Public shootings are common news; is it time for gun control?

Julia Woods

In 1996, 35 people were killed in a mass shooting in Port Arthur, Australia. Twelve days after the massacre, Australian government put sweeping gun control into action. They bought back 600,000 guns, ban the private sales of guns, and required citizens to have a genuine need for their gun. Since they passed gun control, Australia has had no massacres proving their form of gun control to be highly effective. In France, Norway, Denmark, Germany, England, and the majority of Europe, guns have been outlawed for decades. The death rate by gun in these locations are non-existent in comparison to America’s gun violence. These countries are demonstrations of what successful gun control looks like. They have managed to keep peaceful democracy without their citizens owning guns.

 

The United States has not comprehended why our fellow world leaders have such low mass shootings rates, as we have not  made any gun legislation reforms after any one of our 24 school shootings in the past year. What event will it take for our national to understand that no gun control will lead to more gun violence? Will it take one more school shooting or ten?

 

In the past seven years, through Barack Obama’s presidency, 900 people have been killed in mass shootings at a public location such as movie theaters or schools. We are the only developed nation to see such high gun violence rates. An American is more likely to die in a mass shooting than by plane crash, lightning strike, shark attack, or terrorist attack. Access to these life threatening weapons should stand a greater fear in the eyes of the American public. The irrational fear of plane crashes and shark attacks should be an afterthought in comparison to the real fear of gun violence.

 

An even more irrational fear is that the government will take away American guns. It is guaranteed that an American will die of a gunshot wound than have a government official come to their home and take away their gun. The reality is Obama hasn’t taken away any guns. Instead of installing some form of gun control to protect children, Congress has made few steps toward protecting schools.
There have been little measures taken to secure the safety of children at school. After another school shooting in Oregon, the US should have more motivation than ever to change gun legislation in this country. Five out of six killers obtained their weapons legally; common sense dictates that we cannot continue to legalize weapons. America needs to take more drastic steps toward what Australia did two decades ago with their gun control policies otherwise we will continue to yield the same results.