By: Felix Howton
The United States is known globally for its lenient gun control measures and culture of gun ownership, with more guns existing in the country than people. The nation also exhibits a significantly higher firearm death rate than any other similarly developed country. While gun violence continues to be an important issue for Americans, other countries have experienced tragic mass shootings and taken effective steps to address gun violence in their countries–steps that may prove applicable to the American situation.
Other developed countries have witnessed effective implementation from a variety of different policies. One of the most common gun control policies shown to reduce the number of mass shootings nationwide is the Assault Weapons Ban. Since the law typically enacts gun control following a shooting that attracts national attention, and because the majority of mass shooters perpetrate the heinous crime with automatic or semi-automatic firearms not considered necessary for everyday use, countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, and Australia have implemented various bans to limit the destructive potential of weapons held by the population. Weapon buyback programs are also popular methods to reduce the number of guns in circulation, with many studies showing that fewer guns on the streets leads to fewer shootings overall. Although these policies constitute just two of the many preventative measures employed around the world to counteract the occurrence of shootings, it is clear that the United States can look to other successful models of gun control to reduce gun violence.