In a piece written for The Huffington Post, Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes question the mistaken belief that America has a gang problem instead of a gun problem. The National Gang Center, the government agency responsible for tracking gang violence, says otherwise, they write:
“There were 1,824 gang-related killings in 2011. This total includes deaths by means other than a gun. The Bureau of Justice Statistics finds this number to be even lower, identifying a little more than 1,000 gang-related homicides in 2008. In comparison, there were 11,101 homicides and 19,766 suicides committed with firearms in 2011.”
Contrary to the claim that most gun violence is gang-related, more than 80 percent of gun homicides are unrelated to gang activity. Gun advocates that blindly focus on gangs, drugs, and violent criminals are wilfully overlooking America’s larger gun problem. In order to properly address it, we need to recognize the issue for what it is.