CNN's New Day Explains How “Ease Of Access” To Guns Is Linked To High Levels Of Gun Violence

CNN Analyst: “It's Easier To Buy A Gun In The United States ... Than Most Comparable Countries”

From the December 4 edition of CNN's New Day:

Video file

MICHAELA PEREIRA: One of the things we have to look at is gun ownership. Let's take a look at what we know about gun ownership in the United States. About a third of households own a gun in America. If you exclude the number of people who own over 25 guns, the average gun owner in the United States has an average of five guns. How does that line up with the rest of the world in terms of gun ownership?

BOBBY GHOSH: Well, most countries where people do own guns they tend to own fewer guns per person than the United States. But that is a function of a couple of things. One, the United States is a rich country, people can afford to buy more guns. But perhaps more importantly, it's easier to buy a gun in the United States than most countries, most comparable countries.


PEREIRA: The United States has 90 guns for every 100 people, nine deaths per 100,000 people. While in the UK, six guns for every 100,000 people and less than one death per 100,000 people. What does that tell you?

GHOSH: Well, there is something to be said about a gun culture, and how common guns are, and how commonly guns are used. In the UK it's worth remembering that even the police, very few policemen in the --

PEREIRA: They carry guns, right.

GHOSH: -- In Britain, carry guns. Even a lot of criminal gangs, in their criminal activity they don't use assault weapons. And people can own guns, but the difference between owning a shooting rifle, a hunting rifle and being able to buy a semiautomatic, never mind an automatic, is a huge gap there. There are not a lot of people in the UK, or in Europe in general who can have easy access to automatic weapons. This talks a little bit to a gun culture, and you need to be a sociologist to --

PEREIRA: That's what I was going to ask you, that is the part that I think so many are struggling with, is that we see the numbers, we see the data. We understand there are many people who believe they have a right to, we have a right to bear arms in this nation. But what is the idea of what the cause is for all of this violence?

GHOSH: Well, it's a large country and different people buy guns for different reasons. But there is a large number of Americans who own weapons out of a sense of fear. They own it because they're worried that somebody might come and take away, try to take away, bearing arms themselves, from them what is precious and dear to them. Their life, their liberty, their possessions, their family. So a lot of people own guns out of a sense of fear, and for security reasons. In many of these countries, Switzerland, for instance, sport shooting, target shooting is a very, very popular activity and people own guns for that reason.

PEREIRA: For that reason, not for protection.

GHOSH: That's right.

PEREIRA The fear is the concern because right now there's certainly a whole lot of that.


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