Guns are back in the news this week after the recent failure of the latest gun control measures in Congress and the latest in a series of fatal accidental shootings involving children. It's an issue Americans are increasingly tuned in to, partially because we have so many guns on hand.
The number of guns manufactured each year in the U.S. grew from 2.9 million in 2001 to nearly 5.5 million in 2010, which was one of the highest-volume years in history. Another 2.84 million foreign-made guns were imported in 2010.
The government estimated there were 310 million firearms in civilian hands in 2009 - nearly as many weapons as American citizens.
More than 30,000 firearm fatalities occur in America each year. About one-half are suicides, one-third criminal homicides.
Click through today's photo gallery to learn more, then take your turn in the discussion thread below. Why do you think firearms are growing more common? How do you feel about the trend?