Letter: Australia’s response shows gun control works


Here are a few facts about Australia’s response to their April 1996 mass shooting where 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. This happened just six weeks after a new prime minister was elected. He immediately pushed through sweeping gun control legislation, saying the hardest thing to do is taking “rights and privileges” from your supporters. He banned the sale and importation of all automatic and semi-automatic rifles and shot guns; instituted a 28-day wait period before buying a firearm; and required locking up guns and ammunition in separate safes.

He also called for a massive, mandatory gun-buyback, where the government confiscated and destroyed 700,000 fire arms, reducing the number of gun-owning households by half. When confronted by people saying the prime minister violated their human rights, he said the greatest human right of all is to a safe life without the fear of random murder. Mass shootings that have killed four or more people in the U.S. have been well over 900 people killed with 1130 wounded since Port Arthur 1996 where in Australia just one person killed in that 26 year period. Homicides have decreased by 60% there as well, as have gun related suicides, proving that guns are the issue, not mental health as the Republicans with their NRA talking points would have you believe.

Let’s stop deflecting from the real issue we all know: too many easy-to-get guns by teenagers. The last 10 or so mass shootings were perpetrated by 18-year-olds or younger teens, per Lawrence O’Donnell. This should show us, at last, where the real problem is. With 19 police officers at Uvalde, still it took over one hour to subdue the shooter, so supposedly many good guys with guns could not get the job done. I’ll say it one more time, it’s guns, guns, guns, we must face this fact once and for all. The Democrats have many common sense solutions. They have been trying to get through Congress for years, perhaps we should look to them.

Nancy Mayer