How Australia Stopped Its Mass Shootings

In this Monday, April 18, 2016 file photo, tourists read names on a memorial in Port Arthur, Tasmania state, Australia, where 35 people were killed by a lone gunman in 1996.
In this Monday, April 18, 2016 file photo, tourists read names on a memorial in Port Arthur, Tasmania state, Australia, where 35 people were killed by a lone gunman in 1996. AP Photo/Rod McGuirk
In this Monday, April 18, 2016 file photo, tourists read names on a memorial in Port Arthur, Tasmania state, Australia, where 35 people were killed by a lone gunman in 1996.
In this Monday, April 18, 2016 file photo, tourists read names on a memorial in Port Arthur, Tasmania state, Australia, where 35 people were killed by a lone gunman in 1996. AP Photo/Rod McGuirk

How Australia Stopped Its Mass Shootings

On Wednesday, Parkland, Florida experienced the worst school shooting in America since the Sandy Hook massacre of 2012. It was also the single-deadliest high school massacre in America, surpassing the seminal Columbine High School shooting of 1999.

A former student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School went into the school and killed 17 people. The attack is the 18th school shooting in the U.S., so far in 2018. The satirical newspaper, The Onion habitually posts an article after every mass shooting, respectfully mocking American attitudes of resignation and helplessness on gun violence. While political stalemate and lobbying by groups like the NRA stall the gun control debate in the United States, countries like Australia, choose to act.

In 1996, a gunman in Port Arthur, Tasmania opened fire at a resort, killing 35 people and wounding twenty-three. Within two weeks, Australia’s government passed sweeping gun control laws. There has not been a mass shooting in Australia since.

We revisit a 2012 conversation Worldview had right after the Sandy Hook tragedy. David Hemenway, professor of Health Policy at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, told us how Australia significantly curbed its gun violence.