Letter: Learn from Other Countries

Societies improve by using the experiences and the discoveries of others. It’s true in government, medicine, the humanities, etc. Why can’t we apply this reasoning to solve America’s out of control homicide by firearms problem?

In response to a 1996 gun massacre, Australia enacted a program of prohibition on the sale of rapid fire and semi-automatic guns and a buy-back program to which Australians responded by turning in thousands of guns without remuneration. The program resulted in reductions in homicides the following years.

Statistics show the following homicide rate per 100,000 people for the following countries: Australia – 1.1;United Kingdom – 1.0; Canada – 1.6; France – 1.0; Germany – .8; and a whopping 4.7 in the U.S.

Ultimately, the responsibility for real change in firearms laws rests with American voters. We have proven ourselves to be strong in crisis situations but weak and uninformed in others, as in the case of gun control. We listen to fools who in the face of all statistics claim that more guns make us safer. We misunderstand the intent of the Second Amendment and use it as a crutch to justify inaction on gun control. We elect politicians who are beholden to the NRA, such as Scott Walker who proudly touts as one of his accomplishments a reduction in the waiting time for a gun purchase.

Let’s copy other advanced countries. Our streets will not become safer for all of us until we demand and achieve sensible gun legislation.

George Krall

La Crosse, Wis.

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