The policy we would like to discuss is “The need of gun control throughout the entire world”.
Humans are delicate beings capable of accomplishing merely everything thanks to their intellectuality. They have enhanced every way of life to a level which was considered impossible only a few hundred years back. As per Agnew with time they created motorized vehicles for transportation, robotics for labor, and various multimedia platforms for entertainment etc. Not only that, they have ultimately changed the vary thinking of the human mind and turned them into perfectionists aspiring for development and progression.
It is a fact that while enhancing every other part of life, security and self-defense was also a necessity. When crimes rates started to rise some 60 -70 years ago, and innocents becoming victims to theft and muggings, a new policy had to be adopted. With that, governments all over the world allowed their citizens to purchase firearms for the purposes of self-defense and security as the police could not fully handle every situation due to the growth of the general population worldwide.
By adapting this policy, crime rates did decrease for a short amount of time in every region but it also had a hard backlash as there was no control in sales and distribution. Anyone above the age of 16 (general statistic) could own a firearm. Furthermore those who were eligible were given a vast range of options to choose from whether they preferred automatic or semi-automatic firearms.
Due to the astonishing demand of the public, this situation was seen as an opportunity to make millions by the investors of that era and so hundreds of factories were raised and built to supply the ever growing demand. Paasi thinks that the United States became the largest manufacturer of firearms in the entire world.
Soon, developed countries like the United States, Russia, China, Germany and France started exporting weaponry to other developing countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Sir Lanka and Pakistan.
The gun market grew stronger and stronger with every war that broke out. The major ones being the Cold War, the Vietnamese War, The Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, the War on Terrorism, the Syrian Civil War and so on.
In time, this became a huge problem. Guns and other firearms did in fact increase crime rates. The annual rates of thefts, robberies and homicides increased drastically.
Apart from all these crimes, mass shooting also started to rise on an alarming rate.
The definition of a “mass shooting” defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is, an incident that has at least four victims in a single incident.
The first ever mass shooting that occurred in the United States of America was in September, 1949 in Camden, New Jersey. 13 people were gunned down by army veteran Howard Unruh. Another major incident happened in August, 1966 at the University of Texas, where Charles Whitman killed 16 people with another 31 injured.
When we talk about recent times, we are forced to mention the following incidents which occurred throughout the world. They are as:
Garissa University College Attack – April 2, 2015
This incident was caused by a militant group which stormed into the university and killed 148 people while injuring 79 others. This incident is recorded as the most deadly incident. Location: Garissa, Kenya.
Peshawar School Massacre – December 16, 2014
Labeled as one of the most horrific massacre ever, militants entered the Army Public School, and started to shoot down innocent children ranging between eight to eighteen years of age. A total of 141 students and teachers were massacred. Another 60 were injured. The militants were killed by the Special Services Group (SSG) rescuing 960 others from the premises. Location: Peshawar, Pakistan.
Paris Attacks – November 13, 2015
These were coordinated attacks which occurred simultaneously within the capital city of France. These involved mass shootings and a suicide bombing attack killing 130 people while leaving 413 people injured. The perpetrators were killed as well. Location: Paris, France.
Las Vegas Shooting – October 1, 2017
Stephen Paddock, aged 64, opened gunfire on a crowd of 22000 people from a suite at the 32nd floor. More than 1,100 rounds were fired. The perpetrator killed 58 and injuring almost 500 individuals. Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Orlando Shooting – June 12, 2016
Virginia Tech Shooting – April 16, 2007
Seung-Hui Cho, aged 23, killed 32 people in two separate locations when he entered in the Virginia Tech campus, injuring an undetermined number of individuals (claimed to be 17). Location: Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.
As reported by the guardian, a total of 1,624 mass shootings have occurred in 1,870 days in the United States alone. Kornprobst believes that these facts and incidents is more than enough evidence to prove the policy of the governments to be totally useless and dangerous for the general public in the multicultural environment of the present.
However, if the people of all respective countries emphasize their elected governments to enforce gun control then I believe things would turn to the better.
The perfect gun control policy has been developed and carried out by the government of Australia.
On April 28th, 1996, a man named as Martin Bryant, aged 28, drove himself to Port Arthur, Tasmania. He arrived at a tourist spot and went in a café for launch. After his meal, he opened gunfire at the people enjoying their day and ended up killing 12. He carried a semi-automatic Colt AR-15 SP1 military rifle which he kept in a bag when he entered the café. After that he moved on and shot another 8 individuals including a mother and her two infants in a gift shop. By the end of the day, Martin Bryant had shot and killed 35 individuals and injured another 18 until he was finally killed by the police.
This was a huge massacre even at that point in recent years because during the time between 1979 and 1996, Australia had faced 13 fatal mass shootings.
It was then when the governing body and the Prime Minister of Australia, John Winston Howard, came up with the idea of enforcing “Gun Control”. John Howard was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia and served as the second longest running official in his respective position.
Prime Minister Howard stated that, “We will not be a country like the United States. We love our people more than our guns.” And with that he and the Australian lawmakers came up with a solution that would change history. Within two weeks of the Port Arthur incident, all officials in all six states and territories, along with the support of the Prime Minister, banned guns throughout Australia. There were two basic phases of the initiative.
The first step was to stop all sorts of importing of firearms in any way whatsoever. This way the government ensured that the total amount of weaponry would not increase in any way. The second phase was initiated through a special “buyback” program launched by the government. In this program, civilians were asked and encouraged by their locally elected representatives to sell their firearms to a local center established and maintained by the administrative body for a specific price determined by the type of firearm whether it be a semi-automatic or an automatic weapon. This “buyback” program was funded with Medicare.
The firearms which were handed over buy the public amounted up to 600,000 guns. All of these were dismantled in a public center, where people were allowed to watch, as heavy machinery such as bulldozers turned them into scrap. The scrap was later sold to further expand the buyback program to all parts of the country.
This campaign gave such a positive response that a lot of individuals gave up their firearms freely without even asking for the buyback.
It is worth mentioning that the opposing political party at the time did in fact disagree with the new gun control policy and tried to boost their own political agenda by calling out to stop the buyback program.
They created slogans saying “we are not criminals”, “take my guns, lose my vote”, and “to disarm the hunter means to take away their liberty”. These lead to series of riots and rallies. In an interview in 1995, Simon Chapman, a famous Australian academic who was in favor of gun control, said, “We register cars. We register boats. We even register our dogs. So what’s the problem in registering guns?” With time this single line was repeated again and again by various people and in turn, the heat cooled and gun control became a possibility. It was a huge success.
Since 1996, Australia has faced zero mass shootings. A country that had 13 fatal mass shooting in the last 15 years had zero incidents in the next 22 years, till this vary day.
Up till the present day, firearms are not totally banned though. They can still be bought through the right channel. The law administered channel. The gun control rule states that purchasing of guns is allowed in Australia but only with a government issued licenses. These licenses are issued after a series of mental tests and screenings. Once you have a license, a person must go through a 28-day waiting period before the actual purchase of the gun. Even though there is a way to acquire a gun but Australians consider it as negative thing which also turns into a waste of time and money.
Upon interviewing a few Australians, they stated that “what’s the point of having a firearm? We believe in gun control and that’s why we can go about living our casual lives without the fear of a mad person opening fire in a public area.” It has also been observed that due to gun control, crime rates have significantly dropped.
Australia has single handedly proved the whole world wrong that gun control is possible even though more than half of the total countries believe otherwise.
Guns spread violence and the more the guns, the more the chances of people dying for no reason. In the United States, hand guns such as the 9MM pistol costs around $250 – $400. This shows how easy and feasible it is to acquire a firearm.
Other countries which have imposed a functioning form of gun control are as follows:
After the events that took place in Dunblane primary school in March, 1996, which involved the ruthless murder of 16 children of the ages of five and six, the general population raised their voice and their anger and turned towards a ban on automatic firearms and a complete registration process came into the working ever since.
The government of Japan has a near zero tolerance for guns owned by civilians. Thanks to this policy, Japan has one of the lowest ever gun crime rates in the world. Upon compiling the data from a general survey, only 271,000 people stood in favor of owning a firearm where the rest from the total population of 127 million stood against the notion.
The gun policy in Germany is rather an interesting one. While guns are easy to come by in almost all the cities in the nation, Germany has a very low crime rate which involves the direct or indirect use of firearms. In a survey conducted by the administration in 2014, 1.45 million individuals legally own 5.5 million registered firearms which include automatic and semi-automatic weapons. Even though the crime rates are low, the police estimate that there are around 20 million illegal weapons in the possession of the public.
What we have learned from this report though researching the facts and figures is that, gun control was a necessity, is a necessity and will always remain a necessity. The amount of blood spilt is enough for a common man to know that something is wrong with the system of administration and that humans are turning into vicious monsters because of their vile and heinous nature.
This is a matter which needs to become a number one priority and a strong and sound policy needs to be devised worldwide.
Agnew, J., 1999. Mapping political power beyond state boundaries: territory, identity, and movement in world politics. Millennium, 28(3), pp.499-521.
Paasi, A., 2005. The changing discourses on political boundaries. Mapping the backgrounds, contexts and contents. B/ordering Space, pp.17-31.
Kornprobst, M., 2011. The agent’s logics of action: defining and mapping political judgement. International Theory, 3(1), pp.70-104.