After the U.K. endured a series of mass shootings, including one that targeted children, it passed some very tough gun control legislation in 1997. The effect, reported on today by The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola, has been staggering. Here are eight of the big takeaways, possible learning opportunities as the U.S. considers its own gun law changes:
1) Bad guys have a hard time getting guns: Criminals have resorted to using “archaic flintlock pistols” and “retrofitted flare guns.” There’s been one mass shooting in 15 years. This despite the adage, “When guns are illegal, only criminals will possess them.”
2) Fewer illegal guns: Faiola reports that, according to ballistics studies, “Most gun crime in Britain can be traced back to less than 1,000 illegal weapons still in circulation.”
3) Fewer gun deaths: Someone in England or Wales is about 3 percent as likely to be killed by a gun as an American. There were 59 gun deaths there last year. The U.S. annual gun death rate has hovered around 10,000 for years.