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“We love our guns!”

America’s gun control and mass shootings

 By BFP Staff  Saturday, July 2, 2016

By: Daniel Otero

With America’s Second Amendment, I realized it can be a blessing and also a curse.
Formerly a frontier country, and when the Amendment was implemented, there was a need for proper self-defense at home over 240 years ago.  Today, this is not the case and it has turned hellish in the past 50 years. 
Murders have declined in the U.S. since the turmoil of the 1970s and 80s in urban areas.  But in the U.S., mass shootings have grown, and this has turned deadlier with each passing year for a younger generation.

The latest tragedy in Orlando, Florida (USA) has taken the lives of 49 victims, the largest in its history.

Why has this happened again and again?  It has because of politics and the lack or desire for the U.S. to change its laws and the almighty dollar has taken priority over peoples’ lives. 

Solutions to the problem of gun control:
America is a great country with all its liberties and freedoms.  One major problem has been holding us back, the issue of gun violence which has spiraled out of control since the 1960s.  A number of mass shootings have affected our society and have escalated continuously.

And what has been the U.S.’s answer to the gun problem?  Well, fuel it with more guns, according to the Second Amendment.  Yes, ‘the right to bear arms’, and to what proportion?  When the dying are usually the young!  Yes, every time there’s a shootout, Americans in their own state of paranoia will go out and purchase more firearms. 

To what degree is this helpful?  It isn’t according to statistics.  Ninety-percent of these weapons can end up causing the gun owner more headaches than necessary.  With a weapon in the house, there’s always the risk of the gun being used against the owner.  This is often the biggest reason to not own a gun. 

Now, as an American, I have to say, “We love our guns!” Honestly, I love them too and to what point are our laws protecting us against violence that usually comes out of nowhere. 

Therefore, the changes need to painfully start with the laws in our country. 

I don’t say completely eliminate the sales of guns.  Just have longer waiting periods to get to them.  As of right now, it’s too easy to get a weapon anywhere in the United States.  In certain states like Florida, the waiting period is 72 hours.  In Washington State it only takes minutes; some other states have increased the waiting time to two weeks.  However, this isn’t very helpful. 

Too dangerous and often, it’s the innocent who end up being victims of these mass shootings in our urban areas! 
I believe most people who have guns are responsible and safe owners.  They practice the means of safety, self-defense and there’s always the margin for mistakes and errors.  After all, we’re human! 

It’s the one in 10 gun owners who are the problem!  This one I’m worried about. 

It doesn’t matter of you’re a Democrat, Republican or Independent.  United States has a problem that has been getting worse in the past 30 years.  People who are usually psychologically unstable get their hands on a weapon due to our lax laws and make a name for themselves in the annals of history through a horrific massacre.

We have to look beyond ourselves, our politics or economy and not rethink the Second Amendment, but think on longer waiting periods to get a weapon.  Hell, they do it in Canada!  At least have a waiting-time period of six months.  We have to muster the strength as nation to say, no more!  We are already a great country with all our problems.  And here’s one issue we must tackle…  Stop making firearms so easily attainable, like the AR-15.  With longer waiting periods, tougher background checks; that’s all I’m asking!  I’m not saying stop the business of selling guns!  No!  We have the right to make money as in any capitalist society, but it’s sinful to let our population suffer because of the problems with gun violence; which by the way, has taken more lives than in previous wars, especially after 1965.

It breaks my heart every time a maniac goes after the innocent.  It doesn’t matter if they’re gay, straight or children.  It affects all of us and eventually we all become victims.  In one way or another, if you ask one in four Americans, they will usually say they have been a victim of gun violence or know somebody who has.  Heck, I’ve been a victim!  I’ve seen two shootouts on the streets of Brooklyn where I grew up in New York and been robbed while walking home. 

This needs to change or stop!  I’ve always said, things will not change in the U.S. till something dramatic and terrible happens. 

The shooting of dozens of people and yes, politicians and public personalities will cry out in a wave of anger and tears, and soon enough forget.  Only the victims’ families are left with the pain, sorrow and lose of their loved ones.

Another thing is police officers relying too heavily on their weapons when confronted with an attacker.  They just take out the gun and shoot, “Dirty Harry” style.  When I lived in London for two years, I admired the constables and how they learnt from the Academy how to deal with an armed attacker. And these blokes didn’t have weapons, just a nightstick!  They depended more on their wits and training to get through the day.  This I believe ought to change in the U.S., how we train our police force.  Teach more strategy rather than brute force! 

That’s why and sadly, either a majority takes to D.C. in a wave of protest or there’s another way, lawmakers implement longer waiting periods and do like Australia.  Yes, all these transitions are at first extremely painful, but in the long run our problems with mass shootings will decrease in the next 20 years and this is what we aim for.  The problem will never go away entirely; however, we’ll have a chance to save countless of innocent lives from the horrors we are now facing!   

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