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I am an Aussie. It’s like being an American, but without a gun.
No-one likes being told what they should do, particularly when it’s someone in another country on the other side of the world.
So, my American friends, my apologies in advance if you are going to be offended by what this Aussie has to say. But, I feel it has to be said.
Thirty people killed and over fifty wounded in two mass shootings in the USA within a couple of hours of each other. The first of these was at El Paso, Texas; and the second at Dayton, Ohio. But, these are just the latest in an ongoing epidemic of mass shootings in the USA. Tens of thousands of Americans have been killed through gun violence. As of the first week of August 2019, there have been more shooting massacres than the number of days this year.
Some of the worst massacres in recent years have included:
- 2017—Las Vegas country Music Festival—58 killed
- 2017—Texas Church—26 killed
- 2016—Orlando nightclub—49 killed
- 2012—Connecticut Elementary school—26 killed
- 2007—Virginia University—32 killed
Australia has not been exempt from mass shootings. The most recent one was horrific. Thirty-five innocent people were killed and twenty-three were wounded. But, that happened twenty-three years ago in 1996. The place was Port Arthur in Tasmania. A twenty-eight year old, Martin Bryant had quietly finished eating his lunch at the restaurant before taking out his rifle and shooting visitors to the historic site at random. There had been other mass shootings in Australia prior to this, but none had been as severe as this one.
In the weeks following the massacre, the Australian government introduced the “National Firearms Agreement”. This agreement outlawed automatic and semi-automatic rifles in addition to pump-action shotguns. A national buy-back scheme saw more than 640,000 weapons turned into authorities to be destroyed.
And, yes! Aussies are still being killed through violence with weapons, some of these being guns. A particularly horrific incident occurred earlier this year on a remote property in Western Australia. A father had shot his three daughters and his wife. The following morning, when his mother-in-law came to look after the children, he shot and killed her as well.
We will probably never totally eliminate violence, especially domestic violence, but we are able to introduce ways to help control it.
On March 15, 2019, our neighbours in New Zealand had a mass shooting at a mosque in Christchurch. Fifty-one people were killed, and twenty were injured. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, acted even more quickly than the Australian government following Port Arthur, and introduced gun control legislation for New Zealand.
All the credible research worldwide shows that gun control laws have markedly reduced gun related deaths.
There are not many things that the bloke you Americans have put in charge over there has said, that I agree with. But, there are a couple following these latest shootings in Texas and Ohio.
Referring to the American shootings in general, Trump said, “we have to get it stopped.” You are right, you do.
Trump also linked the most recent shootings with mental illness. Once again, he is right. No sane person will get a gun and start shooting others at random.
“A lot of things are happening,” is another statement he made, implying that the government is taking action on gun control. It would be fantastic if controls were introduced, but that would be about as likely as Trump voluntarily making public his tax returns.
Trump likes to say things that he thinks people would like to hear, he will probably not follow through on many, if any, of the things he has said since the most recent shootings.
“Hate has no place in our country.” Yes, believe it or not, that was said by Trump following the recent shootings.
One can only hope that Americans will vote in a president who is not a compulsive liar, and a government that has the guts to stand up to bodies such as the NRA, and introduce laws for the safety and welfare of the citizens that the government has been appointed to serve.
Currently it is not safe to be anywhere in America in a public place and not risk being shot and killed. Those places include:
- shopping centres
- music festivals