So as we all know Australia had a mass shooting (mass shooting being more than four people killed at once buy a gun person/people) in 1996 and the newly elected Australian government jumped into action and cracked down on gun ownership, enforced compulsory buy back of a tonne of guns between 1996 and 2003 by raising the Medicare levy as form of compensation and the bullshit, paranoid justification gun nuts always love to banter around “I need a gun for protection/self-defence” become null and void. The government also outlawed a bunch of high powered guns (assault weapons, semi-automatic, self-loading, pump action blow you away type of guns) and put restrictions on the sale of firearms and ammunition. The only people who were allowed to keep their guns were the defence force and police (obviously), security/armour guards, station owners/workers and farmers, hunters who hunted feral animals in order to protect our native flora and fauna and anyone else who could sincerely prove they NEEDED not wanted a gun.
Prior to the Port Arthur massacre in 1996 Australia had 13 massacres in the previous 18 years. Not only has our strict gun laws meant we have not had a massacre in 19 years as of 2015, gun related homicide rates have decreased by 50-60% and gun related suicide has also decreased.
Port Arthur is still one of the deadliest massacres to have happened in the last 50 years with 35 people being killed and 23 wounded. It absolutely shocked and guttered our country and thanks to our hard-arsed, no nonsense PM who was in power at the time gun licences and permits in Australia are treated exactly how they should be treated; as a privilege, not as a constitutional right.
In 2015 if you want to get a gun legally in Australia you need to have a licence AND a permit. In order to be approved for these documents you need to be:
- Over the age of 18.
- Have successfully completed an appropriate firearms safety training course during the previous year.
- Provide evidence you have secure storage for your gun/s.
- Provide evidence of a legitimate reason for owning a gun. Protection/self-defence is not a valid reason.
- Be a ‘fit and proper person’—this takes into consideration your criminal record and potential health issues.
There is also a waiting period of twenty-eight days for a first-time application and Permits to Acquire are valid for 90 days after approval.
In conjunction with with this the AFP (Australian federal police) and state police work together to crack down on illegal guns entering Australia and criminals who deal with illegal weapons. Considering guns violence has stayed relatively in check I would say they are doing a bloody good job and kudos to them.
Australia by no means is a crime free country where violence never occurs but when something horrendous does happen we don’t just sit around trying to make stupid claims like ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ when it is so blatantly obvious it is the easy access and ready availability of guns that do, and are in fact killing people, and will continue to do so as long as powerful gun lobby groups in certain countries keep meddling in public safety affairs.
The Daily Show: John Oliver speaking to a gun nut and then speaking to John Howard. The difference between the levels of intelligence between the two different men is pretty easy to spot.
Comedian Jim Jefferies doing stand up about gun control. You’ll have to watch this on YouTube.
Fareed Zakaria on GPS speaking to John Howard about gun control.
Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States.
Mother Jones: 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down.