Guns are ubiquitous in the United States and have been a part of the American identity since the country’s formation, but with that status comes contention.

The U.S. has almost twice as many guns per capita as the next two gun-owning countries, while gun manufacturing continues to skyrocket – it’s because of this the gun death toll is so high, gun control groups have argued. If you ask gun rights advocates, they’ll tell you the high body count is not because Americans have so many guns, but because crime is high and there aren’t enough gun-owning citizens to stop it.

In his 1998 book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” John R. Lott Jr. wrote that violent crime decreases when states pass concealed carry laws, allowing individuals to protect themselves and others. The theory has been upheld by gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, whose executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre in 2012 said famously, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

The recent rash of mass shootings and the discovery that firearm deaths have surpassed vehicle deaths for the first time, gun control groups are calling for universal background checks, or a closure of the gaps in federal background checks which allow the sale of firearms between private individuals and at gun shows in some states.

Liberals call it an unfounded fear among gun-owning conservatives that the government is coming for their guns, while the latter group holds up…

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