New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

January 7, 2013

Australia offers example of gun control success

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Australia is a country that is seven-eighths the size of the United States, has many deserts, 22 million people and a very abundant green lifestyle on the coasts.

I have a son who lives in Sydney. He calls it as close as you are getting to heaven from here.

The country was founded by convicts sent from England during years 1780 to 1848 with clothing and guns. Today they have less crime than virtually any society.

The weather in Sydney is 330 days of sun, never colder than 48 nor warmer than 85, surrounded by beaches, golf courses, restaurants and any store you want.

Citizens have four weeks of vacation when starting a job, jobless rate around 4 percent, little poverty, mixes of whites, blacks and Asians. They speak English and are laid-back, gentle persons for the most part.

They have mentally challenged persons like every society. In 1996, Australia decided to change gun laws. You can still own a gun, but Australia categorized weapons into five areas, with no sales of assault weapons, certain sizing of magazines, very stringent conditions on ownership, none sold to persons with histories of mental illness or criminal records and it checks purchasers in great detail.

Australia declared a mass murder is death of four people or more in one incident. Before 1996, they had one-eighth the U.S. total. Since 1996, zero. No mass murders. England has followed suit and has had the same result.

In 1996, Australia asked persons to turn in guns for cash and collected over 700,000. Based on our population, that would amount to 9,800,000.

I advocate only control. Since 1979, we have killed more people by gun violence than we lost in World War I, World War II and Korea combined.

Bruce Waldman

East Maitland Lane

New Castle

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