Is Biden right gun violence is a 'public health crisis'?


Fact Box

  • On Thursday, April 8, President Joe Biden addressed increasing gun violence as a “public health crisis” announcing six executive actions: prohibit “ghost guns,” issue pistol rules, allow “red flag” laws, establish community violence interventions, report on firearm trafficking, and nominate David Chapman as ATF’s director
  • Gun Violence Archive reported a 25% increase in gun violence from 2019 to 2020, totaling 19,223 deaths. From January to April 8, 2021, there were 11,428 deaths by gun, 4,960 from homicide, murder, or unintentional gun death. 
  • The Second Amendment of the US Constitution enshrines “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
  • As of 2020, 22% of Americans own one or more guns; America has 120.5 guns per 100 people, which amounts to about 393,347,000 guns—the highest per capita worldwide.
  • A 2019 Quinnipiac Poll shows 32% of Republicans, 59% of independents, and 91% of Democrats are in favor of stricter gun laws in America.

Andrew (Yes)

The statistics surrounding gun violence are staggering. There have been 11,526 deaths-by-gun in America and an additional nearly 9,000 gun injuries in 2021 alone at the time of this writing. In other words, over twenty thousand people have been shot in the past ninety-eight days in America alone. The fact that many of these deaths and injuries involve children and teenagers makes these statistics even more appalling. This rate of death and injury is completely unacceptable; gun deaths are totally unnecessary. According to the National Safety Council, the lifetime odds of being assaulted by a gun were 1 in 315, significantly higher than vehicular or pedestrian accidents. It is clear that there is a problem, and since it is killing and injuring people, President Biden is right to name it a public health crisis.

President Biden is right to declare gun violence a public health crisis because it may move leaders and the general public into action. Admitting there is a problem is often the first step to recovery. America has a major problem with guns, resulting in thousands of needless deaths each year. It often takes a crisis to move public opinion and the status quo. By taking a common-sense approach and admitting that our nation has a problem, the Biden Administration has taken the first step toward fixing the problem.

Those opposing gun regulation will try to muddy the waters with claims of second amendment infringements, mental health excuses, and false dichotomies where only criminals have guns. Make no mistake; this issue is about people dying unnecessarily, and it's common sense for President Biden to address it as a public health crisis. 


Bill (No)

Biden is wrong to characterize gun violence as a public health crisis. Gun violence was not among the top 10 causes of death in the US in 2020; when can we expect the top one and two causes (Heart Disease and Cancer) to be declared public health crises? Biden is cynically exploiting recent mass shootings as a pretext to implement one of the liberals' favorite policy cause célèbres—gun control.  

It's transparently phony for Biden to claim that he's suddenly alarmed about gun violence since gun-related violence (including homicides) grew steadily during the eight years of the Obama/Biden administration. Gun control is the Democrat's favorite party trick to dazzle voters with how 'woke' they are and how much they 'care.' Despite Illinois having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Chicago is consistently ranked in the Top 10 for cities with the highest gun violence rates.

There are explanations for why people commit gun violence, but the root causes are often avoided because they don't support the liberal narrative. Instead of targeting legal gun owners, Biden ought to examine the societal pathologies of broken homes, physical and substance abuse, and violent behavior. There are millions of gun owners (32% of America’s citizenry) who do not commit violent acts or gun-related homicides each year. It is criminals who are the ones most likely to use guns in the commission of a crime. Criminals won’t abide by any restrictions if they already intend on pursuing criminal acts. All this to show, the real crisis about gun violence is far more complex than Biden's latest press conference indicates.

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