Letters to the Editor

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GUNS: Australian gun laws were misrepresented

Letter by Philip J. Thirlwell, Newcastle, Australia on Dec. 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | No Comments »
December 24, 2012 2:02 pm

I am a visitor from Australia, here with my wife. It is our fourth visit to Tacoma, and we enjoy this city and country.

I write to take issue with the writer of “Dead children used as political pawns” (letter, 12-23). He writes about gun laws in Australia and the massacre that occurred in Tasmania in 1996 – which, like the recent one in Newtown, Conn., took many innocent lives.

To say that “anti-gun activists” were ready and waiting for “the perfect tragedy to enact their desired change” is to misrepresent the facts and the Australian people.

No Australians were waiting or hoping for such a hideous event. The (conservative) prime minister at the time had the great majority of the people and members of parliament with him when he introduced sweeping new restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns.

The Australian people were not manipulated by an unrepresentative minority, as your correspondent seems to imply. In fact, the then government was later re-elected, and Australians have continued to vote for political parties that have the same general policy of gun control.

My wife and I share the grief of all Americans at this time.

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