Our country has more gun violence than most other countries.
A top doctor in the USA says being shot is bad for you, and we need laws that make it hard for people to buy guns to shoot you. People who get rich selling guns don't want you to believe him. They are really mad at him for telling the truth.
If you want to talk about ways to have fewer people getting shot, a good place to start is learning about who shoots who, and when, where, and why they do that.
You might ask if we have more or less shooting than other countries. The picture shows that we have more shooting than countries that are rich like us. Portugal had a lot, but we had 6.6 times more people die from getting shot than they did, for every 1,000 people in the country!
When you think of safe places to walk on the local streets, you don't think of places like Nicaragua, Albania, and Cambodia, do you? But you're just as likely to be shot in Boston, San Jose, or Austin!
Other spots you might want to try, if you want to be safer than you are at home, are Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, and the Sudan. You have to go to Afghanistan, Iraq, Jamaica, or the Congo if you want to have a better chance of getting shot.
If you live in the suburbs, you might be a little safer in the USA than in some of these cities. They have had a lot of problems in El Salvador, Colombia, and Honduras all over their country, not just in cities.
Is there anything we can learn? Did any of these cities where people die from being shot a lot make any laws that made fewer people die?
Yes they did! The mayor of Cali, Colombia, tried making laws based on facts instead of how people felt and who gave him money. Crazy, right? But not really! He had one of his country's smart doctors study gunshot death in the city. They found out most people getting shot were drunk. Those shootings usually happened to young people and on days off.
So, the mayor said he make it harder to buy beer. That made it harder to get drunk. Teenagers were shooting and dying a lot on weekends, so he gave them a time to be home. Now there is less time for them to shoot people. He also outlawed guns on days off. Did it work, or did only bad people have guns?
It worked! It did not stop all the shooting but two groups of smart people reported there was a lot less dying from gunshots after those laws were passed.
In the USA, we do not have a law that keeps people from buying what they need to walk around and shoot people. We do have a law against learning about the facts in this country. It is called the “Congressional Ban on Gun Research”, and a group called the National Rifle Association pays your elected officials to keep that law. That way, when someone says, “Let's make a law to have less dying from guns,” someone can say, “There is no proof that will work!” If we don't learn any facts, we won't know anything, and we can't improve. But it is not against the law to learn what happens in other countries! When you can't learn from your own experience, you can look at other people who learned what you want to know, and see what worked for them.
If we want to have fewer people die from getting shot, we can do the same thing that works in other countries. We can make laws that make it hard for a person to buy a gun!
My translation of http://www.humanosphere.org/science/2014/03/visualizing-gun-deaths-comparing-the-u-s-to-rest-of-the-world/#prettyPhoto to a 6th grade reading level.