Gun Law – A Problem The US Can’t Get Shot Of

It’s about time Americans stopped shooting each other and put their guns aside to stop shocking incidents like the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas.

With a death toll of 59 and more than 500 injured by gunfire, the shootings were the worst ever gun crime in the US.

But the figures behind guns in America paint a much worse picture.

The country suffered 11,000 deaths by firearms in 2016.

Gun-related killings account for 64% of all murders, compared to 4.5% in the UK.

Suicide shooters

Suicides by gunshot dwarf the number of one-to-one shootings every year.

The latest figures for 2014 show 21,386 gun-related suicides were recorded, along with 11,008 murders, of which 14 people died in a mass shooting.

Shocking though mass shootings are, they are a tiny tip of the iceberg which masks a much bigger problem.

Around 40% of the 125 million or so of American adults admit to owning at least one firearm.

That puts at least 50 million legal weapons in circulation in The States, although some surveys put the figure at nearer 250 million.

Even if gun laws were adopted now, the country will be flooded with guns for decades.

And the mass shootings are worsening. Killeen, Texas, was the worst shooting ever in 1991 when 23 deaths were recorded.

Guns are cheap to buy

Since then, four more shootings with many more victims have occurred. Last year, 49 victims were shot in Orlando, Florida.

The nation was outraged and then President Barack Obama proposed changes to gun laws that were thwarted in Congress by the Republicans, who dominate the influential National Rifle Association, which gives a voice to gun owners.

Even though calls to ban automatic assault rifles have been made, outlawing them would not make a lot of difference as FBI statistics show most deaths are caused by handguns.

These can be bought over the counter for a couple of hundred dollars – about the same price as a top of the range iPad and much cheaper than the new iPhone X, which retails for £1,000.

Assault rifles are pricier – but at $1,500 they do not cost much more than the iPhone X.