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Take action on gun control

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Saturday, August 17, 2019

After the latest round of horrific mass murders, it is time that our local, state and national governments take real and effective steps to reduce this alarming and tragic trend. Other countries have done so effectively and there is no reason that we can not and should not.

It is not simply a mental health issue. It is also an issue involving access to high-capacity, semi-automatic military assault guns intended for no other purpose than killing large numbers of people. We have to stop the NRA’s control of politicians and stop hiding behind 2nd Amendment “rights.”

Why shouldn’t assault weapons and high-capacity magazines be banned? No one needs them except law enforcement and military personnel. The U.S. successfully banned public access to machine guns in 1934. That ban, expanded in 1986, still stands, despite the 2nd Amendment. Look at some key statistics:

American kids suffer 11 times more gun deaths than other advanced countries.

After enacting a ban on assault weapons and other stricter gun control measures in 1996, Australia saw a 59 percent drop in gun homicides and a 65 percent drop in gun suicides.

In 2011, the entire country of England had 59 gun deaths, while Washington, D.C., alone saw 77.

Look at example statistics for total gun deaths per year per 100,000 population.

United States: 12.21

Australia: 2.90

Canada: 2.05

France: 2.83

Germany: 1.24

Netherlands: 0.58

United Kingdom: 0.26

Sweden: 1.6

Japan: 0.06

Each of these countries have more restrictive gun laws than the U.S. and all allow gun ownership for hunting and competitive shooting. I urge everyone to demand effective action from your political leaders.

Jack Robertson

Greenville

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