Stop the Bleeding, America

As of August 9, there have been 224 shooting incidents in the United States of America just this year – 224 incidences where a human being has opened fire on another human being. That is 282 killed and 851 wounded – in just eight months – keeping in mind that this doesn’t include those killed by police.

I’ll just let those numbers sink in for you.

Of course we have all heard of the mass shootings occurring in America, in particular one that broke all our hearts, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting that happened in 2012. But I bet you a million dollars that you can’t name all of those other shootings.

Not long ago, I was watching a documentary called Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore. The documentary was incredibly informative and eye opening to the situations occurring daily in the United States – particularly after the Columbine High School Massacre that killed 12 students and 1 teacher in 1999. Michael Moore explores why it is that America has such large causalities as the result of guns, and looks into the gun frenzy that is spanning through generations across the country.

There are two scenes in particular that I found fascinating. One was detailing that at a certain bank, when you opened a specific account with them, you got a free gun. A bank was literally giving guns to people. Amazing.

The other scene was a short animated piece about the history of the United States, and it really made a lot of sense. Basically, it speaks about the fragility of the pilgrims and how they feared for their lives, so they needed guns to protect themselves. I know how it sounds… but take a look at the video and make up your own conclusive opinion. You can find it on YouTube under, Brief History of the United States, Bowling For Columbine.

Since 1996, when Martin Bryant opened fire at Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia has not had a single mass shooting. This is due to the legislation that was brought in by the Howard Government shortly after the tragedy. The shooting led to the Government taking action against our gun laws, and from then on, automatic and semi-automatic guns were banned. There are now strict rules in place on owning a gun, and it is not only incredibly difficult to purchase a gun under these rules, but to keep one. You have to abide the rules on how and where it is kept, and how and where it is used.

In America however, there are very few laws about guns. Mainly just that it is a human right to own one. Did you know that you can purchase a gun from a corner shop, with little questions asked? That you can buy ammo at Walmart and have no one ask for any information? In America, guns are sold like Vegemite is sold over here.

Since the Columbine Massacre in 1999, American’s have been progressing towards stricter laws on guns. However the National Rifle Association (NRA) has shut down any attempts by the government, preaching that it is in their constitution to own a gun. Many in the association have said that it is an issue, but they believe the solution is more guns. Unbelievable.

Many around the world are begging for America to change their laws to stop the slaughtering of innocent people. My question is why is this still going on after every tragedy America has seen? Why doesn’t the US Government do something to spare the lives of their citizens? Why do they let people walk into an elementary school and open fire on five-year-olds?

I’m not saying Australia is perfect, but at least we sorted our gun laws out decades ago. Please America, stop the killings and ban the guns!

Words by Morgan Burley

1 Comment

  1. There are multiple reasons as to why there will not be a change in American gun laws because the issue runs much deeper than simply owning a gun. American culture is synonymous with gun culture. Guns are sometimes considered family heirlooms, a right of passage for many young Americans, and they are widely used for recreational use. Ideally, removing guns seem the right way to go, but it is not realistic. I’m in the process of writing an article on whether or not the US should adopt Australian gun reform, and my research has led me to believe that it is not possible. But, there are other solutions that the government could implement. The first step, as always, is first admitting that there is an issue, which many Americans refuse to do. It boggles me that they have 6.2 mass shootings per week and still haven’t put a respectable effort to address this issue.

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