Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.
Shootings have become almost a weekly occurrence, with more than 125 people, mostly young men, wounded in the past five years.
While the body count was higher during Melbourne’s ‘Underbelly War’
(1999-2005), more people have been seriously maimed in the recent spate
of shootings and reprisals.
Crimes associated with firearm possession have also more than
doubled, driven by the easy availability of handguns, semi-automatic
rifles, shotguns and, increasingly, machine guns, that are smuggled into
the country or stolen from licensed owners.
Criminal networks also create caches of illicit weapons, including
machine guns and pistols with silencers, that are bought, sold and
traded among the underworld in ways that are difficult for police to
Y'know, it's almost like all those gun laws mostly affect honest people or something, isn't it?