The View on the Virginia Tech Attack from Australia

Professor Alex Robson teaches economics at the Australian National University:

FOLLOWING last week's tragic Virginia Tech shootings, how many times were we told that guns, and not people, kill people?

When the media allocates blame, everyone except the actual perpetrator makes a good candidate.

Pictures of actor Charlton Heston flashed across our screens, as if the former president of the National Rifle Association was responsible.

The pundits never explain why massacres don't occur at sporting shooters' clubs. Or why, just four days before the Virginia Tech shootings, thousands of gun nuts descended on St Louis, Missouri, and not a single gunshot was fired in anger.

Instead, we heard the same, monotonous message: A similar massacre could never happen in Australia because our culture and constitutional arrangements are different.

Never mind that Martin Bryant murdered a greater number of innocent people in the 1996 massacre in Port Arthur. And never mind that Huan Yun Xiang carried five guns in to Monash University in 2002, killing two fellow students.

Since we don't enjoy a constitutional right to bear arms and have no gun culture, who is to blame? Charlton Heston? The Australian gun lobby?

Laws for the concealed carrying of guns are present in some form or another in 48 US states, and serious research (most notably by Professor John Lott of the State University of New York) consistently demonstrates their deterrent effect. . . .

Thanks to Jack Anderson for sending this link to me.

Ashley Herzog also has a nice piece on the topic of gun free zones.

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