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We need new gun control laws
The Gazette Opinion Staff
Jun. 3, 2013 12:37 pm
Following the April 1996 slaughter of 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, by a “pathetic social misfit” with no criminal record or diagnosed mental illness, Australia enacted gun control laws (see Annals of Internal Medicine, May 21, 2013, page 770).
The key components include a ban on civilian ownership of semi-automatic long guns and pump-action shotguns, a market-price buyback program financed by a small income tax levy on all workers, proof of genuine reason for firearm possession, denial of self-defense as a legally acknowledged reason to own a gun, and prohibition of mail or Internet gun sales and registration of all firearms.
Since then, there have been no mass shootings and the decline in total gun deaths has accelerated. The rate of firearm homicide, which was decreasing by 3 percent per year, decreased by 7.5 percent after the new laws.
Authors of the article, Simon Chapman and Philip Alpers write: “The U.S. gun lobby argues that because people (not guns) kill people, gun control will not reduce gun deaths.” The Australian experience shows the contrary to be true.
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