Australia knows how to reduce gun violence

August 25, 2013

The killing of Australian college student Christopher Lane in Duncan, Okla. is just one more tragedy that demonstrates the need for gun control ("Suspect's sister: 'He wouldn't listen,' Aug. 22).

In your article, Daniel Ford is quoted as saying, "These punks are going to take our freedom away? Give me a break." I am sorry but the right to live trumps the right to own a gun.

This country could learn something from Australia. In 1996, Australia put several laws into effect under their National Firearm Agreement. They banned all semiautomatic weapons and instituted a buy back program on the banned guns. They require a 28 day delay on gun purchases and a legitimate reason to own a gun — hunting, for instance. Owners must have a secure storage for their gun and each firearm must be registered by serial number.

Since these laws went into effect by one legitimate study, firearm homicide has decreased by 59 percent. Suicides have also dropped considerably. Perhaps because a lethal weapon affords no time to reverse a rash decision.

It is my belief that if you cannot grasp the logic of gun control and what is needed in America to prevent more deaths of loved ones and children, if you can't don't get that this all has to stop and there is only one way to do it (by taking control of the problem) and if you think that all that matters is your right to own a gun, I am not so sure that you should have one.

Sue Smith

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