Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library

Alpers, Philip. 2013 ‘The Big Melt: How One Democracy Changed after Scrapping a Third of Its Firearms - Australia's Reaction.’ Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis; Part IV, Chapter 16, p. 209. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 25 January

Relevant contents

Australia's Reaction

The Australian experience, catalyzed by 35 deaths in a single shooting spree, marked a national sea change in attitudes, both to firearms and to those who own them.

Led by a conservative government, Australians saw that, beliefs and fears aside, death and injury by gunshot could be as amenable to public health intervention as were motor vehicle–related deaths, drunk driving, tobacco-related disease, and the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The obstructions to firearm injury prevention are nothing new to public health. An industry and its self-interest groups focused on denial, the propagation of fear, and quasi-religious objections - we've seen it all before. But the future is also here to see (Mozaffarian, Hemenway, and Ludwig 2013).

With gun violence, as with HIV/AIDS, waste-of-time notions such as evil, blame, and retribution can with time be sluiced away to allow long-proven public health procedures. Given the opportunity and the effort, gun injury prevention can save lives as effectively as restricting access to rocket-propelled grenades and explosives or mandating child-safe lids on bottles of poison.

Source cited:
Mozaffarian, Dariush, David Hemenway and David S. Ludwig. 2013. Curbing Gun Violence: Lessons from Public Health Successes. Journal of the American Medical Association 1–2. Published online: Jan. 7, 2013. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.38

ID: Q6571

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