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Scrutiny
  
Wrong ends from The Barrel
Governments of Countries Facing mass killing Incidents must Immediately clamp down on legal Gun Possession
18/08/2011

Carnage merchant Anders Behring Breivik, in a ludicrous act of insanity propelled by extreme right wing emotions, gunned and bombed around 98 Norwegians to death on July 22, 2011. However, the blame for this terrible tragedy should also go to the ease with which the average Norwegian citizens can acquire guns today.

Although acquisition of firearms in Norway is regulated by the state, it is not very difficult to acquire one on the pretext of hunting or for the sport of shooting. The result – an estimated 500,000 guns are owned by private homes in this tiny country. Going by the Gun Ownership Rate (Small Arms Survey 2007) i.e. guns per 100 residents – Norway was at an (un)impressive 11th position with a score of 31.3. However, topping the list most convincingly is the United States with a score of 88.8 (2007 figures). There are few restrictions on possessing firearms in US, protected by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The culpable nation had seen 24 such incidents of mass murder since 1960, which is the highest in the world! After US, the next 6 countries with the highest gun possession rates (legal guns per 100 population) are Yemen (61 guns per 100 population), Finland (55), France (32), Canada (31.5), Germany (30) and South Africa (13), according to the Small Arms Survey. These 6 countries also top the world in terms of mass murders after US, though the pecking order is different: Germany (7), South Africa (5), France (5), Yemen (3), Canada (3) and Finland (2).

Therefore, a direct inference can easily be drawn when it comes to the correlation between the ease of availability of legal arms in a particular country and the incidents of gruesome mass murders that happen there. And therefore, if such incidents have to be controlled, authorities have to also consider keeping firearms away from citizens to the maximum extent possible.

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