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America Needs To Take Action

An+Infographic+on+Gun+Laws+in+America.
An Infographic on Gun Laws in America.

An Infographic on Gun Laws in America.

Sonia Rao

Sonia Rao

An Infographic on Gun Laws in America.

Sonia Rao, Opinion Editor

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November 5th, 2017.  Sutherland Springs, Texas.  Twenty-six innocent Americans killed in a small church by a gunman with a military-grade rifle.  This shooting, although the most recent, is not an isolated act.  In the aftermath of such devastating events, America needs to take a step back and ponder whether or not our country is moving in the right direction.

In an interview about this tragic shooting, President Trump said that gun control is “a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed right now.” This is inconceivable.  There is no better time than now to discuss this topic- because if we do not talk about this now, then when?  

It has been forty-two days since the shooting in Las Vegas, where fifty-eight were killed and 450 were injured.  It has been 519 days since forty-nine were killed at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.  It has been 711 days since fourteen were killed in San Bernardino, California.  It has been 1,794 days since twenty-six were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  It is clear that time is not healing these problems.  The only way we can heal and evolve as a country is by discussing these topics, not avoiding them.  

In 1996, there was a mass shooting in Australia. There were thirty-five dead and twenty-three wounded, the worst mass shooting in Australian history to date.  After the incident, the Australian government restricted gun access.  The number of mass shootings in Australia has since dropped to zero.  Between 1995 and 2006, similarly, gun-related homicides and suicides in the country dropped by 59 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

Australian Junior Shea Kofkin-Hansen offered her opinion on the issue.  “I think that with all the recent events happening in America, the country should be able recognize the issue and its guns. When you look at places like Australia, where they do have strict gun laws in place, there are rarely shootings, and if there are they’re usually gang-affiliated and don’t really affect the general public. So I think it’s important to compare Australia, which has strict gun laws, and where people are safe to send their children to public school without thinking of them being involved in a shooting, to America, where at one point after the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, parents were buying their children bulletproof backpacks and things to protect against school shootings, which they shouldn’t have to worry about in the first place,” she responded.  

Truthfully, the United States and Australia are very different countries in many aspects: size, population, people, and government, to name a few. In addition, the U.S. holds the right to bear arms as a constitutional right, unlike Australia.  But Australia’s history with gun control proves that serious deliberation and litigation on the issue is the right step forward and one the U.S. should follow.

It is not too soon to debate gun control.  The longer our country waits, the more time there is for tragic events such as the ones in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Dallas, Orlando, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Chattanooga, Charleston, and Sandy Hook to occur.  The time for action is now.  

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America Needs To Take Action