When a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Tightening America’s Gun Laws


This photo is from 1997 in Australia. Mick Roelandts, a firearms-reform manager, looks over prohibited weapons that were handed in under the Australian government’s buy-back scheme. 700,000 guns were bought back. Percentage-wise, that’s the equivalent of 40 million guns in the US.

20 years on, and the breaking news is that dozens of people have been killed and injured in a Las Vegas mass shooting. Automatic weapons were used to fire upon countless innocent women, men and children at a Route 91 Harvest festival at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino located along the famous Las Vegas strip.

I send my love and condolences to everyone in the US who’s been devastated by the abuse, ignorance and greed surrounding this country’s gun laws.

The Second Amendment, the right to bare arms, was created in 1789 to arm militia and help revolutionaries and citizens give this country freedom – not to grant freedom to crazy people to commit hate crimes. The US has an incredible constitution, one of the most beautiful texts on human rights that you can read. I am dumbfounded and saddened by the systematic abuse of its purpose in the interest of money and lobby groups.

In Australia, a mass shooting in 1996 resulted in the death of 35 innocent people. Following that, the prime minister, John Howard, instituted a plan to buy back guns and automatic rifles. He fought the states on this until legislature was passed. For this I am eternally grateful. THERE HAS NOT BEEN A MASS SHOOTING IN AUSTRALIA SINCE. “The fundamental problem,” Howard wrote in The New York Times “was the availability of high-powered weapons, which enabled people to convert their murderous impulses into mass killing. Certainly, shortcomings in treating mental illness may have played a role. But nothing trumps easy access to a gun. It is easier to kill 10 people with a gun than with a knife.” The ban of automatic and semi-automatic weapons was accompanied by legislation requiring all applicants to show “genuine reason” for owning a gun. Gun deaths in Australia have dropped by more than half, and mass shootings since this time have been ZERO.

The US has an amazing constitution. The LAW is not supposed to be governed by politics or money. People of this country want NEW GUN LAWS. Why is money and politics governing this debate!?

Following this latest tragedy, social media has been ablaze with popular hashtags such as #PrayForLasVegas, #PrayersForVegas and the like.  But we’ve seen it all before with similar gun tragedies: Orlando. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Texas. The list goes on and on. The time for prayers is over. The time for action is now. It worked for Australia…

[Edited from a piece by bi boyz]

Deadliest Mass Shootings in US History from 1949 to today:

49 killed – June 12, 2016 – Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, opens fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in Orlando. At least 49 people are killed and more than 50 are injured. Police shoot and kill Mateen during an operation to free hostages officials say he was holding at the club.
32 killed – April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A gunman, 23-year-old student Seung-Hui Cho, goes on a shooting spree killing 32 people in two locations and wounding an undetermined number of others on campus. The shooter then commits suicide.
27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff and faculty, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound.
23 killed – October 16, 1991 – In Killeen, Texas, 35-year-old George Hennard crashes his pickup truck through the wall of a Luby’s Cafeteria. After exiting the truck, Hennard shoots and kills 23 people. He then commits suicide.
21 killed – July 18, 1984 – In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Huberty, armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun, shoots and kills 21 adults and children at a local McDonald’s. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty one hour after the rampage begins.
18 killed – August 1, 1966 – In Austin, Texas, Charles Joseph Whitman, a former US Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.
14 killed – December 2, 2015 – Married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik open fire on an employee gathering taking place at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people.
14 killed – August 20, 1986 – In Edmond, Oklahoma, part-time mail carrier Patrick Henry Sherrill, armed with three handguns kills 14 postal workers in 10 minutes and then takes his own life with a bullet to the head.
13 killed – November 5, 2009 – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people and injures 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, during a shooting rampage. He is convicted and sentenced to death.
13 killed – April 3, 2009 – In Binghamton, New York, Jiverly Wong kills 13 people and injures four during a shooting at an immigrant community center. He then kills himself.
13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – Littleton, Colorado. Eighteen-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library.
13 killed – February 18, 1983 – Three men enter the Wah Mee gambling and social club in Seattle, rob the 14 occupants and then shoot each in the head, killing 13. Two of the men, Kwan Fai Mak and Benjamin Ng, are convicted of murder in August 1983. Both are serving life in prison. The third, Wai-Chiu “Tony” Ng, after years on the run in Canada, is eventually convicted of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault. He is deported to Hong Kong in 2014.
13 killed – September 25, 1982 – In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 40-year-old George Banks, a prison guard, kills 13 people including five of his own children. In September 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his death sentence stating that Banks is mentally incompetent.
13 killed – September 5, 1949 – In Camden, New Jersey, 28-year-old Howard Unruh, a veteran of World War II, shoots and kills 13 people as he walks down Camden’s 32nd Street. His weapon of choice is a German-crafted Luger pistol. He is found insane and is committed to a state mental institution. He dies at the age of 88.
12 killed – September 16, 2013 – Shots are fired inside the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12. The shooter, identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, is also killed.
12 killed – July 20, 2012 – Twelve people are killed, and 58 are wounded in a shooting at a screening of the new Batman film in Aurora, Colorado. James E. Holmes, 24, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear, sets off two devices of some kind before spraying the theater with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns police recovered at the scene. On July 16, 2015, Holmes is found guilty on all 165 counts against him, 24 first-degree murder, 140 attempted murder and one count of possession or control of an explosive or incendiary device. He is sentenced to life in prison without parole.
12 killed – July 29, 1999 – In Atlanta, 44-year-old Mark Barton kills his wife and two children at his home. He then opens fire in two different brokerage houses killing nine people and wounding 12. He later kills himself.
10 killed – March 10, 2009 – In Alabama, Michael McLendon of Kinston, kills 10 and himself. The dead include his mother, grandparents, aunt and uncle.
9 killed – October 1, 2015 – Gunman Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer shoots and kills nine people, injuring another nine, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The shooter dies after a gun battle with police at the college. Six weapons were recovered at the school; another seven were recovered at Harper-Mercer’s home.
9 killed – June 17, 2015 – Dylann Roof, 21, shoots and kills nine people inside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina. Eight die at the scene; a ninth dies at a hospital. Roof is arrested the following day; according to police, he confesses and tells investigators he wanted to start a race war. Roof is convicted of murder and hate crimes in federal court and a jury recommends the death penalty. He would be the first person executed for committing federal hate crimes.
9 killed – March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. Sixteen-year-old Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another adult, five students, a teacher and a security officer. He then kills himself.
9 killed – August 10, 1991 – Six monks, a nun, a monk in training and a temple worker are found shot to death at Wat Promkunaram, a Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona. Johnathan Doody, 17, and Alessandro Garcia, 16, are later convicted of the crime and receive multiple life sentences.
9 killed – June 18, 1990 – In Jacksonville, Florida, 42-year-old James Pough, angry about his car being repossessed, opens fire at a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office, killing nine people. Pough takes his own life.
8 killed – October 12, 2011 – Eight people are killed during a shooting at the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California. The suspect, Scott Evans Dekraai, 41, of Huntington Beach, is arrested without incident as he is trying to leave the scene. The eight victims nclude Dekraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48. He was armed with three guns — a 9 mm Springfield, a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, and a Heckler & Koch .45 — and was wearing body armor during the shooting rampage. He pleaded guilty and was formally convicted in 2014, but has not been sentenced because the trial court judge ordered the district attorney’s office recuse itself from the penalty phase amidst allegations of misconduct
8 killed – August 3, 2010 – Manchester, Connecticut – Omar Thornton kills eight co-workers at Hartford Distributors before turning the gun on himself. Thornton had been asked to resign for stealing and selling alcoholic beverages.
8 killed – January 19, 2010 – Christopher Speight, 39, kills eight people at a house in Appomattox, Virginia. He surrenders to police at the scene the next morning. February 2013, he is sentenced to five life terms plus 18 years.
8 killed – March 29, 2009 – In Carthage, North Carolina, 45-year-old Robert Stewart kills a nurse and seven elderly patients at a nursing home. In May, the Moore County district attorney announces she will seek the death penalty. On September 3, 2011, a jury finds Stewart guilty of second-degree murder. Stewart is sentenced to 141 to 179 years in prison.
8 killed – December 5, 2007 – In Omaha, Nebraska, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins goes to an area mall and kills eight shoppers before killing himself.
8 killed – July 1, 1993 – In San Francisco, 55-year-old Gian Luigi Ferri kills eight people in a law office and then kills himself.
8 killed – September 14, 1989 – In Louisville, Kentucky, 47-year-old Joseph Wesbecker armed with a AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, two MAC-11 semiautomatic pistols, a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol and a bayonet kills eight co-workers at Standard Gravure Corporation and then kills himself. He had been placed on disability leave from his job due to mental problems.
8 killed – August 20, 1982 – In Miami, Carl Robert Brown, 51, kills eight people with a shotgun at a machine shop. Brown, a teacher, was reportedly angry about a repair bill from the shop. After fleeing the scene on a bicycle, he is fatally shot by a witness who pursues him.

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