Another Tragedy: More calls for America to follow in the footsteps of Australian gun laws

By Kate Hassett

Another Tragedy: More calls for America to follow in the footsteps of Australian gun laws
Yet another massacre has terrorised America and more are calling for the US to follow Australian gun laws

The mass shooting in the US city of Lafayette, Louisiana was yet another instance of the harrowing effect of outdated gun laws in America.

In the US alone, there have been 12 mass shootings since the deadly theatre attack in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012 – which left 12 people dead and almost 60 injured.

Since then, we have seen devastation like the Washington Navy Yard shooting, with 12 casualties, the inconceivable tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary, where 27 were killed – many of whom were young children, and most recently, the Charleston massacre which left 9 dead.

Every tragedy has been accompanied by a visible call to action, a public plea to end the madness and change America’s gun control laws for good. Every tragedy has also seen a remarkable amount of public outcry and a limited amount of legislative action.

The lack of bipartisan politics in America has long acted as a stalemate for policy reform, especially on matters so entrenched in the American psyche as gun laws. The power of the NRA and gun lobbyists have made reform near impossible for the Obama administration in particular.

The dark coincidence of this was seen just hours before the Lafayette shooting, when Obama was speaking to BBC about his biggest regrets nearing the end of his term.

If you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient, common-sense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings,” Obama told BBC.

“If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands.”

As the interview was playing on our screens, the news was breaking.

Whilst Obama has applauded Australia’s gun control laws – brought in by the Howard administration, his opposition to the current state of affairs has not received the support needed to enact change.

Australian actress, Rebel Wilson, has spoken out against the incredulous violence America sees on a daily basis, thanks to a lack of gun control.

As was expected, Wilson suffered a serious amount of backlash due to the deeply political nature of the topic – one that constantly divides the nation.

Responding to the situation, Wilson appealed to the American public to consider following in the footsteps of Australia to reduce the amount of gun-related deaths in their country. 

The Guardian recently published a study that noted, at just 5% of the global population, America has the highest rates of gun violence in the developed world. With homicides by firearm per 1 million people being almost 29 times the amount in Australia – maybe it is time for them to follow suit?

Image: Small Arms Survey Via: The Guardian
Image: Small Arms Survey Via: The Guardian

Do you think America will ever go the way of Australia or is gun control destined to continue the way it is?



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