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Forum Post: those stupid Australians can't even get rid of their koala and kangaroo infestations

Posted 1 year ago on Dec. 24, 2012, 8:41 a.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

For Australia, the turning point came on April 28, 1996, when a lone gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle in Port Arthur, a popular tourist destination in the state of Tasmania.
Cathy Gordon was there that day, escorting six visiting musicians as part of her job with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. They were leaving a cafe just as the shooter, Martin Bryant, pulled out an AR-15 assault rifle.
"As soon as I came out and rejoined the group, it was just like boom, boom, boom, boom ... and I just thought, 'Oh, we're in a lot of trouble here,'" she recalled.
Just minutes later, Gordon had another close call as she tried to shepherd her group to safety.
"I could see a lady with 2 children on the road. And this yellow car drove up the road and I thought, 'Oh good, whoever's driving up will pick them up,'" she said. "Martin Bryant got out, looked at them, looked across at me, shot at me, missed, and then proceeded to kill Nanette Mikac and her two children."

Thirty-five people died and another 23 were wounded in the killing spree that became known as the Port Arthur massacre, Australia's worst mass shooting.

Conservative Prime Minister Advocates Gun Control
In its wake, the country's newly elected, and staunchly conservative prime minister, John Howard, championed sweeping changes to the country's gun laws.
"I think if anything, it helped that John Howard was a conservative prime minister," says Dr. Erin O'brien, a professor of criminology at the Queensland University of Technology. "It really showed that there was bipartisan support for this."

O'Brien says the massacre had a galvanizing effect on the public's attitudes toward guns, with polls showing up to 90 percent in favor of some type of new restriction.

"One of the reforms that was introduced was to say that people needed to demonstrate a justifiable need to have a weapon," O'Brien says. "And the need, in Australia, means that you are a farmer who needs to use a rifle or a shotgun to control animal populations. Or you're a sport shooter.
It's never been seen as a justifiable need to own a handgun to protect yourself from home invasion."

Strict Rules
The new laws prohibited all automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and imposed strict licensing rules. There are also background checks and lengthy waiting periods for all purchases.

Tim Fischer was deputy prime minister at the time and head of the country's conservative National Party. He was given the task of selling the plan to his rural, pro-gun constituents.
"There was no doubt it was going to be a very rough road to hoe," he said. "But, at the end of the day, I could see that Australia could drain the suburbs of semi-automatics and automatics."

Fis cher says he sees no contradiction with being both conservative and in favor of strict gun ownership laws.
"We too value freedom. But that's not the freedom to own machine guns in the main streets of the U.S. of A.," he says. "The facts are you are 15 times more likely to be shot dead per capita in the U.S.A. than here in Australia."

At the heart of the reform was a gun buy-back program. More than 600,000 newly prohibited weapons, around a fifth of all firearms in Australia, were destroyed at a cost of nearly half-a-billion dollars.

Roland Browne of Gun Control Australia says it's an example the U.S. can follow.
"It doesn't really matter to what extent you might recognize or even support rights to own firearms," he says. "Our governments have the pre-eminent responsibility of ensuring public safety."
But privately, they acknowledge there was little they could do to stop the new legislation and now that it's the law of the land, they're willing to live with it.

Gun violence hasn't been completely eliminated in Australia. But gun-control advocates are quick to point out that there hasn't been a single mass shooting in the 16 years since the laws came into effect.

21 Comments

21 Comments


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[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 1 year ago

I think a good alternative would be a mental health check. It could be used to disqualify about 80% of the GOP from owning guns AND voting.

Now that is voter suppression we could get behind.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

They're trying to cut social security right now in Congress. Only a few days left.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

lets hope that the dems have the ba11s to go over the "cliff"-
cut the military - not ss & mc & ma

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

They don't even have the balls to speak out against Afghanistan or defy Wall Street monetary policy. But let's hope they grow a pair and back Social Security. Dennis recently said the White House pushed out provisions for Chained CPI which could lower benefits. Not as much as the republicans want to lower benefits, but it's a cut none-the-less. Which is bullshit because SS has nothing to do with the debt and should have no mention in debt talks. It's in a current surplus. Benefits should be going up to match inflation and they need to take out the rich people loophole to cover that.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, I just don't have much faith for a party that continually betrays far left liberals to support capitalism.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

The chained CPI may ( I HOPE ) be a dem stall to show how mu ch they are willing to give to actually get up "over the cliff" - where I want to be - with a catrated republiclan party


did you ever see the West Wing episode where Bartlett plays chess?
I believe Obama is playing chess


he has made some deals in the past where the Rs got almost nothing


I hope he uses his own constitutional power to "raise" the debt cieling -
THATS THE BIG DEAL

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Raise the debt ceiling? Really? Why? Why not just reform monetary policy, pay the debt down, allow more funding for infrastructure and social programs and take down Wall Street and the elite all without raising the debt ceiling?

You should start reading into some real liberal institutions instead of just preaching centrist Wall Street financed democrat talking points that never oppose capitalism. Sure the centrist dem bandaids are better than the wall street republican sores, but we need solutions here not bandaids.

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 1 year ago

See, even in a nation of convicts, people are better behaved. Which is precisely why we want our defense weapons.

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

It's my understanding that 5% of Aussies had guns at the time of the Port Arthur shooting. We don't know the real number of gun households in the US but it could be around 40%. The US population is also much bigger than Australia so any attempts at change are more difficult.

I'm in favor of forcing, or at least trying to force gun owners to buy insurance.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

finance a buy back by charging an annual gun permit fee of $500/gun/year
owning an uninsured gun - fine $10,000

[-] 1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

nice. the vast majority of people simply want to have a gun incase of an emergency. Lets tax em more. That outta solve this cultural crisis.

$500 a year to have a gun that will probably sit in a safe for decades.

Awesome idea.

BYW- rochester has been doing buybacks for a very long time, and the murder rate is still among the highest. Its a cultural thing, not a gun thing.

Ban assault rifles. Dont tax people who can barely get by because they want to defend themselves from this fucked up country.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

an initiative to get guns off city streets. Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard talks about a new gun buy-back program.

The buy-back program takes place on Saturday, September 22, from 1 p.m to 5 p.m at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church on Clifford Avenue.

Every long gun turned in will be exchanged for a $50 Wegmans gift card. Hand guns will be exchanged for a $100 gift card.

For more Rochester, N.Y. news go to our website www.whec.com.


I would double or triple the amount and, it necessary,
NOT tax one gun/houshold. then $500/year per gun

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

In Australia's buyback prog, the dollar value far exceeded what you could expect to sell the gun for on the black market.

Makes sense to me. I'm against any loon owning a semi-auto. Was pretty pissed at handing over the pump action 12 G tho.

[-] 0 points by newwrld (-25) 1 year ago

You guys are just jealous that you cannot afford a gun

[-] 2 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

That's the whole point. Make it more expensive to own guns. I don't want to support your habit.

[-] 0 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 1 year ago

Just what we need a well armed one percent.You can have your rights in America only if you can afford them.What an jack Assed non soulution to people Control.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4464) 1 year ago

Good Post

[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

fuck a gun buy back program. you bought the merchant of death machinery. you paid for it. tough shit. we didn't pay people for their machine guns, short barrel rifles, and shotguns when those had to be turned in. why the hell should we pay them now. no, no, no.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 1 year ago

our goal is to get rid of the guns -
a buy back may be immoral on one level - our goal is to get rid of the guns -
but it is far more likely to work our goal is to get rid of the guns -

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Eerm, koalas and kangaroos??

What's the title got to do with the story?

1%ers using the people's own money to buy back their weapons?

A higher cause would be to stop your govt from allowing your troops to invade soveriegn nations, and spreading depleted uranium everywhere they go. Not just an act of genocide, but an affront to the health and safety of your troops and ours.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (4464) 1 year ago

Good Post

[-] 1 points by freehorseman (267) from Miles City, Mt 1 year ago

I thought the goal was people control.