Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Our gun control laws

are some of the strictest in the world. They were brought in by the then Prime Minister, John Howard, after one of the world's worst mass shootings - known as the Port Arthur Massacre. If anyone reading this wants to know more about that incident they can search on line. I don't want to revisit the horror of it.
Yesterday the extension on a "temporary" ban on the import of the "high capacity Adler shotgun" (brought in by our previous Prime Minister, Tony Abbott) was under threat.  It was under threat because of the numbers game in politics. The government needs the support of cross bench senators to get legislation through parliament. Even one Senator deciding not to support a piece of legislation can threaten the success of legislation.
In this case the legislation was not about gun control itself but about the  legislation to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission.  The legislation is widely supported in the community but opposed by Labor - who see it as "anti-union".  
One Senator is also using or - perhaps more accurately - abusing his power in an attempt to weaken gun laws. His support for the legislation is said to depend on the ban on the Adler being lifted. 
Why?
Nobody in this country needs to own a high powered shotgun like that. It is an appalling thing, capable of killing many living things in one burst of gunfire. The only people who need to own guns outside the police or the armed services are farmers who have livestock or those responsible for the welfare of wildlife in the environment. 
I know there are people who go "duck hunting" and "roo-ing" (hunting kangaroos). I know there are people who shoot at targets. If they want to do these things  (and why they want to puzzles me) then, at very least, their guns should be locked away in some central and very secure storage area. They should have to sign them out and then in again - and they should need to maintain a completely clean record.
Guns are not toys Senator Leyonhjelm. They are not something people need. If you don't understand what damage private gun ownership in a modern society can do then look at America. Many of my American friends would be very happy if the "right to bear arms" was struck out.
That Senator Leyonhjelm is prepared to put workers on building sites at risk from unionists who believe they are above the law in order to also put the community at risk by allowing the importation of those guns is unbelievable.
Will he sleep at night if someone is killed by his actions?

1 comment:

virtualquilter said...

I suspect he will sleep, as he doesn't have a conscience if that is the way he is doing deals.