Gun violence must end: Colorado can be the start
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 13:02
Countries around the world have been battling gun violence for decades, while America has remained motionless since the Automatic Weapons Ban expired in 2005.
This inability to act has prompted other countries to comment; the Berliner Zeitung ran a headline after the Aurora shooting that said, “In the U.S., the probability of being shot [is] 40 times greater than in Canada, England and Germany.” Honestly, it is getting hard to be proud to be American.
Studies reported by the Washington Post show that since the year 2000 there have been 42 mass shootings in the United States. According to GunPolicy.org there were 32,163 gun related deaths in 2011 alone. These numbers are absurd, unreal, and down right pathetic. Laws must be passed to limit the ability to get and use guns to help end gun violence.
It has been made clear by the White House since the tragedy that occurred on Dec. 14 in Sandy Hook Elementary that things need to change. However, the County Sheriffs of Colorado feel differently. According to The Denver Post the sheriffs maintain that law enforcement officers need high-capacity magazines to stop a threat, so obviously individuals also need high-capacity magazines.
The County Sheriffs of Colorado released its position long before any bill has even been proposed. The board believes that acting too quickly in the wake of an emotional tragedy, such as Sandy Hook, is irresponsible, stating that any bill passed will be done so without “rational deliberation.” But, it doesn’t seem like America will even have time to heal.
In 2012 there were seven mass shootings–three of which involved students between elementary school and college age–a number up from 2011, which saw three, and 2010, which saw only one according to the Center for Progress American Action Fund.
With such alarming numbers, it seems painfully obvious that America must enforce strict gun restrictions to stop such horrific acts from occurring. However, an NRA supported GOP seems willing to fight tooth and nail for Second Amendment rights.
On March 13, 1996 a gunman in Dunblane, Scotland shot 16 school children and their teacher before turning the gun on himself.
The following year Britain passed a radical gun control law, the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997. CNN reported, the new law banned nearly all firearms from the country–
including .22 caliber weapons. The only exceptions are shotguns and other weapons used on farms and for sport.
The catch? According to the Washington Post, any firearm must be stored in a locked box that is bolted to the floor, and it is subject to random, lawful inspections. The owner of the weapon must also answer questions about his or her family life and mental health. America needs this tight regulation.
The results of this strict and enviable law paint a clear picture. According to the Washington Post, in 2011 England saw 59 gun related deaths. Compare that to America’s 32,163.
Gun control is not the end-all solution to gun violence. But it is a place to start. Lawmakers in Colorado and around the United States need to get their shit together, pass unrelenting gun legislation, and make sure another tragedy like Sandy Hook will never happen again.