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More on guns in America
As this column was being finalised, news of the latest mass shooting in the USA reached us. It is so appalling that it feels futile to rant again about America’s unchanging gun culture. Instead, I provide a few facts: 59 people were killed and at least 500 others were injured when a lone gunman fired from a building near an open air concert in Las Vegas. The gunman had 19 rifles in his hotel room. In a press conference, US President Trump described the shooting as ‘an act of pure evil’ but did not address gun control. In contrast, former Vice-president Joe Biden, wrote: ’How long do we let gun violence tear families apart? Enough. Congress & the White House should act now to save lives. There’s no excuse for inaction'. America has nearly 30 times more gun deaths per capita than the UK. Comment: Later reports reveal that the rifles were converted to the equivalent of a semi-automatic weapon by the addition of a simple, cheap, legal add-on. Congress is now agonising over whether the add-on can be declared illegal.
Laws effective in preventing child off-road vehicle injuries
The all-terrain vehicle (ATV) has been involved in more than 3000 child deaths in the USA over the past three decades. The high centre of gravity of these machines makes it dangerous for children to manoeuvre safely. Consequently, Massachusetts enacted a law banning children under 14 years from using these vehicles on public or private property. Children 14–17 years old were …
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