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The Red and Black Editorial: Gun control


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How do other countries handle this issue?

The issue of gun legislation has become a hot topic in American politics. The divide between differing viewpoints has caused a major rift between citizens. Events such as mass shootings in nightclubs, public schools and other public gatherings have highlighted a major problem in our handling of firearms.
Looking to the practices of other countries regarding firearm legislation can be a major inspiration in our journey to safeguard innocent lives.
For example, Australia responded best to a gun crisis. The laws put in place after their worst mass shooting in history have proved to be incredibly effective.
In 1996, a gunman fired upon dozens of tourists in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the end of the massacre, he had killed 35 people and wounded 23 others. Twelve days later, Australia’s government announced a bipartisan deal with state and local governments to enact sweeping gun-control measures.
The new legislation included a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles. The new gun laws prohibited private sales, required all firearms to be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers have a “genuine reason” for attaining a firearm, self defense not being one of them.
This did not put a complete stop to gun violence of course, but homicide rates plummeted 59 percent between 1995 and 2006 without a corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides, according to slate.com. Not only that, but suicides with a firearm decreased by an even larger amount at 65 percent. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single a single massacre in Australia since.

Restrictions

Gun control and the way guns are acquired is a complex issue in our country. There are ways to keep ex-cons, mentally unstable people, and many others from owning firearms so they don’t hurt themselves or others. We shouldn’t take away firearms, but we should improve the system to acquire them so we can filter who can and cannot have them. One way to do this could be making a test that everyone must take to prove they are mentally stable while also doing a more extensive background check for any criminal history. There needs to be something to make sure we let people have guns, while also making sure the people who have guns can be trusted to use them properly.

Mass shootings

Mass shootings are a hot topic in the United States right now. Since 1966, mass shootings have taken place in 41 states and the District of Columbia, with California being the state with the most shootings, according to the Lily News. Although the shootings in schools or in religious establishments, like churches, are the events that stick in our minds, most shootings have happened in offices, restaurants and retail stores. Guns get into the hands of the wrong people. Gun restrictions need to be set in place so that the mentally unstable and dangerous people cannot get a hold of them. There seems to be deadly shootings every month. In fact, according to criminologist Grant Duwe, before 1968, there were only 25 public mass shootings. After this, the number has been steadily rising, with the deadliest public mass shootings occurring in recent years, such as the Parkland high school shooting in Florida that shook the nation. There needs to be a more thorough gun obtention regulation so that guns get into the hands of those who are capable and responsible enough to own them. The United States can’t let the mass shootings go on any longer. The government needs to realize that “enough is enough” and make changes now.

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The Red and Black Editorial: Gun control