USA and Guns

Dear class, here are some links concerning the debate on gun ownership and gun control. Of course this list is not extensive, but only a starting point for your own research. Feel free to add more links via the comment section.

  • When it all began: The Second Amendment to the US Constitution
  • With many Americans guns are so popular that some people even teach their 3-year-old children how to shoot an assault rifle.
  • Shooting ranges are very popular in the US – even as a holiday destination for entire families. Parents and their kids can have hamburgers while shooting pistols and machine guns. In Arizona, however, a shooting instructor was killed recently as a nine year-old lost control over her submachine gun.
  • Some facts and figures: There are an estimated 300.000.000 guns in the USA. Each year 30.000 people are killed by guns in the USA, including 12.000 murders. In comparison: In Germany 903 people were killed by guns (including 158 murders) in 2010.
  • National Rifle Association (NRA): One of the biggest lobby organizations in the USA that spends millions of dollars every year to make guns even more accessible. Known for their ultra-conservative political views and their massive influence on the political debate the NRA has also attracted a lot of criticism.
  • School shootings have sparked widespread debates across the United States over whether gun regulations should be reformed. One of the most horrifying shootings took place in an elementary school in Newtown on December 12, 2012, killing 28 people.
  • As a reaction to the Newtown shooting President Obama wants to reform gun regulations in order reduce the number of gun crimes.
  • The government’s plans have been violently attacked by gun supporters. Only weeks after the Newtown shooting, the NRA ran this campaign to stop President Obama from passing stricter gun laws. In sharp contrast gun rights activists claim that the answer to the rising number of gun deaths in the USA is more guns. From their point of view the more guns you have in the country the safer it will be.
  • In Arkansas the first school has started to equip teachers with handguns. They receive a 60 hour training and will carry the guns concealed, i.e. not visible. However, the debate continues.
  • A new development in gun technology promises to reduce the number of gun crime. Will ‚smart gun technology‚ make firearms safer?

What is your opinion on this topic?