gun control

Gun Control

There are some serious and ongoing issues with the gun control question in Australia. The very same thing is going on in the United States right now with the hard core left pushing very hard for gun control – it will take a repeal of the second amendment there to do this. The basis of what is considered by many as quite draconian gun control laws in Australia was the Port Arthur Massacre as it is call. There is growing evidence that was a false flag staged event to achieve that end. It is the very same as the very left wing Jacinta Ardern Christchurch so called massacre with a legislated cover up. We at AIM extend to Tims family our deepest condolences for their personal loss.

The headline argues that many Australians are alive today because of gun control. It can be argued more successfully that many more Australians would be alive today if the citizens were armed and the American experience proves this beyond doubt. The argument against has always been it wont stop the bad guys getting guns and that has proven to be the case the world over.

Many Australians are alive today because of Tim Fischer’: The man behind Australia’s landmark gun reforms

Two men wearing hats speak on the side of a rural highway, surrounded by media and mindersPHOTO: John Howard and Tim Fischer overhauled Australia’s gun laws in the wake of the massacre at Port Arthur. (Auspic/DPS: David Foote)
History is on the side of Tim Fischer.

Key points:

  • John Howard described Tim Fischer’s role in gun reform as one of his greatest political achievements
  • The pair worked together to introduce reforms banning semi-automatic rifles and imposing strict licensing requirements
  • Mr Fischer’s former colleagues, including Michael McCormack and Darren Chester, have paid tribute to the leader

Within days of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, the Nationals leader and then-prime minister John Howard had built a case for a crackdown on automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

They managed to convince state and territory governments to introduce some of the toughest gun laws in the world, as hundreds of thousands of firearms were handed over to police to be destroyed.

It tested Mr Fischer, who received a strong backlash from the bush.

The gun lobby ran a powerful campaign, and rural and regional Australians were angry at the prospect of surrendering their guns.

But he stood firm.

Speaking on Thursday in the wake of Mr Fischer’s death at the age of 73, Mr Howard said that while it was a challenging time for Mr Fischer, it was ultimately one of his greatest political achievements.

The life of ‘once-in-a-generation politician’ Tim Fischer

The life of 'once-in-a-generation politician' Tim Fischer
Mr Fischer’s remarkable career began as a 20-year-old conscript fighting in Vietnam and ended with his posting as Australia’s top diplomat in the Vatican.

“He knew, and he found out of course, that it was going to be difficult for his party in some parts of the country,” the former prime minister told 2GB radio.

“And we would never have successfully battened down those laws without the understanding of Tim Fischer.

“[He said], ‘I just want you to understand it’s going to be hard for some of us in the bush’, and of course it was, but he stuck manfully to the task, and I’ll ever be grateful, and our nation should be grateful that he worked so hard.”

Nationals leader Michael McCormack also declared that among all Mr Fischer’s contributions to political life, gun reform was one of the most remarkable.

“There are many Australians who are alive today because of that legislation change, because of that tough decision that Tim Fischer took, because of that courage that he showed,” he said.

“A lesser person perhaps might have wilted, a lesser person might have said this is a bridge too far, might have objected, and we wouldn’t have had the tough gun stance that we took necessarily then.”

A sign says Tim Fischer traitor.PHOTO: Tim Fischer was branded a traitor by some opposed to the new gun laws. (ABC News)

Fischer faced backlash from own colleagues

The Port Arthur massacre was Australia’s worst mass murder.

Gunman Martin Bryant opened fire on visitors at the Tasmanian tourist site in April 1996, killing 35 and injuring 23.

Five men in dark suits stand near the green front bench of the lower house PHOTO: Mr Fischer, left, reportedly played a crucial role in “settling” country voters. (Auspic/DPS: David Foote)

There had been previous shootings, but none of that magnitude.

Before Port Arthur, most states had a relatively weak gun licensing system, and there was no requirement to register guns.

Mr Fischer and Mr Howard introduced a National Firearms Agreement, banning semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns, and imposing strict national licensing requirements.

They also introduced a national gun buyback scheme for all weapons that did not comply — which ended up being about 700,000.

Gun Control Australia vice president Roland Browne said Mr Fischer played a crucial role in “settling” distressed country voters.

“As the agreement started to seep into the public consciousness, the pushback began,” he said.

“A lot of them were traditional National Party supporters, so the role Tim Fischer played was to go round and settle these people down, to explain to them that Australia was not seeing a complete ban on firearms.

“He promoted the changes, he backed them up, and he was very successful.”

A tip truck pours a load of firearms out, as a man wearing a hard hat watches on.PHOTO: About 700,000 weapons were entered into the national gun buyback scheme. (Reuters: David Gray)

One of those who argued against the changes was Mr Fischer’s own colleague, then-Nationals MP Bob Katter, who is now a crossbencher.

In August 1996, he described the idea as “stupid” while on the floor of Parliament.

“Let me say that the proposition that, by removing guns and making guns illegal, people are not going to be able to access guns and the sort of person who carried out this terrible crime at Port Arthur is not going to be able to access guns is really quite stupid and infantile.

“It is a matter of a telephone call and sending some money. That is about as difficult as it is,” he said.

The resistance Mr Fischer faced was acknowledged a few months later in Parliament by then-opposition leader Kim Beazley.

“I am going to hand out a bit of kudos in this speech. I want to praise Tim Fischer, I think he showed marvellous leadership on guns,” he told Parliament.

“He had a battle, Tim Fischer and his colleagues in the National Party, and I congratulate them collectively. They had a struggle.”

‘A mark of his leadership’

While those across the political divide paid tribute to Mr Fischer’s stance on gun reform, one former politician cut a lonely figure on social media.

Former Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm tweeted a link to an article about Mr Fischer, with the following comment: “On the basis that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, I anticipate Australia’s two million sporting shooters will have nothing to say about this”.

But Nationals frontbencher Darren Chester said Mr Fischer had taken a risk that ultimately paid off.

“I think that was a mark of his leadership and his individual courage, that he was willing to put the national interest ahead of what was the party’s interest at the time,” he said.

“He bore the brunt of the criticism, stuck to the path and supported the prime minister in changes that the test of time has proven were the right changes.

“This was probably his great political legacy in terms of he had the courage and stood up when he needed to.”

Gun Control

Source : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-22/tim-fischer-man-behind-gun-reform-australia-port-arthur-massacre/11439954 – plus other resources

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