Guns don't kill people, people do

In America in 2017 there were 437 people killed in mass shootings and 1802 injured, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker.

In this year in America 60 people have already lost their lives in mass shootings and 143 people have been injured. It's not even the end of February.

American's are ten times more likely to be killed by guns than people from other developed countries.

A report by the World Health Organisation showed that, they are also six times more likely to die from an accident with a gun.

As a result, gun related murders are much higher than the other high income countries they looked at.

For the full story relating to this go here.

For 15 - 24  year olds in America, murder is the second highest cause of death.

Similarly, there are more suicides in America because of guns, psychologists believe that if the person didn't have a gun, they would have more time to consider their options, rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to a bad situation and shooting themselves.

As a British person, I am horrified by the gun laws in America. Here is a brief list of things that I cannot understand.

  1. Gun laws can vary from state to state
  2. Gun laws are independent of federal fire arm laws (These laws regulate the manufacture, trade, possession, transfer, record keeping, transport, and destruction of firearms, ammunition, and firearms accessories).
  3. 44 states have a link to the second amendment where they talk about the right to 'bear arms'
  4. Some states acknowledge other states laws, for example around the right to carry a concealed weapon, but other states don't.
  5. Only some states require you to apply for a gun permit
  6. Some states require you to register your gun with local enforcement
  7. Only some states set restrictions on carrying semi-automatic or assault weapons
  8. Some states have allowed for a Castle doctrine or stand your ground laws, which gives people the right to use deadly force in self defence

All of the above is terrifying. But it also clearly shows there is no simple way to fix this. President Trump refers to the Second Amendment constantly when referring to gun laws.

This is the Second Amendment

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

This was agreed on in 1791, when there were no semi-automatic weapons, just muskets.

This is just a get out clause for the pro-guns lobbyists, Trump included, and needs to change.

There needs to be a country wide review of the gun laws, and clearly they need to check people's mental state before issuing them with a gun.

America need to tale a leaf out of Australia's book (as Barack Obama stated) who after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996 where 35 people were killed, they decided as a country that things needed to change - within 2 weeks a law was passed.

There would be no more semi-automatic or assault rifles sold to members of the public, there is a 28 day waiting period and they have thorough background checks. They also have to provide a justifiable reason for owning a gun. Needing it for your own protection is not considered to be a good enough reason.

Personally, I think we (Britain) have the right idea, we don't have guns because our laws are so restrictive, after Dunblane owning a handgun was effectively banned. Dunblane was our only school shooting and there has only been one other mass shooting which was in Hungerford in 1987.

Britain has one of the lowest incidents of fire arm related crime in the world with only 0.05 per 100,000 people being killed by guns between 2006 - 2011.

Yes, Britain does have a problem with illegally held firearms, but we still have less issues with firearms than most other countries and I love that our police force don't carry firearms - unless they are part of the armed response unit.

Sadly, I don't think America can ever go back to where we are in Britain, as they say, the genie is out of the bottle.

Instead, consider amending their second amendment to make it more current and relevant to the world we live in today.

And remember that the American National Rifle Association donated 30 million dollars to Trumps campaign so he has a vested interest in allowing guns to be readily available.

The only way we will see change in America is if the country stands up, united, to stop these gun crimes, and does something to avoid all this awful death particularly in the schools. They are, after all The United States.

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