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Is gun violence as big a problem as it seems?

Some people don't know the first thing about guns. Others carry a gun with a permit. Then there are those who get mixed up with this type of weapon on an illegal basis. Gun violence in the United States remains a major problem, which is why law enforcement agencies throughout the country are cracking down at all turns of the road.

According to data compiled by the National Crime Victimization Survey, more than 467,000 people were victims of a firearm-related crime in 2011. Furthermore, and even more serious, is the fact that firearms were used in nearly 70 percent of all murders and 41 percent of robbery offenses during the same year.

While gun violence can lead to fatalities, this is not always the case. It is also important to understand the seriousness of nonfatal firearm-related crime. Even though this continues to fall, in 2011 there were approximately 414,000 incidents.

When you break down these numbers, looking at them on a daily and monthly scale, it is easy to see just how serious gun violence is in the United States. Even with improvement in crime rates, the problem remains.

There are times when a person is arrested for a gun crime he or she did not commit. For example, somebody could be arrested for carrying a firearm, despite the fact that he or she had a permit. Since the punishment associated with such a crime is severe, it is important for those charged to understand their legal rights and to take the right approach in proving that they are innocent.

Source: National Institute of Justice, "Gun Violence," accessed Aug. 27, 2015

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Robert D. DiDio
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