The second amendment to America’s Bill of Rights has caused disputes and headaches to citizens throughout the ages as the true meaning of it is nearly indecipherable. With so many recent instances of gun violence, and on such high scales with mass shootings, gun control is a hot topic. There will never be an easy yes or no answer, but it appears that places like the United Kingdom and Switzerland have it figured out.
As reported by the National Public Radio, the United States has a ratio of 3.85 deaths due to gun violence out of 100,000 people On this same scale, the United Kingdom has a low .07 deaths per 100,000 citizens. Gun control in the United Kingdom is incredibly strict, compared to control in the U.S, with not even the police force allowed firearms. Excluding terrorist attacks, the last instance of mass gun violence in the U.K. was in 2010 with the Cumbria shootings – the last instance of gun violence in the United States was this last October.
In the time since 2010, the U.S. has experienced 23 mass shootings. U.S. citizens must now wonder what have we done wrong? Many argue that all guns should be banned, like in the United Kingdom, but the other side of the argument believes that the second amendment protects the ownership of a gun. Should the United States follow the example of the United Kingdom?
On the other end of the spectrum lies Switzerland where gun laws are nearly nonexistent, butrates of gun violence remain lower than that of the United States. Although gun ownership in the U.S. remains about doubled that of Switzerland, the rate of gun violence in Switzerland is below 1 per 100,000 citizens. However, the National Public Radio stated that “all healthy Swiss men aged between 18 and 34 are obliged to do military service” with proper training in firearms. Perhaps the training is what keeps Swiss gun violence at a low. Many gun supporters look at Switzerland as an example of gun control done right.
Although these are two examples of countries who have excelled in their gun control policies, there are many countries stuck in the wrong with the U.S, like Yemen and Thailand. With guns having become so embedded in modern culture, it is nearly impossible for to replicate such control as the United Kingdom – it also impossible to let such violence that has been experienced in the U.S. continue by creating a lax environment for guns. Perhaps there will be a happy medium in the future, but for now, gun control remains a sensitive and dangerous topic in the United States.
Aizenman, Nurith. “Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares With Other Countries.” NPR, NPR, 6 Oct. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/06/555861898/gun-violence-how-the-u-s-compares-to-other-countries.
Nelson, Soraya Sarhaddi. “What’s Worked, And What Hasn’t, In Gun-Loving Switzerland.” NPR, NPR, 19 Mar. 2013, www.npr.org/2013/03/19/174758723/facing-switzerland-gun-culture.
Kir, Emma Jane. “Switzerland Guns: Living with Firearms the Swiss Way.” BBC News, BBC, 11 Feb. 2013, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21379912.
“Mass Shootings in the U.S.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Oct. 2015, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/mass-shootings-timeline.html.