VIII. International Perspective (UK)
The best way to understand why stricter gun regulations are better is to look at countries with very regulated firearm policies. In the United Kingdom, general citizenry doesn’t have a free access to firearms, it’s tightly controlled by the law. In result, the country has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world. Unlike the United States, United Kingdom has only one school shooting in their history, The Dunblane School Massacre, where 16 five-and-six year old and a teacher were killed in 1996. In response to this, John Major introduced the Firearms Act 1997, which banned all cartridge ammunition handguns, except for the 0.22 caliber single-shot weapons in England, Scotland, and Wales. Later that year, Tony Blair introduced the Firearms Act (No.2) 1997, which banned the remaining 0.22 cartridge handguns, leaving only muzzleloading, sports, and historic handguns as legal.
If the United States took this much caution after each school shooting in the beginning, there would be no more school shootings. Currently the regulations of guns in the UK are categorised as restrictive, and is not guaranteed by law. The maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm is up to 10 years in prison (depending on the gun type).
According to the graph shown above, it’s apparent how different the United Kingdom and the United States are. The United States are ranked as the highest number of crime per million, while the United Kingdom is number two. But the number are stunning, with the US having and 82% more crimes than the UK. Not all of the crimes involve firearms necessarily, but it’s easy to see that strict gun regulations bring down crime. Of course there are other reasons to why there’s lower crime rate, but to look specifically at gun-related crimes, in this case murder, we still see the apparent difference. The UK is marked at 44th in the world with 0.236 murders with firearms per million, while the US is ranked as 10th with 32.75. So then what does this mean?
It means that gun regulations really do decrease crime, they really do make us safer. So then isn’t it time for the US to follow their parent country’s steps? Isn’t it time for women, children, and everyone else to feel safe walking in the streets after the sun has set? Isn’t it time we take our guns off our shelves? Yes, it is.
1. The Dunblane Massacre, BBC. h2g2. 15 May 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
2. “United Kingdom vs United States Crime Stats Compared.” NationMaster.com. NationMaster, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.