Inside Story

What are the roots of gun culture in the US?

After the Orlando shooting, Obama predictably pushed for gun control but there is little he can do to achieve this.

Americans are in mourning after 29-year-old Omar Mateen walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando and shot 49 people dead.

The alarming frequency with which mass shootings occur in the United States does little to blunt the trauma of each act. But the facts of the case raise uncomfortable questions for those who seek to defend the country’s gun laws.

Mateen carried out the bloodiest mass shooting in recent history despite being on the FBI’s radar.

He was investigated at least twice for suspected sympathies with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. But had no trouble buying a military-style assault rifle. A weapon that has been used in several mass shootings in the US.

The number of gun-related deaths in the US is high, especially when compared with the rest of the world.

Americans make up less than 5 percent of the global population, but they own more than 40 percent of the world’s guns.

But why is it easy to access and own guns in the US? And what’s preventing change to laws on gun ownership?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Scriven King, national security analyst

David Burnett, former president of Students for Concealed Carry

Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence