Are Gun Crimes on the Rise?

Gun Crimes

The issue of guns being used for criminal purposes is not new to society and has been used since their invention by criminals and law-abiding citizens alike. However, there has been an alarming increase in the US where guns are been used in committing crimes. As stated above, guns have always been available to the criminal fraternity, which is why there has been a sudden increase in their use in the US. This article will assess whether there has been an epidemic of gun crimes in the US over the last two decades.

The facts and figures that support the claim that gun crime is on the rise must first be examined. Many sources have published conflicting statistics on the increase in the number of guns used in criminal activity. If the general perception is that guns crime is on the rise, the factors for this belief will be assessed below. There are obvious sociological implications as to why gun crime has soared, however, this increase is due to the fact that guns are more readily available in today’s society.

Evidence to support this claim will be considered. Finally, if gun crimes are on the rise, possible solutions to limit this trend will be considered. This article will conclude that when it comes to public perceptions, statistics do not matter. The state of affairs regarding the rise in gun crime is being played out in the media by those with hidden agendas, those who have a vested interest in giving the police more powers to carry guns, and of course, those who want to sell more newspapers.

Numbers don’t lie, but liars can understand.

Many sources claim that gun crime in the US is spiraling out of control. Some frightening claims have been made regarding the use of guns in today’s society. In fact, David Bamber said that gun crime has tripled as guns and drugs flood US cities (Home Affairs Correspondent filed 24/02/2002).

An independent report by Illegal Guns in the US (Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College Texas) indicates that guns were used in 3,685 crimes last year, up from 2,648 in 1997, an increase of 40%. These statistics are quite daunting. If one were to take these two sources of information at face value, one would think that we live in a lawless society.

Do these statistics accurately reflect the gun crime situation in the US? According to the Home Office, guns crime has increased by 3% over the last year and this follows a 2% increase on the previous year. However, there was a 15% reduction in the death rate from gun-related crime. In fact, it has been mentioned that crime had fallen over the last 20 years and that people were less likely to be victims of crime than they were 20 years ago. It is possible to deduce from these figures that there is a slight increase in gun-related crime.

Gun ownership is strictly controlled in the US, but anyone reading the newspapers or watching television would think that the streets are full of armed criminals. The overall level of gun crime remains low, but it is true that in some areas guns are part of everyday life and that in the last four years crimes involving the use of a type of weapon have increased. What are the possible explanations for this?

Sociological explanations for the increase in guns offenses.

Crime has always had a symbiotic relationship with crime. It seems that one cannot exist without the other. However, this does not explain the rise in gun crime. As noted above, guns have been available in one form or another for centuries, so why is it only now that society is experiencing an increase in gun crime? Many people have opinions on why gun crime has increased.

Singer and activist Mica Paris says it is the feeling of exclusion that drives people in society to commit crimes and take up guns. It remains to be seen whether guns are now easier to obtain. New York detectives say that the illegal importation of guns began after the Bosnian conflict ended and guns were changing hands for as little as $200. This would certainly explain why guns are becoming easier to obtain. What can society do to stop this rise in gun crime?

Possible solutions to limit the rise in Gun crimes.

Several programs have been put in place to limit the increase in gun crime. The Metropolitan Police issued a gun amnesty, where members of the public were asked to surrender any illegally held weapons or ammunition without fear of prosecution. The problem with this amnesty is that when people buy these weapons, they know full well that they are breaking the law.

The law is not an active deterrent to anyone buying guns. While the author is not of the opinion that all such projects are doomed to failure, projects such as these reek of public relations practice, and their effectiveness must be questioned. It has been suggested that harsher penalties for carrying and using guns could reduce gun-related crime. Again, the law does not deter people who buy these guns – how can they be if they went out and bought guns knowing they were committing a crime?

One possible solution would be to stop actively encouraging children to buy fake guns as toys. What message are we sending as a society when we advertise guns to children? There is also the question of who makes the guns in the first place. Now, it is not being suggested that all weapons in the world should be eliminated, but the current situation smacks of hypocrisy when discussed in the context of invading countries with oil bombs.

Conclusion on Gun Crimes in the USA

The above evidence suggests that there has been a slight increase in gun crime in the US over the last two decades, although this increase has been mainly confined to poverty-stricken areas. It is further argued that the increase in gun crime is related to drug trafficking. When governments around the world learn that by banning the use of drugs, they are only passing the trade on to criminals who will do whatever it takes to defend their lucrative business.

Laws banning guns are an effective deterrent, however, they will only deter people who have a stake in society. The fight against poverty is another potential weapon to reduce gun crime and a coordinated policy is being developed to address this problem. However, gun crime is not as serious as many would have society believe, even though it makes the news.

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