USA Today published Australia Hasn’t Had a Fatal Mass Shooting Since 1996. Here’s What it Did.
The country made sweeping gun control measures after a man killed 35 people with a semi-automatic weapon in a popular tourist area of Port Arthur, in Tasmania. Weeks after the April 1996 tragedy, the country and its states began banning rapid-fire guns to tamp down on mass shootings and then offered to buy the prohibited firearms.
This week there was a shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 dead and 500 injured. It’s being called the deadliest shooting in modern US history. One moment people were enjoying a country concert and the next being rapid fire shot at from a hotel window. A couple of coaches I know were there and are OK, but from reading social media our industry lost a couple members.
Following this deadly event the gun control conversation resumed. People on one side saying it’s evidence stricter gun laws are needed and people on the other side reminding everyone they won’t help because “guns don’t kill people, people do” and stuff like that. I completely agree with the guns don’t kill people statement, but they make it a whole lot easier. This probably wouldn’t have been the deadliest attack if the attacker didn’t have access to a gun and had to use rocks, knives, or a crossbow.
In theory I’m a fan of gun control because I believe the world would be a better place without them. On the other hand I’m also a gun owner because I don’t want to be the one with the knife at the gun fight. Unfortunately guns already exist and people, good and bad, have them. I don’t know how to get them out of the hands of the people that already have them and don’t think simply asking people to turn them in would work. Since I don’t see a scenario in which we’d get all of them back, or at least out of the hands of the bad people, I’m not sure we should try to take them out of the hands of the good people, even if that means they also get in the hands of more bad people. Basically, the genie is out of the bottle and it’s going to be really hard to get him back in.