A in common, but extremely different gun control

A fatal epidemic sweeping the nation is gun violence. Gun violence claims the lives of 30 million annually. Momentum has continually been building for the installation of stricter gun control laws as disasters stir up the world. In an article written on November 6, 2017, the author states, “2 out of 5 of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history happened in the past thirty-five days.” (Saeed Ahmed, 2017) Clearly as Congress has failed to take appropriate measures, gun violence has been on the rise. Stricter measures must be put into place. A possible solution to the problem is taking on the Australian-style firearm restrictions. Australia and the United States have much in common, but extremely different gun control laws and amount of gun violence in the country. As stated, in the United States there is a fatal gun violence epidemic sweeping the nation, a problem that needs to come to an end. After Australia put stricter laws into place, twenty-two years later, the country has yet to have another mass shooting. The United States has to take control of the gun violence.        Gun control in America can and should be compared to that of Australia because both share so many of the same characteristics. They are both similar in the establishment of their government and the gun culture with many firearm enthusiasts. Both Australia and the United States’ laws and the way they are ruled resemble the other. The drastic difference in the two, however, is the direction the two countries took on the control and distribution of firearms.        The current gun control system the United States  is lenient and filled with loopholes. According to an article published in Macquarie Law Journal, America’s federal gun control laws are the weakest of all industrialized nations worldwide. For example, 40% of all firearm transactions are conducted by unlicensed individuals, since a background check is not required for private sales and sales at gun sand flea markets. This makes it undeniably simple for any unauthorized person to purchase a gun. All recent proposals to strengthen gun control laws have been declined by the Senate. However, an attempt has been made by states to strengthen gun control laws within their borders. The biggest issue with this is the fact that residents can easily cross state lines, if a restriction is too harsh in their state,  to buy firearms in a nearby state with less strict gun laws. To elaborate, New York is one of the states with the most restrictive gun laws; however violence in the state has not decreased because  80-90% of firearms  used in New York crimes were bought from surrounding states.        United States gun control laws fail to meet the standards of those in other countries. In fact, when compared to every other industrialized nation, America has the highest rates of firearm-related death and injury. As of 2010, the amount of American deaths from gun related injuries averaged 86 a day. (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2017)  This also puts Americans at 73 505 emergency room visits for non-fatal firearm injuries. In addition, 50% of all suicides and a staggering 68% of all homicides were committed by guns.(National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2017) A topic of considerable discussion is whether or not the implication of stricter gun control regulations would be successful in reducing gun violence. Many are against this, with primary beliefs rooted in the slogan, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” arguing that no matter the restrictions, crimes will not decrease. Despite these claims, the amount of accessible evidence weighs the argument in the opposite direction, proving there is a traceable link connecting guns and violence in the United States. (Michael Siegel, 2013) In direct contrast to the United States, Australia’s strict and uniform gun control laws, show a significant reduction is gun violence. Opposed to the United States, when addressed with a major mass shooting in 1996, Australia entirely refined their gun control laws. This tragedy outraged the world, then it was the largest mass shooting by a single shooter ever documented. Australia, just twelve days after the massacre, reformed and refined their firearm legislation. (Leigh and Neill, 2010) All states and territories had to agree to modify their gun control laws, in order to guarantee a consistent national approach to firearm control.  Components of the NFA can be split into four extensive categories. (Australian Capital Territory, 2017) The first included a year long amnesty to surrender the now outlawed weapons for market value compensation. According to the Library of Congress report on Australian gun policy, within the first twelve months 643,246 of these weapons were brought back and destroyed. This study estimates that 20% of Australian firearms were removed. (Library of Congress, 2015) The next grouping is the licensing system to override the current permissive regulations. All gun owners were not only required to obtain a license, but demonstrate a ‘genuine reason’ for possessing and  using the firearm. As stated in the Firearms Act of 1996, a ‘genuine reason’ includes recreational, sporting, and occupational shooting, but distinctly excludes personal protection.        These strict reforms put in place, the National Firearms Act of 1996 have proven for the past twenty-two years to accomplish the said goal. Further research proves that in the 18 years before the NFA, 13 mass shooting occurred, and in the years since there have been zero. The most significant study on the effects of these regulations states that since 1996, there has been a 59% decline in the firearm suicide rate and a 65% decline in the firearm homicide rate (Leigh and Neill). After this, there were no increases in non-firearm forms of suicides or homicides. Also found in this study, it is shown that these restrictions causes a 36% decline in gun related homicide rates and  a 74% decline in firearm suicide rates within ten years of the beginning of the NFA. (Lauren Hirsh, 2013)        Based on the proven success of the Australian-style gun control decreasing the gun violence, and the failure of the current system in place to control gun violence in the United States, stricter firearm restrictions is unquestionably what America needs to consider. Gun violence is at an all time high and the solution to this problem is long overdue. While this would be a large process for America to take on, the country would begin reaping benefits immediately after the installation. America leads the rest of the world in many aspects, mass shootings being at the top. This issue must be solved by stricter laws in order to save lives.