What lessons can Canada teach America about deadly gun violence?

Canadian law requires citizens to undergo mandatory training before obtaining a gun license.

(CNN)As Americans across the country celebrated the nation's independence and its freedom from the apparent worst of the coronavirus pandemic, an epidemic of a different kind remained on familiar display: the surge in shootings.

It was an incredibly violent weekend across the country.
    According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were at least 150 people killed by gun violence in more than 400 shooting incidents in America from Friday to Monday.
      As lawmakers, activists, and crime experts look for solutions to the recent wave of mass shootings across the United States, some are looking to America's neighbor to the north for possible answers.

      So much safer

      America is a nation saturated by guns, with more firearms than people. According to the Small Arms Research project, there are 121 firearms for every 100 residents.
        Nowhere else compares. But Canada is one of the western nations that comes closest, with an estimated 35 guns per 100 residents.
        Still, mass shootings in Canada are so rare, public safety authorities tell us they don't even keep an official list.
        For a decade, there were about five murders per year in Canada with three or more victims, according to the country's national statistics agency.
        But, with so many guns, why does Canada appear to be so much safer than the United States when it comes to gun violence?

        Training and tripwires

        For one, Canadian law requires citizens to undergo robust background checks and mandatory training before obtaining a gun license.
        And unlike some training programs, students are not the only ones gathering information. Instructors serve as a first line of defense, observing and making note of any students they determine should not own a gun.
        "If the instructors see a student that comes in who they feel just is not doing well at life in general, and perhaps should not have a firearm, we'll give that student a full refund, we'll create a complete written report for our records, and we'll supply a copy of that report to the (government) firearms center as well," said Travis Bader, owner of Silvercore Advanced Training in Canada.
        According to the Canadian Commissioner of Firearms, the number of people denied a license or had theirs revoked has been climbing, to more than 4,000 in 2019.
        Reasons for license denials or revocations have included mental health concerns, potentially being a threat to oneself or others, court orders, and lying on license applications.
        Another difference between the US and Canada: waiting periods before one can obtain a gun.
        In Canada, residents seeking to purchase a firearm must wait 28 days before taking possession. By contrast, in the United States, there is no federal waiting period if an applicant passes a government criminal database check.

        Broad public support for new gun laws

        Unlike in the United States, mass gun violence has led to swift legislative change in Canada. After the 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting, which left 22 people dead, officials passed an assault weapons ban, which enjoyed broad popular support.
        "The (Nova Scotia) massacre triggered public anger, mobilization, and it pushed the Canadian government to move," said Francis Langlois, professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal.