When Massacres Force Change: Lessons from the U.K. and Australia

Separate mass shootings sixteen years ago in the U.K. and Australia prompted soul-searching, anger and a rapid political response in both London and Canberra. The resulting legislation saved lives.

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David Gray / Reuters

An Australian police official inspecting a pile of about 4,500 prohibited firearms that had been handed in over the past month under the Australian government's buyback scheme in in Sydney on July 28, 1997

Gun-control advocates in the U.S. are hoping 2012 marks a turning point in the country’s struggle with gun violence. The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary — where most of the 26 victims were killed with an assault rifle similar to the M-16 rifle issued to U.S. soldiers — might spur Washington lawmakers into action following a year of grisly, tragic mass shootings. There are now calls to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons; the weeks ahead may see a heated debate over the long-enshrined place of guns in American society.

In other words, 2012 may be the watershed moment 1996 was for two countries that have shared histories and bonds with the United States. Separate mass shootings 16 years ago in the U.K. and Australia prompted soul-searching, anger and a rapid political response in both London and Canberra. Anti-gun legislation passed then, say many experts, has had a lasting, positive impact in both countries.

(MORE: Outside the White House, Gun-Control Activists Make a Subdued Call to Action)

In an attack not dissimilar to what took place at Sandy Hook, a shooter burst into a gymnasium of a school in the Scottish town of Dunblane on March 13, 1996, and turned his four handguns on a group of unsuspecting 5- and 6-year-olds assembled there. Sixteen children and one teacher were killed; the gunman, a deranged unemployed shopkeeper, then turned his weapon on himself. Among the dazed pupils forced to take cover during the assault was British tennis champ Andy Murray, then 8 years old. The outcry in the U.K. was immense. “We must take this as a warning that we are becoming like America and act before it is too late,” said one governing Conservative Party legislator, quoted by TIME.

What followed was a drastic overhaul of existing British gun laws by the sitting Tory government. The Christian Science Monitor sums up the changes:

a ban on handguns and automatic weapons, as well as an onerous system of ownership rules involving hours of paperwork, criminal reference checks, and mandatory references designed to reduce as far as possible the likelihood of guns falling in the wrong hands.

Despite a surge in gun-related offenses in the early 2000s, the past seven years in the U.K. have seen successive drops in gun crimes — a consequence, some argue, of the country’s tougher laws on gun ownership. Of course, such measures aren’t enough to wholly prevent mass killings. In 2010, a taxi driver with a shotgun and a rifle cruised around the idyllic Lake District of Cumbria, northern England, killing a dozen people in a shooting spree that shocked the country. The shooter had no history of mental problems and his guns were legally owned and licensed.

On the other side of the world, just a month after the 1996 Dunblane attack, a shooter in the town of Port Arthur, Tasmania, went on a rampage, killing 35 people in what is the worst single episode of such slaughter in Australian history. The then months-old old government of conservative Prime Minister John Howard — who would go on to rule for over a decade — initiated a sweeping set of reforms, even in the face of opposition from allies in Australia’s right wing. The new measures banned the sale and possession of all automatic and semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Moreover, the government instituted a mandatory buyback scheme that compensated owners of newly illegal weapons. Between 1996 and ’98, some 700,000 guns were retrieved by the government and destroyed. The results have been tangible: A widely cited 2010 study in the American Journal of Law & Economics showed that gun-related homicides in Australia dropped 59% between 1995 and 2006. The firearm-suicide rate dropped 65%. There has been no mass shooting in Australia since the Port Arthur attack.

(MORE: Viewpoint: If We Want Gun Control, We’ll Need to Compromise)

Americans often argue that their country’s unique political culture and ubiquity of gun ownership make similar anti-gun measures unthinkable. The 700,000 firearms Howard’s government retrieved from its citizenry was a fifth of the total possessed by Australians at the time — in the U.S., that equivalent figure would mean confiscating some 40 million to 50 million guns.

Yet while the scale is vastly different, the politics ought not be. Like the U.S., Australia is a frontier society built on a rugged, pioneering individualism. It has its own mythic Wild West gunmen. The rhetoric of freedom and liberty is as often voiced by an Australian politico as it is by an American one. And Howard, a close friend of President George W. Bush and a cheerleader of the much maligned invasion of Iraq, was no socialist peacenik.

But, in the wake of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., earlier this year, Howard, a staunch conservative, voiced a criticism seemingly still too subversive for Washington. Writing in the Age, he took issue with the American devotion to the Second Amendment:

The Second Amendment, crafted in the immediate post-revolutionary years, is more than 200 years old and was designed to protect the right of local communities to raise and maintain militia for use against external threats (including the newly formed national government!). It bears no relationship at all to the circumstances of everyday life in America today. Yet there is a near religious fervour about protecting the right of Americans to have their guns — and plenty of them.

It remains to be seen what lasting change emerges out of the tears and heartbreak in Newtown, Conn., but at the very least the tragedy ought prompt a real conversation — as it did in these two other Anglophone nations — about how much carnage a society is willing to take.

MORE: In the Shadow of Sandy Hook, a Powerful Pro-Gun Organization Keeps Silent

329 comments
LaylaChloesNana
LaylaChloesNana

Oh, please. Strict gun laws didn't prevent the Cumbria shooting in 2010.

sfpcservice
sfpcservice

The Supreme Court of the United States held in Heller Vs. DC and McDonald Vs. Chicago that the 2nd Amendment IS an individual right.  This means the right to keep and bear arms is a Civil Liberty.  Anybody here want to stand against civil liberties?  I see the author does....

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

Stupid article....the UK and Australia both have higher violent crime rates than the US. Taking away guns from law abiding citizens did nothing to prevent crime. If we banned pools, yeah, we could eliminate pool drownings, but you will not stop drownings in the ocean or even tubs. Banning guns doesnt stop murder...there has been murder in this world for thousands of years before guns....and plenty of mass murder by tyrants and dictators.


Educate yourselves and learn from history, and the facts. Not anti-gun propaganda.

JacobWyrrick
JacobWyrrick

I wrote the below with an iPhone, late. Please excuse spelling and poor punctuation. Enjoy!

JacobWyrrick
JacobWyrrick

Oops Jacob here cont. told u it was my first time. (Please know this is part 2. and part 1 should be in the big box below.)Anyway I was reminding of the real mass murder committed by the all loving and never self serving gov. durring the seemingly not so amiable gun confiscation of the Ausies. Never forgetting that domacide is still the all time highest cause of unnatural death for us little people. It seems as tho they think we work for them. I'm so outraged at the writer's audacity in his slimy tactics that I'm somehow ironically convinced he believes his narrow opinion is not only drawn from his idea of education, (refer to first section I started below) but is actually the truth. Now it is declassified (not advertised) but available for reference, that the U.S. gov. is arming to the teeth, oddly at the same time it is pushing for the most restrictive gun bans ever. All of this in the midst of the longest and highest gun sales to private citizens in history. Coupled with the statistics, gathered from random poles, that the majority of people buying guns say that the reason for their purchase is: mistrust or even fear of the Nat Gov. I can only sum up my general feeling on this pathetic excuse of an intellectual, a man, and self implied "educated writer" (Ishaan Tharoor), with a Robert Deniro line, from The movie Casino, "Look... He's either in on it or he's too stupid to know about it... Either way, I can't have it." And that, my young Ishaan, is how one writes the "educated" truth. You see the truth is like "the force" (star wars) a writer draws his strength from it. It flows through us. Well not you... Not yet... But hey! I think I like this writing thing. I was always secretive or shy a out the songs I wrote. But I might just lay down the guitar and the family biz, especially if you're the competition. In the land of the blind, even the one eyed man is king. Ya see Ishy, I may not have quoted it exactly verbatim, but it's still the truth. Educate yourself and u won't have to trick people with words like "educated" and culture yourself so that you write with elequence. Then you won't have to convince people you are a "writer" with a title of writer. Writers regergitate words that convey the intention of an smployer. Reach inside. Research. Dig deep. Become the "author" of a piece. Look at me. This is my first time and I'm pretty sure it's at least closer to the chest than any of the words you've ever dared to fraud a piece of paper or screen with. Too wordy? Well keep up the shallow work. Maybe you'll be editor some day. Good luck. And God bless.

JacobWyrrick
JacobWyrrick

WOW! I never write or respond to anything online, but the use of the word educated by Ishaan Tharoor, the writer of this drivel, compels me to remind readers that: calling one's self educated in order to rally other fools and fonies, does not determine education. Only the intellectual ability to recall the applicable and undespited truth, regardless of personal feelings or opinion, reveal the truly educated. Although it is obvious that less guns will lead to statistically less "gun violence". The truth is that, in these ripe for plundering countries like the UK and Austrailia, violent crime skyrocketed to upwards of 80% within a few years of the good citizens being disarmed. Not to mention the loving government killing litterally

ep21
ep21

What psychiatric drugs was Adam Lanza on? 

Name one school shooting where psychiatric drugs were not involved. 

Why are we arguing about guns when the people who are supposedly committing these mass murders are completely drugged out? Why would we even consider destroying the very document that gave us our country BEFORE addressing the problems that have lead us to violent crime to begin with. (Be it poverty, social inequality, mental instability, etc.) I mean, our entire criminal justice system is founded on Emile Durkheim's social theory, structural functionalism. When dealing with crime, we are supposed to see crime as a good thing because it highlights where the real problems exist, the problems that disrupt social cohesion, the problems that lead the individual into committing the crime to begin with. When we see those problems, then we have an opportunity to work at correcting what was wrong. A lot of times it is poverty, but in this instance, the answer is right in our face and yet we refuse to address it. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE KIDS HAD BEEN PRESCRIBED PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS. Look into it for yourselves, you will find either medical histories that will not be released to the public or a list of the drugs each individual was on. 

Or you could just take a look at the list John Noveske compiled. But of course, he is dead now. http://www.naturalnews.com/038616_john_noveske_mysterious_death_car_crash.html#ixzz2hbdllaal

We have got to WAKE UP and address the real problems rather than create more laws that serve as blinders to the underlying purpose of those crimes. 

I challenge any of you, no matter what country you live in, to prove to me that a sober human without serious mental illness or past war experience, has committed a school shooting at ANY given point in the history of the United States of America. 

And then maybe the dialogue of removing the right to bear arms will truly begin. Until then, no educated patriotic American is ever going to consider allowing our government or any other government to break a constitutional amendment. 

AndreaVanWie
AndreaVanWie

Whether or not the AR-15 was used is irrelevant...it doesn't shoot any differently than a handgun would. Just because it looks like a machine gun does not make it a machine gun...we're more afraid of it because it has a collapsible butt-stock and a flash guard?? Really...

ReverendRef
ReverendRef

"The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary — where most of the 26 victims were killed with an assault rifle similar to the M-16 rifle issued to U.S. soldiers" This is a lie. The assault rifle was found in the car after the shooting! Why can't the media tell the truth? Because it would ruin their plan to disarm the citizens of the USA.

livefreeordieradio
livefreeordieradio

The UK has not see a drop in gun crime as a result of any gun bans or gun control... This is simply a lie. 

texaswc
texaswc

@livefreeordieradioActually, a drop in gun crime, yes, a drop in violent crime, definitely not, in fact violent crime increased since criminals know they don't have to worry about being shot...Australia, according to many sources, actually has a rise also in violent crime, even with the drop in gun crime...But, one of the biggest differences between both those nations and the U.S. is that they are islands, making it harder to smuggle weapons into those nations, thereby making it harder for criminals, though not impossible, from getting guns for use in crime...the U.S. is bordered on the north by Canada and in the south by Mexico, making it much easier to smuggle guns in...This greater risk of smuggling will grow and increase the profits by illegal gun sales by cartels and other gun runners if the U.S. bans guns to law-abiding people, similar to alcohol and prohibition...If we can't stop people from crossing the border, we already have about 11 million illegal immigrants in the states, and we can't stop the drugs from being smuggled, then we will also not be able to stop guns...this whole article is anti-gun anyway, read it and believe little of what you read...

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

Also mentioned was the fact that we are going through massive changes in britain, the anglo-saxon / celt demographic is changing, whole towns filling up with immigrants, we are not historically accustomed to an ethnic population, there was hardly any 50 years ago, now there are about 15 million, 5 major cities whites are a minority, european human rights undermining already pathetically liberal judges, hotels for prisons, no death sentences, 10 years in real terms for killing, silly kids copying american gangs and rappers thinking its cool, apparently its really easy to get a cheap gun in the UK(Not), we have western hating muslims spitting at british soldiers in the street, burning poppies on remebrance day, refusing to serve soldiers or even whites in their shops, and despite all this crap and the ease of getting weapons and we being so violent and evil - we still only have a pitance of gun related deaths, most of these facts are not in any stats.  But in America, you have the death sentence, harsh judges, massive sentences, chain gangs, tough prisons, armed police, better border controls, richer nation, more christian beliefs and everything fine and hunky dorey according to most on here, yet the gun death figures are shocking, why the massive proportional difference, all the bad things in the UK and all the good things in the US, should make the stats even closer, but they are not, not even remotely, go figure

AntonyTye
AntonyTye

had a well written and statistically supported reply, but my laptop blipped and i lost it, and frankly i cant be bothered writing it all again.  the basis of it was your stats are refuted, death by guns in the UK are so rare that if some one killed 26 people, our gun death stats would be about 50% worse in one fell swoop, and thrown out of kilter. We dont even have enough gun deaths to form a really reliable statistic, you on the other hand do. I have found some stats, as your keen on them, deaths from guns 25,000 to 30,00 most years - Meanwhile back in evil violent britain, its about 50 or 60 a year, go figure

jimparks305
jimparks305

OK, Antony, I guess "insanely high" is subjective, and if its OK with you that burglars come into your house as long as they don't have guns, that's up to you and the rest of your people in your country to decide for yourselves.  

You seem to simultaneously hold two opposing viewpoints.  Do you realize that?  You seem to be against the "nanny state", yet you disparage our system as uncivilized because isn't quite nannied-up enough.


Marc-H
Marc-H

It seems like a small child   America knows his rights but not his responsibilitys .... and why because they listen to the NRA who is not the voice of the American public but the paid voice of the arms manufacturers and dealers whose mantra " guns dont kill people " is so the little conscience they have can be appeased . the arms dealers want every American scared of there government and there neighbours they want as many Americans to die because it sells guns  , it does not want a safe America because there is no money in that . keep listening to your arm dealers and they will turn America into the wild west for profit .  

laughingtarget
laughingtarget

There's some major falsities in this article. The UK gun murder rate increased dramatically after the gun ban, up nearly 50% by 2003, and have dropped to a rate today to...exactly the same as it was before the ban. It effectively accomplished nothing. Sure, the rate dropped, but it failed to drop to a lower level than the pre-ban period. All the while, the UK has become the single most dangerous advanced nation in the world with a little over 2,000 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens (the US is 492 per 100,000).

Garzhad
Garzhad

@laughingtarget  

Also, this is more directed at anyone who would blame the cartels firearms on the US Citizens then yourself, laughingtarget, but the firearms used by the cartels are typically full-auto Kalashnikov-type weapons, bought from other 3rd world countries, china, and russia(ak's are not manufactured in the US) or full-auto NATO-style weapons(which are completely illegal to own, trade, or sell to civilians in the US, By anyone in the US) that were either appropriated by the short-sighted and idiotic Operation Fast and Furious or stolen from poor-guarded(or corruptly guarded) US national guard armories.

Garzhad
Garzhad

@laughingtarget 

Let's not forget that these countries do not have a nation like Mexico along it's southern border. Nothing againstthe mexicans themselves, but the cartels that operate there would continue to supply guns, drugs, and sex slaves in and out of the us, arming the criminals that roam our streets while the gov't takes guns from law-abiding citizens. The gang and criminal culture is much more powerful and influential here then in either UK or Australia, and these groups have the means, the money, and the will to work around and ignore any laws or bans placed into effect, to continue to rob and murder innocent people with illegally obtained weapons.

laughingtarget
laughingtarget

@AntonyTye

I believe you missed the thesis of the comment and attacked a minor quibble. Heres an unambiguous fact: in 1996, the year of the Dunblane Massacre, there were 614 firearm homicides, a 20 year low. By 2003, the annual firearm deaths were over 900 per year. Why did the gun legislation fail this spectacularly? This has nothing to do with foreign cultures and everything to do with the total apparent failure of legislation to stop gun violence and the appearance that the legislation made it worse. Last year the rates returned to exactly the same level as in the 1990s with a slight upward trend going into this year. After 15 years, the implementation of the law has shown no improvement in UK gun homicide rates. This is the crux of the thesis, that firearm homicide rates have no correlation with firearm homicide rates. Some other factor is at play and continuing to blame guns will accomplish nothing but generating a false sense that the problem is solved, as evidenced by your attitude on the subject, and wasting energy best suited to findinga legitimate solution. The UK can repeal the ban and I can guarantee you that you won't notice the difference.

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@AntonyTyeAnd again, wrong. You're an idiot. Its not tens of thousands, its 8,500. Stop comparing homicides AND suicide by gun to just homicides in the UK. You deceitful prick.

Nicholas22521
Nicholas22521

Ok I am an American citizen that lived in the UK for 5 years. First off I can tell you I was more on edge when walking down the streets of Bracknell (a small city about 15 min away from reading) than I am on the streets of Louisville. Secondly all banning guns did was increase the amount of people buying guns from the black market. If I wanted to I could have bought an AK with 275 rounds and three mags for 270 quid, NO BACKGROUND CHECK, NO REGISTRATION, AND MOST LIKELY SOLD TO A CRIMINAL. 

cjkersh
cjkersh

@Nicholas22521'm 48 and have traveled in most of the US states and lived in several places. I have seen a gun displayed by a woman who felt threatened in a down town area once in my life. I enjoy shooting and do so in country settings in a safe manner and do know many people with guns and who conceal carry.  The US is very safe and all of the opportunists who want to seize an opportunity to pounce on the issue won't change that. 

The greatest killer of kids in schools was in the 1930's and was done by a farmer with explosives. I take home defense   seriously. I love my big dogs and will keep my fire arms. I do not want of need a nanny state. Our current Government seems to want to impose there will on so many areas of our lives it seems to be effecting the countries happiness. The media is our own worst enemy. We have for the first time since being tracked fallen from the top ten happiest countries and big government and our over taxation are clearly stated as top reasons. 



Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/12/17/when-massacres-force-change-lessons-from-the-u-k-and-australia/#ixzz2IlXVEI74

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@Marc-H@Nicholas22521Detroit banned guns there Sparky. Thanks for proving our argument. Its not the guns....why not look at ethnicity and who commits these murders. In Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, DC, NY and LA...90% of murders are done by minorities.

tmbrwolf40
tmbrwolf40

the Australian gun ban doesn't work. for one they say gun suicide dropped 65%. they don't tell you the over all suicide rate went up with hanging the main way of going about it. also watch this video on how well it worked.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyS3CEIbpJo

jojo1231
jojo1231

The government has been hijacked; look at all the invasions abroad--this is not my government! Obama and the Globalists should all be lynched--hell all of the IMF, Federal Reserve, Council on Foreign Relations shoot be tried and shot. Obama bombs kids everyday abroad via drone strikes, he brags he picks the locations, don't tell me he cried for the children at Sandy Hook, that was an act Oprah would be proud of--false flag anyone? Americans need guns today more than ever before! The unarmed Australians and British can bow to their queen!

cjkersh
cjkersh

"The Second Amendment, crafted in the immediate post-revolutionary years, is more than 200 years old and was designed to protect the right of local communities to raise and maintain militia for use against external threats (including the newly formed national government!). It bears no relationship at all to the circumstances of everyday life in America today. Yet there is a near religious fervor about protecting the right of Americans to have their guns — and plenty of them."

I really don't see any less need to protect ourselves from our Government today, and the recent Government administration has boosted gun sales to an all time high. Every time a ban is discussed it drives gun sales by those who wish to buy while they still can. Research  it this is very easily verified. 


JustinB
JustinB

So i was watching a video related to this article and it made me want to go back and read the claims made in this article again. Upon further scrutiny this article is incredibly misleading. Specifically this quote:
"The results have been tangible: A widely cited 2010 study in the American Journal of Law & Economics showed that gun-related homicides in Australia dropped 59% between 1995 and 2006. The firearm-suicide rate dropped 65%."
So i went to check out that "widely cited study" here: http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/GunBuyback_Panel.pdf If you scroll down to page 517, you'll find a graph of data. It shows that both Suicide rates, and Homicides rates, continue at the average rate. It shows that people will always commit murder and suicide at an average rate with or without guns.
And what either this study or the article forget to take into consideration is the grave violation of property rights that comes along with taking away a person's right to defend their property (as illustrated in the following video)
http://youtu.be/OyS3CEIbpJo
This is what happens when we let English Majors "educate" us about science. It is in my humble opinion that Ishaan Tharoor should go back to college and study the science of Economics and Engineering, because his math just doesn't add up (but then he might not have a job writing for what appears to be a biased news outlet).

linnetwoods
linnetwoods

My definition of a semi-automatic weapon: A weapon which allows multiple rounds to be loaded and requiring only repeated depressions of the trigger to fire said rounds. Such weapons are usually able to take magazines containing a large amount of ammunition thus enabling the shooter to fire a great many times in rapid succession.

john.galt.freedomdefender
john.galt.freedomdefender

Americans will never learn.  The second amendment occasionally demands blood sacrifice.  Just hope it's not your children or grandchildren who are called upon to pay the price.  Once the ritual blood letting is endured, then life gets back to normal, that is selling ever more weapons for future sacrificial rituals.  

And we think stone age villagers in the Amazon and New Guinea are ignorant and superstitious.  In the area of gun violence we share a superstitious awe of our magical second amendment.  

GeorgeManser
GeorgeManser

The problem with a ban is that the people who are not likely to ever use them hand them in. thereby unable to do anything against the ones who do use them.  You do not make yourself safe by removing your defence. you make yourself unsafe.       It would be wise to have law on how the firearm is housed.  The firearm should be in a safe hideaway, with no more than one slug for defence.  Ammo should be in another  safe locked  and the key hidden.   Police can check on the housing of your firearm.  This should stop the stupid use as with the late Mr Lansa.

          The USA has suffered more than the rest of us against mass killing of this type, Zero's in the War, suicide bommers,ect anyone is capeable of it if they dont have guns it will be something else.  the problem is phsycological these people are seeking some sort of gain, you have to tackle it there.

Metronil
Metronil

You forgot to mention that the peasants in Australia and UK have to suffer the HIGHEST VIOLENT CRIME RATE IN TEH WORLD THANKS TO GUN BANS.


TWICE AS HIGH VIOLENT CRIME as the USA....You are a nations of VICTIM SLAVES.


Bow down and lick the hand that feeds you, peasants.

oceanblue
oceanblue

Oh, look, another mass shooting occurred today.


America, you're a third-world ass.

headonzhurt
headonzhurt

let the mass killings stop when the ameritrash stop believing 2 airplanes can "knock down" 3 buildings....

 your 9/11 FRAUD is past its used by date and the world HATES your guts americant.

jews are not as wonderful as you idiots thought.

headonzhurt
headonzhurt

there are no americans in the american govt...... ALL dual national israelis/jews.

911missinglinks dotcom is by the fired FBI agents from the fraud 9/11

oceanblue
oceanblue

You don't have gun laws. You don't have public health care. You don't have mental health care. You don't have free education.

Do Americans care about each other AT ALL? Doesn't sound like it. You should stop worrying about terrorism - you're your own worst enemy.

Pacific81
Pacific81

When will America learn a lesson from these tragic events? WHEN? Prayers and thoughts do nothing! Take note from other countries that have made change after massacres. The 2nd amendment is more than 200 years old! The problem in America is the easy, readily availability of guns....period! I live in the UK, I wouldn't know where to obtain a gun. If I was angry and wanted to kill someone I couldn't walk into my Mothers gun closet and pick up gun! I would have to go into a rough area and try to find out where to obtain a gun from, by that time my anger may of subsided and I might of realized  how stupid my original thought was. If I had a knife I would not of been able to cause as much damaged as the killer did with a gun. As people have mentioned heavy regulation on gun control is what should of been imposed from day one, I fear it is to late now as there is an influx of guns in the US. Lets just wait for the next massacre, and send some more prayers! 

bonobelle
bonobelle

Nice attempt at framing this issue using parallels.

FrankFC
FrankFC

One by one the arguments for guns grow weaker and weaker. Like the one that guns don't kill people, people do. I wonder if that line isn't used much any more because of Lee Harvey Oswald's slip up in 1963 when he used a rifle on JFK from the seventh floor of the Texas School Book Depository instead of a knife.

FrankFC
FrankFC

Sorry BJ1017 but you are the one telling only half the story. The whole eleven countries ahead of the US in gun related deaths per 100,00 people, are all from either South America or Africa. Either very volatile, or undeveloped countries. The US is neither, yet it is nearly double the Canadian rate and nearly three times the rate of the next stable and developed country Switzerland. The US is at least treble the rate, and in some cases eight times the rate of all other stable developed countries.

FrankFC
FrankFC

Funny isn't it that other lethal things like poisons or electricity, are either banned or heavily protected. All except guns that is, whose sole function is to kill, unlike cars or pools. All the other arguments like Second Amendment or freedom infringements, criminals with guns, protection of the individual, concentration on mental illnesses etc, seem like a decoy to preserve the central and unnatural US obsession with guns. An obsession I think that could well stem from the American Civil war, the butchery of which I don't think the US has ever fully recovered from. Like a beaten child, the mental scars will always remain.

MichaelCurtis
MichaelCurtis

In 1990 the Gun Free School Act was passed with the promise that it would keep our children safe.In 1994 the AWB was passed, we were promised that this would keep us safe from evil people who use "Assault Weapons"1999 we found out that we were lied too. Many people said "we need to deal with the mental illness that is rampant" yet the same people who lied to us ignored our calls for reform.Later that same year we had a bank robbery in anti-gun capital of the US (California) they used illegal weapons (illegal since the 20's) and killed several people before being killed by the police (using borrowed weapons because their arms were not even capable of fighting that level of crime.) again we were shown that the bad-guys are very capable of out-arming the law abiding peoples of this country.A few days ago we saw evidence that ONCE AGAIN the AWB failed us. (CT continued the AWB after it expired in 2004) WE CALL ONCE AGAIN TO DEMAND THAT MENTAL ILLNESS IS GIVEN A PRIORITY And once again our politicians lie to us and promise us that "having better gun control will solve this"YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for this... you created an environment that promotes weak minded people to commit terrible acts without any resistance. You say we need gun control? I say we need smarter lawmakers.THIS IS YOUR HOPE AND CHANGE

BillCook
BillCook

Yes the children were killed.....It has brought numerous tears to my eyes....we need to fix the problem and an assault rifle ban isn't going to do the trick.

Mental illness is closer to the root cause.

ajent_oranje
ajent_oranje

@barnetto@BillCookWay to dance on the graves of children...so just because the children didnt die in China...they will be forever mentally and physically scarred and possibly hurt people in the future because of that trauma....its a lot better than in Sandy Hook? 


And saying Republicans dont want to pay for healthcare is ignorance on your part...because its not the governments job to pay for healthcare, its the individuals responsibility. You lack an education and any knowledge of what this country is about and why it was founded. If you want a nanny state, feel free to move to the UK.

BillCook
BillCook

It is relevant when the author is using this fallacy as the premise for a rant on banning assauklt weapons.

Read the story.

FrankFC
FrankFC

BillCook isn't it irrelevant what weapons were used. The beautiful little kids are dead!