I’ve had a series of discussions with mostly american folks in a forum over the last few days.
it started with this one.
i think i must be kinda thick or something, because there's this thing that i just don't understand. here in australia we had what was at the time, one of the worst mass shootings in the world in port arthur, tasmania in 1996. 35 people were killed at the hand of one man, many more injured. after that, gun laws were introduced with and guns became a lot harder for the average homebody psychopath to get hold of. nothing like this has happened since.
this is absolutely a simplistic view. but surely you can start with gun laws and work on mental health, video games, parental responsibilities and whatever else will undoubtedly get blamed for this tragedy. what the heck are people thinking they are defending themselves from, that they NEED a semi-automatic anything? it's never the hardened criminals you need to defend yourselves against, it's the average joe blow whose mind breaks down, for whatever reason, and in this case his mum has guns in the house, because she's allowed to. i'm with the boys here, i just don't understand. I'm a mother of children this age.
that went well, so i tried this.
I can't believe or understand how anyone, the day after one of the most horrific shootings in your history, can defend a perceived need or right to own and use semi automatic weapons. You want to defend yourself and your home go buy yourself a pistol or something and be prepared for the far reaching consequence of using it. But how bad a shot are you that you would need 30 round magazines and how many people do you anticipate invading your home?
Reinstate that legislation Bush allowed to run out on semi automatics.just start with that for your future children's sakes.
and then i went here in respose to a uk comment
There was Dunblane in 96. I remember because i was living in Kinsale, co. Cork at the time. And then tighter gun controls were introduced and nothing of that magnitude ha happened since. Same in Australia after Port Arthur. I do like me a country where lessons are learned and acted upon in the first instance.
and then back to those us friends, and if you read between the lines, you’ll see i had some back up. not american though.
Maybe, BECAUSE we're foreign, we can see the wood for the trees. We can see the blindingly obvious, where you are blinded by obfuscation, the second amendment and the overwhelming nature of the task.
You know what, i'm not concerned about your civil liberties, your right to bear arms, your right to protect your 'castle' the gun culture in which you grew up or your belief that you wouldn't make it home from work alive unless you carried a gun. (This isn't directed just at you personally, by the way, I'm summing up a number of arguments here). Yes, there will always be a black market and criminals will always have guns, because they're criminals and they have no regard for the law. No, you're not some random small country. And while you throw your weight around telling the rest of the world what to do, your people are shooting your children.
Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)
Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)
Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)
Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)
Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)
Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)
Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)
Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)
Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)
James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)
Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)
Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)
Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)
Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)
Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)
Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)
Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)
Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)
Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)
Patronise me all you like, I just don't get how you can defend this man's, or his mothers, 'right' to own the weapons that did this.
and then there was a question put to me: but why should we let the actions of one man dictate the actions and choices of so many others? It's not rational to do so.
No, quite right. You should make no personal sacrifices for the good of the whole. Your personal sacrifice being that of giving up the right to own a weapon that can kill a dozen people at the pull of a trigger. It's not rational to ask that.
In Australia, if you have a legitimate need to own a gun, if you are a hobbyist, even if you just want one, you can apply and be granted a licence. Not a semi automatic, but something you can go hunting wabbits with, or roos, if that's what floats your boat. Like you need a licence for a car. Because they're weapons too, and you have to have lessons in how to use one of them before you're allowed in charge of it. In this random small country and in yours.
I'm not saying ban all guns. You can shoot each other one bullet at time if you want. I'm saying, ban THOSE guns. Because until you do it will keep happening. I wonder how many of those parents will continue, if they ever did, to argue in favour of that second amendment of yours.
And then a few more details about the Australian experience, seeing as they asked
Well i think mostly they were just, you know, asked to get a licence.
Here's another bit of a statistic, because i'm sure you're all loving my Australian gun history lesson, yes?
Since Port Arthur there has been not one mass shooting incident (apparently this is sadly distinguished by four or more deaths) in Australia.
In the nine years preceding Port Arthur, there were 10 such incidents such as Strathfield, Hoddle and Queen streets, with 66 deaths, the majority caused by citizens with no prior criminal record but clearly with access to weapons. So the trajectory was clearly rising. And now it's not.
Culturally, we are pretty similar to our American and British cousins, and have our own fair share of media sensationalism, video game violence, mental health issues, etc.
And then i ended on this, just because you need to know when you’re hitting your head against a brick wall, and the only thing you’re going to affect is your head. And i wanted them to know that i was, you know, balanced. And because my heart breaks for this mother, and i think it’s compelling reading.
I just read this and wanted to share it.. everywhere.. really. Guns are a part and i'll continue to argue that, but my heart breaks for this mother and others like her and mental health should clearly be in the discussion as well.
I can’t help wondering if what i’ve learned over the last few days, is that those who are anti-gun-proliferation are against it for the good of the earth they live on and the lives – all the lives – it contains. those who are pro-gun are pro-gun for themselves, for those they love, for their rights. none of that pro-gun group can provide an argument in how it’s for the good of the country. except to perhaps, you know, assert their second amendment right to overthrow a government that now has i dunno, things like surface to air missiles and nuclear bombs to protect itself with rather than muskets.