The United States and Canada are alike in many ways: we speak the same language, share most of the same television shows, movies, books, and beliefs. When it comes to differences, there is one of many that pops up in the minds of most citizens: gun control. We hear about it all the time in the news; another mass shooting, protests in the streets, thoughts and prayers are sent, and yet no laws are changed. And the cycle repeats itself. As stated by the University of Alabama, although the United States holds less than 5% of the world’s population, they hold 31% of the world’s mass shooters. Why is this so?
First, we must compare gun control laws. When you first look at gun control laws in the USA, they seem like they would work. People who have restraining orders against partners, veterans who left the military on a dishonourable discharge, drug addicts, immigrants without legal status, and people with a serious criminal record are not allowed to own a gun. Gun dealers must also run a background test with the FBI before selling a firearm. However, there are some problems with this.
For one, small-scale sellers who sell at gun shows are not required to run background checks. Secondly, though the law prohibits with certain mental health disabilities, many times these disabilities are overlooked. This is very different than Gun Control Laws in Canada, where there are several more rules to follow after one has purchased a firearm and there are more in-depth background checks.
So, the gun control laws do not work. The protests continue on the streets, and yet there seems to be another mass shooting every other week and the American government doesn’t do anything about it.
The public has a huge say in gun control laws. Most Americans do own a firearm. With everyone owning a gun, some people think it makes sense to have a firearm yourself. But still, you would think that former President Obama would have been able to change Gun Control laws while he was in office, but it didn’t work. Groups such as the NRA (National Rifle Association) have huge influence over voters.
But that was President Obama. President Trump is in office. He too pushes for stricter gun control laws, but we haven’t seen progress. It really is up to both the people of America and the American government if they want to see change in the country, and save the lives of hundreds of innocent children.