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Letter: Australia an example of how gun control can work


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Danny Kubal

Nashville

Received: Feb. 3

The proposed gun-control laws won’t work.

Congress is considering enacting additional gun-control laws in the wake of still another massacre of our children by a crazed gunman. We’ve tried these modest gun restrictions in the past, and they have had little to no effect. The proposed legislation simply does not address the problem of too many guns in this country. The proposed legislation would not have prevented Sandy Hook or any of the other recent mass killings of innocents.

The United States owns more guns per resident than any other country in the world. The United States also has a much higher rate of homicides by gun — 3.2 homicides by firearm per 100,000 people — than any other country in the world. We are a violent society which cherishes its guns.

Is there any legislation that has proven effective? After the massacre of 35 people in Australia in 1996, conservative Prime Minister John Howard pushed through meaningful legislation that severely restricted gun ownership. Besides undergoing a vigorous background check, a “Genuine Reason” and a “Genuine Need” must be demonstrated in order to obtain a gun. The new laws prohibited all automatic and semiautomatic weapons and imposed strict licensing rules.

The results of the legislation are startling. No mass killings at all since 1996. None! The homicide rates have declined precipitously, as have the suicide rates. We suffered though 41 mass shootings since 1996 with 316 people killed. The homicide rate in America is 33 times the rate in Australia.

Could such measures work here? Of course. The guns used at Sandy Hook would have all been outlawed. Do we have any chance of enacting such measures? Of course not. We must get used to the continued sacrifice of our children in order that all might have the unfettered access to firearms.

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