NEW GUN LAWS NEEDED IN U.S
BY Peter Swart
Valentine’s Day 2018 will not be remembered for the romance in the air, but rather the day 17 high school students were killed by a gunman in Florida.
It’s time for the United States to follow the lead of the rest of the world in restricting gun ownership..
The U.S. has the most guns owned by citizens in the world, about 48 per cent of the world’s civilian-owned firearms. It also has the most gun-related deaths per year. The correlation between the two is no coincidence.
There is a saying among gun advocates, that guns don’t kill people, it’s the owners that kill people. The argument is that if someone wants to kill a person they simply will find a way. While this may be true, it is unlikely they will kill people on the scale that is so common now.
The fact that weapons such as fully automatic or even semi-automatic assault rifles are so easily accessible in the U.S. is a problem. The even bigger problem is that these weapons are capable of killing so many people, such as the 58 people in Las Vegas last year and the 49 innocents in Orlando the year before.
Year after year there are mass shootings followed by debates over the need for gun laws in the U.S. and, without fail, they are not put into place. The result? More mass shootings and more deaths.
The simple truth is that countries such as Australia, which introduced much stricter gun laws following a shooting in 1996, and the United Kingdom, which acted similarly after a gunman killed a teacher and 16 children that same year, have seen a significant decrease in mass shootings since the laws were put in place. Australia has not had a single shooting of that scale since the laws were passed.
Japan has the lowest number of gun-related deaths in the world thanks to the process one must go through in order to obtain a firearm. In order to get a shotgun, citizens must attend courses, pass exams and undergo psychological testing. They are even subject to a police background check that they must not only pass but their relatives must pass as well.
Guns are not a necessity for any civilian and it should not be a right to own one, but a privilege for those capable of using one responsibly. It’s time for the U.S. and every other country still struggling with gun-related deaths to regulate firearms accordingly.