A retiring federal senator has highlighted John Howard’s post Port Arthur mass murder gun law reforms as ‘courageous’ in his valedictory speech this week.
National Party Senator for Queensland Ron Boswell, who finishes his term on June 30 after more than 30 years in parliament, said in his departing comments:
“I must single out John Howard. In delivering gun control, he took the most courageous action I have seen in my time in politics. Every time I hear about another gun massacre in America, I know that bringing in those gun control laws was the right thing to do and I give thanks for his courage and leadership. He also understood small business and the ethos of the bush. John Howard was the best Prime Minister the Nationals ever had.”
In this instance, it should be noted that, in the same period since 1996, New Zealand’s firearm regulations have remained largely unchanged and comparable to Australia. There have also been no firearms used to commit a mass murder in this time.
The SSAA has in the past said, and maintains, that the $1 billion firearm buybacks of 1996 and 2002 have done nothing to curb illegal firearms misuse. The money should have been invested in mental health and reinforcing our porous borders against illegal firearms importation.
Buybacks have always affected the legal firearms user and not the criminal element in society.