Monday 23 October 2017

America's love of guns off target

• The tragic events in Denver last Friday offer yet more evidence (as if any more was needed) that the free availability of guns is not good for a society. There can be no doubt that the proclaimed benefits of guns for defensive use are considerably outweighed by the damage wrought by guns used for offensive purposes.

The United States is, in many ways, one of the most advanced countries in the world.

Yet, this is a country where the right to free speech in the constitution is immediately followed by the right to keep and bear arms. Forty-five per cent of American homes have guns. One in four Americans owns a gun. The average gun owner owns four guns. Thirty-thousand people a year die from gunshot wounds in America. The homicide rate in the US is a multiple of that in other advanced countries.

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