Gun Control is a major issue in the United States. In the 21st century the number of mass shootings in the US has almost doubled and the reason for this according to many is flawed gun control laws. Here a comparison has been drawn between the United States and Australia. The Australian former prime minister John Howard took a strong stance after the Tasmanian town of Port Arthur was hit by a mass shooting and passed a bill to make it much tougher to gain ownership of a firearm and coordinated safer and more restrictive laws to use firearms. Since the United States has open carry, citizens are allowed to own firearms even outside government controlled property which increases the risk owners being able to abuse their firearm without being caught beforehand by Law enforcement agencies. Majority of the citizens of the United States agree with this law, like a man named Philip Van Cleave who like most Gun activists go to great lengths to defend their right to bear arms. According to Wayne LaPierre “Laws can’t control the lawless” which describes the problem in the U.
S. Although laws have been put in place to protect people from firearm abuse, people will find a way around the law and gain ownership of a firearm and in some situations instead of going around the law they ignore the law and buy firearms illegally. Although Wayne LaPierre is a strong gun activist, he has understood that due to flaws in their Gun control laws mass shootings in the United States have become much more common.
His views have changed over time and he believes that the funding should be increased to make a stricter and more efficient mental health system, as the leading cause of mass shootings are from citizens suffering from mental problems. Although he agrees with increasing the funding for the programme, he is the CEO of the NRA and a gun activist. He strongly opposes the Assault Weapons ban of 2013 which was put into place after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. He believes that this ban puts restrictions and violates the Second amendment right of all US citizens to bear arms. An influence on his views on gun control came from his past when he served on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union and his home state of Virginia where the citizens are strong supporters of the second amendment and are against background checks. In 1995 LaPierre wrote a letter portrayed Federal employee’s as “Jack booted government thugs who wear Nazi bucket helmets and storm trooper uniforms to attack law abiding citizens,” This letter had outraged President George W. Bush that he gave up his lifetime NRA membership. Another influence of his views came from his past when he was working as a legislative aide to the Virginia delegate, Vic Thomas.
Philip Van Cleave another strong gun activist and President of the Virginia Citizens defense league. Van Cleave has been exposed to firearms from a very young age, at the age of 16 his mother bought his first gun a .410 bore shotgun and at the age of 21 volunteered as a deputy in the San Antonio Sheriff’s. Due to his early exposure to firearms he has had a fixed mindset to support the second amendment. He joined the Virginia Citizens Defense League in 1993, a year after it was founded.
Other gun right groups have criticized Van Cleave for making his members open carry en masse, he replied by saying that he is educating the people of Virginia about their gun laws. Van Cleave helped with the passing of concealed gun laws which allows students to carry guns in their college campus if they have permits because of the Virginia Tech shooting he said “If just one of those adult students had been armed in that building, there would have been a much better chance that somebody would have stopped the madman”. In 2013 Van Cleave was interviewed by John Oliver about gun control laws in the U.S compared to Australia. When confronted about how successful Australia was with their gun control Van Cleave denied all facts showing the change in Australia giving bizarre reasons and coming back around to his idea that gun control will not work.
In 2010 a report was released showing Van Cleave pressurizing the Virginia house of delegates to legalize carrying guns and drinking for all citizens saying that “We’re not allowed to drink, but they can. That’s two classes of citizens.”The Honourable John Howard, Former Prime Minister of Australia took a stand to fix gun control in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre. At this time the citizens of Australia were strongly against giving up their right to own firearms. Howard along with his Deputy prime minister The Honourable Tom Fischner and the Former Premier of Queensland The Honourable Rob Borbidge they were able to pass the bill, debate and sign the bill into law in 12 days. The effects of this were quite devastating for the politicians who voted yes for the bill to pass. In the same interview that Philip Van Cleave participated in a public servant was interviewed and asked how do you success in the government, and his response was getting elected into office but Howard, Rob and Tom had a different idea when asked about what makes a politician successful their response was not getting relected but something completely different. Their response was making society a better place even if that mean committing political suicide to them they wanted to do what the ethical thing was, making Australia a safer place.
Together they were able to pass the bill but consequently citizens in the rural parts of Australia were outraged as they were against it yet the bill passed, the citizens started calling the government a dictatorship, saying that they would not have the right to defend their property, the democracy of Australia is at stake if the bill passed. Sadly John Howard did not get reelected for their next term. As a result of their actions there hasn’t been a single massacre in Australia caused by a firearm after 1996.
Japan on the other hand, a country that has almost gotten rid of all gun crimes, My perspective follows along the Australian gun control law. I believe that guns should not be allowed to be sold to citizens and open/concealed carry should not exist. An influence on my perspective is my country… Singapore I have been living here all my life and after analyzing and comparing the gun laws of the United States, Australia and Singapore I believe it is in the best interest of the U.S to adapt the gun control laws like Australia. As I do believe they should adapt these laws I have to keep in mind that Australia has had a long history of hunting and sporting rifles but no equivalent to the second amendment to bear arms in the United States. I also believe that the ethical thing to do is to ban guns from being sold on the market, to keep citizens of our country safe.
Throughout my research I have come around to understand certain perspectives of the United States and why they so strongly do not want to give up their right to bear a weapon but after analyzing I believe that the pros of adopting Australian gun laws outweigh the cons.