Guns: Everyone, Everywhere?
March 22, 2016
Guns: Everyone, Everywhere?

Gun politics is a controversial area of American politics that is primarily defined by the actions of two groups: gun control and gun rights activists. These groups often disagree on the interpretation of laws and court cases related to firearms as well as about the effects of gun control on crime and public safety. It has been estimated that U.S. civilians own 270 million to 310 million firearms, and that 37% to 42% of the households in the country have at least one gun.

Since the 1990s, debates regarding firearm availability and gun violence in the U.S. have been characterized by concerns about the right to bear arms, such as found in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the responsibility of the government to serve the needs of its citizens and to prevent crime and deaths. Gun control supporters say that broad or unrestricted gun rights inhibit the government from fulfilling that responsibility. Gun rights supporters promote firearms for self-defense, hunting, sporting activities, and security against tyranny. Gun control advocates state that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals results in safer communities, while gun rights advocates state that firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens reduces crime.