Only Attacking Root Causes of Gun Violence Will Solve America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

In America, we have a 1 in 45 chance of being shot with a firearm in our lifetime, a fairly dangerous society. Of course, if you live in the city, those odds go way up, perhaps to 1 in 25. Then, if you are a male that comes from a socioeconomically poorer condition your odds are 1 in 15. Of course, a high number of these wounds will be accidental or self inflicted. Most gun deaths from fire arms in America are from suicide.

Now the 80/20 principle applies in spades in America. 82 percent of murders occur in the largest 100 cities in America where only 18 percent of the population live. 75 percent of those murders occur in the most violent neighborhoods in those cities where 25 percent of the cities’ population live. 73% of the perpetrators are under age, and 85% of those are male.

Now we don’t like to admit the root causes of America’s problems, preferring instead to point elsewhere, anywhere else rather than back at ourselves. But let’s look at just one cause in isolation and then we can see why all our hand wringing over gun control is just a non-viable salve for our collective conscious. Let’s peek at our nation’s insatiable appetite for drugs as perhaps one root cause of our gun problem.

America, does have the economic engine to consume drugs and similarly to our GDP of 25% of the world compared to our population of 5%, we also are estimated to consume 25% of the world’s illegal drugs (not considering for the moment that we also consume most of the world’s legal drugs illegally. For instance, we consume 85% of the world’s pain pills). This habit is “enjoyed” in varying amounts depending on the drug. For instance 42 percent of Americans have used marijuana and 16% cocaine. Again, the numbers are disproportionately higher in the areas where murders are disproportionately higher. Digging deeper along the root cause vein, drug use correlates to broken homes, physical and sexual abuse, parental involvement and academic failure, all therefore root causes of gun violence because of its tie to drugs..

Not only are the dollars involved in the drugs trade a powerful motivator for gun use, $60 billion in the U.S., but in 67% of crimes committed with guns and 50% of homicides, the perpetrator tested positive for illegal drugs. Now, we have lost this war on drugs in America and we have likewise lost the war on illegal use of weapons in connection with this war. Since there is such a high correlation between drugs and guns in America, why do we think if our laws that require zero illegal drugs in our country don’t work, that if we pass laws requiring zero guns, that they will be any more successful?

We know that the vast majority of gun crimes are committed in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas by young people who are legally not allowed to own guns. Where do these violent youth from bad neighborhoods get their guns to wreak havoc on America and cause liberals to want to take away 300 million guns from the vast middle of America who commit no crimes? Well, contrary to popular belief, only 10% are stolen. The majority are either purchased for them by associated adults, are sold to them by corrupt but legal dealers, or are sold to them by illegal dealers.

Of the 124,000 licensed dealers, about 8% sell the vast majority of guns used in crimes. America has a gun trafficking group similar to our drug trafficking or prostitution trafficking groups. With such a strong desire for drugs, prostitution, and guns, no laws will keep guns off our streets. They will only keep guns away from law abiding citizens who want some measure of protection from the lawlessness that exists in America.


Filed under American Governance, American Politics, social trajectory, War

2 responses to “Only Attacking Root Causes of Gun Violence Will Solve America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

  1. David Phillips

    Clif –   Very well reasoned and written. Permission to re-post?

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