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Posted: 3/13/2006 12:43:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 12:44:43 PM EDT by CRC]
The world is benefitting from the other time we saw the flak jacket
April 28, 2004

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The PM's dress sense gives Rebecca Peters cause to reflect on two sets of action on the anniversary of a tragedy.

The Prime Minister has been wearing his flak jacket again, but at least this time he was visiting a war zone. The last time we saw John Howard in bulletproof gear was 1996 and he was addressing a public meeting in rural Victoria. What made that meeting as dangerous as occupied Iraq? The topic: gun control.

Today is the eighth anniversary of the largest massacre ever perpetrated by a single gunman anywhere in the world when, at Port Arthur in Tasmania, 35 people lost their lives, dozens were injured and thousands were traumatised. The nation, consumed with grief, demanded that the laws which had allowed the tragedy be changed. The PM rose to the occasion, leading state and territory governments to a historic agreement to restrict gun ownership and ban civilans having battlefield weapons.

On one hand the new provisions were just common sense: registration of all guns, safe storage, a ban on rapid-fire weapons, etc. On the other, the project was radical.

Australia became the first country to design its laws around the reality of gun violence as it actually occurred, and not as it appeared in the movies or in the paranoid imagination. The laws recognised that many of us hunt, but rarely with semi-automatics. They recognised how pointless punishment is compared with prevention.


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Most importantly they recognised that guns and people cross borders easily, so a weak gun law in one state could nullify strong laws in several adjacent jurisdictions. The assault weapons used at Port Arthur had been banned in most of Australia, but were legally on sale in Tasmania and Queensland.

In 1996 our political leaders came under intense fire for upholding the principle that people had the right to be protected from guns bought interstate as well as locally.

The Australian Government also took this idea to the United Nations. At the UN Crime Commission in Vienna, Australia pushed for the principles of consistent and rational gun regulation to be applied internationally. Now several UN agencies are working with governments - especially in developing countries - to promote this notion.

Last week 11 African countriessigned an agreement to reform their gun laws into a consistent scheme which includes many elements of Australia's laws. The Mercosur region of South America (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia) has committed itself to "convergence" of its gun laws. In Central America and West Africa, clusters of countries are setting aside concerns about national sovereignty uniquely for the purposes of stopping the flood of guns.

Three years ago all UN member states signed a voluntary international agreement covering a list of measures to reduce the proliferation of guns and promote uniformity. In 2006 that agreement will be up for renegotiation, providing the opportunity to convert it into a convention.

While Australia holds the record for the largest shooting massacre, its actions in response to that tragedy have helped to protect the rest of the world from ever seeing that record broken.

Rebecca Peters is the director of IANSA, the International Action Network on Small Arms. She led the National Coalition for Gun Control in 1992-1997.

Link Posted: 3/13/2006 12:44:25 PM EDT
That bitch.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 12:54:21 PM EDT
Is it wrong for me to fantasize about her getting beat to death by men with tire irons?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 1:43:53 PM EDT


They won't stop, ever, until we kick their ass.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 1:45:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Is it wrong for me to fantasize about her getting beat to death by men little kids with tire irons?



Fixed it. It would finally be something "For the children"
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 2:55:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 2:55:34 PM EDT by NonConformist]

Originally Posted By drjarhead:

They won't stop, ever, until we kick their ass.



Amen!
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:00:50 PM EDT
Prime Minister Howard in an April 17, 2002 interview:

(Interviewer): As a caller to my program yesterday said, in some cases he said, well particularly of bikie gangs it’s fairly easy he said to import a package of motorcycle parts which will include broken down parts of a gun and that’s what happened, that is how they get here.

John Howard: That is one of the difficulties and we will find any means we can to further restrict them because I hate guns. I don’t think people should have guns unless they’re police or in the military or in the security industry. There is no earthly reason for people to have…ordinary citizens should not have weapons. We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.

That about says it all.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:15:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KBaker:
Prime Minister Howard in an April 17, 2002 interview:

(Interviewer): As a caller to my program yesterday said, in some cases he said, well particularly of bikie gangs it’s fairly easy he said to import a package of motorcycle parts which will include broken down parts of a gun and that’s what happened, that is how they get here.

John Howard: That is one of the difficulties and we will find any means we can to further restrict them because I hate guns. I don’t think people should have guns unless they’re police or in the military or in the security industry. There is no earthly reason for people to have…ordinary citizens should not have weapons. We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.

That about says it all.



I like being diseased and have no desire to be cured...

As a matter of fact....I would like to be even "sicker".

Oh yes, I too hate these people.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 3:25:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2006 3:25:54 PM EDT by nightstalker]

Originally Posted By KBaker:
Prime Minister Howard in an April 17, 2002 interview:

(Interviewer): As a caller to my program yesterday said, in some cases he said, well particularly of bikie gangs it’s fairly easy he said to import a package of motorcycle parts which will include broken down parts of a gun and that’s what happened, that is how they get here.

John Howard: That is one of the difficulties and we will find any means we can to further restrict them because I hate guns. I don’t think people should have guns unless they’re police or in the military or in the security industry. There is no earthly reason for people to have…ordinary citizens should not have weapons. We do not want the American disease imported into Australia.

That about says it all.



Yes, we quite understand you do not want freedom. Henceforth we are forbidding Tom Selleck from every playing in a movie based in or pretending to be Australia. G'day and don't pull a muscle bending over.

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