/Stricter gun control is simplest solution to mass gun violence
(PHOTO/ Chloe Lyle) Lizz Robb explores the possibility of preventing gun violence by creating stricter measures for purchasing firearms.

Stricter gun control is simplest solution to mass gun violence

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Lizz Robb

Copy Editor

Seminars such as “Run, Hide, Fight,” led by Police Chief John McCall, could be foregone if the U.S. passed stricter gun laws.

Recently, Troy University hosted the seminar to increase awareness about what to do in the case of a shooting. In light of the number of shootings that have occurred in the U.S. recently, I’d say the seminar is definitely necessary.

Based on the numbers, mass shootings — roughly defined as a shooting resulting in at least four deaths and not including the shooter, according to Politifact California — are not uncommon in the U.S. Going by that definition, Mass Shooting Tracker shows that 2017 faced 44 mass shootings of 427 acts of gun violence, resulting in approximately 268 deaths from the mass shootings alone.

In January 2018 alone, the Gun Violence Archive recorded 24 acts of gun violence in the U.S., resulting in a total of 33 deaths and 91 injuries.

Obviously, the U.S. is in serious need  of stricter gun laws. Unfortunately, each time I mention this, there’s at least one person who claims they won’t be able to protect themselves in case some bad person decides to pull a gun on them.

To that, I say, I’m not asking for the banning of guns entirely, but there has to be more limits on who can obtain a gun and how many guns one person can own.

According to The Independent, the average U.S. gun owner has eight guns, and laws.com reports that in the state of Alabama, there are no laws that require individuals to show a permit when purchasing rifles, shotguns or handguns.

There are rules that state an individual has to be 21 years or older to purchase a handgun and 18 years or older to purchase a shotgun or rifle; otherwise, the only limit is that a person with a “history of violence, disorderly conduct, or alcohol-related problem” and those documented as mentally unstable may not purchase guns, according to laws.com.

According to CNN, in the case of private sales, as was proven in a viral video in June 2016 when a 13-year-old boy legally purchased a rifle at a gun show, less documentation is required “about who is buying the gun and how frequent transactions like that are made.”

When a 13-year-old boy is able to easily and legally obtain a rifle, it shows how easily those who shouldn’t have guns can obtain them.

With stricter policies on gun owning and the process of purchasing guns, mass shootings will hopefully no longer be a problem in the U.S.

Other countries, such as the U.K., Japan and Australia, have proven the tactic of making gun policies stricter decreases the number of gun-related crimes.

According to the Library of Congress, the U.K. prohibits the owning of handguns without special circumstances and deems “self-defense or a simple wish to possess a weapon” as not good enough reasons to own a gun. According to CNN, since the U.K.’s crackdown on guns in 1996, there has been only one mass shooting, which was in 2010.

Japan and Australia share similar results. According to several news reports, Japan has nearly eliminated gun crimes, and Global News reports just one act of gun violence since 1996 in Australia, which occurred in December 2014.

Obviously, stricter gun laws are working for other countries. If the only issue is in the case of self-defense, these other countries and several more have proven that a gun is not needed for protection.

The U.S. needs to take action on this issue. No longer should the U.S. have to deal with deaths and injuries at the hands of those who shouldn’t have access to guns.

Change needs to happen, and it should have happened years ago.