Friday, 22nd June 2018
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No Gun Control

As much as you might sympathize with the students and families of those who were at the center of one of the worst high school shootings in Florida last week, you easily get the impression that their deaths were all for naught. There is absolutely no way, following the 17 deaths at this shooting, that the law makers in America will bring in legislation that will see the curbing of gun use and gun ownership in that country. It is just not the American way.

In actual fact if past history is anything to go by, gun ownership will actually increase, with the misguided notion that if gun ownership is not going to be banned then it's better to own one than not. But that will be of little solace to the friends and families of those who died in this high school shooting. Florida wasn't the only reported high school shooting of last week but in the other no one actually died.

Looking at it from this side of the Atlantic it seems absolutely crazy that there is not higher level of gun control in America. The co-relation between the huge amounts of guns available and mass shootings has been amply studied and shown to be directly linked. But still the lawmakers in Washington do nothing about the fact that the country is awash with guns and any attempt to try and limit this is almost always doomed to failure.

Part of it has to do with the mindset of Americans who think that gun ownership is part and parcel of the American way of life and also deeply embedded in their history and culture. The other part of it has to do with the fact that the National Rifle Association is a hugely effective lobbying force in the country and jumps from a height on any attempt to curtail the sale or ownership of guns. Again looking at it from this side of the pond it seems absolutely ludicrous that there is such a proliferation of guns in a country that has such a problem with armaments.

In both the UK and Australia following school shootings there was a huge crackdown on who could buy guns and what they could buy them for and since then there hasn't been another school shooting. That is not to say that the use of guns for illegal purposes hasn't increased because it has even here in Ireland where the most serious criminals seem to have ready access to guns. But it isn't anywhere in the same league as it is in America where it is easy to buy a gun and even easier to buy one illegally.

Gun control and access to guns shouldn't be a difficult issue to negotiate but sadly for all of those affected by the latest high school shooting with no gun control coming forward as a result, they will just be more names on a list of those who died needlessly, soon to be followed by others.

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