Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 20 Jan 2013.
As former Australian Prime Minister John Howard lectures Americans on why and how they should go about reducing the availability of semiautomatic assault weapons, based on what he did to curb gun violence following the horrific Port Arthur massacre 17 years ago, research shows that Australians own as many guns now as they did at the time of the Port Arthur tragedy.
It is estimated that there were 3.2 million firearms in Australia in 1996, and more than one million guns have been destroyed in Australia since 1988 as a result of successive gun amnesties and buy-back schemes.
There have been no mass shootings in the past 16 years, and Mr Howard says “Few Australians would deny that their country is safer today as a consequence of gun control.”
Let’s hope the million or so firearms imported over that time don’t provide the psychologically disturbed and thrill seekers with the means of changing that encouraging news.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.