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UK Responded to 2 Mass Shootings with Effective Gun Control Policies; US Sees 599 Mass Shootings in 2023 with No National Policy Response

The Gun Violence Archive lists 599 mass shootings in the United States that have killed 625 people and injured 2,514 more just this year. Yet Congress has offered no response and many states have expanded access to guns this year.

The United Kingdom had four mass shootings in 1987 and two in 1996. The United Kingdom responded with serious gun control policies that reduced gun violence:

The deaths of 16 5- and 6-year-olds together with their teacher at a school in the Scottish town of Dunblane in 1996 was one of the United Kingdom’s worst incidents of gun-related violence. A 43-year-old man with four handguns stormed the schoolhouse gym in a three-minute shooting rampage.

Public outcry prompted political action the following year – the government banned the private ownership of all handguns on Britain’s mainland.

…More powerful guns had already been banned after a mass shooting in southern England’s Hungerford in 1987, in which a 27-year-old man killed 16 people, as well as himself, in an hours-long rampage. He was armed with a pistol, a hand grenade and an automatic rifle.

There have been two mass shootings in the country since the laws were tightened. In 2010, a lone gunman killed 12 people in a four-hour shooting spree in rural Cumbria, northern England. In 2021, five people were killed by a gunman in Plymouth, southwest England [Ray Sanchez, “She Led the National School Walkout After the Parkland Mass Shooting. Then She Left America,” CNN, 2023.11.11].

No gun control policy guarantees the end of gun violence, just as no traffic safety law guarantees the end of automotive violence. But enacting no gun control policies in the face of daily slaughter guarantees the slaughter will continue.

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