What America Can Learn From Serbia's Mass Shooting Response
Photo: Timothy Dykes / Unsplash

What America Can Learn From Serbia's Mass Shooting Response

Gun violence prompts the country's leader to call for a near-total disarming of the country

In some countries, like the one you're probably reading this from, nearly daily mass shootings are met with sadness, shock, and then a lot of shrugs. Maybe some thoughts and prayers. No actual action in terms of passing laws, though.

Related: Ralph Yarl Shooting Has Nation Debating Race and Gun Laws. Again.

Serbian president Alexander Vucic, however, is not on that kind of time. And after two mass shootings killed at least 16 people in his country this week, he pledged to disarm the country. A school shooting in Belgrade and a drive-by shooting south of Belgrade in Mladenovac rocked the country, where mass shootings are relatively rare.

In response, Vucic says the country will propose a two-year moratorium on issuing gun permits and tougher laws against those possessing illegal weapons. The Washington Post reports Vicic said, "We will carry out an almost total disarmament of Serbia. We must make a decision to confront this evil."

Related: The Never-Ending Terror of My Kid's School Going Into Lockdown

Whoa whoa whoa, Alex. Haven't you ever heard of thoughts and prayers? That's what we do over here in America and that seems to working just… just… well it's not working. But it's a very, very polite thing to do!

The president went on to label the shootings as terrorism and said the whole country is under attack. In response, 1,200 police officers are being hired to increase security at schools, and the country is declaring three days of mourning. According to Washington Post, although there are lots of illegal guns in the country (remainders from wars in the Balkans) and Serbia has the fifth-highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world per capita, gun death rates are low; the country isn't even in the top 50.

It's too early to say if the Serbian president's moves will stop future mass shootings, but the most shocking thing, to those of us in the States, might be that anything is happening at all in response. Must be nice to live in a country as committed to not letting people get shot as [checks notes] Serbia.