Posts Tagged ‘firearms control’

There has been some amusement around Australia the last couple of days after the ultra-right wing group, United Patriots Front, declared that they were forming a political party to contest Senate seats at the next Federal election, which, if we can believe recent media reports, shall be happening before the end of the year. The amusement came over the group’s declaration that they were going to campaign on the right to “bare arms”. Leaving aside the poor spelling, the reality is that in Australia we have never had any such ‘right’ to bear or even bare arms. We do not have anything remotely resembling the  US Constitution’s infamous Second Amendment. Just as an aside – how many people have actually read that Amendment? I have – and it is very clearly and directly linked to service in a now-nonexistent militia which makes you wonder how that ‘right’ survived the challenge in the US courts – the one factor only existed because of a second factor that was no longer in place. But there is a more immediate threat to weapons control in Australia. How many people realise that we already do have a Senator with a specific party policy of the right to own firearms. (more…)

Some of my North American friends find it hard to believe that here in Australia we have damned tight gun controls. While we were never quite the gun culture of the US, you used to be able to get pretty much anything. Bit by bit this was nibbled away at by various governments. However in April 1996, things were taken to a new level. One Martin Bryant went to the historic remains of the Port Arthur penal colony, a popular tourist destination in the island state of Tasmania. There he pulled out a range of weapons including quasi-military grade ones, opening fire at random on the tourists. His shooting spree resulted in 35 dead and 23 wounded. Bryant was later put in prison for 35 life sentences with no possibility of parole. (more…)