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Strong measures to help countries prevent gun shooting

After the bloody shootings, many governments immediately imposed strict laws restricting guns, preventing the tragedy from happening again.

UK today employs one of the strictest gun control regimes in the developed world, to the point where many police officers are unarmed when on duty. But not from the very beginning.

The people of this country have traditionally viewed hunting as a sport, which is deeply ingrained in the culture of gun ownership, especially in rural areas.

However, this culture began to change in 1987, after the Hungerfor massacre, named after the small English town where the shooting took place. A 27-year-old local man used two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun he legally owned to fatally shoot 16 people. The man’s motive for committing the crime is still unclear.

The tragedy shocked British public opinion, so much so that the government quickly imposed a ban on rifles of the same type used by the shooter and forced owners of shotguns to register with the police.

The 1996 school shooting in a small Scottish town, where a local man murdered 15 students and a teacher, prompted broader changes in gun control. A government commission of inquiry has proposed restricting people’s right to own handguns.

Gun inspector at the National Ballistic Intelligence Service in Birmingham, England.  Photo: NY Times.

Gun inspector at the National Ballistic Intelligence Service in Birmingham, England. Image: NY Times.

The British government went even further, imposing a ban on all handguns, except those of the smallest caliber. When Labor came to power, the ban was extended to all handguns.

The legal reforms also require gun owners to go through a rigorous licensing process, including interviews and home visits by local police, who can refuse approval if they perceive someone wanting to do so. Possession of a firearm poses a threat to public safety.

However, shootings have not completely disappeared in the UK. An attacker shot dead 12 people in 2010 and another suspect killed five in 2021. But all forms of gun violence fell dramatically in the UK after that ban.

Today, the rate of gun ownership in the UK is 5 guns per 100 people, one of the lowest in the developed world. The gun homicide rate is also among the lowest, at about 0.7 per million.

Australia It is also a country that has had a headache with the issue of gun violence. The people of this country also have a culture of pro-gun ownership like the US and this right is supported by many political parties.

However, the 1996 massacre, when a gunman killed 35 people in the town of Port Arthur, prompted the government to go hard on gun control policies.

The government program to buy back guns from people across the country is one of the measures to prevent gun violence in Australia. The program has reduced the number of guns in personal possession by about 20-30%, mainly targeting weapons such as semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, which are banned under the new laws.

The country also changed the law, turning gun ownership from an inherent right into a privilege that citizens must seek to achieve.

To own a gun, Australians now have to apply at the national registry, with a waiting time of up to 28 days, and they must present good reasons to own a gun.

Since then, shootings have largely disappeared in Australia. The country has so far recorded only one mass shooting in 2018, with seven people killed.

A 2011 survey on suicide and crime concluded the Australian government’s gun buyback program “seems to have actually saved so many lives”.

Before the program was introduced, the average annual gun suicide rate in Australia between 1989-1995 was 2.6 per 100,000 people, but in the seven years after that it dropped to 1.1. Similarly, the annual average gun homicide rate has fallen from 43/100,000 to 25/100,000.

The reform was initially controversial, but concerns about the risk of public backlash or the use of violence did not materialize.

“Most Australians think their country is safer today because of gun control,” former Australian prime minister John Howard said in 2013.

Norway ever It has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Europe. However, the rate of gun-related violence in Norway is relatively low, as the country has adopted strict rules for many years, including mandatory gun safety classes and a strict licensing process. .

However, the 2011 terrorist attack that killed 77 people by far-right Anders Behring Breivik forced Norway to tighten its gun control policy.

In 2018, Norway enacted a ban on semi-automatic weapons, which were used by Breivik in the attack. The ban officially took effect at the end of last year.

Like Norway, New Zealand also has a tradition of high gun ownership rates but tight controls and low rates of gun violence. But the country has made more rapid changes in tightening gun control.

When an extremist shot dead 50 people at a mosque in 2019, it took the New Zealand government less than a week to announce a ban on the military-style semi-automatic rifle the attacker used in the attack. massacre.

Max Fisher, analyst at NY Times, indicates that the above countries have in common a very high rate of gun ownership, or relatively few gun restrictions, or both. Meanwhile, in most countries with low gun ownership rates and strict controls in place from the start, the rate of mass shootings is markedly lower.

Germany is one of the countries with low gun ownership rates and many gun control regulations. But when the shooting happened, Germany still acted very quickly. After a gunman killed 16 people at a school in Erfurt in 2009, the German government immediately raised the minimum age of people allowed to carry guns from 18 to 21.

When the 2016 Munich shootings left 10 people dead, the German parliament passed a new rule giving police the power to randomly check gun owners.

“With gun ownership so heavily regulated, countries like Germany simply don’t have to put in place so many other restrictions,” said Fisher analyst.

Thanh Tam (Follow NY Times)

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