November 9, 2018

WHY ISIS NEEDS THE NRA:

Truck full of gas cylinders set on fire, three stabbed in Australia terror attack (Tom Westbrook, Sonali Paul, 11/09/18, Reuters) 

A man set fire to a pickup truck laden with gas cylinders in the center of the Australian city of Melbourne on Friday and stabbed three people, killing one, before he was shot by police in what they called a terrorist attack.

How Australia All But Ended Gun Violence (CLIFTON LEAF February 20, 2018, Fortune)

If all this sounds too horrifically familiar--an estranged loner, an AR-15, dozens dead in a matter of minutes--there is a remarkable twist to the story. In the wake of the Port Arthur massacre, Australian lawmakers did something about it.

Within just weeks of that tragedy, elected officials in each of Australia's six states and two mainland territories--pressed forward by police chiefs across the continent and by the then-newly elected prime minister--banned semi-automatic and other military-style weapons across the country. The federal government of Australia prohibited their import, and lawmakers introduced a generous nationwide gun buyback program, funded with a Medicare tax, to encourage Australians to freely give up their assault-style weapons. Amazingly, many of them did. (Simon Chapman, an emeritus professor in public health at the University of Sydney, and an influential proponent of the original firearms legislation, has a very good summary here. You can also read his free ebook here.)

A land of roughneck pioneers and outback settlers, Australia had never embraced much government regulation and certainly not about their guns. This was a land of almost cartoonish toughness and self-reliance, home of Crocodile Dundee and Australian rules football. Here even the kangaroos box. But Port Arthur had followed too many prior deadly shooting sprees and Australians were clearly sick to death of them.

So what happened after the assault-weapon ban? Well therein lies the other half of the story twist noted above: Nothing.

Nothing, that is, in a good way.

Australian independence didn't end. Tyranny didn't come. Australians still hunted and explored and big-wave surfed to their hearts' content. Their economy didn't crash; Invaders never arrived. Violence, in many forms, went down across the country, not up. Somehow, lawmakers on either side of the gun debate managed to get along and legislate.

As for mass killings, there were no more. Not one in the past 22 years.



Posted by at November 9, 2018 4:26 AM

  

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