Charleston church massacre: Manchester adds voice to calls for stricter US gun laws

In the wake of yet another mass shooting of innocent people in the USA the issue of increased gun control has once again become a hot topic.

The horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina, have once again highlighted the struggles that the country faces after even more innocent lives are needlessly lost.

There are more than three times as many Americans killed by guns annually than any other of the world’s wealthiest countries, and more than 10 times more than in Britain.

Historically Manchester has a reputation for gun crime in this country so MM took to the streets to find out from the city’s people whether or not they think stricter gun control should be enforced across the Atlantic.

Should America have stricter gun laws?

Sharon Marsh, 43, a housewife from Gorton, agrees that gun control is needed but admits that this could be hard to implement.

She said: “Yes, a lot of people have guns over there so it would be hard to do but they should make it much harder for people to get them.

“I’m glad it’s not like that in this country.

AMERICA’S DECISION: Gordon believes that it’s up to the U.S to reform laws and not other countries

Gordon Lau, 20, is a waiter from Levenshulme, he feels that although reform is needed it is not our place to tell another country how to behave.

He said: “Yeah, they probably should but in the end it’s their country and we can’t really tell them what to do.

“I’m glad things like this don’t happen in England and if they did I would want the government to do something about it.”

CHANGES NEED TO BE MADE: Cynthia believes it’s the innocent who fall victim to the law

Cynthia Rogers, 61, retired, from Bury feels that it’s the human cost of limited gun control that is the real issue, she said: “They certainly need to think about making some changes.

“It is innocent people that are getting killed and that is such a tragedy.

“We are by no means perfect here but at least we know that all is being done to keep us safe from guns.”

Judith Holmes, 59, Housewife, Heywood has been left confounded by the whole thing, she rightly raises the impact on families.

“It’s awful, you can’t imagine how it must be for families of people who get shot. I don’t understand how people let it happen,” she said.

Gavin Walsh, 36, Bar Manager, Royton, offers a different perspective.

His opinion is that the lack of control over guns isn’t the issue, it’s more an issue of keeping violent criminals off the streets.

He said: “It’s not really the law or the government’s fault, it’s the nutters that go round shooting people, they need to stop those people.”

LIMIT THE SALES: Adrian believes that America should by now know the repercussions of gun ownership

Adrian Romero, 24, is originally from Madrid but is currently studying in Manchester, he also agrees that more should be done to limit the sale of guns, he said:

“For sure, it’s crazy that it’s still this way in such an important country.”

Bethany Green, 19, a Barista from Rusholme, studied politics at A-level and is concerned that it is society’s most vulnerable people who seem to be caught up in violence, she said:

“Yes they absolutely should, the amount of times this happens it’s incredible that nothing has been done before now.

“I know that it’s difficult with some of the politics but at some point it has to be about protecting lives.

“It’s small children that are being murdered, it’s just horrible.”

James Whitehead, 29-year-old labourer from Manchester admitted that he wasn’t an expert on American politics but believes that it’s only sensible to try and put in place controls to stop similar tragedies from occurring.

He said: “Yes, I don’t really know much about the laws but it seems far too easy for people to get hold of guns.

“If it keeps happening you got to start thinking about putting a stop to it somehow.”

James Nelson, 22, Sales Assistant, Stockport like many others is unable to come to terms with American attitudes towards guns.

“Yeah they should, i can’t really understand how it hasn’t happened already,” he explained. 

“It happens a lot in America so it needs sorting out really.

“It doesn’t seem to happen in any other countries nearly as much or at least we don’t hear about it anyway.”

Faisal Hansra, 32, Shop Assistant from Manchester and has a family of his own, dreads the thought of his young children being caught in a crossfire.

He said: “It is terrible that they can’t seem to stop it happening.

“I mean imagine if it was your family that was caught up in it. You would definitely want the government to do something about guns then.”

Although immediate change may be uncertain and face major difficulties in the United States, one thing is for sure, Manchester, with its own problems with gun crime in its very recent past, has certainly joined the chorus of American and international voices calling for a reform to laws on gun control.

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