Opinion

It’s time to bite the bullet

by
February 23, 2018

Mourners console each other during the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis yesterday. Picture: Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

How many more people will die in the United States before politicians bite the bullet?

One, two, 10, 50, 100 or 1000?

Yesterday, teenage survivors of the Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre wept in an emotional address at the White House, imploring US President Donald Trump to follow Australia’s lead.

In The News today, Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum weighed in, saying the US has to start somewhere.

US gun advocates argue it is their right to keep and bear arms.

They say having a gun makes you better able to defend your family, and people without guns run the risk of being assaulted or murdered by criminals who have guns.

But if more guns really made you safer, America would be one of the safest places in the world.

It took one massacre for Australia to embrace gun control with the Port Arthur tragedy shaking our nation to its core.

The political response to the killing of 35 people in Tasmania by gunman Martin Bryant changed Australia — and offers lessons for the US today.

Amnesties in Australia are successful, last year a three-month amnesty had 469 guns surrendered in Shepparton, almost 13 per cent of the firearms surrendered across Victoria.

Gun amnesties do not take guns from criminals, but they do reduce the risk of firearms and other weapons falling into the wrong hands.

Deep cultural change is needed in America, but this will take many years, so perhaps an amnesty is a starting point.

In America, reactions to shooting rampages at schools seem to follow a pattern — grieve, then push aside.

People are shocked, they pray and eventually, the situation is blocked out.

Everywhere else across the world, people shake their head and wonder why.

Why not at the least limit sales of semi-automatic weapons, when more than 10000 people die in shootings across the country every year.

It’s not only high time, it is long overdue — your move Mr Trump.

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