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Australian Labour MP Kelvin Thomson sends us an e-letter.  He lists the practical legal changes that his country has undertaken to eliminate gun massacres.

So far these steps have proved 100% effective. Our beloved Vice President Joe Biden will do well to support these measures.

Australia took all of two weeks to change their laws in 1996 after a paranoid schizophrenic, Martin Bryant, slaughtered 35 at Port Arthur, Tasmania, and wounded another 28.

Australia has been free from gun slaughters for 16 years.

The paranoid subgroup of schizophrenia is an organic disease. It occurs at 17 per 100,000 population, which totals some 50,000 individuals in the United States. But it presents overwhelmingly with these mass murder gunmen including Anders Behring and Jared Loughner.

Australia decided to treat militarized weapons as though they were explosives. Australia's National Firearms Agreement has worked perfectly.

This should be the basic position of our Democratic Party. To repeat: it works. You can support this position by signing an electronic petition at the White House web site:

Adopt Australia's gun laws which have eliminated 100% of gun massacres since adoption in 1996 with no effect on hunting.
 

Details in cooperation with Australian MP Kelvin Thomson are presented below le chignon d'orange. Feel free to support the petition with Facebook, Twitter and other social media:

From the keyboard of Kelvin Thomson:

This is a letter I have written to members of the United States Congress urging them to adopt Australia’s gun laws:
As a Member of the Australian Parliament I am writing to urge you to adopt Australia’s gun laws in the United States.

I am aware of the risk of advice from outsiders being unwelcome, but feel compelled to write all the same because

1. We cannot sit idly by and just allow senseless and avoidable deaths, in this case including 20 small children, to go on, and
2. Australia’s experience is crystal clear and I believe the United States can benefit from it.

After 35 people, including small children, were killed in the Australian island State of Tasmania in April, 1996, the Australian Police Ministers Council agreed to a national plan for the regulation of firearms.  The Plan is known as the National Firearms Agreement and its terms include:

•Banning military style automatic and semi-automatic firearms;
•Limiting the availability of non-military style semi-automatic rifles and shotguns to primary producers, professional vermin exterminators, and a limited class of clay target firearm users;
•Introducing registration for all firearms, including longarms;
•Grouping firearms into 5 broad licensing categories;
•Requiring all licence applicants to establish a genuine reason for firearms ownership;
•Requiring all licence applicants other than those applying for category A firearms to establish that they have a special need for the particular category of firearm;
•Requiring that permits be acquired for every new firearm purchase, with the issue of a permit to be subject to a waiting period of at least 28 days to enable appropriate checks to be made;
•Stricter storage requirements for all firearms; and
•Requiring all sales to be conducted by or through licensed firearms dealers.

Since these laws were enacted in 1996 Australia has not had a repeat of the massacres we had before they came into effect.

The number of gun deaths in all categories – homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings – has declined dramatically since 1996, and thousands of Australian lives have been saved as a result.

I implore you to look at our experience.  As the number of guns in Australia reduced, so too did gun violence.   It is simply not true that owning a gun makes you safer.  The fact that Adam Lanza’s mother was killed with a weapon she owned is all too familiar.

More weapons in homes and schools = more killing.

Those families who have lost a loved one are in our hearts and thoughts at this time. But please let this not be yet again condolences and prayers and hand-wringing – let this be the time when something real was accomplished.

There are plenty of problems in our world which are beyond the power of legislators to do much about.  This is not one of them.

MP Thomson does not address the legal thicket raised by the 2nd Amendment in our federal Constitution. Good bet, Vice President Biden and his team will be up to figuring out that one. No one says this will be simple.

Modernizing the 2nd Amendment seems sensible.

Today's hi-tech weapons are more like explosives than muskets. The Connecticut child killer, Adam Lanza, may well have experienced hallucinations, voices, even a delusional world view that he acquired playing the "Call of Duty" video game. But if police had not arrived at Sandy Hill Elementary School so quickly, Lanza with all his mental deficiencies had the means in his hands as an "active shooter" to kill a couple hundred of those kids.

As Obama said at Newtown, "We will have to change."

MP Thomson presents Australia's National Firearms Agreement. This is a proven, time tested way to go.

Making a bold change such as this one is why we have the Democratic Party.

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