NewsWorld

The United States needs to look to Australia and crack down on guns

Opinion: The news of yet another deadly school shooting in the United States is just heartbreaking.

It's on the same scale as Sandy Hook almost a decade ago when 20 young lives were taken, and this time it's in Texas.

Nineteen primary school children have been killed. Young innocent kids, aged between six and twelve, in grades 2, 3 and 4, as well as a teacher.

READ MORE: Fifteen dead after Texas school shooting

The archbishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, right, comforts families outside the Civic Center following a deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

All shot by an 18-year-old who opened fire with a handgun and a suspected military rifle.

The gunman himself was shot by police, and it's another tragic loss of life that happens with numbing regularity in America.

They've had 200 mass shootings this year alone – pretty much one a day – and the sad truth is they'll keep on happening unless US politicians finally have the gumption to crack down on guns.

It's as simple as that.

They need to look to Australia, because we've led the world on this.

Former Prime Minister John Howard took a huge political risk cracking down on gun ownership with the national buyback scheme after 35 people were killed in our worst massacre at Port Arthur.

And it worked.

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An anti-gun rally in Hobart in the wake of Port Arthur.

We've avoided the gun crime and needless loss of life that thoughts and prayers do nothing to stop in the US.

It beggars belief that US Politicians who continue to accept millions of dollars in donations from the gun lobby refuse to see the connection between guns and mass shootings.

The Texas Governor, who's now mourning the loss of these kids, is the man who egged on his state to lift their game with guns.

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Port Arthur, Tasmania

He tweeted in 2015, after the Sandy Hook massacre, that he was embarrassed.

Texas was number two in the nation behind California for new gun purchases and he urged Texans to pick up the pace – tweeting the message with a link to the NRA – the National Rifle Association – that calls itself America's longest standing civil rights organisation.

The right to bear arms is considered a civil right because it's entrenched in the constitution.

But no civilian owned military grade weapons or machine guns when that became a right, and there just aren't the checks and balances to keep arsenals that should be limited to armies out of the hands of individuals that can unleash the sort of damage we're now seeing in Texas.

Unless the US cracks down on guns, and does the basics, like tightening background checks – school shootings like this will sadly keep happening in the US.

Thank goodness John Howard took the stance he did here.

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