Gun Control

Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech and Newtown. These are just some places where shootings have occurred in America over the last 5 years. And what has been done about it you may ask? Following the Virginia Tech massacre a law was passed stopping criminals and the mentally ill from being able to purchase guns. The Tucson shooting resulted in a ban of carrying fire arms within one thousand feet of certain federal officials along with sale of high ammunition magazines to civilians. Following the recent massacre in Newtown, Obama has proposed to tighten gun control law which includes background checks and limiting ammunition magazines to a 10-round capacity. Things have been done following these shootings and no one is denying that. Each time there is a massacre however it reminds us that we are not doing enough. Also, why does it take a major shooting for this issue to be seriously looked at? Why do these law changes have to follow the loss of innocent civilians, often young children?

Some people may state that it is too big a job to simply ban all guns. I agree, looking to get rid of all guns in the USA is simply an unrealistic goal. But I believe something has to be done. In New Zealand where I am from, I know that obtaining a gun is a lot harder than here. You require a gun licence to purchase a gun. The licence processes is a long and comprehensive one, where you have to sit a test to show that you know all the precautionary actions and know how to handle and look after guns. An officer then pays a visit to your house, asking questions to your family and making sure you have a safe place to store the gun. I realise that the two countries are different but surely something can be taken from this. Maybe a good start is something as small as an hour long safety course being required when purchasing a gun. This I think could be a great solution. Those that seriously want a gun, for hunting and other purposes would not mind having to do this class. It will also get rid of the sorts of idiots that want a gun for unreasonable purposes as the majority of them will just not bother.

They are having a similar problem in China however with knives instead of guns. Just recently in December 2012 a man went on a stabbing rampage at a school in Chenping China, injuring 22 school children. How does this relate to our topic of guns? Although there are very few shootings in China there knifing cases have gone through the roof. This presents the argument that maybe guns are not the underlying problem in America. If we get rid of guns then people will just turn to a new form of weapon such as knives. Maybe it is not the guns that are the problem, but rather the people.

One thought I want to bring to your attention is why now are we are putting so much thought into gun control. The reason is that the recent massacre in Newtown has brought up this continuously debated topic. The issue is made huge by the media, will we do something about gun control, wont we? The thing is gun control isn’t a new topic, it has been debated and contested for years. There is no quick fix to this problem, it will be a long process to making it more gun safe In the US but I think with small steps it is obtainable. I don’t think it is good enough to simply say the job is too big let’s do nothing. I want to finish by asking you this. When the next massacre comes around (and it will) will we as a nation feel that we have done enough, the best that we could to prevent these events from happening?

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