US Heads Toward Gun Control Debate
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, center, meets with sportsmen, wildlife groups, and cabinet members, Washington, Jan. 10, 2013.
The United States is heading toward a confrontation over gun control, following the December shooting rampage that left 20 children and six adults dead in a schoolhouse slaughter.
Vice President Joe Biden is set to unveil his proposals Tuesday to control such all-too-frequent assaults in America, likely including a renewed effort to outlaw the sale of assault-style weapons.
But a key gun-rights leader, David Keene of the National Rifle Association, told CNN on Sunday that does not think there will be enough votes in Congress to re-instate such a ban, which last expired in the United States in 2004.
U.S. President Barack Obama says he wants new gun control proposals to present to Congress as his second term in office begins Sunday, just several weeks after a gunman slaughtered children and staff members of a Connecticut elementary school on December 14.
The president said it is important to act quickly on new gun control measures before the nation's memory of the assault fades. Biden is also likely to propose more stringent background checks on gun buyers and limits on the size of ammunition clips.
Gun control measures are controversial in the United States, where gun ownership is enshrined in the Constitution.
One senator who supports gun rights, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, says he would consider some new restrictions, but that new laws are not the only answer.
A look at how the U.S. ranks in comparison to the rest of world when it comes guns and gun violence.
The U.S. has the highest gun ownership rate in the world.
GUN OWNERSHIP PER 100 PEOPLE
1. United States - 89
2. Yemen - 55
3. Switzerland - 46
4. Finland - 45
5. Serbia - 38
Despite the high number of guns, because of its large population, the U.S. does not have the worst firearms murder rate.
GUN MURDERS PER 100,000 PEOPLE
1. Honduras - 69
2. El Salvador - 40
3. Jamaica - 39
4 Venezuela - 39
5. Guatemala - 35
The United States ranks 28th, with a rate of 3 per 100,000 people
*The U.S. is one of the leading countries in the number of deaths attributed to guns.
NUMBER OF PEOPLE KILLED BY FIREARMS IN 2010
1. Brazil - 34,678
2. Colombia - 12,539
3. Mexico - 11,309
4. Venezuela - 11,115
5. United States - 9,146
Source: UNODC & Small arms survey of 2010
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