Gun Violence: The American Nightmare

Over the past three years, America has witnessed some of the worst mass shootings in modern history, from the Las Vegas shootings in 2017, to the El Paso and Dayton shootings that were witnessed yesterday. An evident conclusion that we can draw from these events is that America needs gun control, and they need it NOW.

Furthermore, asking for gun-control is not a herculean task, and this been proven by several nations. Six days after the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a ban on military style semi-automatic rifles.

I was going to make this article about how every life matters, and how that is why gun control is necessary, but then I figured, that the people making laws seem to care little about that. What a lot of the people leading the American Administration very conspicuously care about, is money, economic gain. Therefore, I decided to talk not about the humanitarian aspect of gun-control, but I have rather tried to debunk the theory that the American economy requires guns to be sold to its citizens. Apart from that, I have also countered a few other arguments relating to why guns should be legal and at nearly every American’s disposal.

Gun manufacturers contribute about 32-billion dollars to the American economy at present. It is an undeniable fact that this is a great amount of money. Agreed. However, I will now break down just a few of the elements that make up the cost of gun violence:

Personal Consumption Expenditures make up approximately 69% of America’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), that is, approximately 12.87 trillion dollars. An average household in America spends approximately $60,000 a year on only personal consumption expenditures. Say each household has two breadwinners, each employed member of the family spends approximately $30,000. Now, the number of people who DIED (not injured), due to gun-related violence in 2018, is 39,773. Therefore, the US economy lost out on approximately $1,193,190,000 that they would have received from the individuals who died. This is regardless of whether the people who died were employed or not, because, considering the 3.8% unemployment rate in America, chances are, at some point in their lives they would be employed, and would be consumers in America.

The average hourly wage in America, as of December 2018, was $23.09. The number of Americans who died in 2018 is 39,773. Thus, the loss of, $23.09 x 44 hours per week x 260 days of the year x 39,773 people who died = $10,506,022,040.80. A cumulative decrease in wages by over 10 billion, which means that the American government would lose out on roughly $1,47,08,43,085.712 in taxes. This is excluding inflation, which is inevitable, considering that a large number of gun-violence victims were children.

Even though the figures mentioned above may not, at present, be in perfect proportion to the amount the gun industry contributes to the American economy yearly, if we look at the rate at which gun-violence is increasing yearly, soon these numbers will be in proportion. This is a long-term issue for the American people right now, and it soon will be for the American legislators.

Furthermore, the gun industry exports around 433,600 guns a year, i.e. they generate an income of nearly $540,000,000 per year. Restricting the sale of guns to citizens of America without proper license is not going to constrict the industry forever.

When we dig deeper into the issue, we see that gun violence impacts the American economy in unimaginable ways. Most of the Democratic candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election do propose some form of free healthcare. If they do so, which hopefully they will, it will cost them an estimate of $3 billion dollars per year to deal with only gun-shot related injuries. Additionally, 10 times more blood is required for gun-shot victims, than for victims of any other trauma.

The death of employed people in America disturbs not only the economy, but also several families.

Some of the other, non-economic arguments against gun-control are as follows:

People may say, that gun control laws deny people a sense of safety. I can assure you that students in America who go to school every day, not knowing if they will even come back alive, would say otherwise.

“We cannot protect our guns before we protect our children” – Florence Yared, Parkland school shooting survivor, in Tallahassee.

“After first graders were gunned down at Sandy Hook, what did you do? Not a damn thing. After 49 people, including my two brothers, were murdered at Pulse, what did you do? Not a damn thing. You plugged your ears and turned your eyes and hoped that we would stop talking. Now we’re here again. 17 people are dead. 14 of them are children. And what did you do yesterday when given the chance to do something about it? Not a damn thing.” – Brandon Wolf, Pulse nightclub shooting survivor, in Tallahassee.

What is even more upsetting, is that a lot of the legislators who claim to be ‘pro-life’, actually condone the use of guns and their sale.

People who support the use of guns also talk about how gun owners are educated about the use of guns. However, rage has nothing to do with illiteracy. Emotions cannot be controlled by some meagre explanation on how to and when one must pull a trigger.

It is important to remember that America is a Republic. According to a 2018 Quinnipiac Poll, 97% of all American voters and 97% of all American gun-owners actually support general background checks before the purchase of a gun. 67% of the American voting population supports a ban on assault weapons, and 83% support mandatory waiting periods for the purchase of a gun.

In the long run, continual deaths due to gun-violence could lead to emigration, low employment rates, illiteracy and poverty, fuelling nothing but undeserved supremacy. These issues could outvalue the NRA’s funding to law-makers, because, one way, or another, the American citizens will get what they deserve, life.