Gun control debates are being discussed amid a series of gun related deaths in the United States. Americans are proposing different types of solutions. But maybe, the U.S. should look to other nations for a roadmap.
Ahead, learn how some countries have practically no gun deaths. Plus, what Trump’s reaction to gun deaths mean for these possible solutions (see page 8).
Gun related deaths in the U.S.
In recent history, gun related deaths are becoming more and more common. Seeing reports of mass shootings in the news is becoming regular. With each shooting or gun related death, the topic of gun control takes center stage among political debates. The U.S. may profit from taking plays from other countries’ playbooks.
Hint: How Obama encourages people to buy guns.
America has more guns than any other country in the world
Guns outnumber people in the United States, according to The Washington Post. Since 2009, gun makers are increasing their annual output, causing an “Obama Effect,” according to Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University. Discussions of shootings and changes in policy “motivates gun owners to get more guns, and perhaps some non-owners to get one ‘while the getting is good,'” Kleck told The Washington Post.
Hint: Rigorous testing is required in Japan.
Owning a gun is no small feat in Japan. Citizens must attend an all-day class, pass a written exam, and get a 95% accuracy rate or higher during a shooting range test, according to Business Insider. But the testing isn’t over yet. Passing a mental health test and background check is required. Only then can they buy shotguns and air guns only. Gun owners must retake the entire exam every three years.
Hint: The Australian government buys back guns.
Getting paid to sell guns to the government is a solution the Australian government creates after a 1996 shooting where 35 are killed, according to Business Insider. The buyback program costs millions — money from a one-time tax increase is used — where “more than 600,000 automatic and semiautomatic weapons and pump-action shotguns,” are destroyed. After this, gun deaths are practically cut in half.
Hint: Community policing works for this nation.
“The number of fatal shootings by police in Norway in the past nine years was less than the number of fatal shootings by US police officers in one day,” a 2015 analysis says. Norway focuses on trust between communities and the government, built on partnership. Feeling safer around the police is their goal because police with then gain a better understanding of problems and be able to address them.
Hint: The U.K. takes a mixed approach.
In the 1990’s, Parliament passes a law banning private ownership of handguns. Semiautomatic and pump-action firearms are also banned. Shotguns must be registered. Similar to Australia, the U.K. purchases guns and ammunition from citizens. In a population of 56 million, 50 to 60 gun deaths occur every year in Wales and England, according to Business Insider.
Hint: Will Trump look to other countries?
Trump’s response to shootings
In the wake of recent shootings, President Donald Trump, is responding by discussing mental health and offering his condolences to the families of the victims, according to The New York Times. Trump’s focus may be elsewhere on the topic of gun deaths. Only time will tell if Trump is open to methods used by other countries but judging from his behavior, most likely he will not be receptive.
Proposed solutions in the U.S.
Here are some of the discussed solutions to curb gun violence in the U.S. today. One proposed solution is to make it harder to buy a gun. Another is to limit the types or amount of ammunition available. We may have to think globally about a solution to gun deaths.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!