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Politics and Pop Culture: Gun control does work

Gunmen took to a parade celebrating the Chiefs’ 2024 Super Bowl win in Kansas City, Missouri, on Valentine’s Day, killing at least one and injuring more than 20 others. It is doubtful that anyone is surprised by this, of course. Already in 2024, gun violence has killed almost 5,000 people in the U.S., so this recent shooting is nothing out of the ordinary. 

It is yet another ridiculously preventable tragedy that should be enough to sway the opinions of lawmakers but seemingly isn’t. Instead of trying to appeal to empathy they do not have, here is a simple fact: gun control does work, and it is plausible. 

California and New Jersey have some of the strictest gun laws in the country, including a 10-day waiting period and indefinite prohibition from purchasing a firearm following stalking charges, respectively. Both states have also banned assault weapons altogether. Naturally, California and New Jersey are among the states with the lowest number of gun deaths per 100,000 residents. 

In contrast, Mississippi has some of the weakest gun regulations, or lack thereof, with no requirement for a permit or background check. It comes as no shock that Mississippi also has the highest gun death rate in America. 

Gun reform is the natural solution to a national gun problem. In 1996, a gunman killed 35 people in Port Arthur, a tourist town in Australia. That massacre sparked the implementation of several gun control laws less than two weeks later. 

After the Hungerford Massacre in 1987, Britain expanded its list of banned assault weapons and tightened restrictions on gun ownership. 

Japan has one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world, only permitting citizens to own shotguns and air guns after background checks and mental tests. Unsurprisingly, Japan rarely has shootings or gun-related incidents of any kind.

It is important to note that in Australia, Britain and Japan, guns are not fully illegal, just heavily regulated and restricted. Implementing gun reform measures in the U.S. would not be an attempt to strip Americans of their right to bear arms, it would just be a way to weed out the people who shouldn’t be getting their hands on a gun in the first place. 

On Feb. 11, a woman opened fire at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. After the incident, it was revealed the shooter had a long history of mental illness and arrests. Also, her family made multiple attempts to prevent her from accessing guns, and a psychiatrist had raised a red flag warning about her in 2016. The fact that she was able to legally purchase a gun is a clear failure of the system. 

It is indisputable that the U.S. has a gun problem. Compared to other countries, it is an extreme outlier. It is also indisputable that where there are fewer guns, there is less gun violence. Lawmakers know that, but they have long prioritized guns over the citizens they vow to protect. The U.S. needs gun control immediately — enough is enough.

Brianna Tassiello is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the opinions expressed in this article do not represent those of The Post. Want to talk to Brianna? Email her at

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