FACTS ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE
WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES DO
Countries with more gun violence than the US are Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, South Africa, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Russia, The Phillipines and Thailand.
Countries with less gun violence than the US are Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, and Great Britain.
In Sweden, fully automatic weapons are only issued under special circumstances, to elite-level marksmen active extensively in a shooting club, and with the approval of Försvarsmakten, the Swedish Armed Forces.
The Japanese have the world’s fewest firearm-related deaths. In 2014 there were just six gun deaths, compared to 33,599 in the US. An individual may only own a shotgun for hunting, skeet and trap and then only after a lengthy licensing process. Handguns cannot be owned by individuals. A prospective shotgun owner must attend class, pass a written test, shooting range test, shooting test, safety exam, mental exam, medical test, and background check.
GUN LAWS AND CRIME GUNS
A Brady Campaign analysis found that the states with few or no gun laws export nine times the crime guns as the states with the strongest gun laws. Weaker gun laws are common among the states with higher gun death rates. California was awarded 81 points in the Brady Campaign’s 100-point Scorecard because of the state’s universal background check system, retention of purchase records, limiting of handgun purchases to one a month, and assault clip ban.
RATE YOUR STATE
Check out your state’s ranking. California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut received an A- in 2013 because they have the strongest laws to combat gun trafficking, prevent the sale of guns without background checks, and reduce risks to children.
Here are some resources for talking to your children about school shootings.
This is a good video by Peter Levine about talking to children about traumatic events. It’s more about personal events, but is helpful nonetheless.
Here’s a nice piece from the Child Mind Institute.
And, here’s a sweet guide for parents and educators about specifically talking about shootings. It’s arranged by age.
About Peggy O’Mara. I am an independent journalist who edits and publishes peggyomara.com. I was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine for over 30 years and founded Mothering.com in 1995. My books include Having a Baby Naturally, Natural Family Living, The Way Back Home and A Quiet Place. I have conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. I am the mother of four and grandmother of three. Please check out my email newsletter with free tips on parenting, activism, and healthy living.