Shopping. A gun shop in Las Vegas, a few days ago. People can choose and buy weapons without too much paperwork in the United States. Photo by AFP
Having an arsenal in the closet or garage is the most common thing in any city in the United States., especially domestically. Anyone of legal age can buy a sophisticated steel and ammunition at thousands of camping supply stores and even at a Walmart supermarket. Although sometimes not easy to understand, they are part of the culture and essence of Americans and in many cases they are symbols of freedom and liberty.
In most states of the country, no paperwork is needed to have them: enough with a report without a criminal record, a procedure that the seller himself can do by phone or Internet at the time of purchase. At most, that check-up can take 72 hours, no more. There is also no physical or mental fitness test required to use them.
The United States is the most armed society in the world. In a country of about 320 million inhabitants, there are 270 million small arms, counts the Small Arms Survey. The second largest country is India, with 46 million, but with a population of nearly 1.3 billion. Mexico is farther away, with 15.5 million weapons to 120 million people.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, one-third of Americans who live with children under 18 have a gun in their home.
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Photo by AP
The problem is that the arsenal is far from being used solely for recreation or self -defense: the United States is by far the country with the most gun deaths in the world.
According to the organization Everytown for Gun Safety, eighty-eight Americans die from gun violence every day and are twenty times more likely to be shot to death than in other developed countries. In the United States, massacres in theaters, schools or universities are becoming a relentless act and a serious political problem.
Why is there so much mass murder in the United States?
To commit a massacre like one in Columbine (12 dead, 1999), one in Newtown (28 dead in 2012), one at Virginia Polytechnic (23 dead, 2007), one in Orlando (49 dead, 2015) or happened in a month in Las Vegas (58 dead), it is necessary that the shooter has an automatic or semi-automatic rifle, to kill a lot of people in a short time, with explosions and no need to reload whenever you want. barilin.
These are weapons commonly used by the Army, but can also be had by any citizen at home.
It is clear that the massacres that have taken place in recent years are the work of insane people and, in some cases, have political or religious motivations. But easy access to them – and the firepower some of them have over the counter – helps make tragedies more intense, with a greater number of victims.
Salvador Ramos posted photos of his rifles on social media. Photo on Instagram.
And, even with some controls, the system fails many times. In theory, the seller should check that the buyer is in mind and has no criminal record, a process that is done online. But if you don’t receive the authorization from the authorities within three days – they are usually delayed – they still have an obligation to sell it to you.
In addition, until the beginning of 2016, Internet merchants or at fairs were not required to check the consumer. Unlicensed sales accounted for approximately 40% of the total.
Successive governments have been very suspicious when it comes to limiting weapons. The right to self -defense is so important in this society that it is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.part of the so -called Bill of Rights, approved December 15, 1791.
Cut some control tests in the past. During the government of Bill Clintonthe sale of semi-automatic rifles was limited, but during the George W Bush the regulation has expired and has not been renewed.
A year before leaving office, with tears in his eyes, Barack Obama accused Congress of hijacking the arms industry and achieving a small victory – not in Parliament but through an executive order – by of establishing checks for sales through the Internet and speeding up authorization procedures.