What the US Shootings Have Taught Other Nations

It’s happened again. This time the venue was a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. According to initial reports, 4 people died and around 10 were injured in this shooting at the St. Francis Hospital Natalie Medical Center. The assailant, Michael Louis, was armed with an AR-15 rifle he had purchased that very afternoon. His real target was Dr. Phillips, a surgeon who had performed a back operation on him earlier. Michael blamed Dr. Phillips for causing him pain. The shooter ultimately took his own life

Picking up the pieces

While the US still reels from this latest shooting incident, the causes of which are still not fully known, it is gratifying to see a mind-shift in the way that the Uvalde shooting has been presented for viewers all across the world and the US in particular.

President Joe Biden and his wife visited the school and met with the parents of the unfortunate victims of the incident. The funerals are still in progress as we speak, and the scars and the tears will remain long after.

Gun Control in Focus Once Again

While the President has stated that he will make every effort to get something moving on the issue of gun control laws, Vice President Kamala Harris is already purporting to insist that automatic weapons should not be issued to members of the general public.

The carnage generally caused by using automatic weapons has far worse consequences and effects than using a simple revolver, gun or rifle.

The Tulsa shooting has been recorded at the 233rd mass killing in the US this year, in just 129 calendar days since January 1. This is quite a shocking statistic.

What other nations have learned from shooting incidents

It is clear that such appalling incidents have far reaching consequences in many countries of the world.

Such incidents have sent shockwaves through the social strata in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and made the way for initiation of changes in gun control laws in these nations, so that such needless violence is prevented in future generations.

Gun Control Laws in Australia

Efforts to tackle gun control were brought into place by Prime Minister John Howard in 1996.

This followed a mass shooting initiated by a lone gunman in Port Arthur, Tasmania, where 35 people were killed and 18 injured in a mere 90 seconds. A semi-automatic rifle was used.

It took 12 days to enact a nation-wide bi-partisan gun law reform. All gun owners are now required to provide a valid reason to own a firearm.

Self-defense is not considered a good enough reason and owners are required to register their guns at the local police station. This ruling was backed by the support of 90-95% of the population.

Gun Control Laws in the United Kingdom

The turning point here came in the wake of the 1996 incident in which a licensed pistol owner killed 16 elementary school children and one teacher in Dunblane, Scotland. The public outcry that followed made the UK government ban all handguns.

There was also a gun buyback scheme enacted by the Government under which it spent £90.2 million (equivalent to US$ 146 million) for return of firearms, parts and ammunition by British citizens.

Also Read: Russia Attack Kyiv-Ukraine with Missiles

Gun Control Laws in New Zealand

Who can forget the 2019 incident that occurred in Christchurch in which an Australian exploited New Zealand’s lax gun control laws on rapid firearms?

He ended up killing 51 people and injuring 40 more at two mosques. The aftermath of this incident was that there was a massive buyback of arms and ammunition by the New Zealand government at a cost of NZ$ 104 million (equaling US$68 million).

The Parliament vote to ban and buy back automatic weapons was passed with a result of 119-1 in favor of the ban.

Despite all these actions, there is still an estimated stockpile of around 1 million firearms out there, with 85% of them in civilian hands. It is clearly something to think about.