El Paso, Texas, 22 people killed in a Walmart, August 3, 2019. Las Vegas, Nevada, 58 people killed in Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, October 1, 2017. Orlando, Florida, 49 people killed in a gay nightclub called Pulse, June 12, 2016. Newton, Connecticut, 27 adults and children killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012. Massacre after massacre caused by the simplicity of the system surrounding obtained firearms. And these were just the ones that went mainstream. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. The guns used in these hurtful events were most likely purchased illegally and through the black market. But in fact, every gun used in the major cases listed above were obtained legally. What’s even scarier is when under investigation police found 23 assault-style rifles, one hand gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition that were legally purchased by the gunman, Stephen Paddock, in the Mandalay Bay and Resort shooting. The system we follow when purchasing a firearm let a regular, everyday person, purchase 23 firearms. That is an issue. Everyday people are affected by gun violence and there must be something done to gun laws to help prevent it.
Diving deeper into the simplicity of the system I’d like to compare some countries with a stricter system to the U.S. as an eye opener. In Australia, in order to obtain a firearm one must give a “genuine need” to own a gun which doesn’t include self-defense, take a firearm safety course, and licensed holders must meet strict storage requirements. In Japan, gun owners must complete formal instruction, a written, mental and drug test and a rigorous background check. They also must provide how and where the firearm will be stored and make them available for an annual inspection. While in the U.S all that is needed to be done in order to obtain a firearm is a swift background check through a system that goes through the National Crime Information Center, the Interstate Identification Index and the NICS Index for a match. While that is processing the individual fills out a form, which has the social security number box listed as “optional,” to “verify” their name, address, place of birth, race and citizenship. All this makes the purchase of the firearm completed in only a few short minutes. No course they must take, no reasoning for the firearm, no knowledge check or mental disability check. Just your basic information. This is why we must have stricter gun restrictions and laws. The process is just that easy.
Now, to address the constant argument against gun control is that it’s going against the second amendment, is it really? The point of gun control is to set restrictions as to what guns are available to the public, who is allowed to buy one, where they should be carried and when they should be used. It’s not to take guns away all together, that’s just not logical. By looking at the stricter system through obtaining firearms other countries follow to keep the innocence of loved ones alive longer it should be clear to even the ridiculous supporters of the 2nd amendment who claim it’s a violation of rights that owning practically a mini firearm store like Paddock is absolutely absurd and unnecessary. Moving on the arguments like “guns aren’t the issue, people are”, “If we take guns away, people are just going to find other things” or “people will still find a way to get one” the question then to ask is why make it easier for someone to obtain one? By making restrictions to obtain a firearm you’re making the process harder so that not nearly as many people will be able to qualify for one versus just setting simple restrictions that almost anyone can get around. Simply, why make it easier for someone to put other people in serious danger if we can restrict it even more without violating any rights. And lastly, for the argument claiming that it “isn’t effective” it is proven that countries with stricter gun laws have less gun related deaths than countries with fewer restrictions. For instance, in 1996 Australia set stricter gun laws after a mass shooting and due to the change in their system for obtaining a firearm over the years gun death totals were cut almost in half. In Japan, a population of 127 million people has a little more than 10 deaths caused by firearms per year, all due to strict gun laws. In England and Wales there have been 50-60 gun deaths per year in a population of 56 million. Compared to the U.S. which has 160 times more gun deaths. And if that’s not compelling enough lets take a look at gun death statistics in other countries to see how important and effective it is to set stricter restrictions. Take a look at this graph for example. It shows that the gun deaths in the U.S. are 25.2% higher than in any other high income countries.
In response to President Trump claiming he would propose ideas to help with gun laws after mass shootings in August and falling through with the statement I am in disgust yet not surprised. President Trump has no longer asked about the issue and is now moving onto other topics. The article explains that the conversation about gun laws could come up again in the White House if another mass shooting were to occur however, how many innocent people have to be murdered in order to seriously address the issue? When is someone going to take a stand against the issue and show some leadership. When will the NRA quit being money hungry and realize that something has to be done in order to protect the future. And lastly, when will someone start to care about the health of this nation.