April 18th, 2007 at 03:15am
Following the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, Australia took the correct and mature decision that the only way to even attempt to prevent a repeat of that tragic event was to enact proper gun control laws. No law will ever prevent everything, but our gun control laws are a fine example of how to properly manage firearms.
The United States of America, following yesterday’s terrible and tragic Virginia Tech University shooting which, with 32 people killed, is the worst school shooting to date, need to accept the fact that until they enact proper gun controls, the massacres will continue.
It’s not just the massacres either, multiple times every day a shooting occurs in the US. To give you some idea of the scope of this, a Google News search for the word “shooting” in the headline of stories published by US news agencies from the 18th of March to the 16th of April (to exclude the massive number of stories about the massacre) returns 12,812 stories. It is important to note that articles from various news sources about the same story are usually grouped as the one story by Google News. In the first twenty stories alone, seven of the shootings were fatal. In the feedback to one of those stories, a Louisville Courier-Journal online reader wrote “I wonder what you people do when Louisville goes on one of it’s two to three week stretches without a homicide” to which another reader replied “Perhaps you can refresh my memory; I seem to have lost it.”
How can anyone feel safe in a country where shootings are this regular? Surely it is time that the US overturned the archaic second amendment, namely the “right to keep and bear arms”. The second amendment states “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.”
Well it is completely beyond me how constant shootings and intermittent massacres can be considered “a well regulated Militia”, or conducive to the “security of a free state”. The second amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791, at a time when the US may have seen a need for people to bear arms in an effort to uphold the security of the state. It is ridiculous to think that there is a legitimate need for this amendment in this day and age.
Australia’s gun laws are by no means perfect, as shootings do still very occasionally occur, but they are a model which the United States should examine and follow. In a democratic society it is the responsibility of the government to protect the citizens who elected them, and the second amendment’s total aversion to any form of proper gun control does nothing other than make the US government negligent.
Entry Filed under: Samuel's Editorials