Aislinn Whalen, Valerie Hajek
Faculty Sponsor: A. Malcolm Campbell
Suicide By Guns
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, resulting in around 44,000 deaths every year. Although guns are not the most common way to attempt suicide, attempts involving guns result in the most fatalities. This 2008 table demonstrates that when comparing states with the highest and lowest rates of gun ownership, the suicide rate nearly doubles. In order to reduce fatal suicide attempts, we need to reduce the number of guns available to civilians.
Australia Reduced Gun Violence, Why Can’t We?
Guns are a controversial topic in America because people do not want their gun rights taken away, yet thousands of people die each year from gun violence. Although bump stocks, which can be used like machine guns have been banned in the past year, government officials have not drastically changed the country’s laws, which place little regulation on gun ownership. American lawmakers should look to other countries to see how they are able to regulate guns and find compromise. Australia is a perfect example as the country’s gun policy underwent a huge change in 1996, just twelve days after the largest mass shooting in Australian history. In April of 1996, Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 people and injured another 23 people in what is known as the Port Arthur shooting. The government swiftly passed The National Agreement on Firearms, which included a gun buyback provision and made it illegal to own semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons without a special license. If America follows the same policy changes that Australia made in 1996, then the US will likely see a decrease in the rate of gun homicides.