News

America needs a lesson from our very own John Howard

The Queensland Times reporter Andrew Korner.
The Queensland Times reporter Andrew Korner. Rob Williams

JUDGING by the reaction to the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, my guess would be that there aren't enough guns in the world to make Americans feel safe.

Only in America, a country where there are more than 85 guns for every 100 people, would the response to a mass shooting be to go out and buy more of the things.

A good percentage of the United States' population seems dangerously obsessed with the Second Amendment - the right to bear arms - but there are obvious problems that arise when so many people own guns.

It is not so much that they feel the need to own one or two or 15, it is also the type of guns they own and the way some individuals seem to want to show off with them that gives you the creeps.

A recent report highlighted the trend towards Americans posting photographs of themselves in front of a Christmas tree with their new weapons - many of them assault rifles.

All this less than a fortnight after 20 kids and six teachers were shot dead by another psychopath with access to something that was designed to kill people.

The old adage that "guns don't kill people - people kill people", doesn't add up when it comes to characters like Adam Lanza - who, from all reports, was a recluse who wouldn't have had the physical strength to harm so many people at once without such a weapon.

It is at this point I should qualify what I have said by stating I am no greenie when it comes to guns.

I have absolutely no problem with Australians owning shotguns and rifles - provided they live on a farm or in the outback and have a proper use for them.

I also support the use of guns for sport and recreation as a way of teaching people how to operate firearms responsibly.

I'm not big on statistics, but they show that Australia has more than 760,000 registered gun owners.

The last available figures from 2009 show that we had 30 gun homicides - 30 too many but still 0.1 per 100,000 people. Compare that to more than three gun homicides per 100,000 people in the US.

There is no doubt in my mind that the gun buy-back that followed the Port Arthur massacre was one of the best things John Howard ever did during his long tenure as PM.

Sure, crims still have guns in Australia, they also use knives, baseball bats, cattle prods, tasers and broken bottles - pretty much anything they can get their hands on. Banning guns can only achieve so much.

For the past 20 years in Australia, the rate of homicides committed with a knife has been higher than those committed with a firearm - except for the year of the Port Arthur Massacre - and the gap is increasing.

One thing you can say about Australia's gun laws is that they do something to protect everyday people from the Adam Lanzas of the world - the one-off freaks with no significant criminal record, who give no real warning about the mass carnage they are capable of with a semi-automatic gun in their hands.

Topics:  john howard naughty korner opinion sandy hook elementary school



Tobacconist calls for niccotine e-cigarettes to be legal

DEMAND: Tobacco Station Group Riverlink's Naeem Ismail started stocking e-cigarettes four months ago.

IPSWICH tobacconist hopes inquiry aligns Australia with world.

WATCH: Judah battles his emotions as he makes Top 12

GOING PLACES: Judah Kelly performs during his battle round on The Voice.

Judah Kelly has made it into the top 12 of Australia's The Voice.

Kaos to bring aerial assault to Boonah Show

Boonah motocross dare devil Callum Shaw shows off his death-defying skills, which will be on display at this year's show.

Stunt bike show a major drawcard for this year's event

Local Partners

WATCH: Judah battles his emotions as he makes Top 12

Judah Kelly has made it through to the top 12 of Australia's The Voice competition.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Kaos to bring aerial assault to Boonah Show

Boonah motocross dare devil Callum Shaw shows off his death-defying skills, which will be on display at this year's show.

Stunt bike show a major drawcard for this year's event

Everything you need to know about the Boonah Show

Boonah Show Society secretary Beth Hern and office administrator Jeanette Wilson look forward to the upcoming Boonah Show.

Next generation honoured at this year's show

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

My Kitchen Rules champion reveals how he won $250K

SWEET SUCCESS: MKR 2017 winners Amy and Tyson Murr celebrate their glorious victory.

VIDEO: Tyson revealed behind-the-scenes stories in his speech at IGS

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!