EDITORIAL | It’s time for gun reform in the United States

Another day, another mass shooting, more people dead. So it goes in the United States of America.

It’s been barely a month since a gunman killed 58 people and injured 546 more at a concert in Las Vegas, and already another 26 people are dead. This time it was at a church in a San Antonio suburb. Who will be next and where the next mass shooting might occur is anybody’s guess. It could happen at a nightclub (Orlando, 49 dead), a technical college (Virginia Tech, 32) or even an elementary school (Sandy Hook, 27). They even happen in Western Washington (Marysville, 5). No place is safe, not even places of worship. That’s not fear mongering. It’s not an emotional Liberal response. It’s simply fact.

The debate over gun reform needs to end, and it needs to end now. We’re not talking about grandpa’s shotgun, we’re talking about semi-automatic rifles — the kind commonly used in mass shootings — and bump stocks, devices that basically turn the above guns into fully automatic weapons. They may be fun to shoot, and make some people feel more secure. But is that really worth the price of innocent lives? We don’t believe so.

According to the New York Times, the United States has 270 million guns — Americans own 42 percent of the world’s firearms — and had 90 mass shooters between 1966 and 2012. That doesn’t include Las Vegas or Orlando, the two worst shootings in American history.

By comparison, no other country in the world has more than 46 million guns or 18 mass shooters.

Gun rights and Second Amendment advocates commonly suggest people do their research before jumping to conclusions when it comes to gun reform. Well, the research and math seems pretty clear to us: the US has more guns and more mass shooters than anywhere else. By a long shot.

And more restrictive gun laws do work. Britain and Australia have both seen great success following gun reform. And in Japan, a country where it’s exceedingly difficult to own any firearms, gun deaths are nearly non-existent. It had just six deaths in 2014, compared to 33,599 in the US, according to BBC News.

The facts are clear. And it’s time for a change. Gun reform is needed in America.