When it comes to the United States and its stance on areas of law, it is fair to say that since current President Donald Trump came into power, many of those areas of law have taken a decidedly dark turn. While there is strong competition for attorneys fighting for civil rights, vehicular accidents, medical malpractices – such as Berman & Simmons – it is gun control laws which have proven to be the most difficult to nail down, even becoming so imbalanced that their current backbone has, at the very least, contributed heavily to the current gun violence-induced public health crisis in the US. More civilian Americans have died from guns since 1968 than in all the wars in American history. This is troubling in itself, but it becomes far more harrowing when it is acknowledged that for decades, most American citizens have supported measures to tighten gun access and control laws. In fact, in the last three decades, no more than 15% of Americans have favoured looser gun laws. The fight to change the nation’s gun access and control laws is shockingly still ongoing, and it calls for a stronger response the longer it goes unanswered.
Last year, there were 430 mass shootings across the United States. This is a shocking statistic, but what is even more harrowing is the realisation that these 430 mass shootings were just a small portion of the Gun Violence Archive’s recorded 56,953 gun violence incidents. These violent occurrences resulted in 28,161 recorded injuries and 14,641 deaths throughout the United States. When you look at a collective map of the violence across the nation, it sends a sickening feeling barrelling through the body. What is even more shocking than last year’s gun violence tally is the fact that in 2019, the US has already suffered 148 mass shootings, resulting in injuries of up to 722 people, 162 of which died because of their injuries. Considering that we are just shy of halfway through the calendar year, this is terrifying in every sense of the word.
This is a case of the government and legal system in one of the world’s most powerful nations blatantly refusing to take accountability and make the change that must be made to ensure the safety and security of current and future generations. Currently, the gun access and control laws in the United States are pathetically lax. There is little to no limitation on who can purchase and possess a firearm, and because of the ease of access that is legally allowed by the government and the legal systems throughout the nation, there are more gun-related incidents on US soil than there are in Australia and the United Kingdom combined (for the most part). There is something to be said about what it says about a leader when he refuses to listen to the aching cries of his own people. The American people want these changes. They are tired of seeing death and destruction everywhere they go, of being afraid of sending their children to school, of going to festivals, of going to the mall, even of stepping outside of their own private property’s front doors.
Fortunately, some US states have realised that this kind of violence cannot continue, with at least fifty-five gun safety bills being passed in the time since the Parkland Massacre last year. However, there is a long, long way to go before gun control laws can be considered even remotely strong enough to stop the bloodshed that continues to ravage the nation, year in and year out. It is no secret that gun access and control laws in the United States are abysmal. For decades, this western nation that is one of the most positively powerful in so many other areas, has been lagging in terms of gun control issues. In 2019, it is frankly beyond disturbing that this is still such a prominent issue across the nation. There are only so many times that government representatives, and the president of the United States for that matter, can stand behind a podium and say how much they feel for the victims and their loved ones, how they will fight for justice against the perpetrators in the courts (those who survive the shooting themselves, anyway), and not make any moves to change anything, before it becomes clear that they genuinely do not care enough to make a change.
Every year in the USA, there are hundreds of mass shootings, and thousands upon thousands more gun violence incidents. Rarely are they widely reported outside of American news, but this does not change the reality. There is a growing need to change gun laws in the United States, and it is a need that becomes more crucial with every passing year. The more deaths that occur because of this lax (and frankly pathetic) legal attitude towards such a dangerous part of America’s history, the more crucial it becomes to try to right the ship. When every other day there is another mass shooting (and hundreds of gun violence incidents) occurring, there is obviously a dangerous imbalance somewhere that must be corrected. In the US, that correction comes in the form of changing the gun access and control laws. It really is that simple…and it is about time that the US government and legal representations started to listen.