Another tragedy struck Australia this week when two police officers and four other people tragically died during a six-hour standoff in Wieambilla. Despite having some of the strongest gun control rules in the world, Australia, this tragedy shows that criminals may still obtain weapons illegally and carry out horrendous acts of violence.
The shooting in this case was the result of a family argument involving three people, all of whom were shot and killed by tactical police at the end of the standoff. The fact that the deaths were still caused by guns despite this level of gun restriction demonstrates how challenging it can be to totally eradicate gun violence from society. Because of this, politicians should concentrate on measures that target illegal guns rather than penalizing law-abiding residents with stricter gun control regulations.
Australia is not the only country dealing with this problem; the gun restriction is also a problem in the United States and other nations. States in the US have not seen much of a drop in shootings despite numerous attempts to enact stricter gun laws because criminals continue to discover methods around such restrictions. This raises the question of what steps can be taken to safeguard civilians if tougher gun restrictions are unable to stop shootings.
Increased penalties for people who obtain firearms illegally or use them for criminal purposes is one solution. We can both prevent criminals from obtaining illicit firearms and penalize those who break the law after doing so by stiffening the penalties for these actions. The responsible use of firearms, which includes appropriate storage and background checks when selling or transferring firearms, must also be emphasized.
No matter how rigorous gun control laws are made, neither they nor the threat of shooters can ever entirely eliminate the use of firearms in society. We must thus start thinking about new ways to safeguard citizens from harm while still upholding their constitutional right to own and bear arms in a responsible manner. The tragedy in Australia serves as yet another reminder that effective legislation is required in place of simple gun access restrictions if we want to see fewer shootings.