Editorial: Democrats right to seek stronger gun control laws

By Amy Wiggins

2 comments
A couple spend a quiet moment at a makeshift memorial honouring the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando. Photo / AP
A couple spend a quiet moment at a makeshift memorial honouring the victims of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando. Photo / AP

I was pleasantly surprised to learn Democratic politicians in the United States are making moves to have gun control rules tightened in the wake of the Orlando shooting - the most deadly mass shooting in the country's history.

They held a sit-in on the floor of the chamber of the House of Representatives which lasted 25 hours.

Something needs to be done and if that is what it takes, good on them.

At the same time, it's shocking to think those voted into power have to hold such a protest. Surely it is obvious something needs to be done and surely they should have the power to at least initiate moves towards some change.

But, as it is, the Democrats are outnumbered by the Republicans in the house so have very little power to push through any legislation.

Mass shootings in the US seem to be getting more deadly and more frequent.

It's scary to think one man could mow down 49 people in a nightclub.

The changes proposed by the Democrats are sensible and don't go far enough in my opinion.

They were pushing for a vote on bills strengthening background checks and barring firearms sales to people on the government's no-fly list.

Surely that should go without saying.

If you are considered dangerous enough that you aren't allowed on a plane, surely you should not be able to legally buy guns.

As well as that there are a number of loopholes that allow people to buy or trade guns without going through a background check.

If you want to give or sell your gun to a family member, a neighbour or a friend, no checks are required.

That makes it far too easy for people to get their hands on a gun legally.

In saying that, I realise that tougher gun control rules won't solve all the country's gun problems but it will certainly make it harder and surely have some effect.

People determined to cause chaos and destruction will still find a way but at least it won't be handed over the counter to them with a greeting and a friendly smile.

Yes, there will be resistance from many American voters but it is something that needs to be done regardless.

The right to bear arms is, in my opinion, a crazy thing to have as a constitutional right and not something to be proud of.

In modern day USA there is no need for the majority of people, who live in an urban environment, to own guns.

American citizens need to stand up and support the actions of the Democratic representatives and make the Republican majority take notice.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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