Flanked by children who wrote to him after the Sandy Hook shooting last month, Barack Obama today proposed the strictest American gun laws since Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban in 1994.

Guns, where they belong - on the trash heap. Photo: AFP

He deserves a lot of credit. It won’t be easy to push this legislation through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and America’s powerful gun lobby will resist, but Obama has signalled that he is willing to fight hard.

The President’s proposal would forbid the purchase of military-style assault weapons by civilians, while also banning high-capacity ammunition magazines and mandating universal background checks for gun buyers.

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  • Greg says:

    06:53pm | 17/01/13

    @Roger, I don’t think that it needs much psychoanalysys to determine why there is a difference. Women are used to getting their grievances addressed by governments, whereas men are used to having to do things for themselves. Read more »

  • Thomas says:

    06:48pm | 17/01/13

    They’re looking very closely at the legislation John Howard introduced after the Port Arthur massacre, and are understandably impressed and envious of the fact that Australia has not had a single mass shooting since. Read more »


All I want for Christmas is… an assault rifle? Seriously?

I'm a gunna make me another vest. Pic:

Despite the oh-so-recent horror of the US school massacre, plenty of Americans were proud to pose with their deadly weapons. Nice.

Anyone here get a gun for Christmas? Discuss your pressies, or anything else, right here.

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  • yeah-no says:

    04:52pm | 28/12/12

    @philosopher: C. I see lots of dog’s balls out in the yard. Read more »

  • jaki says:

    04:29pm | 28/12/12

    @ pa_kelvin Nah, he’s already decided he wants to sleep next to my pillow. The Ryobi’s for making fun runs and towers for my cats, and occasionally fixing things The Ozito wasn’t up to the job. Read more »


Have your heard about the proposed Australian buyback for toy guns?

Think of all the Beyblades he can buy now. And no, Beyblades are not sharp. Pic: Calum Robertson

It’s the brainchild of Adelaide mother Sam Paior, and it has sparked fierce debate across the country. Last week’s Sandy Hook massacre reminded Sam how much she hates to see her two sons, Ben and Bailey, playing with guns.

The boys had a few replica guns they’d bought at the Royal Adelaide Show. So Sam had the idea of a buyback for her sons’ toy guns. If they wanted to, they could hand over their plastic weapons, and she’d give them $5 for each one.

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  • Brian says:

    04:42pm | 24/12/12

    A replica weapon is a reasonable facsimile or copy of a weapon, even if it is not capable of discharging a projectile or substance, or a Category A, B or C weapon that has been rendered permanently inoperable or a hand grenade that is inert. From So both usages… Read more »

  • Brian says:

    04:34pm | 24/12/12

    I will accept this as a valid argument if you can provide three examples of a massacre where a perpetrator was stopped by an armed civilian. Do not include off duty military or police officers, the event must be post 1950, and do not count any occasion in which the… Read more »


Plenty of foolish excuses come out of the mouths of pro-gun advocates following tragedies like the recent massacre in Connecticut.  However, nothing can hold a candle to Mike Huckabee, former Governor of that bastion of human progress – Arkansas, and a man who once sought the highest office in America. 

I've got three pockets in my overalls… Pic: AP

He even outdid his own previous most ridiculous comment, namely that America would be better off if everyone was “forced at gunpoint to listen to every David Barton message”.

David Barton is an evangelical Christian conservative who argues that the separation of Church and State in the US Constitution is based on a historical porky. I would say he is the David Irving of American Constitutional History; a revisionist on the fringes of history academia, except he isn’t – he has no formal qualifications in either law or history.  A stroll on his Wikipedia page tells me that his most recent book won an award as “the least credible history book in print.”

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  • Ben says:

    06:47pm | 21/12/12

    Given all 43 Presidents have been Christians (at least publicly), which god do you think it was referring to, Mr Jordan? Incidentally, did you notice ‘God’ as labelled on the currency is a proper noun? Read more »

  • Roland says:

    06:09pm | 21/12/12

    I’m also about to graduate from a European university - the commies are just taking over huh?!  (When did separation of church and state become a ‘leftist’ cause?) #redsunderthebed Read more »


The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has most Australians asking ‘When will the United States get serious about gun control?’ Sadly, the answer is not any time soon.

This would look SO good on the patio…

Now is obviously the moment when Barack Obama should emulate John Howard’s stand after the Port Arthur killings but the difference between 1996 and now is insuperable. This is not a question of rational policy-making but a question of faith. For the true believers, the magical power and saving grace of guns is a religious tenet beyond rational argument.

The National Rifle Association’s mantra ‘Guns don’t kill people – People kill people’ has practically become a punchline but for many Americans it’s also a core conviction. Others espouse gun ownership as a bulwark against tyranny. Never mind that the argument was invented in the 18th century when kings relied on mercenaries that a popular rebellion could actually defeat.

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  • Daylight Robbery says:

    07:13pm | 19/12/12

    @craig Your right Craig. There is nothing wrong with anyone being a survivalist.  Yep, having a BOB for a likely disaster event relevant to your area is a good idea. The idea of caching weapons with large quantities of rounds is a waste.  In the event of a martial law… Read more »

  • Pig Man says:

    07:11pm | 19/12/12

    I want to start my own right wing lunatic group like these clowns answer to Get Up. It should be called Get Hard or something. Read more »


Damn that Obama. He bamboozles you with a powerful speech and it’s only when he’s finished you realise he hasn’t actually committed to anything. Well, he committed to doing something. But it wasn’t gun control, not yet anyway.

One of Katter's mates, proud as punch. Pic: Supplied

It remains to be seen whether America would ever allow a black man to take away their precious guns – but his speech to the mourning people of Newtown offered, at last, a glimmer of hope.

Meanwhile, here, there’s a hint of the smugs about Australian gun control. Why can’t those crazy Yanks be more like us?

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  • neo says:

    06:20pm | 18/12/12

    Hunting is great. Shot a pig last time I went, and a kangaroo too. We are the pig and the farm dogs enjoyed their roo legs. If you don’t hunt, you are probably a sissy. Read more »

  • Gordo says:

    05:57pm | 18/12/12

    Mental Health: This is the pattern in all of these killings. The Federal Governments need to spend some money!!! Read more »


Obama has said that things need to change in the US when it comes to gun culture.

But will it really change? We’re not hopeful.

It’s Tuesday. What’s on your mind?

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  • Curmudgeon says:

    06:30pm | 18/12/12

    Peter Siddle for PM!!! Read more »

  • Martin says:

    06:21pm | 18/12/12

    @baloo Try not to be too disappointed, Baloo. Maybe next time he’ll have a GUN. Read more »


Throughout history there have been defining events that have changed the character of a nation and challenged the prevailing mindset of a society.

The catalyst for gun reform starts with the community

The horrific mass shooting of twenty children aged between 5 and 10 years along with a number of their teachers at a school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut must be such a moment for the United States.

While the nation grapples with the loss caused by this senseless tragedy, lawmakers must also confront the need for greater gun control.

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  • Blinkers Off says:

    06:29pm | 17/12/12

    It is related - Bishop holds Australia, Howard and his gun reforms up as some guiding light claiming, in her own words, that there hasn’t been a massacre since those reforms came into place. I challenge that definition of massacre and I challenge her perception of the impact those reforms… Read more »

  • michael j says:

    06:05pm | 17/12/12

    As i watched some services for the dead kids today i was struck by the repeated reference to ‘GOD’ an his perfect will and love being done. Read more »


He’s the poster boy for bogans, sporting a mullet that would make Warwick Capper blush and has a wife who obviously shares the same hair stylist; however I’d wager there are a lot of guys and girls out there who would love to have Dog the Bounty Hunter’s job.

Business in the front, party in the back. Pic: Supplied.

Kitting out in tactical gear; kicking down doors; dragging bail-jumpers back to prison all for a hefty fee – sure beats sitting at a desk staring at white walls all day.

Dog the Bounty Hunter could also provide the solution to NSW and potentially Australia’s rural pest problem.

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  • dibatag says:

    03:03pm | 08/10/12

    I supose the number of pigs includes the one’s in Canberra whith there snouts in the trough and the union officials to Read more »

  • Craig of North Brisbane says:

    02:51pm | 08/10/12

    You want to let a bunch of gun-toting maniacs and bogans loose to cull feral animal populations, presumably without causing any collateral damage?  And you want to actually pay them taxpayer’s money to do it? Who, exactly, is living in the political fantasy world here? Read more »


In 2008, the Queensland Labor Government banned shotgunning flying foxes in orchards in response to the Queensland Animal Welfare Advisory Committee judging that shotguns weren’t a humane killing method. The Beattie Government banned duck shooting for the same reason in 2005.

A cute thing! Quick, kill it!. Picture: Nick Edards

In response, Campbell Newman promised before the last election to reintroduce shotguns in orchards. Why should the pig doggers have all the fun? But there was a legislative requirement that control measures be humane. What to do? Too easy. Get rid of the requirement for humaneness.

As of last Friday, you can now cripple and wound flying foxes without any risk of prosecution for cruelty. Instead there will be a code of practice. This is a familiar trick. Any time you want to do something cruel to an animal, have it put in a code of practice along with a general provision defining all actions done under a code of practice to be outside the welfare jurisdiction. This prevents any uppity RSPCA inspector applying anti-cruelty legislation where it’s not bloody welcome.

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  • MarkF says:

    05:37pm | 13/09/12

    Oh please I think my eyeballs are bleeding reading this. Giving them a voice like the mob calling themselves Without a Voice.  The ones whose idea of dealing with the feral cat problem was to catch the cats, desex them then let them loose in the wild again to kill… Read more »

  • kelly says:

    05:32pm | 13/09/12

    bananabender Never mind bats, there is no rabies in any Australian mammal period, full stop. However, the statement that bats don’t carry rabies is false. You cannot deny that. marley made a mistake and you are compounding it. Read more »


Queensland is looking at easing their gun control laws.

A new member of Queensland's gun advisory council… Yes, at his gun shop. Picture: Cameron Laird

As you can imagine, police aren’t exactly overjoyed at the scissors hovering over this particular set of red tape.

It’s Wednesday. What’s on your mind?

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST.

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  • Mouse says:

    07:58pm | 29/08/12

    Scotchie, do love cinema popcorn, better than chewing gum any day!  You are going to get into trouble you know….. LOL   ;o) ChrisL, you’re on. Now I just gotta get meself over to Texas. I’ll send pics of all the fun!!  LMAO   :o) Read more »

  • marley says:

    07:28pm | 29/08/12

    @M - cops? you’re kidding?! No, I know you’re not, but of all the groups to protect, I’d have thought they’d be pretty low on the list.  Plenty of room to criticise the police (and their masters).  I do think your comments go a bit too far, and don’t agree… Read more »


Once again a crazed killer has been thrust into the spotlight, and done the only thing that crazed killers seem to be able to achieve: spark a mass debate around the world concerning the US and their gun laws, which, should be noted, is a debate that will inevitably go nowhere.

Aussies may love alcohol, but it causes plenty of deaths in our nation.

Why, we lament, are Americans such idiots and why don’t they ban something that is so incredibly dangerous to their society? Because, they are living in a society where it is perceived as their God-damn-given right to own one if they want to, that’s why. 

But surely they can see the damage that it does, right? Well, yes, most of them can see it, but that doesn’t take away the right to have one if they want.

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  • LC says:

    08:08pm | 02/08/12

    America is already saturated with guns, with enough to arm every adult there, and then some. If they wanted to go down the gun control route, they should’ve done so 100 years ago. The cats been out of the bag for far too long now, there’s way too many guns… Read more »

  • Greg in Chengdu says:

    07:19pm | 02/08/12

    @fml where did I say that there shouldn’t be any laws? What i said was Tassie had NO gun control which is ofcourse absolutely ludricrous. Now we have this silly woman saying we should ban Alcohol. Can you see our freedoms eroding away at the will of knee jerk reactionists? Read more »


Sad. Horrific. Tragic.

Unbearable… but will anything change?

Three words that can be found instantaneously when reading or watching reports related to the Aurora theatre shooting that occurred in the early hours of Friday July 20th, where 12 were killed and at least 50 injured.

Thirteen years prior, only 15 miles away in Columbine, Americans were all too familiarly ‘shaken’ and ‘shocked’ by similar gun-related violence.

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  • St. Michael says:

    06:23pm | 24/07/12

    “Mind you, anyone with even a basic knowledge of constitutional law should know that the American constitution can’t be changed merely by a majority of the lower house, else it simply becomes just another bit of legislation.” Almost as basic as knowing you can actually change the Constitution, as opposed… Read more »

  • Petery says:

    10:16pm | 23/07/12

    @Jake Any gun owner would have to be a moron not to store his guns and ammunition safely.So when the home invader waves his lead pipe, the owner would say excuse me mate, I have to get my gun from the cabinet.Ok,hang on a tick, oh shit, where’s the ammo.While… Read more »


Australia’s biggest idiot is in our sights again. Nick D’Arcy is trending top five with a bullet on Twitter, and many are saying “so what if he posed with guns after a swim meet in California?”

Bring out the gimp

That’s a fair argument. Another perfectly reasonable argument would be to say that he has shot himself in the foot yet again, and that the trigger should now be pulled on his Olympic dream.

It’s not like the public needed much more ammunition to consider the guy unfit to represent his country. And really, when Dawn Fraser defends you, as she did this morning with D’Arcy and his partner in gun crime Kenrick Monk, you know the target is a loose cannon. After all, Fraser reportedly stuck up for Grant Hackett the other week.

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  • Dennis says:

    04:23pm | 12/06/12

    It’s not what they did, but who they are. It’s also said that D’Arcy pretty much bought his way on the team, thru the Crowley incident with Swimming Australia. He & Monk are also going home straight after their races instead of staying with the olympic team till end of… Read more »

  • Em says:

    03:02pm | 12/06/12

    I hope they both win gold medals…then they can shove it back in their faces! Read more »


Bad stuff happens when you drive stolen cars on the footpath.

Cops aren't trained to shoot tyres

The footage over the weekend of two Aboriginal youths - both bleeding from bullet wounds and being dragged from a car in Sydney’s Kings Cross - is hard enough to watch from the comfort of your loungeroom. Imagine being the police officers now accused of “shooting at little kids”.

The driver and passenger, just 14 and 18, had been shot after the allegedly stolen vehicle mounted the footpath and ran down a 29-year-old woman.

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  • lis says:

    03:51pm | 23/04/12

    I agree completely !!!  Well said ! Read more »

  • Reader says:

    03:51pm | 23/04/12

    “As for punching the guy, he looked like he was still resisting at the time.” He was lying on the ground in handcuffs. How could he be resisting? Typical righties seeing what their imagination wants to see to justify they’re a**e-ended view of the world. Read more »


There were four shootings in Western Sydney the night before last. Actually, no, make that five. Bullets fired at one home narrowly missed two young children who were playing computer games. It’s a quiet night if only one bullet goes through the front window lately.

A house shot up in the Sydney suburb of Northmead yesterday morning. Picture: John Grainger

So it’s a little disconcerting at first to note that one of the two parties holding the balance of power in the NSW Upper House is the Shooters and Fishers Party (the other being Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats). The O’Farrell government has to deal with them to get its legislative agenda passed over the objections of Labor and the Greens.

Obviously, the Shooters find the recent spate of gun crime in western Sydney abhorrent. They’ve proposed legislation that would make it a separate offence for someone to possess a firearm while committing a crime. It sounds sensible - having a firearm while committing a crime is only an aggravating offence under the current law. But as recently as last year the Shooters were arguing that all kids should be able to perform shooting as a school sport, as students at some private schools are currently allowed.

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  • Daylight robbery says:

    05:46am | 23/04/12

    Consider some guns may be reported stolen so their owners can keep them.  They didn’t go anywhere? Who needs gun laws when you can order them online into the country which sounds like whats been happening. Now that Gillard is going to close a lot of the best fishing spots… Read more »

  • Waz2 says:

    08:46pm | 22/04/12

    @ETH Your credibility was diving with every comment you made and it’s just reached zero. MB obtained his firearms illegally. Your comment that most murders are committed by someone known to the victim….. So what? The stats show that licenced firearm owners are not likely to commit murder. More guns… Read more »


About fifteen years ago I spent an inordinate amount of time at One Nation meetings.

If you want one of these, you have to be a bikie.

The organisation was formed at Sydney’s iconic Rooty Hill RSL, where the parmigianas hang off your plate, and where Pauline Hanson made her first appearance as the party’s national leader before an adoring throng. The adulation was repeated across Australia, at the Gympie Town Hall and Caloundra RSL, in the logging communities of Gippsland, the pensioner enclaves of Bermagui and Batemans Bay.

One Nation received a hefty one million votes at the 1998 election. Its support came from disparate sources – blue-collar voters who disputed the free trade consensus between the major parties, oldies yearning for a whiter Australia – but the political ballast of the party’s support came from tragedy and its aftermath, the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre, which prompted John Howard to implement a national guns buyback just two months into his prime ministership.

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  • PG says:

    09:28am | 20/02/12

    “Indeed the intransigence of the courts is so pronounced that it’s worth picking a deliberate fight with them on the question of judicial independence” You misspelt incompetence Penbo! “tying their hands with mandatory minimum sentences which give them no leeway for the soft option” Bingo, ‘up to 16 yrs’ means… Read more »

  • Jason s says:

    11:19pm | 19/02/12

    TrollerCoaster:  Canada just abolished there firearms registry in this last want to know why? Because the 1.5 billion dollars they spent on it never did anything to save a single Canadian life. Those billions can now be redirected to housing, schools, hospitals, education and infrastructure! Everyone likes to quote… Read more »


Vince Focarelli – alleged leader of the feared New Boys street gang and, briefly, an Adelaide group of Comancheros bikies – had already walked away from three attempts on his life.

Pity the fool?

It seemed unlikely that those who wished him harm were about to stop trying.

Last weekend, Focarelli’s aura of invincibility was shattered with tragic results. A hail of gunfire left the man himself with a head wound and claimed the life of his son Giovanni, who was just 22.

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  • G says:

    06:17am | 21/02/12

    Jay, what a load of media fed hysterical drivel.  Please before you make statements like “They routinely obtain intellignece on police or politicians that annoy them and if necessary they will eliminate them.” where on earth did you get that from? not one single politician or police officer has been… Read more »

  • Jay says:

    11:37am | 13/02/12

    God there are some gulible people out there. Bikie gangs are an insidous lot who profit on the misery of the others. The manufacture and distribute drugs which are made in backyards and comprise of anything they can get their hands on, They stand over people and businesses and operate… Read more »


It’s advisable to never get in the way of a woman’s love for fashion and accessories. But now it seems, in the US, you could pay the price by getting your head blown off.

For the discerning lady, I mean, really discerning. Picture: Supplied

With an 83 per cent increase in women buying firearms in the States, a need to add sparkle, glamour and a supposed feminine touch to a deadly weapon has also arisen. Handguns donning a pink mother-of-pearl grip, Swarovski crystals or Hello Kitty designs are providing colourful options for the gun-toting fashionista.

While a Mail article is quick to blame celebrities such as Rihanna for glamorising guns with her neck tattoo, and heck - while we’re at it - let’s blame Paris Hilton for originally jazzing up a perfectly fine mobile phone to resemble a disco ball. But this latest trend actually exemplifies the core at the gun problem in the States – weapons intended to kill have become accessories.

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  • LC says:

    08:18pm | 06/08/12

    Sorry, Reg, those organizations have no clue, and good on the Swiss government for telling them to take a hike. While with gun control, suicides by gun are reduced immensely, but the suicide rate in general don’t budge an iota in either direction, as has been the case amongst every… Read more »

  • Nate says:

    09:23pm | 29/03/11

    Susie M.  South Africa has significant cultural and social issues dating back decades.  Guns have no relationship with crime.  Take Sweden for example, where all able bodied males must have ownership of a military rifle - and be proficient in its use (tested regularly).  Gun crime and all crimes are… Read more »


It’s been a weird year for weather. Irrigators who haven’t been careful with what they wished for have had their biggest watery dreams overflow. “We need the rain” quickly morphed into “... but not that f..king much!”.

Still, there is one tiny group of Australians that has risked drowning not in floodwaters but in its own salivations as each new wave of rain fuels mounting excitement: the nation’s duck shooters.

Ducks love water and rain acts like an aphrodisiac to shooters. They are probably hard at it right now on a small patch of water near you. For people with a modicum of compassion, this brings the joy of ducklings, but duck shooters have other plans.

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  • Rob says:

    04:15pm | 19/04/12

    People from down under.  Take a lesson from the United States currently fighting with a duck and goose overpopulation that year after year is destroying millions of dollars in agricultural crops and for our light goose populations they are actually killing themselves by destroying their breeding habitats.  The only real… Read more »

  • hkindwxrows says:

    06:07am | 15/03/12

    uclan herbal medicine closure of course buy clomid no prescription sydney mechanix cold medicine cc’s pharmacy ovulation boards clomid cold medicine triggers positive drug test online pharmacy stadol nolvadex board clomid anthroposophical medicine melbourne madigan army pharmacy clomid menstruation medicines after gastric bypass sport medicine clinic seattle clomid medication electric… Read more »


I went shooting recently. A couple of old friends and I spent a few days on a farm in northern NSW which can only be described as a target-rich environment.

The .44 Magnum is generally not regarded as the best weapon for offing introduced fauna.

I’ve never seen so many rabbits in one place ... between us we nailed about 300 of them and left thousands more chewing up the paddocks.

So numerous were they that at night you could have walked through the pastures with a cricket bat and scored a century.

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  • Ern says:

    05:28pm | 09/12/09

    Wow Samantha, and you don’t mind ferrels slaughtering what’s left of our native wildlife. At least someone out there is willing to spend time and money trying to stand in the gap. For crying out loud if you have a solution then out with it, other wise grow up and… Read more »

  • Samantha Murdoch says:

    09:29pm | 07/08/09

    Wow, you have a gun and so are able to slaughter a lesser, much weaker animal? Congratulations big man, congratulations. Read more »


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