Thursday 26 May 2022

For those of you who hated John Howard

so much you ousted him from his seat in the last election in which he stood, I am wondering how you feel now?

tell me this, "Are you still proud of the fact that you ousted the man who had the guts and the courage to face up to a group of gun owners and tell them, no you can't have what you want. This country is better than that. We will do what we can to protect others from this sort of event ever happening again."

Yes, we have had "mass shootings" since the events in Port Arthur but so far we have not had one which has involved anything like as horrific as what occurred in Texas this week. If you look down the list of "mass killings" (two or more people) in this country almost all of the are "familicides" - deaths within families. There is some gang related violence and incidents, such as fires, where people are instantly identified as mentally deranged. 

The incident at Port Arthur left this country reeling. This was the sort of thing that happened "somewhere else". It raised questions about gun laws across the nation. Reform came from the side of politics which might have been expected to try and block it. The then Leader of the National Party - one partner of the Coalition government had to face stiff opposition from the rural community. Like John Howard, the Prime Minister of the day, Tim Fischer stuck by what he believed to be right. He did that even when he knew it might lead to his ousting as party leader and even his departure from politics.

In the end the gun laws which were brought in have often been described as "moderate" and "reasonable". They were a measured response to an appalling situation. It is likely that most people here would think those laws are reasonable. There have been some alterations to them but nobody has suggested removing them.

The perpetrator of the Port Arthur massacre is still alive. His intellectual capacity is said to be limited. He is in the mental health unit of his state prison and will never be released.   

What we have not had here yet, and hopefully never will have, are the sort of appalling events that America has had. The idea that a teenager could buy a weapon like that used and ammunition for that weapon and then go ahead and use it is beyond the comprehension of most people in this country.  It could happen of course but our gun control laws might just help prevent it.

The "right to bear arms" in the American Constitution is not a "right to kill". It never was a right to kill. 

The "cartoon" in today's state newspaper shows someone sitting at a large desk. Behind him is the indication that this is the National Rifle Association. He is telling the figure in front of him, "Just write 'thoughts and prayers' and 'now is not the time' know, the usual thing".  

My response, "The only prayer worth praying would be one to find the courage to prevent this happening ever again...and now is the time."  I doubt that prayer will be answered.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Most people, in or out of the USA, don't know the the "Second Amendment to the US Consitution:
("A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.")
Was insisted on at the US Constitutional Convention (late 18th century) by the representatives of the "Slave States" (Maryland, Virginia, N. & S. Carolina, Georgia) so that they would be able to put down any possible Slave Rebellions without the assistance of the Federal Government.
"A well regulated militia" was a code phrase for "Slaveholders and their employees."
A US Supreme Court decision in the 1920s ruled that the "Well Regulated Militia" consisted of all adult residents of every state. (I'll have to look up a little more about that.)