How will the American government respond to the amplification of mass shootings across the nation?

    The debate began with America’s first campus shooting in 1840: How will the American government respond to the amplification of mass shootings across the nation?

   In New Zealand, two mass shootings took place in early 2019. Six days after the tragedy, the prime minister quickly took action, banning the sale or possession of semi-automatic firearms. 

   “My question here is simple: You either believe that in New Zealand these weapons have a place or you do not. And if you do not, you should be able to agree that we can move swiftly,” the prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern told The New York Times. “My view is that an argument about process is an argument to do nothing.”

   New Zealand has not suffered from a mass shootings since Ardern’s decision to crack down on gun control came to pass in Parliament. 

   With New Zealand’s current gun laws, 4 mass shootings have occurred. 

   Japan enforces some of the strictest gun laws in the world. A sense of trust rests between the people and the police. The police rarely resort to gun use, instead required to train in martial arts to protect Japanese citizens. 

   For citizens to purchase a firearm, they have to attend an all-day training class, pass a written exam, and shoot with 95% accuracy at a shooting range, according to BBC. Furthermore, the government also requires citizens to pass a mental health and drug exam every three years.

   With Japan’s current gun laws, 0 mass shootings have occurred.

   Canada ensures all gun owners are older than 18, carry a license requiring a background check, and take a public safety course, VOA News writes. Semi-automatic weapons are entirely banned. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vows to make laws even stricter as gun violence is starting to become common in larger cities like Toronto. 

    With Canada’s current gun laws, 2 mass shootings have occurred. 

    In the United Kingdom, all possessors of guns must register for a certificate to legally carry a gun. Many guns are outlawed, including semi-automatic rifles, with only shotguns and manually loaded guns available for ownership, Business Insider states.

    Certificates are renewed every five years. Although there is no age limit for a shotgun certificate, firearm certificates require those interested to be 14 years of age and to undergo extensive background checks. If someone has a criminal record that required them to serve over a 3 year sentence in prison, they are no longer allowed to own a gun.

    With the United Kingdom’s current gun laws, 0 mass shootings have occurred.

     After suffering from a deadly shooting in 1996, Australia imposed strict gun control involving an overhaul of the system. Australia now demands background checks and a waiting period for the purchase of guns, according to Business Insider. Automatic and semiautomatic weapons are entirely banned and the government went as far as to buy back any banned weapons Australian citizens still owned. 

   With Australia’s current gun laws, 0 mass shootings have occurred.

   With America’s current gun laws, 288 mass shootings have occurred.