Gun Violence

Gun violence is one of the major public issues in American society, especially in urban areas, and is closely related to youth activities and gang violence. Gun violence has been very common in the United States since the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865, and later Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy. Major incidents triggered by gun violence, such as the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, the Colombian High School massacre, the Beltway sniper attacks in Washington, D.C., and the Virginia Tech campus shootings, which have triggered explosive debate on gun policy.




In the United States, urban areas have the highest incidence of homicide and violent crime. In metropolitan areas, average 6.1 homicides occur in per 100,000 people in 2005, compared with only 3.5 in in per 100,000 people non-metropolitan prefectures. In cities with more than 250,000 people in the United States, average 12.1 homicides occur in per 100,000 people. Most gun-related homicides happened in the southern and Western states. Homicides committed by people aged 18 to 24 has been constantly declining since 1993, but is still higher than the 1980s. According to the statistics of 2005, homicides committed by people with ages between the 17-24 age group still account for the majority of the total data, especially murders with guns. In 2005 statistics, population aged 17 to 19 accounted for 4.3% of the total U.S. population, 11.2% of the deaths from gun homicides, and 10.6% of all homicides. Population aged 17 to 19 accounts for 7.1% of the U.S. population, 22.5% of all gun murders and 17.7% of all homicides. There are few murders involving people under 17. In 2005, population aged 13 to 16 accounted for 6% of the total U.S. population, but only 3.6% of the victims of gun homicide, and only 2.7% of the total homicide.



In addition, a quarter of commercial robberies are gun-related. In contrast, robberies involving guns are three times more likely to lead to death than robberies using other weapons, and domestic violence cases have similar patterns. Criminologist Philip J. Cook speculated that if guns were not so widespread, criminals would probably kill anyway, but would use other less lethal weapons. He found that in the 50 largest cities in the United States, gun ownership was associated with the rate of armed robbery, not with the overall rate of robbery. A considerable number of murders are caused by another violent crime, in which the offender has no clear or sustained intention to kill or be killed.

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