The Munich shooting has sent Germany’s third largest city into lockdown, coming so soon after the axe attack on a train in Bavaria. In European terms this shooting becomes the third attack on the continent in just over a week - numbers that are usually associated with active warzones like Iraq or Afghanistan. It is disheartening to see peaceful centres of culture so troubled; and the thoughts of the international community go out to the victims.

While these are warzone numbers, the characteristics of these attacks – especially the most recent one in Munich – don’t resemble traditionally held beliefs about organised militant activity. This is a new trend, one perhaps more common in the United States of America, the trend of the “lone wolf” attacks. Individuals – inspired by, but not associated with other militant groups – using their own resources to carry out mass attacks.

Information is still scant on the Munich attack and the investigation is ongoing, but according to Munich police Chief Hubertus Andrae the police have “not found any evidence that the attacker was linked to groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)”. In fact, according to Andrae, it seems that the killer – who had undergone therapy for depression – was obsessed with mass shootings, and the attack had “an obvious connection” to Norwegian far-right mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

While it is prudent to stay away from generalisations at this point, it must be conceded that the Munich attack belongs to another category of attacks. This was not a radical Islam inspired event, and more regulation of Islamic matters will not prevent it. Here the debate is more akin the one raging in USA right now: gun laws.

Those in the immediate aftermath of the event may not count this as a positive aspect, but the fact that the killer was armed with a 9mm pistol instead of military grade assault weapons helped save a lot of lives. 9 deaths are a relatively low number, compared to recent incidents like the Orlando shootings, and it is easy to see why. Even when shooting directly at a stream of bystanders, the small pistol did little damage.

This is not the first mass-shooting in Germany and probably it won’t be the last, but recently tightening laws on guns may already be having an effect.