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Take a Stand – For Reasonable Gun Laws

You wouldn’t expect a fireman to pour gasoline onto a blazing inferno. You wouldn’t expect a doctor to give you medication that makes you feel worse. So, why do gun advocates believe that the answer to a mass shooting is more guns? Where is the logic in that?

How has the rest of the world dealt with this issue?

In Great Britain, on March 13, 1996,  there was a shooting in Dunblane, Scotland. Sixteen students and a teacher were killed before the gunman turned the gun on himself. Britain reacted by banning all handguns. There has not been a school shooting since.

In Australia, in Port Arthur, Tasmania, a gunman open fired on a crowded cafeteria, killing 35 and wounding 23 people.  This was shortly after the Dunblane Massacre.  Australia reacted by outlawing automatic, semi-automatic and pump action rifles.  They also instituted a gun buyback program which saw 640,000 guns turned in.  It was 20 years before there was another mass casualty shooting in Australia.

Most recently, there was a massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Fifty people died and 20 were seriously injured.  The very next day, the New Zealand Prime Minister announced that she was introducing legislation to  ban assault weapons.

Each of these countries took immediate action to address gun violence. The United States leads the world in mass casualty shootings when compared to the countries that have enacted sensible gun control laws.  It is second only to Brazil in gun related deaths.

Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough

Despite this, with every mass casualty shooting, the reaction of Republicans is to say, “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.” They offer useless “thoughts and prayers” as the next attack is being planned. Because they are controlled by the pro-gun lobby, namely the NRA, Republicans refuse to take action.

Democrats have control of the House, but Mitch McConnell refuses to allow any mention of gun control onto the Senate floor. Trump made the token gesture of banning bump stocks, but bowed to NRA pressure right after promising stricter gun control laws following the Parkland shootings.

The only way we can have sensible gun control laws is to take back the White House and the Senate, and to take away the NRA’s stranglehold on our government.

It’s time to take a stand for reasonable gun control laws.

CJ Waldron is an adjunct professor at Horry Georgetown Technical College and a contributing Writer for the Horry County Democratic Party where he covers a variety of Democratic issues, news, and commentary. Opinions and viewpoints expressed in his articles are solely his own.
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