The First Steps toward Gun Control

The U.S. is starting to take concrete measures to avoid more murders

The death of students and teachers at a school in Parkland, Florida may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back regarding the leniency of American gun legislation in the acquisition and sale of firearms.

Two major companies, both of which have announced limitations on the age of the buyer and type of firearm available in their stores, have been joined by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has asked Congress to approve a series of conditions to be met by potential buyers — something unheard of until now in his rhetoric.

Until a few days ago, it seemed that the 17 deaths in Florida were going to be another entry on the long list of American victims of easy-access gun laws. The weapon of choice for the majority of murders is a military-grade assault rifle designed for frontline combat, something that has created justifiable controversy over why such a weapon is available to the general public. This has been noticed by Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest firearm retailer in the U.S., which, in an unprecedented move, has announced its intention to stop the sale of this type of firearm to customers under the age of 21. In a similar move, commercial giant Wal-Mart will start asking for a background check before proceeding with a sale. These seem like tiny, common sense changes, but they have not existed in America until now.

President Trump, with his proven ability to capture the mood of public opinion, has recently decided to contradict himself, cut ties with one of his main supporters, the National Rifle Association and join the petition for more regulation. His move is extremely cynical, but could, on this occasion, be the first step to stopping more deaths.

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