If there is anything worse than the coronavirus epidemic at the moment, it would be gun violence. The reason we say that is because gun violence had gripped almost half the universe long before the coronavirus came along. It causes millions of deaths each year, and apparently, the world has not yet been able to come up with a strategy to curb the ownership of the gun and related violence. Let us look into some of the countries that top the list for gun violence and briefly discuss their policies regarding controlling it.
Argentina may be surprising to you, but this country has at least once topped the list for gun violence. Back in 2015, it was estimated that out of 100 inhabitants, at least 7 individuals possessed guns. Now you might think that the number is low, but it is enough to destroy families and streets altogether. However, firearms in Argentina are now strictly restricted. Since October 2015, the restriction of firearms has been controlled by the Agencia Nacional de MaterialesControlados. To own a gun in Argentina, one needs to be 21 years old or older, should be both mentally and physically fit in addition to being a legitimate user, and should provide a medical certificate to assure that he/she can handle firearms and related situations. Furthermore, the individuals have to undergo a safety course, provide a legitimate source of income, and pass a background check.
Brazil’s gun violence is something that we get to see in the movies as well. The existence of gangs makes matters worse, but the government of Brazil has been working day and night and has successfully curbed the use of gun violence. Today, to begin with, all firearms in Brazil need to be registered. One needs to be 25 years of age or older to own a gun and will need to pass both a mental and physical aptitude test. The test will be conducted every ten years. It is estimated that the total number of firearms in Brazil is around 14-17 million. Nine million amongst them are unregistered. Even though in Brazil, it is illegal to carry your firearm outside the residence, but it is often that the owners will take it for granted.
Back in 2013, Canada was seriously struggling with the rise of gun violence. It unexpectedly took over Canada, and the administration was having a tough time dealing with it. According to the statistics of 2017, out of every 100 inhabitants, around 34 possessed firearms. It is hard to accept the fact, especially when compared to Argentina, due to the fact that Canada has always been known as one of the safest countries on the planet. Firearms in Canada are regulated through the Firearms Act.
The federal police are responsible for providing possession and acquisition of firearms by requiring individuals to undergo a firearms safety course, a background check, pass a test, and finally, reference interviews. In Canada, there are two reasons to carry a firearm, one is shooting, and the other is hunting. Carrying a firearm for self-defense against humans is prohibited; however, you can carry a “Wilderness carry permit” for protection against wild animals.
Africa’s gun violence has been making news for the last decade. Even though strict gun laws are existing, there as well but sadly, positive results are yet to be seen. In Africa, gun laws differ in different cities. For instance, Botswana has kept the use of firearms under strict control and issues licenses to a very limited number of people. Only 50 people will be provided a license, regardless of how many apply. However, the case is the exact opposite in Namibia. In 2017 alone, the police of Namibia issued 7,647 licenses from 9,239 applications received. This means that the total acceptance rate was 83%. Currently, out of every ten individuals, nine own firearms in Namibia. Furthermore, the government allows carrying a gun as long as it is concealed and unloaded.
Chile from 2015-2017 was standing toe to toe with Canada. There was a point where it had slightly crossed Canada in terms of firearm possession but has kept things under strict surveillance. Chile offers its citizens four different types of firearm licenses, defense, sporting, hunting, and collection. The individual needs to be 18 years of age, should have a pass from a psychologist, and should not be involved in any violence in history.
In 2015, the number of deaths due to firearms only was 488. Therefore, the government, by introducing licenses, has also put restrictions on the types of firearms that could be used. Moreso, civilians in Chile are not allowed to carry firearms, particularly automatic weapons. A Self-defense permit could be acquired against potential human threats but will only remain valid for a year.
Columbia was literally a blood bath from 2001 to 2015. The total number of gun deaths in 2001 alone was 23, 328, and 9,523 in 2015. The country has come a long way in dealing with firearms and related violence, but unfortunately, enough damage has been done. The problem with controlling firearms in Columbia is that no one seriously wants to implement strict gun laws. There are so many loopholes in the existing gun laws that it makes the system look like nothing less than a joke. President Juan Manuel Santos, 2016, signed an executive order, declaring that civilians were not allowed to carry firearms. There were some exceptions, and that included security details, private defense, hunting, and collection. Columbia is in dire need of a revolution in terms of gun control, and by looking at the facts and figures, it will take decades.
If you search for the countries that have the most gun violence, America will not be far behind in the race. From 5 to 6 years, America has been making headlines across the globe for its gun violence, especially mass shootings. There has been a surge in such cases, and the administration has done everything it can to end it once and for all. However, unfortunately, there are still thousands of civilians that are armed and carry unregistered firearms. In 2017 alone, the number of deaths from guns was 39, 773.
The 30,000 peak was touched in 2005 and has continued ever since. Gun laws in America have experienced rapid shifts all these years. Some states prohibit carrying firearms openly whereas others allow carrying in public without concealing and that too without a permit. Gun laws in America struggle to see the light of the day as legalities, and constitutional validity makes it complicated. As soon as America is able to find the best middle way, it should be able to end gun violence for once.
Gun violence has existed in almost every country around the world. The number of firearms existing and owned by civilians is one thing, but the way governments work to handle it is another. The problem with gun violence is that it spreads like a virus. Along the way, innocent civilians lose their lives. If not anything, the world should come together to stop gun trafficking, which otherwise provides every gang member out there a reason to kill.