At least 19 children and two adults have been killed in a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school. The suspect, an 18-year-old local man who has also died, opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in a crime the governor has described as "incomprehensible".
Today, we share Rebecca Sparrow’s piece, which, after 27 mass shootings in schools in the US alone this year, has never been more relevant.
This morning, I am thanking Australia’s former Prime Minister John Howard.
Because whatever you think of Howard, his prime ministership or the Liberal party – we all owe Australia’s 25th Prime Minister a vote of thanks for the courage and foresight he showed over 20 years ago.
In April 1996 a lone 28-year-old gunman entered the historic Port Arthur tourist site (a former penal colony) in Tasmania and shot dead 20 innocent people in the first 90 seconds. That gunman (whom I refuse to name) went on to murder a total of 35 people, seriously wounding 18 others. Reports later revealed he was able to purchase his semi-automatic assault weapon from a gun dealer without holding the required gun licence.
Overnight Prime Minister Howard took action. He knew such an atrocity must never happen again in our country.
Watch former Prime Minister John Howard discuss his decision regarding gun control: