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Joe Biden says mass shootings rarely happen outside the US. What have other countries done that America hasn't? – ABC News

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Joe Biden says mass shootings rarely happen outside the US. What have other countries done that America hasn't?
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After the lives of 19 children and two teachers were ripped away by a teenage gunman at a Texas primary school, US President Joe Biden said shootings like this "rarely happen anywhere else in the world".
He's right — other countries do have mass shootings, but nowhere near as frequently as the US. This has been the case for some time. 
"They have mental health problems (and) domestic disputes in other countries, they have people who are lost, but these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency that they happen in America," Mr Biden said in his first address after the Robb Elementary shooting.
Here's what some of those countries have done in response to some of the most significant mass shootings outside the US over the last three decades. 
A total of 51 people died after an Australian gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019.
The New Zealand parliament then: 
There hasn't been a mass shooting reported in New Zealand since.
In 2011, a right-wing extremist shot and killed 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp on Uteoya Island after killing eight people with a car bomb in central Oslo.
Seven years later, in 2018, the government announced it would ban semi-automatic weapons after securing the support of a majority of parliamentarians
At the time, Peter Froelich, the deputy leader of parliament’s justice committee, said the ban would require anyone who owned semi-automatic weapons to give them up, as well as prohibit future sales.
Norway has been ranked among the safest countries in the world when comparing rates of gun violence, despite having gun ownership rates comparable with the US.
It's been 26 years this year since 35 people were killed in the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996.
In one of the country's most unified approaches by state and federal governments, it was ruled that:
Was this accepted as the best way forward at the time? Not by everyone.
The legislation was fiercely opposed by advocates of gun rights in Australia and there are still calls from some groups to relax the rules.
Was 1996 the last time anyone died in a mass shooting in Australia? Also no.
Some of the most significant shooting incidents reported in Australia since Port Arthur include:
For comparison, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 45,222 total firearm deaths in the year 2020 alone — more than 19,000 of those were classified as homicides.
Just weeks before Port Arthur, a man shot and killed 16 children and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, a small town north of Glasgow.
Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions calling for tighter firearm laws after the tragedy, with victims' families leading the campaign for change.
In response to that lobbying and an independent inquiry into the Dunblane massacre, the UK government made sweeping changes to gun laws, including banning private ownership of handguns in the majority of cases.
The following year there were more changes to firearms legislation, further limiting the types of guns that were classified as legal for private ownership.
According to UK parliamentary data, 30 people died of homicide by firearm in England and Wales in the year from April 2019 to March 2020.
The Canadian government just this week introduced draft legislation that will put a freeze on importing, buying or selling handguns, which is expected to be enacted later this year.
"In Canada, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right," Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said.
"This is a principle that differentiates ourselves from many other countries in the world, notably our colleagues and friends to the south."
The country already has plans to ban 1,500 types of military-style guns and offer a mandatory buyback program that will begin at the end of the year. It has also boosted background checks.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the shooting and what led up to it, including the police response, which has been widely criticised.
As far as gun laws go though, it remains more thoughts-and-prayers than reform-and-change.
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, whose passionate speech immediately after the Robb Elementary shooting has been seen around the world, said the US has recorded 18 mass shootings in the days since that incident.
The gridlocked US Senate means Democrats would need the support of at least 10 Republicans to make any progress on gun control measures. 
But the prospect of an agreement has already been brushed aside by multiple Republican leaders.
"You see Democrats, and a lot of folks in the media, whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens," Republican Senator Ted Cruz said. 
"It doesn't prevent crime."
More significant reform, such as re-introducing a ban on assault weapons that lapsed in 2004, would require support in Congress — that would mean overcoming the influence of the National Rifle Association, which remains significant despite declaring bankruptcy last year.
Grieving loved ones of victims chanted "do something" when President Biden visited memorials at Robb Elementary School this week.
Editor’s note (07/06/2022): A headline on this story was updated to make clear that mass shootings are rare outside the US. Further context around the Lindt cafe shooting has also been added to clarify that one of the victims was hit by a stray police bullet.
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.
AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


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