Other nations have adopted effective measures to stop the public slaughters. Following a mass shooting in 1996 when 35 people were killed and 18 wounded, Australia adopted a series of measures that have had significant, positive results. Canberra embarked on a widespread gun buy-back campaign and enacted strict gun laws.
The net result of Australia’s actions has led to a marked decline in suicides and murders with guns. Since 1996, Australia has had only one mass shooting.
According to the Library of Congress Law Library, “Great Britain has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world. The main law is from the late 1960s, but it was amended to restrict gun ownership further in the latter part of the twentieth century in response to massacres that involved lawfully licensed weapons. Handguns are prohibited weapons and require special permission. Firearms and shotguns require a certificate from the police for ownership, and a number of criteria must be met, including that the applicant has a good reason to possess the requested weapon. Self-defense or a simple wish to possess a weapon is not considered a good reason. The secure storage of weapons is also a factor when licenses are granted.”
Great Britain has a well-deserved reputation of having some of the tightest gun control laws in the world. Again, the Library of Congress Law Library notes, “Only police officers, members of the armed forces, or individuals with written permission from the Home Secretary may lawfully own a handgun. This stringent legislation may, in part, account for Britain’s relatively low statistics for the use of firearms in crime—in 2008–2009 firearms were used in only 0.3% of all recorded crimes and were responsible for the deaths of thirty-nine people. …”
“Firearms laws governing the country (Great Britain) have generally been enacted in a reactive manner in response to massacres and overwhelming public support that backed the introduction of prohibitions on firearms. The laws cover a number of weapons, including handguns, shotguns, imitation firearms, deactivated firearms, and air weapons…”
With these strict gun laws, Great Britain remains a democracy where individual rights are guaranteed and protected. The absence of an armed citizenry has not led to a dictatorship.
The self-proclaimed greatest nation in the world should not sit still idly by while those who are threat to society use innocent people for target practice. The increase in mass shootings has shown that demanding action on the part of our elected officials to help stop these massacres is an imperative. (To be continued)