Gun control is an emotional issue for some, but Americans should be able to have a conversation surrounding gun control that would lead to protecting gun owner’s rights while at the same time protecting lives.

America's gun culture stems in part from the Second Amendment, but here are some statistics from procon.org: The U.S. has about 270 million guns, the highest total and per capita number in the world.

There were 464,033 total gun deaths between 1999 and 2013: 58 percent were suicides, 38 percent were homicides and 2 percent were unintentional deaths. Guns were the leading cause of death by homicide (66.6 percent of all homicides) and by suicide (52.2 percent of all suicides).

American children under age 15 were nine times more likely to die of a gun accident than children in other advanced wealthy countries. About 200 Americans go to emergency rooms every day with gunshot wounds.

According to a 2016 Lancet study, implementing federal universal background checks could reduce firearm deaths by a projected 57 percent; background checks for ammunition purchases could reduce deaths by a projected 81 percent; and gun identification requirements could reduce deaths by a projected 83 percent.

Come join in the conversation at The Canticle, 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. We’ll be viewing the movie “3 ½ minutes Ten Bullets” the story of Michael Dunn who, because he didn’t like the volume of their music, fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and then flew the scene.

Lori Freudenberg

Clinton

Editor’s note: Freudenberg is Franciscan Peace Center community outreach director

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