China’s gun-control success a lesson for US

Both the US and Brazil have met problems in gun control as their regulations lag behind the development of national conditions. Loopholes appeared in management and could be further broadened.

A school shooting Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil killed 10 people, including the two shooters. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, the “Tropical Trump,” suggested doing something about gun ownership, but he seemed not to have done anything more than the real Donald Trump. Maybe they both should learn from China’s experiences.

With a population of over 8 million and about 2 million privately owned guns, Switzerland has proved that strict laws and a high happiness level can help stop mass shootings.

Unfortunately, happiness is barely an option for the US as it has been through drastic changes that widened the gap between the rich and the poor as well as stratified the country. Some of the main factors that support people’s happiness – caring, generosity, honesty, income and good governance – are being challenged in the US. As a result, the American people are undergoing psychological changes which could be deeply related to the increase in mass shootings.

Along with the declined happiness level, the fading away of social identity and the collapse in overall societal morality have made people prone to committing senseless acts – not to mention if or when they are equipped with lethal firearms.

According to Quartz, Trump once asked, “Does anyone have any ideas for how to stop it [mass shooting]?” China’s achievements in gun control could be an answer.

China is now the country with the fewest gun-linked crimes in the world. This results from constant, strict control and regulation of firearms, which have contributed to China’s rapid economic growth and the stability of society in the past four decades. Private possession of firearms is generally prohibited with extremely limited exceptions in China. Relevant laws provide harsh punishments for gun control violations. All these measures guarantee that guns are not in the wrong hands.

The US government needs to adopt updated and stricter laws to ensure firearms are in the right hands. Stronger gun laws could result in fewer gun deaths. But focusing on gun laws for the sake of shootings may lead to omissions in regulations that should be more comprehensive.

In recent years, the Chinese government took further steps to adjust and tighten its regulations on gun ownership in accordance with evolving national conditions. Although the moves are based on China’s conditions, the Chinese general road map for strict gun control is worth mulling over for the US, Brazil or any other country with similar headaches. China has developed its proper way, and so can the US.