This morning (16th January) there was a shooting outside a primary school in Glasgow. Although Chief Inspector Simon Jeacocke described what happened as a "highly unusual incident", it does raise further questions about the use of guns and the safety of those in our decent society.

Guns in Scotland and the US

As the Independent newspaper reported, a man was shot at around 9.05am UK time near St. George's primary school in penilee. Although the man is being treated in hospital, what is of obvious concern is that police believe it was a "targeted attack".

What is also important to state is that parents, staff and pupils were all "alarmed" by what happened. This may well be the case because gun attacks/deaths are not common in the area. The Evening Times newspaper reported that in 2015/6 there were only 26 gun crimes in Glasgow; a trend that has occurred across Scotland. This in stark contrast to the United States (US). The website 24/7 Wall Street stated that the gun homicide rate in the US is 25 times higher than the rate in other high-income nations. According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, of all gun fatalities in the twenty-three countries reviewed, 82 percent occurred in the United States.

The differences between the two

It is as a result of this that there is no great surprise when a gun attack occurs in the United States. There is horror and disbelief when a mass shooting occurs as was the case at Fort Lauderdale airport shooting on January 6th of this year. The problem with gun crime is that gun ownership is enshrined in American culture.

24/7 Wall Street reported that across the US an estimated 30 per cent of adults own at least one firearm. This is not the case in Scotland or England for that matter. There is no great affection towards possessing a gun in the United Kingdom. Although crime does occur, it is not that often with a firearm. It is as a result of this that there was such shock at what happened in Glasgow.

An exception to the rule

I do believe that what happened today is an exception to the rule. There is not and should not be a major concern for gun crime going forward. We do not need to make drastic changes to how our society is governed. But we should promote decency within society and ensure that gun crime continues to decline in coming years. That is the least of what we should expect as a civilised nation.