John Howard, former Australian prime minister (1996-2007), has a very tantalizing piece on gun control in the New York Times.In the article, he talks about the gun control reforms that he and his government introduced following the massacre of 35 people in Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996. What stood out was this quote:
The fundamental problem was the ready availability of high-powered weapons, which enabled people to convert their murderous impulses into mass killing. Certainly, shortcomings in treating mental illness and the harmful influence of violent video games and movies may have played a role. But nothing trumps easy access to a gun. It is easier to kill 10 people with a gun than with a knife.
Howard also notes the historic and cultural differences between the USA and Australia on gun control, yet adds that the reforms he introduced have dramatically reduced the number of homicides in Australia. He commends the steps he took as a model that American may wish to emulate in making their country a safer place.
Last year Australia had 100 gun related homicides, America had 10, 000.
Do the math folks!