Australia proves mass shootings can be stopped

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dear Editor,

After yet another tragic mass slaughter of our children in school. We must be not only grieving, but outraged. This epidemic is absolutely preventable and still, as a nation, we choose to do nothing, merely because of political inconveniences. The blood of the innocent people who die in mass shootings every year is on the hands of our leaders, our legislators and on us, because we are not bold enough to do what must be done to stop this insanity. 

In 1996 in Australia, there was a horrific mass shooting that took the lives of 35 people and injured 19, known as the Port Arthur Massacre. That same year, the Australian government, with full support of all states, passed the National Firearms Agreement. This law banned semi-automatic, self-loading rifles and self-loading shotguns, which are designed to kill people, and imposed stricter licensing and registration requirements on other guns. It also instituted a mandatory buyback program for firearms which were banned by the 1996 law.

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Since these laws were established, the homicide rate in Australia has decreased by more than 20 percent and there have been NO mass shootings. Those are impressive statistics that demonstrate what a country can do if its leaders truly value human life, and courageously put the safety of their citizens above all else. Don’t our children deserve more respect than any politicized lobbyist organization?

Kathryn Ault