Other developed countries are similar to ours regarding mental health statistics. Their movie and video game cultures, etc., are comparable, but, unlike us, they have managed to control gun violence.
Our gun deaths on a per capita basis are six times that of Canada, 43 times that of England, 23 times that of Australia and in Japan there are less than 20 gun deaths per year in a population of 124 million. These countries have managed this by sensible gun control. None of these countries allow civilians to own automatic or semi-automatic weapons. All have strict licensing and background checks. Some of the requirements are that gun purchasers must have references and wait for as long as 60 days before a purchase, spouses and next of kin are notified of a possible purchase, written and practical exams are required, criminal convictions must be declared, gun barrels have minimum length requirements and, in general, only after exhaustive checks can you purchase a gun and only one designed for hunting and sport shooting.
Notice that all of the above are not some wishy-washy psychiatric solution which hopes to identify possible shooters as advocated by those who hope to talk around the issue: rather they simply eliminate the hardware. We like to claim that we are the strongest country in the world and militarily and economically we are but that’s as far as it goes. We should be ashamed of our weakness in not demanding gun control programs that work as in other countries.
La Crosse, Wis.