to a fault expectation. Venezuela is just yet another example.

      Victims have never been made safer by disarming them and governments have murdered millions of those they disarmed.

      Lenin had a name for folks who stripped the rights of others-speech, arms property rights etc. He called them useful idiots.

        • What would that be ?

          The “truth” where she claims that the Bill of Rights “grants” rights ?
          It does NOT
          The Bill of Rights enumerates existing rights so that they can be protected from infringement.

          The “truth” that over the last 30+ years
          – gun ownership has doubled, from about 175,000,000 to over 350,000,000 in private hands
          – restrictions on public carry have been rolled back, with 13 new States removing any requirements to obtain a permit
          – crime has fallen 50%

          Feel free to name some of the “truths” that dana jones stated.
          Don’t forget to quote so we know which ones to demonstrate as completely false.

            • An idiot troll speaks up and spouts arrant ignorance.

              According to you, the Supreme Court of the United States puts out “carefully edited NRA propaganda.”
              Really ?
              YOU believe that kind of ignorant crap ?

              Go away troll.
              Any location where you are present suffers a drop of IQ points.

              • That’s it. That’s all you’ve got. Scalia didn’t even agree with you. Shhhheeesshhh. No wonder people think you are wacko bird.

  • “In 2017 alone, there have been 11,000 gun-related homicides.”

    Yet the murder rate has been DROPPING since 1980…

  • Does this school not team objective journalism? This is full of misleading half-truths and innuendos. BTW, gun deaths do not equal homicides. Also, what was the concentration of those deaths? Large cities that have effectively banned guns? Do a little homework next time do you don’t embarrass the school like this.

  • A few years ago I was in Atlanta working on a project with another company. Two of the primary people I was working with were naturalized US citizens, both within the last 10 years. One from India and one from France. They asked what my hobbies were I explained Golf and Competitive Pistol shooting. They asked me what was such the obsession with guns in the US. I thought for a minute and then asked them what was the most important factor in their decision on becoming US citizens. Both responded, and this is the absolute truth, they felt safer here in the US than in their country of birth. I them pointed out that GA was a state that had concealed carry laws and that their neighbors homes probably all had guns in them, and had they considered that at all? We parted at the end of the project with their views changed concerning guns in the US.

  • “The Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to bear arms,…”
    According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Second Amendment does not grant a right. Instead, it recognizes and protects a pre-existing right.

  • Seems those obsessed are leftists who need to disarm a nation. A hundred million citizens own but never brandished a firearm in anger. A tiny smattering of nuts, felons and terrorists won need permanent restraints and most of them ignore laws. The consequence is laws don’t protect anyone.

  • Yet Switzerland, which has mandatory armament (mandatory military service, and you keep your service rifle afterwards) has somewhere close to the lowest in the world.

    Your facts about Norway are incorrect too (I live there). The hunting certification is neither 9 sessions nor 30 hours, can easily be done in a week. The sports shooting courses vary in length depending on what manner of sports shooting, but rarely more than 2-3 hours including range time.

    Besides, per capita, we have more guns than the USA, so clearly it is not a problem of firearms but violent, unpleasant individuals, who are not going to be stopped from doing violent, unpleasant things by the fact they cannot legally buy a gun. Over here it is much easier, cheaper and faster to buy one off the black market than do it legally, hence the only times anyone is shot by legally held weapons is either a hunting accident, the police being imbeciles the few times they are allowed to carry, or somebody going nuts and taking a double barreled shotgun to themselves/their family.

  • Instead of complaining about the number of guns, only a bit more than 2 per American, one would do well to consider the effect.

    Because we have guns, and gun rights, the last official tally put the United States in 132nd place out of 195 for murder, and between 128 and 141 for other forms of violent crime. Our violent crime rate is one seventh that of the United Kingdom, lower than France, Germany Poland, Greece, Italy, and at least 122 more countries.

    We may have a lot of guns – but we do not have the levels of violent crime most other nations have. And, if we could stop our criminals from killing each other, our murder rate would ran with Switzerland, and among the lowest in the world.

    And, on the other side of the coin, there have been 67,763 restrictive gun laws put in place since 1495. Of those, not even one has reduced crime, made anyone safer, or reduced the annual total of politically motivated murder. Restrictive gun laws have a 521 year history of utter an and complete failure.

    And no, if “we try it just one more time” gun control still not going to do anything a sane person would consider good.

    • Don’t forget that in Switzerland, every male up to a certain age is a member of the militia and is REQUIRED to keep his fully automatic rifle at home. When someone ages out of the militia, he has the option of keeping his gun (though it is altered to no longer be fully automatic.

      • Almost. The Swiss have Universal Military Training, and keep a real assault weapon, with ammunition, at home after they leave the Army.

        there are exceptions but it is true that most Swiss men are far better prepared for a home invader than Americans.

  • Please look up the definition of homicides, which is not the same as deaths. Also, I would recommend you actually try meeting and talking with people who are sport and recreational shooters so you might learn that they are actually the ones who take the law and safety seriously. Ever been to a range or a gun shop or someones home who is as you say, “gun obsessed” No, you haven’t, but if you did you would see how these people are the farthest thing from the problem. It’s the criminal gangs in heavily gun restricted areas like Chicago with no respect for life or the law who are the problem.

    • Bingo, when one includes justified homicides, suicides to pad the numbers to create an argument and then ignore decades of peer reviewed studies/data it questions their morals-“if just one life is saved” but 3 die due to this ignorance is somehow ethically and morally superior… SMH..

    • The FBI counts murders and nonnegligent manslaughters. Excluded are excusable and justifiable homicides. Justifiable homicides are those committed in defense of a felony, but many other defensive deaths do not cleanly fit in that category.

  • The Norwegian example did not stop Anders Behring Breivik and his massacre of socialist kids. Where were the female examples? Or where some of the perpetrators trannies?

  • Doesn’t “pandemic” mean World Wide or at least multiple continents? So Dana, Is the United States the World or do you not know what the word pandemic means?

    Areas on the country which have concealed or open carry, the crime rate has dropped faster than the national average. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, online database, reviewing Texas and U.S. violent crime from 1995-2001, In Texas, murder rates fell 50% faster than the national average in the year after their concealed carry law passed. Rape rates fell 93% faster in the first year after enactment, and 500% faster in the second. Assaults fell 250% faster in the second year.

    It is obvious you are anti-gun by the way you sensationalize your opinion. You treat all firearms owners are criminals because you do not differentiate between deaths from Legal Firearm Owners, Police and Criminals.

    Why don’t you only point out the mass shootings where the shooter legally purchased the firearm(s) used? Your list of mass shooting would drop, for example, Sandy Hook, the shooter was denied purchasing a firearm so he stole what he used in that attack.

    Your statistic of 27 gun related deaths per day in comparison with the roughly 109 automobile deaths per day (National Safety Council , 2016) or 1632 cancer deaths per day (American Cancer Society, 2016) does not seem as very high. But in comparison to the 4 deaths per day from Knife attacks (FBI, 2015), firearm deaths are high.

    With your call on more training and regulation, you are ignoring the real problem. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people and Criminals do not follow the law.

    I realize my last sentence will not make any sense to you.

  • Dana, please don’t tell me you are a Journalism major. Not one of your “figures” is even partially accurate. Haven’t your professors extolled the virtue of accurate, verifiable information. Have they explained to you that words have meanings? Are you familiar with citing sources? No, sad to say, I’m afraid our Journalism schools have become prpafanda mills churning out b-grade high-school writers.

    • Or relying on more than press releases from activist groups. This clearly started as a collection of gun control group press releases with no attempt at getting other opinions or checking the data against official sources. She’s ready to work at CNN!

  • The effect of allowing Americans “Such arms as are charged with powder is evident in the sheer age of the United States. It has been almost 240 years, where the average life of a new government is closer to 50.

    • No honest democracy has survived greater than 200 years, they destroy themselves from within.

      Which contradicts every leftist claiming America is a Democracy. It’s not and for very good reason.

  • “Guns cause crime”

    No. They dont.

    I will pose a moral question for ms. Dana Jones.

    Since she cannot control when,where or in what manner another citizen will be attacked by a criminal, what gives her the authority, moral or legal, to dictate how that citizen responds to defend themselves?

    • My guns must be defective. They just sit in the safe. I don’t hear them scratching to be let out.

      I live in a gun nut state. Yet our murder rates are lower than most of our neighboring Canadian provinces.

  • I will pose a moral question for ms. Dana Jones… i was born with the right to defend my life any way i can and others around me .. shovel , pitch fork , hammer , knife .. and omg a gun .. what should i have to protect your life when its in danger if i was near by ??? a cell phone to call 911 there 5 minutes away ?? .. how can i protect you from a drunk driver ??? .. should we ban cars and trucks ?? or Alcohol ?? remember we tried banning one of them years ago .. Ms Dana its not the Item .. its the person who cares of nothing but him or her self ….

  • “pandemic of guns”?

    “annexing the Second Amendment”?

    Shouldn’t one have to be well versed in English BEFORE becoming a “journalist”?

  • 1. In mass murder deaths per 100,000 people, Norway is at the top of the list.

    2. About 1/4 of U.S. mass murders do not involve guns.

    3. Mass murders are about 1% of US murders.

    4. Murder is only common in some American subcultures. Murderers and their victims in most big cities are similar with respect to criminal records.

    5. The Midwestern states immediately adjacent to the Canadian border have lower murder rates than their Canadian neighbors, in spite of Canada’s much stricter gun laws. (Canadians murder with knives, instead.)

  • She also missed that some of America’s largest mass murders were arson or bombs: Happyland Social Club with 74 murdered with $1 worth of gasoline; the Murrah Building with 168 murdered.

  • Oh boy.
    Another collection of propaganda. false information and outright lies to push gun control.
    One has to wonder, if gun control is such a noble cause, why does it attract so many liars ?

    Let’s look at some of these propaganda. false information and outright lies

    1) False information – propaganda
    “pandemic of guns in the United States”
    Sounds great, but there is no invasion of guns on the back of birds from South America or China.

    2) More silly propaganda
    IN the US “men are gun-crazed”
    Ah yes..
    Must be those evil gun rays, that attack the minds of men in the US and just drives them all barmy.

    3) A flat-out lie
    “The Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to bear arms “
    The Bill of Rights does NOT “grants citizens rights”
    The Bill of Rights Recognize Rights and states that they must be protected from government interference.
    Even the wording of the key phrase in the 2nd Amendment shows that
    “..the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    4) Then we have the “blame the gun” lie
    “In 2017 alone, there have been 11,000 gun-related homicides “
    This raises the questions
    a) Are gun related homicides worse than non-gun homicides ?
    b) Are the victims of non-gun homicides less dead for it ?
    c) Is that the reason why non-gun homicides are preferred ?
    Homicides are homicides, and you won’t stop the killing by controlling the guns. You have to address why people are being killed.
    Just look at Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica. They have stricter gun control while having homicide rates that are multiples higher than the US.
    Clearly just trying to control guns has NO EFFECT on reducing homicides.

    4a) Logic fail
    “In 2017 alone, there have been 11,000 gun-related homicides”
    In 2017 alone, there have been 33, 000 car-related homicides.
    Note that car related homicides are 3 times higher than gun-related homicides, and yet it does not trigger nonsense like
    The pandemic of cars in the United States is the problem of a nation

    So this propaganda screed is really NOT about guns per se.
    It’s all about pushing a gun control agenda with lies and propaganda.
    I’ll leave other readers to address the rest of the nonsense and lies of this screed

    • It’s an “opinion” article. I hope if nothing else it encourages a measure critically thinking for those who are uninformed or better indoctrinated to the propaganda.

      • It becomes a propaganda piece when:
        – false data is used to support it
        – data is misused to support it
        – terminology is misused or redefined to support it.

        All of the above apply to this propaganda piece.

        The journalism department should refuse to give a degree to this student just based on this op-ed.

  • First of this is an opinion piece that uses some questionable “resources” to make the argument and I’ll just point out a few details omitted which is a common and repeatable flaw of these arguments.

    Since the 1980’s 14 shall carry states, you cannot be denied if not a prohibited person have been growing. In the 2012 McDonald vs. Chicago decision the last “official” denial of right to carry fell but it took two years and nearly a contempt of court charge to force Chicago to restore the citizen’s right to carry.

    Gun ownership has grown as well and in the last several years, women have been the fastest growing demographic.

    Now despite the huge increase in privately owned firearms and ALL states must have some form of public carry-unconstitutional “may carry law” states are next up for court challenges, violent crime has dramatically fell except for the “justified homicide rate” in young Afro-American men or “children” as some studies include up to age 25 but most limit “children” to 21 and under.

    In fact race baiter/community organizer Jesse Jackson tried to utilize this factoid as a form of “racism” and attempted to push it as a agenda point with his Rainbow Coalition. Until it was pointed out that certain society demographics create a disproportional amount of violent crime. As well as “justified homicide” means a criminal lawfully received a deserved bullet. When one realizes that majority of the worst crime is committed by a small number of criminals this may reflect something of merit.

    It’s interesting that while areas that have pushed liberal gun laws and restored 2A rights the crime rates have fallen more than areas that restrict, prohibit and ban right to carry. Both have fallen since the 1980’s.

    So, this is what I have found to be true to the anti-2A resources. “Gun death” includes suicides which make up the bulk of their numbers. They will take the snap shot that best serves their argument and ignore decades of trends-real integrity issues right there. And the most common tactic is lies of omission.

    CDC published a peer reviewed study that in an epiphany realized armed victims suffer less injury, less rape and less murder than unarmed victims. Most who died from firearms were suicides-creating the argument that banning guns will reduce suicides. It doesn’t, adequately treating depression and mental illness does. This report was included in the 26 E.O.s post Sandy Hook and when the report came out summer of 2013…. Crickets… No presidential response nor media acknowledgement.

    Dr. Author Kellerman (sp?) of Atlanta’s Emory University through an openly anti-gun CDC administration appointed by Bill Clinton gave grants to fund junk science. The most damming “research” published was the 43 times more likely to be injured by your gun than saved by it. After years of refusing to provide his data for peer review it was discovered he couldn’t even get the math right as it was more like 20 something but it also included guns the criminal brought into the home, suicides, and ignored cases where there were no deaths. This is critical as the far majority of armed victim criminal encounters no shot is fired, just the ability suffices. The sample set was also taken in a high crime area infested with drugs and gangs.

    So if you are a suicidal, drug dealing, criminal felon living in a high crime area… Yep 20 something more times to be killed by you gun than saved by it.

    However, if you are a permitted firearms carrier your permit revocation rate is less than one percent-most of that for DUI and your crime rates are slightly lower than law enforcement-both exceptional low.

    That means seated in a college auditorium, a citizen permit carrier on one side and a trained police officer on the other guess who is more of a threat-both are exceptionally low and the risk with the average population is much higher.

    Society is a great litmus test. In states where students can legally carry, some for decades, there must be horrible crimes and violent assault rates… I’m shocked that the anti-2A groups have not capitalized on this… 8)

    Truth will set you free don’t fear it. Those of low or no integrity and bias will mislead the ignorant and fearful much to the determent of a free state.

    • Actually, that LEO sitting next to you is a far greater threat than the law-abiding citizen packing heat
      Citizens shoot about twice as many criminals as police do.
      Yet police, shoot nearly SIX TIMES the number of innocent bystanders than armed citizens do.

      Honestly, If I see police with drawn guns, I’m more afraid of them than any criminals who may be lurking around.

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