The US Gun Law Debate

One does not have to be a top criminal lawyer to find national news quite depressing. Just last Saturday, a 22 year-old man opened fire on a political gathering outside a Tucson, Arizona, shopping mall. In the skirmish, Lee Loughner allegedly shot and killed six people and injured fourteen others, including Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. This story has caught the attention of people nationwide, and many Americans are again discussing that topic that never seems to go away gun control laws in the United States.

According to figures released in a 2009 FBI report, 67 percent of all murders in the United States were caused by firearms. Despite this seemingly-high statistic, the number has been decreasing over the past decade. Ten years ago, the United States lead the world's wealthiest nations in total firearm deaths.

American gun laws are considered far less strict when compared to those in other well-developed countries (such as Britain or Japan). In the wake of the recent Arizona shootings, many supporters of increased gun control have cited international law as a precedent for possible legislation in the United States.

However, not everyone is convinced that additional restriction on gun ownership is called for. "It's probably about a very sick individual and what should have been done for that person," Senator Rand Paul commented in a Fox News interview last Sunday. "But the weapons don't kill people. It's the individual who kills people." Pro-gun organizations such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) take a similar stance, arguing that restricting access to firearms and eliminating concealed weapons does not decrease the number of gun-related deaths.