The System is Broken

America unwilling to change hurts itself

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In the wake of a national tragedy, a country changed its laws to remove the risks that were legal in their previous laws.

Sound like a dream?

Nope, just not America: New Zealand.

Seventy-two hours after two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was shot upon, lawmakers had banned certain magazines and assault rifles. Gun licenses in New Zealand are issued at the discretion of the police, provided the police consider the person to be of good standing and without criminal, psychiatric or drug issues as well as meeting other conditions such as having suitable storage facilities

After the Las Vegas, Nevada, shooting on October 1, 2017, it took 14 months for the nation to ban bump stocks. This change might seem like a step forward, but this change was not made because of a tragedy. We cannot change for the betterment of the United States of America while people push against stronger laws. The laws will reduce gun ownership not erase guns from America.

One of the last three most recent national laws that pertain to guns involves an assault rifle ban from 1994-2004. Which means had taken a step forward, yet they repealed a law that made Americans safer. A 2019 study from The National Centre for Biotechnology Information found that the ban was associated with a reduction in mass-shooting related homicides during the 1994 to 2004 time period.

The New Zealand government has shown that it is possible to make a change when partisan politics don’t get in the way. They came together to ban a weapon that caused mass damage to their country. America cannot get past party lines they have been saying for years to fix the issues our country has with gun violence. Shootings occur weekly if not daily, yet our lawmakers are unwilling to rewrite our gun laws so people can obtain guns safely and use them correctly.

After a tragedy in America, we expect news stories, a tweet from Trump and then that’s it. We get over the sadness and move on, forgetting about what happened and what led to this happening. This cycle perpetuates itself.

And it does so at the cost of Americans.

Guns are not rights. They are a privilege given by our Bill of Rights. They were made legal to use against people trying to damage or hurt you. Not against schools or churches. Not against our youth and citizens.

When Googling “American gun laws,” the first two websites say, “Stronger gun laws means less violence and the USA has a gun problem.”  This is not the American Dream or anything close. We have broken the ideal. We have been putting gun lobbyists and a sense of self-security guns offer ahead of the people of this country. A sense of security is poetically paradoxical. Fighting for guns that kill people for a sense of security. We need a change now. Not the next time a person shoots and kills people. Now. While we have the chance to save lives.

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