As the violence grows, perpetrators report acquiring revolvers and shotguns to protect their own lives, and many of these acts of supposed self-defence lead to further aggression in a seemingly endless spiral.
More than half of US adults, 54 per cent, feel they are victims of gun violence or have a family member affected by gun violence, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Similarly, three out of four of those who live in a household with guns report that at least one gun remains unlocked, loaded or stored with ammunition, i.e. ready to be used in case of aggression.
In less than a week, a 16-year-old man of African descent was shot for knocking on the wrong door in Missouri, a 20-year-old woman died for the same reason in New York, and in Texas an 18-year-old girl almost died after mistaking her car for someone else’s who chose to shoot her.
That three harmless, everyday events end in tragedy exposes how terror is gaining ground in a country where there are an estimated 120 firearms for every 100 inhabitants, according to the Swiss organisation Small Arms Survey (SAS).
It is alarming that these incidents involve younger and younger men and women, both as victims and perpetrators.
In Alabama, for example, three people, including two teenage brothers, were arrested for a shooting that killed four others and injured 32 at a birthday party over the weekend.
According to authorities, Wilson LaMar Hill Jr., 20, and the even younger Travis McCullough, 16, and Ty Reik McCullough, 17, were arrested on charges of reckless murder.
Jeremy Burkett, a sergeant with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, told reporters that juveniles will be charged in the same manner as adults.
The persons killed by these youths were identified as Shaunkivia Smith, 17; Mariah Collins, 19; Corbin Holston, 23; and Philstavious Dowdell, 18.
Although it is difficult to estimate the exact number of firearms in the hands of citizens due to factors as diverse as unregistered ownership and illegal trade, SAS researchers estimate that Americans own 393 million of the 857 million civilian guns available.
That is about 46 per cent of the world’s civilian arsenal in the hands of a society that represents about 4 per cent of the world’s population.
Another more alarming than curious fact is that, according to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, manufacturers of these lethal devices produced nine million in the country in 2018, more than double the number manufactured a decade earlier. PL
(Translated by Cristina Popa – Email: email@example.com) – Photos: Pixabay