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January 13th, 2011
11:36 AM ET

Q&A: Guns Around The World

In a tragic new twist on "the gunshot heard around the world", the tragedy in Arizona has people around the world talking about the political tone in the U.S., how the U.S. deals with the mentally ill and, of course, guns.  Much of the world still looks to the U.S. as a country which, strangely to some, affords its citizens constitutional protection to be armed to the teeth.  But how DO America's gun laws compare to those of other countries, and what effect have different gun laws had on crime?

In the first Q&A of the year, Richard Quest and I will take a different approach.  We'll offer our thoughts on guns and laws. Then, instead of The Voice asking us questions, we'll tell each other – and you – what we've learned about gun laws around the world.

Tune in at 2p ET on CNN U.S./1900 GMT on CNN International


Post by: , , , ,
Filed under: Ali Velshi • Q&A
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Stephen Real

    Is the violent crime rate the same in the US as it is in UK?

    January 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  2. Tree

    Um......Hello Americans!

    The United States has by far the highest rate of gun deaths - murders, suicides and accidents - among the world's 36 richest nations, a government study found.
    I have also "heard" that the U.S. has more gun related deaths than EVERY non third world country COMBINED!!
    But I don't know if that's a confirmed fact. I wouldn't be surprised if it was!

    So many Americans have their "head in the sand" when it comes to why we should have better gun control!

    When will they get a clue? When kids start shooting other kids at school? When young innocent girls with tons of potential get killed in broad daylight? When attorneys get shot right in front of a courthouse? When lunitics can walk into a school board meeting & start shooting?

    Why are some things SO obvious to me when other people are so ignorant?

    January 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  3. Laurie Schladweiler

    Just returned from the hair salon where one customer had brought in a framed "Gabby" letter and another stylist (not my own) came up to me and said"Isn't it a beautiful day? Finally, we can have some peace after so much suffering." My husband and I attended the service last night, after waiting in line since noon." We watched some coverage last night and your show this a.m. I really think the only folks that should be commenting on the service right are Tucsonans who were there. The compassion and hope that was "waiting in the wings" needed somewhere to go where we've all had tears several times a day since Saturday. An AP reporter stopped me in line yesterday and I know she was a little disappointed that she wasn't getting what she needed to have a story. She kept asking about the state's image and about rhetoric and that's not where it's at for many of us. The President blessed us with his words and we released the joy for blessings that we have in the midst of our crisis and accepted the responsibilities that we all all should take up for making a better world from the smallest parts of our lives to the grandest! Thank you for your reporting and caring.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  4. denise

    Go Roland! Finally glad to hear someone on CNN who had enough nerve to tell the public what the Presidents speech was all about and it was not POLITICS! It was about the people of Tucson and what they needed to hear. I have the upmost respect for the CNN contributors but was very upset with their comments of a political side after the Presidents speech! Last night was neither the time nor the place for political comments but totally for the victims and survivors and their families!!! I was very proud of our President last night and his tribute to all the victims and the uniting of our country. May it continue in all our lives in memory of those who were lost in this horrific event of a madman.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  5. emelie

    Ali - It was not only courageous for our Pres. to discuss tempering our political discourse, but also necessary. How can anyone deny that strong statements about "removing" our government from 'control' over our lives, "eliminating" government, etc. can reach not only the sane in our society, but also the insane? It doesn't matter if you're a teacher, police officer, pastor, president or representative, what you say & HOW you say it can sink in deep - lest we forget Ruby Ridge or Waco. Remember, this young man not only was planning this & cited gov. "brainwashing", but wanted death to cops. As humans, we have been & always will be accountable to someone-boss, parents, educators, the law of our land & God. And isn't part of our nature to want to rebell against this? BUT, why push that further with poisonous, often character-assassinating words or images which are taken in by the masses? Time to truly THINK before we speak/act.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  6. Hughie Mills

    Where was the Senior Senator John McCain for Arizona during the follow-up of the shooting in his HOME STATE ? The public has not heard a comment from Mccain, WHY ?

    January 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  7. kenneth miaczynski

    ALI The president did a very great job on his speech and for those would spew their crap should just keep their mouths shut.We can never heal the country if we keep this up.Would you want people to do this to someone you love and died in that same way?.When i got back to america from viet nam i felt it was like me coming back to earth from the moon.It wasnt the same america i left to go to war.What happened to america then?Why did we change to the worse?The presidentb is our hope to get america back to where it should be.

    January 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  8. Kate Conner

    Ali – Thank you so much for the quiet as they were preparing the flag to be raised. It showed great respect and I appreciated being left with my thoughts and feelings.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  9. Kate Conner

    Ali – I understood what commentators were saying about the cheering and unusual atmosphere at the memorial service last night BUT it was an unusual memorial. Tucson needed it – the country needed it. The President's words were powerful and I felt that we truly celebrated the lives of all involved in this tragedy.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Michele from Canada

    Hearing the different gun laws from around the world was VERY interesting. Thank you.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  11. Frank Kallam

    I just listened to your summary of gun laws around the world. If the U.S. were to enact such laws, what would happen to the millions of guns that are already in circulation? Most of them are unregistered and untraceable. Do you think the criminals would have any trouble obtaining a gun, if guns were banned? I am never giving up my guns! Bottom line for the U.S, it is too late to ban guns, there are too many in circulation already.

    Frank Kallam

    January 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  12. Heather

    I just saw this segment! I thought the key message was the very last couple of sentences from Richard Quest. He said violent armed deaths per 100,000 of the population in the United States is 5 people. If you take Australia, France, Germany, the UK, any other advanced economy the number is 1 to 1.2 people out of 100,000. That is a significant difference!!!

    Also, what was the source of this data?

    January 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  13. Buzz

    I just watched the segment with Richard Quest. While comparing the gun laws of other countries you neglected to mention that despite their draconian restrictions, violence, including that committed with a firearm, is on a dramatic upswing in Britain, Canada, Mexico and Australia.
    As gun rights proponents in the U.S. have consistently pointed out, laws don't change the mindset of criminals and lunatics.
    In the U.S. there are 308 million people. At least 50% of U.S. households own a firearm, and the total number of privately owned firearms roughly equals one gun for every man, woman and child in the country; and that isn't going to change. Let's deal with the real societal issues instead of once again attacking the straw man.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  14. Donnie Osborne

    If you were to look into the accidental gun related deaths per hundred thousand, you will open Pandora's box. Give it a try.

    January 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  15. Larry in Portland Oregon

    it is inevitable that the anti-gun folks would raise this issue but the real issues in my view are not guns but the corrosive public discourse that vilifies anyone and everyone with whom we as individuals happen to disagree. I myself fall into the trap at times

    We can only hope that this tragedy can turn back this tide of invective. Yes there is evil and meanness in the world but most people are well intentioned. We can give each other the benefit of the doubt on motives without sacrificing our own position.

    The second and perhaps more important issue and one where we might find common ground is the state of mental health services in this country. My understanding based on media reporting is that Arizona has very flexible laws that enable incarceration and evaluation of people observed to be acting in aberrant ways. Certainly this was the case with this killer, yet no-one reported him to appropriate authorities for intervention.

    Given that we are unlikely to bridge the divide between those who would repeal the Second Amendment and those who would extend it to unreasonable limits, my vote is to focus on mental health services and appropriate intervention to help the mentally ill and to protect the rest of us.

    January 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Diane

    Re: guns around the world. I was just watching your segment. We do have restrictive gun laws in Canada. The thing is, I don't own a gun, don't know anyone who owns one either. It would be considered a shocking thing to own or carry a gun in Canada. The difference is in the attitude.

    Having said that, there is gun violence in some larger cities, most frequently, Toronto, and these crimes seem to be gang related and frequently involve illegal weapons.

    Until these gangs appeared on the scene in Toronto a number of years ago, it was still a shocking thing to have gun violence. It has changed that once peaceful city.

    January 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  17. Michael Levesque

    The NRA will ensure the 2nd amendment remains intact unfortunately. In a country where guns are more populous than people is it any wonder that the nuts and the criminals get weapons so easily. With an assault on a woman every twenty minutes (all manner of weapons used) and a cop killed every day in the line of duty (not always gun related) in the US, its time for some revisions like mandatory testing of gun owners/users for basic competence; registration of all guns; and amnesty for those who wish to get rid of any firearm. However I am afraid hell will freeze over before this happens.

    January 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  18. Gary S.

    For the "Guns around the world" segment Mr. Quest quoted a statistic that needs some additional background. He indicated that all of the nations discussed (sans the U.S.) had a violent death rate of 1 to 1.5 per 100,000. That stat was compared to the U.S. violent death rate of 5 per 100,000. My question is are the combined populations of those countries equal or close to that of the U.S.?

    Also, how can I get a transcript of that Q&A session? I'd like to show those other countries' laws to some 2nd Amendment zealots I know.

    January 13, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  19. Margaret Prince

    To everyone who is calling for stricter gun laws in light of the tragedy in Tucson, may I offer this little tidbit: If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons make people fat. Remember: Hold the PERSON accountable for THEIR actions, not the means they chose to utilize!!!

    January 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  20. travis

    i was just thinking about the shooting last week. now there's a new debate about high capacity magazines. the anti-gun politicians are asking "why do we need to be able to buy high capacity magazines". thus, they are pushing to ban them. after a high speed chase that causes accidents you never hear anyone saying "why do we need cars that exceed the speed limit?" nearly every car on the market will go considerably faster than the speed limit. even the new electric car can do 100mph. who needs to go that fast? where's the equality of law?

    January 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  21. jgrichard

    The last time i checked the second amendment did not come from the Bible. The second amendment was written for different times and very different circumstances. Today, our society is much too unstable for people to have access to hand guns. More more harm is done with guns than good.

    Even though I am very good with guns (from the army), I have lived for 72 years without a gun in my home.

    It is time to repeal the second amendment.

    January 15, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  22. Chris Welle

    Question: Do you plan to reair this story or have a transcript available?

    January 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm |