From the 1960’s to the mass shootings in Orlando last Sunday, more than one and a half million Americans have been killed by firearms that can be bought freely in the market.
The mortality rate far exceeds the number of US soldiers killed by war in the same period – from Vietnam to Afghanistan today.
Compared to other developed countries, that number is very high. The New York Times writes that the deaths from firearms in Japan are as rare as deaths from lightning strikes in the United States (0.1 per million).
Guns became the deadliest killer machine in the United States. There, all citizens are free to buy firearms of the lightest kind such as short-barrel guns as well as heavy assault rifles used by shooters in Orlando.
According to data from the daily The Guardian, nearly nine out of 10 people in the United States are the owners of firearms. Thus, if you happen to meet a resident of the United States, 90 percent chance he or she owns a gun or assault rifle.
To overcome the high rate of death, President Barack Obama has repeatedly proposed that the circulation of weapons is limited.
According to him, every potential buyer of weapons must undergo a psychiatric examination and a criminal record to ensure that there is no more mass shootings like those in Orlando’s same-sex clubs and churches for blacks in Charleston.
But Obama’s proposal has always been mentally debated in the Republican-run Congress, a party known to strongly support the citizen’s right to get weapons.
“The only thing that can stop armed bad guys is good people who have guns anyway,” said Wayne LaPierre, vice president of the most vocal armed rights group, the National Rifle Association (NRA).
One of the other weapons supporters is Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate. In a mass post-mass shooting statement yesterday, Trump immediately accused Clinton, will exploit the Orlando tragedy to “deprive citizens of weapons”.
“I will meet representatives of the NRA to ensure that Americans have the right to have the tools that can protect them in this age of terror.” Orlando shooters – not a weapon issue.
Armed rights advocates also consider that the citizens can fight the state. In addition, weapons are also considered to protect women from rape.
In addition to Republican resistance, regulations on weapons ownership are also difficult to change due to the flow of money to unbalanced lobby groups.
In the US, the direction of state policy is strongly influenced by the official lobbying agencies that obtain funds transparently from certain interest groups.
Recently, for example, the labor-funded lobbyist managed to force the California state government to raise wages to $ 15 per hour.
For weapons matters, there are two competing lobby groups in the United States. One is a defender of arms ownership, while in the opposite camp is a group of callers for restrictions.
The strengths of the two lobbyists are very unequal, especially in terms of funding.
According to data from Open Secrets, for the year 2016 alone, the money from the pro-weapon lobby is 40 times more than the opposing camp.
The armed rights advocates until this month have spent about two million dollars to campaign for their interests.
The funds are mostly to the Republicans and some of its presidential candidates such as Ted Cruz (about 160,000 US dollars) and Ben Carson (77,600 dollars)
Seeing the asymmetric power between the armed rights defenders and the culprit of the restrictions, The Washington Post called the NRA – one of the pro – lobbyists as one of the strongest interest groups in the United States.
In addition to pouring money into political figures in the Senate and influential Congress, the NRA is also known to be royal in advertising in the mass media to campaign for the importance of possessing weapons.
So it is not surprising that in a number of polls, many Americans who also want the rules of arms-free sales to remain unchanged.
One thing that is true of the defense of pro-arms groups is; the removal of weapons possession does not necessarily solve the problem. Other factors such as protecting the state on the right to citizen life are also important.
In addition, the cause of widespread mass murder in the United States is not just because of weapons. In Orlando, for example, suspected perpetrators are haters of same-sex enthusiasts.
Similarly in Charleston Church last year, where the perpetrator was a racist who did not like the presence of a black man.