Thursday, December 18, 2014

Senator Leyonhelm's Gun Madness

Senator Leyonhelm's opposition to John Howard's gun laws, and his view that the world would be a safer place if we all carried arms, is plain madness.

After 35 people, including small children, were killed at Port Arthur in 1996, the Australian Police Ministers Council agreed to a national plan for the regulation of firearms.

Since these laws were enacted Australia has not had a repeat of the massacres we had before they came into effect. The number of gun deaths in all categories – homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings – has declined dramatically since 1996, and thousands of Australian lives have been saved as a result.

Australia's deaths by firearms homicides dropped by 59 percent in the decade after the gun laws were tightened. Britain also achieved a decline in murders involving firearms after banning all private ownership of automatic weapons and virtually all handguns in 1996, after 16 children and their teacher were killed by a gunman in Dunblane, Scotland. Japan has very strict laws about guns – in 2008 only 11 people were killed with guns in Japan, while 12,000 people were killed by firearms in the United States!

In Australia people going for a jog are not at risk of being murdered by young thrill seekers, as happened to my former constituent Chris Lane, shot in the back in the United States last year. The United States has the lax gun laws that Senator Leyonholm admires, and it has one hundred times as many gun deaths each year as we do.

This is because, as research on the matter has shown, when you own or carry a gun, you are more likely to be the victim, perpetrator or accessory to a crime that wouldn't take place without it in the first place.

Before Adam Lanza killed 20 little schoolchildren and six teachers at Sandy Hook primary school, he killed his mother with a gun she had bought to enhance her safety. When Aaron Alexis killed 13 people in the Washington Navy Yard rampage last year, he killed a security guard with a shotgun he had purchased legally, took the guard's weapon and killed another victim with that after his shotgun ran out of ammunition.

The fewer guns there are in Australia, the safer we all are.


  1. It seems that criminals can always access guns! How did terrorist criminal Man Haron Monis get a gun? There are more questions about how he was not filtered out by "border security", and how he became an asylum seeker?

  2. Kelvin, you are absolutely right! I agree with all of your comments. You sum the situation up nicely by saying at the end that, "The fewer guns there are in Australia, the safer we all are."

    I have always felt that the views held by Senator David Leyonhjelm are among the most dangerous held by any politician is the Federal Parliament.