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  • Throw them out!

  • Enough is enough!

  • Anti-gun activists in the U.S. have been pushing for gun law reform.

  • Australia, having made substantial changes to its gun laws, is often held as an example.

  • The country has a very low rate of gun-related homicide when compared to the U.S.,

  • where people are at least 20 times more likely to be murdered by firearms.

  • Stricter gun controls can't stop every mass shooting, but they have made Australia a significantly safer place.

  • Here's how.

  • Australia used to have a serious problem with gun violence.

  • Researchers define mass shootings as five or more deaths, not including the perpetrator.

  • From 1979 to 1996 there were 13 mass shootings,

  • resulting in over 100 deaths and more than 50 injuries.

  • However, due to the gun lobby and politicians sympathetic to their firearm-owning voters

  • little was done to stop gun deaths.

  • If being a politician and living in that bloody house is the most important thing to them,

  • then they're not worth it.

  • In April 1996 that all changed.

  • On the island of Tasmania, the worst massacre in Australia's history is finally over.

  • At least 34 people were killed, and four others critically wounded.

  • Armed with two rifles - an AR-15 and a .308 FN - Martin Bryant made his way through

  • Port Arthur historic site killing 35 people and injuring a further 23.

  • Both guns were semi-automatic, rapid-fire weapons and both were legal in the state of Tasmania.

  • At the time, the Port Arthur massacre was the worst single-person mass shooting in global history.

  • It utterly shocked Australians and reignited public outrage .

  • Just 12 days later, the then Prime Minister John Howard pushed through a sweeping set

  • of gun regulations, despite a lack of support from his rural constituency.

  • I'm sorry about that, but there is no other way.

  • There is no other way.

  • Within a month, the government passed the National Firearms Agreement,

  • transforming gun legislation in the country.

  • Before the Port Arthur massacre gun laws varied from state to state.

  • What the agreement did was standardize the laws nationally.

  • Certain semi-automatics and self-loading rifles and shotguns were banned.

  • New licensing requirements were adopted and a national firearms registry was established.

  • The law says Australians need a “genuine reasonfor having a firearm,

  • such as sport shooting or for agricultural use.

  • It doesn't include self-defense.

  • People must go through background checks and wait 28 days before they can buy a gun.

  • The government also spent $375 million , to buy back 640,000 civilian-owned guns

  • and then destroyed them.

  • After the gun law reform, the total number of homicides involving a firearm decreased by half.

  • The total number of gun-related deaths fell rapidly as well,

  • dropping more than half in 2016 compared with 1996.

  • Australia didn't see a single mass shooting from 1996 to 2018, more than 22 years.

  • However, anti-gun activists warned that following years of lobbying by pro-gun groups,

  • Australia's strict gun laws have been eroded.

  • And gun numbers are almost back to the same level as at the time of the Port Arthur massacre.

  • In May 2018, a family of seven - including four children - were shot dead in an apparent

  • murder-suicide in the state of Western Australia.

  • It's brought back painful memories and uncertainty about the issue many thought had been resolved.

  • Australia is not totally immune to mass shootings,

  • but its response to the Port Arthur massacre demonstrated how strong political leadership

  • and strict gun control policies can help curb violence and save lives.

Throw them out!

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Australia Tried Gun Control and Here's What Happened

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    Samuel posted on 2018/06/06
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