Change is unlikely unless politicians at all levels rise up and risk their careers

What does it take to change? It is the question that parents, teachers, students and entire communities have been asking for the answer. It’s a movement to which, after the Uvalde massacre, his hometown boy Matthew McConaughey added his eloquent voice.

The “how” of such a change is complicated and it would be naïve to think otherwise. But the “what” is simple. Until governors, legislators, congressmen, senators and even presidents of the United States are willing to risk their own political careers, the blood of innocent Americans will continue to flow at gunpoint.


Australia’s relatively recent history confirms this truth. Our country suffered its worst and deadliest mass murder in April 1996 when Martin Bryant murdered 35 people – including children – with legally available military-style assault weapons.

Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister, John Howard, acted immediately and implemented federal gun laws over and above state laws. He risked his own political future by jeopardizing federal laws banning all assault weapons and restricting all other semi-automatic rifles to landowners believed to have a genuine need to manage wild animals.

Around a dozen MPs in the Howard government lost their seats in the next election, not least because of the government’s stance on gun laws.

The price was worth it. The mass murder in Port Arthur has not been repeated since 1996. At the same time, the rights of recreational shooters – like me – to own firearms were protected.


True, there is still gun crime in Australia, mainly related to illegally acquired guns. However, there have not been mass killings on the scale that our nation witnessed in Port Arthur in 1996 or that we have witnessed almost monthly in the US since the implementation of the Howard Reforms.

To indicate how far behind the US is in implementing meaningful federal gun control, consider this. In 2015, President Obama campaigned to have armor piercing ammunition removed from gun store shelves. Eight years later, armor-piercing ammunition is still being sold on the open market in the United States.

There are glimmers of hope. Some US governments have tightened gun controls more than others. Assault weapons, including the AR15, have been banned in nine US states and Washington DC. Only 41 states left!

Unless we see a federal administration with the inner strength to take the tough decisions that have been made in Australia, regardless of the political prize at the ballot box, mass killings like the two we saw this week will continue to stain the Stars and Stripes.

Brad Emery is a former Howard government employee and a marksman. Change is unlikely unless politicians at all levels rise up and risk their careers

Callan Tansill

InternetCloning is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button