A harsh topic to discuss and justify, the question of gun control has loomed over the U.S. for quite some time.
Partly due to the lack of evidence, partly due to belief — there seems to be no middle ground.
Yet a side must be chosen, or so they say.
I am not for abolishment of firearms, nor am I for one to own a semi-automatic rifle with and extended clip.
I am for stricter firearm regulation.
In Britain, handguns and automatic weapons have been banned.
However, citizens of Britain are able to possess a firearm — if they can justify a reason to own one.
An example of this justification would be if the firearm were to be used for hunting.
Yet the owner would not get off that easy.
According to the magazine “The Economist,” accompanied by lots of paperwork, an owner must undergo a doctor’s evaluation of the owner’s mental state of mind, attitude toward firearms, criminal background check and there must be no evidence of drug and alcohol abuse in order to possess a firearm in Britain.
In 1996, the town of Dunblane, Scotland, experienced the wrath of what firearms can do to a community.
A massacre, killing 16 children and a teacher, prompted Scotland and other neighboring countries to decide enough was enough.
This led to the banning of all firearms completely, which later eased into the ownership of rifles for hunting and target shooting.
The U.K. is not the only country leading the race in firearm regulation, though they are the strictest.
Australia and Japan have also joined the bandwagon. Published by the New York Times, death by firearms has decreased dramatically in both countries due to firearm regulation.
Japan had 11 deaths due to firearms in 2008, while America experienced 12,000 casualties.
Likewise, Australia had 13 massacres in the last 18 years before enacting regulations in 1996 — they have not had a single massacre since. Unfortunately, I do not believe completely banning firearms will work in the U.S.
We are a nation of democracy, and its citizens live by that word.
Yet, steps could be made to curb these staggering numbers that seem to boggle the minds of those opposing the ownership of firearms.
Instead of calling for abolishment, the government should call for stricter regulations.
Further examination of a citizen’s background check could be the difference between life or death.
Some may view this as the opposite of democracy, or an infringement on their freedoms.
I call it being safe.
With stricter regulations, both parties win.
Citizens get to keep their guns, and opposing parties get to have a say in who does and does not own a firearm.
If banning firearms can work in countries that never had an outstanding craving for fire-power, a couple set of rules is not a bad place to start in our country as well.