OPINION: US needs our gun buyback scheme NOW

THERE are some sections of American society that regard Australia's gun buyback as a form of heresy.

Barack Obama has said he would like to duplicate John Howard's policy and get many dangerous weapons off the street.

And yet every time there is a mass shooting, like the one at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the calls for gun reform are met with strident opposition from America's powerful gun lobby.

I've actually had a rigorous debate with an American friend of mine who said, with a serious look on her face, that a gun buyback amounted to a government conspiracy to disarm citizens.

Of course, everyone knows that the right to bear arms is written into the US Constitution.

But constitutions should not be treated like they are set in stone like the Ten Commandments.

Constitutions, like society itself, should be living documents subject to change.

American citizens are not going to be called upon to take up arms against any invasion any time soon, nor do they have an evil form of government they need to overthrow.

Their enemy is the enemy within. Lone, disenfranchised or mentally ill individuals who can go out and buy semi-automatic or automatic weapons at the nearest supermarket.

A gun buyback in American would only partially address the problem.

They also need tighter restrictions on how they are sold, licensed and kept.

No sick individuals should be able to walk into a peaceful school and simply start firing.

That's just evidence of what a sick, regressive and sad state America is in.

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