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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

Criminal law surrounding gun control becomes global heated topic of debate

It is no secret that the gun laws in different countries and regions throughout the world is a sore point of discussion for many. While many countries – like Australia or the UK – have considerably strict and unrelenting gun control and the subsequent criminal laws surrounding them, other countries – the United States – are still living in a reality where mass shootings are not just the norm, they are almost expected to occur. With over 308 mass shootings in 2018 in the US, the nation is now at a standing point where it is more unlikely that the nightly news will not feature stories on the latest shooting, than it is featuring it – sometimes even with footage to add emphasis. This is a harrowing reality, a legal imbalance that shows the catastrophic consequences of refusing to look at the facts and respond to them accordingly.

It is something that has been gaining more global attention, more traction as a heated debate. Safety in everyday life is something that we should all be privy to, and it is upsetting (to say the least) to realise that this is not the case. Areas of the world like Australia and the United Kingdom have had devastating gun violence incidents, and have responded with immediate legal constraints against the licensing, ownership, and general availability of guns. And still, the US government and its leader refuse to change US law, resulting in a continuing and disgusting trend of gun violence. Whether it is hiring the best criminal attorneys in the local area, or running to shield oneself and loved ones from the spraying of bullets in the air, or signing petitions and attending rallies to fight for tighter gun control laws and the aligning criminal laws, we all want the same thing: safety.

The gun control laws and respective criminal laws that hold those who orchestrate gun violence accountable are up in the air in the US, and it is something that is harrowing, destroying people’s hope every time another incident shows up on the news. What is even more sobering is the realisation that not every shooting incident makes the news. This is an epidemic that is becoming a global heated debate – and for damn good reason. The momentum towards change has been building significantly in recent years, and yet the response to call has yet to be filled adequately. In the United States alone, more citizens have died from gun violence since the year 1968, than in all the wars in US history. If this is not the single most upsetting fact one has ever heard, then what is?

Gun violence is one of the most catastrophic causes of injury and death in the world. It is shocking, in every sense of the word, that the United States – one of the leading western countries today in so many other areas – is lagging behind the rest of the western world. It is interesting to note that the people of America have been increasingly loud and vigilant in their pursuit of stronger laws in the legal facets of Gun control laws and subsequent criminal laws associated with gun violence is one area of law that is inconsistent in the western world (and in the entire world, for that matter). This is an ongoing battle, and it is one that is far from over. Until absolution is reached to the satisfaction of the masses, there will be an ongoing war raging…and if the numbers are not staggering enough right now, they are only going to become even more so (if that is even possible). How many times must innocent people – or any lives, for that matter – be lost before this gets through to the government? The laws must change, and they must change now.

While some areas of the world – Australia and the United Kingdom, for example – have been faced with devastating mass shootings and responded accordingly by bringing in drastic changes to their gun control laws and associated criminal laws, it is staggering to realise that a country as forward in other aspects of life as the United States of America, is so behind in such an important branch of law. It is not a matter of the people not wanting change. In fact, especially in recent years, the people of the United States have been screaming, begging for imminent change. It is the government that has the power, and it is the government that refuses to make the changes necessary to incite a positive change. And in addition to the US citizens wanting change so desperately, the rest of the world is waiting in bewildered anticipation for the day the United States finally decides to play catch up. After all, the time is long overdue.

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