Guns remain a part of American society as the country continues to suffer from tragic mass shootings and rising homicide rates.
Many Americans regard the right to keep and bear arms as sacred, believing guns as essential to their particular identities and freedoms.
Others regard weapons and the lax restrictions around them as a threat to life and safety, while some keep guns for protection, hunting, or sport.
Repeated gun-related deaths contribute to an environment of dread, further entrenching such positions.
Understanding gun ownership in the United States can assist enlighten gun-control debates.
However, obtaining an accurate picture is difficult due to the lack of a comprehensive record of gun purchases.