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How different international locations have responded to mass shootings


In the house of lower than two weeks, the United States has seen mass shootings that left six useless at a Walmart, 5 useless at a LGBTQ nightclub and three useless on the University of Virginia after a discipline journey to see a play.

These are simply the most recent mass shootings within the United States, the place firearms are a bitter partisan political subject. Calls for robust gun-control measures are inclined to observe within the wake of such assaults, together with an outpouring of anger and grief on social media.

Many individuals all over the world are as soon as once more asking the identical query: Why gained’t America take steps to finish gun violence?

From the United Kingdom to New Zealand, listed below are the coverage adjustments some international locations have carried out after their very own mass shootings.

Parents and neighborhood members in Uvalde, Tex., scrambled for details about the coed victims of the Robb Elementary School mass taking pictures on May 24. (Video: John Farrell/The Washington Post)

In August 1987, Michael Robert Ryan fatally shot 16 individuals in Hungerford, England. The scale of the bloodbath shocked the nation. At the time, The Washington Post described it because the “worst such incident in modern British history.”

Ryan, 27 and unemployed, was armed with a Chinese copy of an AK-47 and a wide range of different weapons. His motive was by no means found. He killed himself and his mom, his solely shut relative.

In response to the bloodbath, British Home Secretary Douglas Hurd referred to as for an investigation into Ryan’s authorized possession of the weapons he used. The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, handed with the backing of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party authorities, outlawed semiautomatic weapons and restricted gross sales of some forms of shotguns.

These weapons had been uncommon in Britain, so the affect was restricted. But after one other mass taking pictures in March 1996, when Thomas Hamilton killed 16 youngsters and their instructor at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland utilizing Browning and Smith & Wesson handguns, more-sweeping guidelines had been put in place.

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Public anger over the killings led to a strong grass-roots marketing campaign referred to as Snowdrop. The 1997 Firearms Act ended up proscribing possession of virtually all handguns. Tens of 1000’s of weapons had been collected from house owners, who got market worth for the weapons. Police spent years cracking down on unlawful gun possession.

Gun violence peaked in 2005 and has step by step declined within the years since.

Relatives of those that died in Britain’s mass shootings have mentioned their experiences may assist the United States reckon with gun-control laws.

“Eyes are going to be on Dunblane, and we don’t need the eyes on Dunblane anymore,” Jack Crozier, whose 5-year-old sister Emma was killed within the bloodbath, mentioned at an anniversary occasion in March 2021. “But we need to be looking at what is going on in other countries, and America in particular.”

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Martin Bryant, 29, killed 35 individuals close to the historic Port Arthur jail in Tasmania, Australia, utilizing a legally bought Colt AR-15 semiautomatic rifle in April 1996. It was the deadliest bloodbath in Australia through the twentieth century and got here simply weeks after the killings in Dunblane.

The slayings drew widespread consideration to Australia’s gun legal guidelines, which had been particularly relaxed in Tasmania. The island, which has its personal state authorities, had required gun licenses solely since 1988 and didn’t require rifles to be registered.

The Australian federal authorities, then led by center-right Prime Minister John Howard, coordinated with states to limit the possession of computerized and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Within a 12 months, the federal government purchased again 650,000 firearms.

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Some research have indicated that this system was profitable and that Australia grew to become a much less violent place within the years for the reason that buyback.

In 2013, Howard wrote an op-ed for the New York Times that referred to as on President Barack Obama to observe his mannequin. “Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control,” Howard wrote.

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In March 2019, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, opened hearth at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and killed 51 Muslim worshipers with weapons that included an AR-15-style rifle. Less than 24 hours later, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced that the nation would change its gun legal guidelines.

Unlike Australia, New Zealand had comparatively lax gun rules and a strong gun foyer. Before the assault, there have been an estimated 250,000 gun house owners within the nation, which has a inhabitants of 5 million individuals. Tarrant, an Australian citizen who had been dwelling in New Zealand since 2017, had bought his weapons legally, though he had illegally modified some.

Ardern was in a position to collect swift help for more durable gun legal guidelines, placing momentary measures in place inside days. The following month, Parliament made the adjustments official, with overwhelming bipartisan help and just one lawmaker opposed. Among the plans had been a gun buyback scheme, in addition to restrictions on AR-15s and different semiautomatic weapons.

New Zealand’s Parliament voted nearly unanimously for a legislation that bans most semiautomatic weapons. Here’s a take a look at the brand new legislation. (Video: William Neff/The Washington Post)

Because of the lax monitoring of those weapons, authorities had been initially uncertain what number of had been within the nation. “It’s really an open checkbook,” Joe Green, gun security specialist and former arms management supervisor for the New Zealand Police, advised The Post, “because they don’t know how many they are buying back.”

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A second spherical of gun legal guidelines was handed in 2020, which required organising a brand new firearms registry that gun license holders had been required to replace as they purchased or bought firearms.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in June 2019, Ardern mentioned she was bewildered by the United States’ reluctance to go gun-control legal guidelines. “Australia experienced a massacre and changed their laws. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws. To be honest with you, I do not understand the United States,” she mentioned.

In April 2020, Gabriel Wortman, wearing an genuine Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform and driving a mocked-up police cruiser, went on a 13-hour rampage by means of rural Nova Scotia, killing 22 individuals within the deadliest mass taking pictures in fashionable Canadian historical past.

Police shot the 51-year-old denturist useless at a gasoline station. Court paperwork confirmed that he was armed with two semiautomatic rifles and two pistols. He didn’t have a firearms license, and a number of the weapons had been smuggled in from the United States.

Two weeks later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a ban on greater than 1,500 makes and fashions of “military-style assault weapons,” together with the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14, which was utilized in a 1989 bloodbath that left 14 useless on the École Polytechnique in Montreal. The ban makes it unlawful to fireside, transport, promote, import or bequeath these weapons.

Trudeau, who pledged stricter gun-control measures through the 2019 election marketing campaign, mentioned his authorities had been engaged on a ban earlier than the pandemic. The Conservative Party mentioned the ban, which was imposed by means of regulatory measures, was opportunistic.

An amnesty measure to permit individuals a grace interval to conform was set to run out in April, nevertheless it has been prolonged by means of the autumn of 2023. The authorities has pledged to develop a compulsory buyback program for the banned firearms, however there are few particulars on how it will work.



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