Thursday, 19 September 2013

It seems that one of our previous

Prime Ministers did get something right. What is more he apparently got it right about two decades ahead of a lot of other people. This is according to a report in this morning's paper.
The Prime Minister was John Howard and what the report says he got right was gun control.
Of course he did not succeed completely. We still have far too many guns in Australia. People still get killed by people who should not have guns.
Nevertheless the rate of gun ownership per one hundred people is much lower in Australia than it is in the United States and the number of gun related deaths per one hundred people is also much lower.
John Howard had the states and territories bring in the measures after the horrendous Port Arthur massacre in which Martin Bryant pleaded guilty to killing 35 people and injuring 21 others. The measures relate to automatic and semi-automatic weapons.  
I don't know the details and I don't want to know the details. I loathe guns.
I know there are people who need guns but there are not many of them. Contrary to belief most farmers find it highly distressing to have to shoot an injured animal. Wildlife officers also find it distressing.
Who else needs a gun in civilian life? Police? Perhaps but most UK police still go unarmed don't they?  
I don't see guns as "recreational" items at all. I don't see "clay pigeon" shooting or target shooting as "sports". I most certainly don't see duck hunting or kangaroo hunting as "sport".  I know there are times when "culls" take place. I don't know enough to know whether they are necessary or not. What I do know is that the alleged need for a cull should not be used as an excuse to arm the population.
I know there will always be the argument "but what about the mad guy/gal with a knife?" or "what about the person who...?" I don't like the idea of  "tasers" either but perhaps stunning someone is preferable to shooting them - and those stun guns are dangerous enough. They can kill too.
I suppose I just don't like the idea of violence at all. I am afraid of violence. I hear too much about it in my job.
Despite that there are renewed calls for more people to be armed and more people seeking gun licences. There are people who argue that, if they are armed, then they can prevent violence. No. I don't think so. It could end up in the wrong hands.
If an individual needs a gun then there should be very strict controls on their use. If an individual wants a gun then they should not be given one.



Judy Edmonds said...

John Howard's gun reforms were forward-thinking, brave and a wonderful thing for him to have done. Nowadays I believe, though without actual statistics to hand, that most gun crime in Australia is committed with illegal guns, an area I am sure the police are working very hard on but which obviously needs a lot more work done on it.

jeanfromcornwall said...

Youngsters get told often, don't carry a knife for self defence - it will get used against you: I would reckon that the same applies to guns - especially small ones.

I can't begin to imagine how they would ever manage to put some kind of gun control in America though - there are so many of them who see it as a right, and it is a pretty lawless place in many ways. Full marks to their government for trying, but I am not particularly hopeful.

Sue Bursztynski said...

It's part of the US Constitution. Never mind the fact that the line says something about the purpose of gun ownership was to have a well organised militia, which they needed then but don't any more, given that the redcoats are no longer likely to come over the hill.

I believe the gun laws here could only have been done by a conservative government. If Labor had tried to do it while in power, the Coalition wouldn't have supported it, because their constituents would have objected. But they were in power and unlikely to be given the boot immediately and Labor would be likely to support it.

Anyway, it's here. I did hear something about Abbott's government planning to loosen those was now they're back in power. We'll have o wait and see.