Here are a few videos explaining and arguing about the need for gun control, that every one of us should watch.
The recent Florida shooting has left a lot of the world aghast, disappointed, and helpless. The incident is already the 18th mass shooting in the U.S. alone for the year of 2018, and we’re only in the second month of the new year. Now, various students from the school where the shooting happened have spoken out in order to urge the U.S. government to take concrete actions to protect the country, particularly the schools, and ensuring that every American can be safe.
Gun violence, of course, is not unique to America. In Australia, 35 people were killed in 1996 at a tourist attraction in Tasmania, an Australian state. After this, the Australian government passed a law that is one of the most comprehensive gun control laws in the world, and the country has not witnessed a mass shooting since. Even homicide and suicide rates went down because of the new law.
Here are some politicians and media personalities who have shared some thoughtful and insightful arguments on the importance of gun control.
Barack Obama during PBS News Hour
In this clip, you’ll see a middle-aged man asking then-U.S. President Obama why his government was so keen on gun control when there are ‘good, responsible’ gun owners. The man went on to challenge Obama, saying that even his home state in Chicago is filled with ‘thugs’ and ‘gangs,’ and yet nothing is supposedly done to stop the people comprising these ‘gangs.’
Obama went straight to the point and answered the misconceptions of most people about gun control: that they’re confiscating guns from ‘good, responsible’ owners. Obama also explained how, for instance, because there is no gun control law in America, even when they (government and FBI) know there are ISIL sympathisers in the US who want to buy ammo and guns, they can’t do anything about it because there is no law that allows them to stop this.
John Oliver interviewing Philip Van Cleave
The satirical show The Daily Show that was led by Jon Stewart had one of the most daring formats in television history. The correspondents — from Stephen Colbert to Samantha Bee — have set out to question some of the most difficult communities (the KKK for instance), and yet have come out with reportage that was both hilarious and insightful.
In this episode, another correspondent, John Oliver, speaks with Philip Van Cleave, a member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, who is clearly anti-gun control. In this video, Oliver revealed the various similarities between Australia and the U.S. and how the former can actually adapt Australia’s laws.
Bernie Sanders explaining common sense gun solutions
Sanders starts this explanation saying that 99 percent of people who own guns in the US are law-abiding citizens. Most of these people buy guns either for hunting, sport or for protection. He explains that he respects this kind of lifestyle. However, he rallies that there should be instant background checks, that guns in different states and different parts of the world are used differently — what guns are for in Vermont may be totally different for what guns are for in Chicago.
He presents a pretty common sense solution, which is to not let people who shouldn’t have guns have guns. This would involve having set regulations, and if most of the country could agree to it, then it could be a step forward to a more peaceful society.
Trevor Noah talking about mass shootings
After the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, Noah focused this particular monologue on how people say that “it isn’t the time to be talking about guns.” In this clip, you would see some news outlets who have invited people on their programs that say that the incident was not “the time and place for a political debate,” as the issue of gun control was raised time and again. Noah argues that if people say that an incident like a mass shooting is not the time to talk about gun control, then the country would never have a conversation about it.
He cites examples of how when there are plane crashes, people talk about plane safety immediately, or when a bridge disintegrates, people talk about infrastructure right away. He also emphasises how if there’s a mass shooting, the conversation is always framed towards everything else but guns: Is it because the shooter is Muslim or black? Is it mentally ill people? Is it because of white nationalists?
Certainly, now is the time to talk about gun control. The world needs to start taking notice, initiate conversations, and incite action so that no more innocent lives are lost.
Portia Ladrido is a multimedia journalist specialising in social justice, culture, and the arts. She is a human rights journalism fellow at the Philippine Human Rights Information Center and the Metro Manila hub coordinator of the Solutions Journalism Network. She currently writes speeches for the Philippines’ first female socialist senator. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at CNN Philippines.