Do we really need gun control?
America has recently witnessed a number of shooting and indiscriminate firing incidents in schools, malls, and villages. The culprits were either detained or killed. Some took their own lives before the police could even respond to the scene. In the end, America keeps losing children, teachers, brothers, and sisters. The population is decreased, but the problem persists. With all these shooting sprees looming above us like the Grim Reaper, is gun control what we really need? Or is there a more serious problem we are facing here?
Studies show that 31% of mass shootings happen in the United States. Why not, when guns have not been banned in some states? In Australia in 1996, 35 people died when a man indiscriminately shot them. In the melee, 23 were wounded. This prompted the Australian government to think and implement strict rules regarding gun use. As a result, the number of mass killings in the Land Down Under has been reduced, if not completely eradicated.
There are politicians in America who support stronger gun control, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both of them thought of Australia as the model for stringent gun laws. The intention is good, but the question is, why hasn’t the US government ultimately implemented gun control?
Other people argue that they need firearms because they use it for self-defense. They acquire a license for it, and as such, they are expected to use their weapons only when the need arises. Burglars, hostage attacks, and other forms of violence require people to stand up and fight, preferably with their weapon of choice. Life is precious, they say, and they can only protect their lives if they have the proper equipment. It is interesting to note, however, that despite this rather smart take on gun use, there are people who go beyond the set perimeters.
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Intoxicated men go out, shout their lungs out, cursing the heavens for whatever they are suffering, and would suddenly vent out their frustrations to their neighbors. It is easy to say one cannot kill a person, or one will always use a gun only when needed. But when alcohol, drugs, or mental instability, or fury takes over, the lines between right and wrong fade. People forget their oath. They forget they have neighbors who have done nothing wrong to them. All they think about is the need to fire a gun.
Owning a gun is a huge responsibility. It takes more than sheer discipline to convince people that you would not use them for anything else other than self-defense. Those teenagers who massacred half a school used to be sons and daughters. They were not violent. They were the safe kind, and probably those who promised their parents they would not touch any weapon. But then again, tables turn when you least expect it.
Is gun control the sole answer? Yes, America should step up and consider reviewing the laws on gun ban in each state. No state should be different from another. No personality should own a gun just for caprice. Everyone should be subject to strict rules. But more than just the rules, we should exercise discipline. Children and adults alike should be educated on the effects of gun ban, or what could happen when a gun control law does not exist in a country. It might take some time for people to accept such law, especially those hunting and ammo enthusiasts. We can all take measures to be responsible in using guns and in convincing people to buy only when they use guns in their line of duty. We need guns to protect us, but we also need to protect our lives from ourselves.