"Every eight seconds, a new gun is made in America, and every hour four people are killed with a gun."
Sounds to me that guns are beating gun crime...
Would stricter gun laws save lives?
12/2/2006 5:18 AM
By: Martie Salt, News 14 Carolina
American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation.
Every eight seconds, a new gun is made in America, and every hour four people are killed with a gun.
"It was about midnight ... They were confronted by gang members," said Rebecca Lambert about her son. "He was shot in the back three times by one of the gang members."
Clifton Nelson's mother is haunted by her sons last moments.
"I have flashbacks of him getting up to run and thinking of the terror that he must have felt," she said.
Every day, more than 80 Americans die from a bullet, but Rebecca doesn't blame the gun.
There are 200 million firearms in America, 65 million of them handguns.
"The people who had the gun killed my son," she said.
"Oh yeah, it sounds great ... 'The gun didn't do it, the person did.' If the gun hadn't been there, quite likely the tragedy wouldn't have happened," Marsha McCartney, of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Violence headquartered in Washington, D.C., said.
There are 200 million firearms in America, 65 million of them handguns. That's more than one gun for each adult. The Second Amendment of the Constitution gives us the right to own one, but would tougher laws reduce gun violence? Do we need new laws or just enforcement of the ones we have?
McCartney wants guns off the streets. She says there are too many criminals getting their hands on guns.
"It's much, much too easy," she said.
Polls show 75 percent of Americans favor stricter gun laws, but people like McCartney feel even stricter laws won't make a difference.
"You can go and purchase one gun or several guns without a background check," McCartney said.
Studies show 1 percent of gun stores sell the weapons traced to 57 percent of all gun crimes. Activists want stricter laws and they want enforcement of the existing laws.
Marsha McCartney wants guns off the streets. She says there are too many criminals getting their hands on guns.
"Our elected officials are unfortunately listening to the gun lobby, who has a very loud voice and deep pockets," McCartney said.
Pamela Gorman is an Arizona state representative and member of the NRA. She learned to shoot when she took office.
"The right to protect yourself -- no matter who in your home carries the gun to protect you -- is a huge right we have to protect as Americans," she said.
But a gun in your home doesn't always mean protection. If you have a gun in your home, you're three times more likely to be a victim of gun violence. Guns at home should be locked up at all times.
Gun enthusiast Debbie Kimmick believes if you're going to have a gun in the house, get the training to use it. But others believe just having a gun could lead to trouble.
"A person is not a criminal until that split second when their rage takes control and the gun is handy and they use that gun," McCartney said.
And one thing both can agree on -- no innocent life should be lost because of a gun.
Americans’ children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. In one year, firearms killed 10 children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 109 in France, 153 in Canada and 5,000 in America.