Former Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer once said “Yes, people pull the trigger – but guns are the instrument of death. Gun control is necessary, and delay means more death and horror”(Rogers). Spitzer’s words makes one think: Should we fear the person behind the gun or the gun itself? The majority of violent crimes that happen in our country are not only caused by a criminal, but also the weapon in which the criminal is holding. America’s gun violence problem stems from the increasing accessibility of firearms. Many of the mass shootings in the US could have been prevented if access to semi-automatic and automatic weapons were completely banned.
Gun violence is an arising issue, and a change needs to be made concerning the gun laws in the U.S. Stricter gun control laws is necessary to prevent high accessibility to firearms and mass shootings, also research shows that Australia’s strict gun control laws are proven to be more efficient in preventing gun violence. America’s Gun control laws should be more strict in regulating the availability of firearms. The lenient gun control laws in America cause a higher risk of criminals committing acts of violence with guns, rather than preventing them.
It is not difficult to buy guns in The United States. Background checks for purchasing firearms only take minutes, but when purchasing a gun from a gun show it is not required.Guns are sold in hundreds of stores including your local Walmart.The United States has 89 guns per 100 people (Fox). That is about three hundred million guns owned by 48% of our people, which places the U.
S. as the most gun populated country in the world. The Gun Violence Archive states the rate of manslaughter, or murder, by a gun is at its highest peak in the U.S. to where 13,385 people died as a result in this incomplete year of 2017. There has been 307 mass shooting in America alone from January 1 to Nov 5 according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Gun violence has come to the point where the places that people once thought they were safe are not safe anymore. On December 12, 2012, twenty children and seven teachers were killed by a mentally ill gunman who then shot and killed himself. On June 12, 2016, forty-nine young adults were killed at a gay nightclub by a man who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. On November 5, 2017, twenty-six people were shot at a rural texas church. On October 1, 2017, fifty-nine people were shot, and around 500 others injured in the biggest mass shooting in recent American history. (Deadliest Mass Shootings.
) How many more mass shootings need to happen in order for the United States to make a change about this shameful gun culture? The majority of mass shootings in the US are carried out by a criminal using a semi-automatic weapon. The sad part is that most of these military grade weapons were obtained legally. There was a proposed law against semi-automatic weapons, which unfortunately was later voted down by Congress. Congress has rejected nearly every attempted gun safety measure, more than one hundred total, although many are duplicative—and passage is even less likely following the mass shooting in Las Vegas (Shabad,Rebecca). In April 1996, thirty-five innocent people were killed by Martin Bryant who was operating a semi-automatic weapon at a past prison colony and tourist attraction in Tasmania, Australia.
The event shocked the country and motivated Australia to enact some of the strictest firearm laws in the world (Homicide, 2015). The murder rate in the United States is ten times the Australian murder rate (Rogers, 2012). In order to decrease America’s obscene amount of gun violence, the United States should follow in Australia’s footsteps, reduce the total guns available, and pass more restrictive gun laws. All six of the Australian states came to an agreement to enact the gun laws, banning shotguns and semi-automatic weapons that could kill an ample amount of people in a short amount of time. It is not easy to obtain a gun in Australia because of the thorough background checks, twenty-eight day waiting period, and the requirement to present a “justifiable reason” to own a gun. Unlike the United States, in Australia, self-defense is not accepted as a justifiable reason to own a gun.
In the two decades since the strict gun control laws were passed in Australia, around one million semi-automatic weapons were sold back to the government. Those weapons were later on destroyed. “The number of Australia’s mass shootings dropped from 11 in the decade before 1996, to zero in the years since”. (Beck Katie) Overall America’s control on firearm laws are not doing the country any good and should be reinforced. The country’s gun control laws should be more strict on who can purchase a gun and not let almost anyone be able to purchase one ,the number of mass shootings are skyrocketing and for a country of such great power and influence it’s sad that so many lives are lost each year because of a law that lets mentally ill people be able to walk into an elementary school and put kids in harm’s way. Australia, which executed a ban and obligated buyback of more than six-hundred thousand automatic and semi automatic guns after a mass shooting in 1996, effectively ended the problem of mass shootings and cut gun deaths in half.
Australia is a great example when it comes to strict gun control laws since it is harder for the citizens to obtain a firearm without a reasonable cause for the purchase. Similar laws should be a necessity in order to save American lives. More guns will not end violence but instead cause more violence. Works Cited Blannelberry, S.H.
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