Category: US Society / December 31, 2012 10:35 AM EST
More than 30,000 people were reported to have been killed by deadly gun shooting attacks in 2012 in the United States and this has reignited calls for tougher gun control in the United States.
This means that more than 80 people were killed by gun violence every day in 2012 in the country.
According to local media reports, the United States witnessed 16 mass shootings in 2012, including shootings at a Wisconsin temple, a Colorado movie theater, and a Connecticut elementary school.
In the latest mass killing, one of the worst in U.S. history, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and killed 20 children and six adults.
The incident came just months after a massacre at a movie theater in the western state of Colorado, during which a shooter fired continuously into a crowd of movie-goers at a midnight screening of the new Batman movie, killing 12 and wounding 70 others.
In another high-profile mass shooting in August, a white supremacist shot and killed six people at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin before killing himself.
Other major shootings this year included an August incident in which three people, including a police officer, were killed at Texas A&M University by a 35-year-old man. In April, a former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California shot seven people in an execution-style killing.
Chicago is often seen as the bloodiest city in the country. Local media said that more than 2,400 shootings happened in Chicago in 2012, in which 319 primary and secondary school students were shot at and 24 were killed.
Amid frequent mass shootings, many Americans are concerned over gun ownership. They are expecting the federal government to introduce stricter gun-control legislation in the new year.
"Yeah I would definitely have concerns. I don't think, you know, I think it's the people who are the problem who have guns. I can see where the crime would go up or people may be tempted to do something that maybe shouldn't be readily available," said a Chicago resident.
Serious problems exist in the management of gun control in the United States and guns should be taken out of people's hands, said Leonard Cavise, a law professor at the DePaul University.
"Murder is so easy because of guns. We have too many guns. And we're coming to the point where any criminal, or any young boy, 13 or 14 years old, can get a gun very easily. We need to take the guns out of society," Cavise said.
Many U.S. government officials are also calling for stricter gun control regulations. Outspoken gun control advocate and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on a show in December that tackling the issue should top President Obama's agenda.
However, gun owners in the country have long made the argument that too much gun legislation leaves more firearms in the hands of criminals, as criminals tend to obtain firearms illegally, and deprives law-abiding citizens of the ability to defend themselves against robberies, home invasions, rape, murder, and a host of other crimes.
Some gun rights advocates also argue that mass killings tend to occur in places where guns are banned, such as movie theaters and shopping malls, giving mass shooters free rein to kill at will without the fear of getting shot themselves.
Debate over gun control has seized the public eye in the United States following the large number of shooting incidents in 2012. Whether the country's gun laws will be affected remains to be seen.