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Mass shooting in Sutherland Springs demonstrates need to ban all guns in America


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President Donald Trump stated last week that the Sutherland Springs mass shooting “isn’t a guns situation, this is a mental health problem at the highest level.” The government has its ritual after a mass shooting: blaming the attack on mental health issues, keeping the victims in their “thoughts and prayers,” then finally moving on from the subject. Gun control is not addressed in the slightest.

According to Jonathan Stray’s article in The Atlantic, out of 75,000 gun laws, only three are ever enforced, and out of eight federal laws, only two have been enforced in a significant way. Our current gun control policies are ineffective in preventing mass shootings, and allow military grade weapons to be sold to the general public. The gun purchased by the shooter, Devin Kelly, was a Ruger AR-556 rifle, a semi-automatic weapon which he managed to acquire legally in San Antonio, though he has a criminal record and mental health issues.

The fact that semi automatic rifles like this one can be legally purchased is astounding. Firearms able to shoot 90-120 rounds per minute have no other technical use than killing multiple targets, and should be banned from the general public. The implications of a massive destructive weapon being in the hands of citizens comes with consequences for which the government should take responsibility.

A mass shooting is defined as four or more people who die or is harmed in a public space according to Gun Archive Violence, chosen randomly by the shooter. Knowing that, how many mass shootings have you heard of in the past year in the United States? The normalization of the domestic attacks makes it difficult for us to remember.

In the past year, there have been 307 mass shootings. The gun issue has destroyed the lives of thousands. Surely the three hundred million privately owned guns play a role in creating this unstable environment.

In Australia, since the National Firearm Agreement in 1996 was enacted (banning guns) due to the killing of 35 people by a semi automatic rifle, there hasn’t been another mass shooting and the rates in homicides and suicides have reduced significantly. It might be influenced by other factors; still, the correlation seems evident. In the United-States, after these attacks happen so frequently, children are taught in school what to do in case of a mass shooting.  

Banning guns should be a priority for the United States government, as incidents linked to guns happen on a daily basis. In 2013, the 4th ranking cause of death was due to accidental shooting, with over 130,557 deaths. These incidents are highly common. Last year, former St. Edward’s University student, Fischer Hoisington, accidentally shot his best friend, Aaron Moore, the day of his birthday, and was convicted of manslaughter.

Considering the amount of mass shootings, homicides or involuntary deaths linked to gun use, it is time the citizens of America accept that massive gun armaments are a problem which should be dealt with once and for all. We see that gun control policies have not helped in preventing incidents whether it be a home accident or a massive shooting. A massive gun ban is the only way to insure the safety American people.

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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University
Mass shooting in Sutherland Springs demonstrates need to ban all guns in America