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Death penalty-to be or not to be? Sometimes crime cannot be punished enough. Sometimes crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it. There are too many victims out there, that suffered and their attacker gets a simple painless death. I am saying painless comparing to murders that happen every day that are simply horrifying. As Paul A. Winters says "If a person commits a uniquely gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death" Winters et al. 154. So many murderers are convicted of the crime of murder and they only get years in jail. Their victims feel the pain, but imagine the pain and sorrow that the families of the victims feel, and that pain lasts for the rest of their lives. If someone from my family was killed, I wouldn't think a second what to do with the murderer. I would want him dead. Most of the families feel this way and the best way to stop the pain is to get rid off the cause of the pain. Death sentence is effective because it deters crimes, but many people argue that life without parole is much harder to serve for the person who committed the crime, "Abolitionist claim there are some alternative to the death penalty, they say that life without parole serves just as well" Guilmette 2. I agree that putting away the murderer is effective, but just isn't enough. Laws change, so do parole boards, and people forget the past. As long as the murderer there is a small possibility that he could strike again. Capital punishment is the most effective weapon against the murderers; because no executed murderer has ever killed again. You cannot say that about those sentenced to prison. Death sentence also depends on the case. I am not saying that everybody who commits the murder should be placed on the death row. There are different types of the murder and every murder that was planned or intentional should be severely punished. As Hugo Adam Badeu says, "Despicable crimes should be dealt with realistically" Badeu et al. 131. I have no mercy for the killers, and nobody should have any mercy for anybody who does harm to another human being. Who gives a right to anyone to commit crime anyway? Michael Kronenwetter says, "The death penalty has always been considered especially appropriate for the crime of murder" Kronenwetter 6. Murder is the biggest crime and biggest offense, and it should be treated like that. Over the years, public safety has become a meaningless thing, not worth defending anymore, and the death penalty has been persecuted for just that reason. Every country in the world is ready and willing to kill thousands, even millions of human beings in brutal, merciless way to defend their nation from the aggression of other countries. I don't see why public safety doesn't deserve as much respect and protection as a nation's national security does. In fact, it can be argued that supporting armies and war is far more barbarous than the death penalty is. The whole reason why nations and government exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. I think that the people in all the nations will soon realize that capital punishment, like the military or police force and even taxes is an unavoidable consequence of every civilized society, and it will no longer be the question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used. "According to polls, more than 70 percent of Americans feel that murderers deserve the death penalty" Winters et al. 168. What can you say to the parents of the kids that were killed in Columbine High School, their kids will never come back, and their killers were kids, too. What can be done about juvenile murderers? "President Clinton proposed that the age at which penalty could be applied should be reduced from 21 to 18" O'Rourke 1. I agree with that and if that law could be put in place, no killer would be protected. Everybody who is mature enough to the consequences of the things they do should be equally punished as everybody else. Most of the people don't agree with this, but that's just the way it is. As I said laws change and convicted could be out on the streets again, and they could strike again. Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment have supported their cause with many arguments. They have claimed that some have been wrongly sent to death row, while other decisions have been unfairly applied to minorities and the poor. Others argued for the sanctity of human life, as well as the expense involved in capital punishment. But those who believe in the opposition of the death penalty are often misled. They should consider the following cases that underlie the support for capital punishment, for it is certainly the only way to deal with the cruelty of crime that has infected our society. Capital punishment was once supported by the theory of deterrence, yet studies have shown weaknesses in this argument. Although the death penalty may not have an effect in deterring crime, it protects society from the threat of the same criminal committing a violation again when they are set free. A notable example is the case of Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate the Pope after he had previously been tried and convicted of murder. Opponents may often refute this by suggesting a life sentence without parole, yet research has shown that the crime rates in prisons are gradually increasing. What happens when a person sentenced with life imprisonment kills another inmate or guard during that time? This brings about reconsideration for those who advocate sentences without parole instead of capital punishment. A second way to look at the validation of capital punishment is the concept of retribution. Retribution cannot be confused with the concept of revenge. It is society"s right of intolerance to heinous crimes that bring about the need for death row. Criminals have not only injured their victims but also the important values that govern society, which is the respect for life. Society has a responsibility to protect its citizens, doing what is necessary and appropriate to those who break the laws. Thus, capital punishment is necessary to ensure the priceless value of human lives. Thirdly, some people urge to abolish the death penalty because of their concern for the sanctity of human life. That is precisely the reason why this form of crime prevention should be maintained. Capital punishment is different from murder because the person being executed had committed a crime and was tried and found guilty. An execution carried out after a trial cannot be compared to a murder committed by a criminal. Lastly, it is suggested and often proven that the death penalty discriminates against the poor and minority groups. One must see that this problem does not concern the justification of the penalty, but the unfair way in which it is distributed. This problem may be improved by properly reviewing the cases, imposing decisions without regard to race or class. This can be achieved so that all defendants receive equal protection ground. Capital punishment has proven to have good benefits upon the country in determining the consequences that criminals deserve. This is needed to ensure the safety and moral values of society. If this is the case, there is no need for us to consider the expenses involved in the death penalty. Certainly human lives are more important, for it may easily be yours. We should not abolish capital punishment, but hold our country accountable for properly exercising the death penalty upon those who deserve it. Many criminals don"t fear the judicial system. They know that they will get out in ten years if they murder someone. They are not afraid of jail or their punishment. How can we force them to stop killing or stealing if they are not afraid of the punishment we give them. Most rational men are afraid of death. They don"t want to die. There are also men that don"t fear death, but enjoy killing. They must be controlled, but if they are sentenced to life they are soon free to kill again. Again, I am not saying we should kill all the men in jail and any other criminal in the world. That is not the answer either, but we must have the death penalty as an option so that they will be afraid to break the law, and to control those who don"t fear death but love to break the law. What do you do with men who do not fear the loss of their life? One criminal of America, Carl Panzram was quoted in saying, "In my life I have murdered 21 human beings. I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than 1000 male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don"t believe in Man, God nor devil. I hate the whole damned human race including myself" Panzram 1. Men like this who do not care for any law and do every unthinkable act are being supported in some jails around the world. What do you do with people who only want to kill and cause chaos? There is very little you can do, especially if they do not care if they are imprisoned. Panzram cares for nothing. He doesn"t mind his fifteen years in prison, or even his twenty-five. Panzram was executed and can no longer bother man kind, but there are others like him. Australia has abolished the death sentence. They can no longer control the men like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. He is now being supported by the people of Australia. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. This cannot be the case in other countries, so that those criminals like Panzram and Bryant, will be able to do what they want and not be executed for it. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don"t fear imprisonment. The death penalty should be maintained"¦
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Death penalty-to be or not to be? Sometimes crime cannot be punished enough. Sometimes crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it. There are too many victims out there, that suffered and their attacker gets a simple painless death. I am saying painless comparing to murders that happen every day that are simply horrifying. As Paul A. Winters says "If a person commits a uniquely gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death" Winters et al. 154. So many murderers are convicted of the crime of murder and they only get years in jail. Their...
like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. He is now being supported by the people of Australia. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. This cannot be the case in other countries, so that those criminals like Panzram and Bryant, will be able to do what they want and not be executed for it. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don"t fear imprisonment.

The death penalty should be maintained…

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This question can be easily answered...This question can be easily answered with a resounding "no". No gun background check, weapon ban, or gun buyback will ever prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. Even with the hundreds if not thousands of gun laws already on the books, gun crime is still prevalent in our society. Why? Simple, all you have to do is look at our lax laws regarding punishment for criminals. Prison should be hard work, not sitting in a cell working out and eating well. Criminals should be forced to work for their food and board. If we continue to allow criminals to sit back, relax, and wait for probation, whom are we really protecting? Legally owned guns account for two percent 2% of all gun crimes. This should show you as it shows me that gun laws can only prevent two-percent of all gun crimes in the first place. Is a two-percent decrease worth the loss of our freedoms? This tells me that instead of trying to create new laws, we should try and enforce the hundreds if not thousands we already have. This also leads to what I would like to focus on- pointless gun laws. As I pointed out earlier, we already have too many gun laws and to try and add more restrictions will not reduce crime. Take the following proposal to the House Committee of Ways and Means. Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999 Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999 Introduced in the House HR 2127 IH 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2127 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate certain 50 caliber sniper weapons in the same manner as machine guns and other firearms. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 10, 1999 Mr. BLAGOJEVICH for himself, Mr. WAXMAN, and Ms. NORTON introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means A BILL To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to regulate certain 50 caliber sniper weapons in the same manner as machine guns and other firearms. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `Military Sniper Weapon Regulation Act of 1999". SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds that-- 1 certain firearms originally designed and built for use as long-range 50 caliber military sniper weapons are increasingly sold in the domestic civilian market; What relevance does this have to anything? Almost all military gear and equipment is available to civilians. De-milled Cobra Attack Helicopters have been purchased and are currently in use by civilians. In the last ten years we have sold our F-16 Falcon fighters to Israel, licensed the F-15 Eagle to Mitsubishi for manufacture in Japan, and gave our Abrams main battle tank to Britain. This tells me that liberals think we can trust other countries, but not our own people. Maybe because "our people" is all of the illegal immigrants that should be kicked out but stay as long as they vote liberal. 2 the intended use of these long-range firearms, and an increasing number of models derived directly from them, is the taking of human life and the destruction of materiel, including armored vehicles and such components of the national critical infrastructure as radars and microwave transmission devices; First off, there is no record anywhere of anyone committing a crime with a 50-caliber rifle. Why? The reasons are endless! First, the cheapest 50-caliber rifle available is the AR-50. This "cheap" weapon rings in at $3,300. The most popular 50-caliber rifle, the Barret M-82A1, costs $7,300! Which criminal is going to spend this much to rob a liquor store or a bank? Second 50-caliber weapons are big. They weigh a lot and kick harder then a 10-gauge shotgun. The only effective way to fire them is from the prone laying on your stomach. Third, to fire a weapon with this kind of kick in an accurate manner, you must be well trained. Not many criminals would deal with 50-calibers when they'd have better luck pulling off their robbery with a butter knife. According to these liberals on Ways and Means, the 50-caliber can be used to take out armored vehicles. Do they consider Humvees to be armored? The only armored vehicle a 50-caliber could penetrate is a lightly armored limousine. Now I see what they mean by national security. They consider themselves to be national security. A 50-caliber BMG rifle cannot penetrate U.S. military armored vehicles. A Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle has two inches of armor. Yet, even that s enough to stop projectiles up to 30mm, including Light Rockets. The Abrams Main Battle Tank has fourteen inches of armor. That will stop everything except 100mm+ SABOT rounds. I won't even talk about the stupidity of shooting at microwaves and radar dishes but wouldn't a sledge hammer work just as well if not better? Besides who would shoot at radar towers- Middle Eastern terrorists? 3 these firearms are neither designed nor used in any significant number for legitimate sporting or hunting purposes and are clearly distinguishable from rifles intended for sporting and hunting use; Wrong"¦there are multiple 50-caliber shooting clubs and 50-caliber rifles are not clearly distinguishable from rifles intended for sporting or hunting use. If they are designed for killing people as these liberals state. What does that mean the Remington 700 was designed for? That is the hunting rifle that the Army M-24 Sniper Rifle and the Marines M-40 Sniper rifle are based on. 4 extraordinarily destructive ammunition for these weapons, including armor-piercing and armor-piercing incendiary ammunition, is freely sold in interstate commerce; and Armour piercing ammo is available for all types of weapons including pistols. It is usually not meant for piercing armor such as tanks due to the fact that tanks armor is too thick. It is meant for piercing body armor. Armor piercing means that the point of the round is sharp and hard. Modern body armor such as KM2 with rifle and stab plates would stop Armor Piercing AP rounds as well as normal rounds. Normal police forces still use level II Kevlar without stab plates. This is called soft body armor. 5 the virtually unrestricted availability of these firearms and ammunition, given the uses intended in their design and manufacture, present a serious and substantial threat to the national security. The use intended of any weapon depends on who's using it. While a Marine Corp or Army sniper may use it for killing the enemy and protecting national security, I may use it for sport and the badass bark that the rifle screams when you squeeze the trigger. SEC. 3. COVERAGE OF 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPONS UNDER NATIONAL FIREARMS ACT. a IN GENERAL- Subsection a of section 5845 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 defining firearm is amended by striking `6 a machine gun; 7 any silencer as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and 8 a destructive device." and inserting `6 a 50 caliber sniper weapon; 7 a machine gun; 8 any silencer as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and 9 a destructive device." b 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPON- 1 IN GENERAL- Section 5845 of such Code is amended by redesignating subsections d through m as subsections e through n, respectively, and by inserting after subsection c the following new subsection: `d 50 CALIBER SNIPER WEAPON- The term `50 caliber sniper weapon" means a rifle capable of firing a center-fire cartridge in 50 caliber, .50 BMG caliber, any other variant of 50 caliber, or any metric equivalent of such calibers." 2 MODIFICATION TO DEFINITION OF RIFLE- Subsection c of section 5845 of such Code is amended by inserting `or from a bipod or other support" after `shoulder". c EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act. In conclusion, it must be pointed out that gun control doesn't work. We have more gun laws now than ever before yet our crime rate is at an all time high. Instead of trying to control weapons, safety and respect for weapons should be taught. Why should everyone lose their rights and privileges because a select few abuse them?   

This question can be easily answered with a resounding "no". No gun background check, weapon ban, or gun buyback will ever prevent weapons from getting into the hands of criminals. Even with the hundreds if not thousands of gun laws already on the books, gun crime is still prevalent in...

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Obligations II [Tort] 2002-3: Assignment 1....Obligations II [Tort] 2002-3: Assignment 1. LLB 2nd Year. Legal Advisors Memorandum To: The Guardian; Editor & Legal Department From: Amandeep Singh Gahunia Date: 13th December, 2002 Subject: The Michael Fawcett Case Copies to: Catherine Bennett The following document concerns the legal aspects and issues, which will arise through Mr Fawcett's claim of defamation against your newspaper and Catherine Bennett. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further legal advice regarding this subject. Mr Fawcett's claim of Defamation. Mr Fawcett claims the publication in question reflected on his personal reputation in a manner which lowered him in the estimation of right-thinking members of society and could have the effect of people avoiding and shunning him, in that the passage tried to identify him as the alleged palace rapist. If this were to be true, the "permanent" form of the publication fulfils the test for the crime of libel, which is actionable per se. It must be warned that there is no necessity that the words actually give rise to what Mr Fawcett actually feels; even if his best friend was not believe a word of what he feels is being implied, he may still be defamed. Yet, this is to be left to "reasonable" reader test, who is neither, unusually suspicious or naive, but a right a "right thinking member of society generally". It is clearly established that importance lies with what words may be reasonably taken to mean, not what the newspaper or writer intended by them. Therefore, this case seems similar to Cassidy v. Daily Mirror Newspapers Ltd, where the majority of the Court of Appeal held that the publication might convey an impression on the "reasonable" reader that the claimant's character was impugned when it was not so. The nature of the words are, not defamatory in their ordinary meaning, but are in the light of circumstances known to Mr Fawcett, to whom the words were published; "the ordinary and natural meaning may"¦include any implications"¦which a reasonable reader guided not by any special but only general knowledge, and not fettered by any strict legal rules of construction would draw from the words". This means a juxtaposition of material about Mr Fawcett with other material, which was present, may make an otherwise innocent statement defamatory. However, the mere fact that an article about the claimant appeared in the newspaper, when this particular story of the palace rapist was being circulated, does not necessarily carry a defamatory assertion. Nevertheless, Mr Fawcett has said in his particulars of claim the meaning he attributes to the words; his name and the media interest was questioned in such a way, in regards to the current royal scandals, that implied the defamatory statement through the use of innuendo. The statement in question, which was published to others, had direct reference to the claimant through name. Consequently, there is no doubt a hypothetical, sensible reader, having knowledge of the special circumstances, would believe Mr Fawcett had been referred to. The test of the reasonable reader means even the writing of a fictitious character, or another person with similar characteristics, could lead the associates of the claimant to believe the article referred to him, hence, defaming him; in light of this, the actual reference to Mr Fawcett is a serious one. There is an actionable wrong of defamation, as the words were communicated to at least one person other than the claimant, through the national circulation and publication of the newspaper. The latter fact denotes the possibility that the claimant might attract larger damages due to the mass commercial nature of the your business. There is publication to the printer, when you handed the literature in question to them, and there can be no reservations that this was an intentional act. It must be forewarned that common law spreads the net of liability very wide on this issue, so not only will Catherine Bennett, the author, be treated as the publisher, but also the editor, printer, proprietor and others who participated in the publication. It must be noted there may be many separate publications, technically every reader, upon which the claimant will sue and is particularly significant if a true innuendo is relied on. In determining whether The Guardian took reasonable care to the publication of a defamatory statement, the court will take into regard the extent of the responsibility in the decision to publish the statement, the nature and circumstances of the publication, and the previous conduct of the author, editor or publisher. Consequently, The Guardian, having received notice on the possible defamatory nature of the article, will be liable for further publications of the same article. To continue in this vein could be extremely costly to The Guardian, in terms of loss of distributors and, resultantly, the possibility of loss of readers. This has been highlighted in previous cases, where, for example, a claimant brought a criminal and civil actions against the Private Eye magazine in respect of one article, along with 37 of its distributors. Similar to this situation, the claimant believed the magazine was carrying out a defamatory campaign against him and his reputation, with the result many distributors settled not to distribute the Private Eye again. Hence, there exists a possible serious allegation in the nature of the information, with obviously limited steps taken in verification, an absence of the claimant's side to the story, the timing of its release in the midst of all these royal scandals and the inquiring tone of the article. Possible Defences to the claim. Through the factual analysis above, it must have been drawn to your notice how Mr Fawcett's claim certainly fills the criteria required for defamation, that of communication to be published, defamatory and referred to the plaintiff; on the other hand, there exists a number of possible defences. The utilisation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights is one method, and has already been referred to in previous cases which would have fallen into the liability of unintentional defamation, but that would have been incompatible with article 10. Following this, it would have been an impossible burden for the publisher to check up on every name related to the royal scandals; each could possibly sue for the current claim. Also, participators in the publication can escape liability if it is proved they were innocent of the libel contained, nothing in the work disseminated by them led them to suppose it contained libel and it was not by any negligence on their part that they did not know it contained the libel. If the statement has an underlying truth in the way Mr Fawcett assumes, The Guardian can plead justification. This cannot be the only plea that can be taken for, at the risk of it being unsuccessful, the jury is likely to find the conduct of the newspaper wanton and will return the verdict for higher charges. Further, if the matter of public interest is introduced, the creation of a liability for invasion of privacy could occur. To justify the "repetition" of this possible defamatory statement the newspaper must show the content was true, and make clear and explicit the meaning they seek to justify. However, if it is optimistic that the jury will accept the 'broader' meaning of the justification claim, and hence Mr Fawcett was not 'bad' in point 1, then you can try to show he was 'bad' in point 2, for example an indication of his character and conduct in concerns over selling Prince Charles' unwanted gifts, to reduce the damages. So the answer "possibly not" to explain media interest in the claimant could be expressed in a wider meaning to impute a more general wrongdoing, and the words are reasonably capable of bearing this due to their extreme vagueness. In addition, the use of fair comment, an element of free speech, will protect honest expressions of opinion based on true facts made in good faith on matters of public interest. Although this notion of public interest seems limited at the first instance, it has been interpreted widely, so that the defence is available for comments made on public figures, which Mr Fawcett certainly was in his close role with Prince Charles. The statement must be one based on true facts, but it is not necessary that all the facts upon which the comment is based should be assessed in the alleged libel. Consequently, the words could be used to imply certain conduct and commented on that conduct, based on the possible illegitimate dealings in unwanted gifts. Also, in deciding whether the statement is one of fact or comment, the court will confine itself to the subject matter of the publication and will not regard the wider context of the material. Thus, if the article by Catherine Bennett is considered by itself and on its own merits, without considering the surrounding literature concerning separate stories of the palace rapist, then the statement can not be defamatory in the way claimed by Mr Fawcett. You can further be assured that the defence of fair comment will not fail merely because the truth of every allegation of fact is not proved. However, this defence of fair comment may be defeated, by proving that the statement was made with malice and evil motive, according to the facts provided, this seems not so. Absolute Privilege is a defence, which cannot be applied to this claim, due to the nature of what it protects; parliamentary, judicial and official proceedings. Qualified privilege, radically extended over certain media publications, protects statements made without malice or indirect motive, which, again, has not been established from the factual information provided. This defence can be provided to the newspaper if it can be seen to be in the "discharge of some public or private duty whether legal or moral, or in the conduct of his own affairs, in matters where his interest is concerned. In such cases the occasion"¦affords a qualified defence"¦" which would mean the article is privileged. Both the author and the editor and all those who participated in the publishment had a common interest, and duty, in distributing news they felt the public would be interested in, namely all to do with the colourful lives of the Royals and associates; the same would have been done by any "right-minded men" in their position and occupation. This is a legitimate interest, which is protected by law through the freedom of expression, article 10 of the ECHR, although both this issue and that of duty is a matter for the judge. Unlike previous cases, the content in the article was "logically relevant" in the purpose intended, an article which reflected a humorous discussion on the Royal scandals. This topic is reflected in not only this national newspaper but many others also, which rules out the idea of a conspiracy campaign against the claimant. This publication to the world at large can rely upon the Human Rights Act 1998, which gives direct effect to the Convention by means of provision requiring public authorities not to act in a way inconsistent with it. Thus, modern conceptions of democracy require that the role of the media in informing the public of matters of controversy be more recognised than in the past. With the application of Renyolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd, the court may be flexible to give appropriate weight to the importance of freedom of expression by the media on all matters of public concern, the significance of which was recognised by its decision. Appropriate steps to take. If certain steps are followed, an apology, settled out of court and incorporated in a statement in open court approved by the judge, may constitute a defence in an indirect manner. This means an admittance of wrongdoing, and a suitable correction, such as compensation, should suffice. However, since defamatory words are often capable of more than one interpretation, it is open to you to make a qualified offer in relation to a specific defamatory meaning. Alternatively, you may want to go to court where either the court may dismiss the claimant's claim "if it appears that it has no realistic prospect of success", or direct you to provide suitable correction through compensation. It must be noted that changes in this area have arisen due to concern about the seemingly endless rise in levels of awards, thus, any possible damages will not be as heavy as previous cases. In the light of this, the greater effects of Human Rights Act 1998, the possible defences outlined above and the possibility of increasing the circulation of your newspaper by being able to write about your involvement in such a high status case, I conclude you should fight the claim, a course of action which will be extremely beneficial on the balance of the analysis.   

Obligations II [Tort] 2002-3: Assignment 1. LLB 2nd Year. Legal Advisors Memorandum To: The Guardian; Editor & Legal Department From: Amandeep Singh Gahunia Date: 13th December, 2002 Subject: The Michael Fawcett Case Copies to: Catherine Bennett The...

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The Firearms Act 1996 Vic. was...The Firearms Act 1996 Vic. was passed by the Victorian Parliament on October 31st 1996 in accordance with the National Agreement on Firearms which aimed to create uniform gun laws Australia wide. The Act repealed the Firearms Act 1958 Vic. and the Firearms Act Amendment 1983 Vic. and established prohibitions on certain people and guns. Under the Act, a 'prohibited person' was defined as anyone who had served a jail term for an indictable, assault or drug related offence or subject to a domestic violence intervention order. New categories for guns were created and gun owners had to pass certain requirements and demonstrate genuine reason for owning a firearm as well as provide appropriate storage for the weapon. Strict fines and jail sentences were established for offenders, but owners of newly prohibited guns were able to surrender their weapons and receive compensated under the national guns amnesty. Categories C and D guns including semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and pump-action shotguns were prohibited unless the applicant could prove a specific use for the weapon such as professional farming or hunting and that Category A or B weapons was insufficient. Category E included machine, teargas and shot guns and rifles shorter than 75cm. Category E license applicants had to prove the firearm was required for police or military duties. Handguns, were classified in their own category and had tighter requirements for ownership. The reasons behind the change in gun laws were both social and political. Between 1987 and 1996, 136 people were killed in gun massacres alone. After the Hoddle and Queen Street massacres of 1987, great public concern arose and the Victorian premier tried to tighten gun laws. The Strathfield massacre of 1991 intensified the debate in Sydney and subsequently importation of semi-automatic weapons was banned nationally. As Australia became more urbanised, 90% of the nation realised the need for stricter gun laws to assure their safety and security by restricting the availability of high powered weapons and banning convicted criminals and domestic violence offenders from owning guns. In 1996 the Australian Institute of Criminology found that the majority of people killed with guns were killed in states with relaxed gun laws. Furthermore, gun deaths dropped 30% after tougher Victorian gun laws were introduced in 1987. People saw this correlation between stricter gun laws and fewer gun related deaths, exemplified by the Port Arthur massacre where Bryant was able to own a military-style semi-automatic rifle without a licence, and pushed hard for tougher gun laws and longer sentences for offenders. Fear of an Australian gun culture was also of concern, with one in six households owning at least one gun, almost double in rural areas; one of the highest gun ownership rates in the western world. Society as a whole found this unacceptable and pushed to ensure that only those with genuine reason could access to guns. The Port Arthur massacre acted as a catalyst for change , causing public concern and outrage. However, the choice to change the law was chiefly a political decision. Despite the extreme public pressure, the change in law occurred because the government of the time recognised the need for uniform change. After people recognised the need for a formal change in the gun laws nation-wide, the issue was extensively debated. Individuals and pressure groups with opposing opinions, views and demands of the Government argued their reasons in public meetings, demonstrations and the media. Prime Minister John Howard took swift political action after the massacre, pushing for "a total ban throughout Australia on all automatic and semi-automatic weapons" and promptly calling a meeting of all Police Ministers, who unanimously backed the National Agreement on Firearms. He attributed the Port Arthur massacre to the lack of national uniformity and the weakness of gun laws in some states, and called for a national gun register and prohibitions on certain people. The Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia played an important role in opposing most of the Government's views and fought any further restrictions on their access to firearms, which it felt "treated [sporting shooters] as potential criminals rather than ordinary and responsible citizens". It claimed "the proclamation of the act had more to do with"¦ publicity"¦ than with good government" and it was a "disastrous, disgraceful mistake". It said "World Health Organisation figures show[ed] there was no relation between lawful gun ownership and gun crime" and that "legal access to guns is not reflected in gun misuse". Furthermore, it claimed that if gun laws were tightened, criminals would resort to different weapons, and that guns would be pushed onto the black market where government control would be impossible. Martin Bryant himself was important in the change in the law through the fact that he was able to own a semi-automatic weapon without a shooter's licence; showing the weakness of the previous gun laws. Furthermore, if the Port Arthur massacre had not been happened, the flaws of the old gun laws would not have been exposed and the Australian people would not have had solid reason to rally for tougher laws. Graham Campbell formed the Australia First Reform Party to represent the views of the pro-gun lobby in federal parliament. He claimed that further gun restrictions would attack citizens' basic freedoms, be inconvenient for rural communities and make Australia vulnerable to outside attack. Walter Mikac, a survivor of the Port Arthur massacre in which his wife and two children were killed, rallied heavily for tougher gun laws. "Deliver to us uniform laws that will give our children the best possible chance to live without fear of someone having access to violent power that can maim and kill", he said at his family's funeral. He wrote numerous newspaper and magazine articles, did many interviews and spoke at numerous rallies, relentlessly pushing for tougher gun laws. The Shooters' Party chairman Neville Sayers also spoke out against the new laws in newspapers, interviews and at rallies. He felt the Government acted "hysterically" after the Port Arthur massacre and "didn't bother to cool off" before changing the law. He argued that tougher gun laws would strip "away important rights of honest shooters" and force the newly-illegal guns underground. Frank Carmody, a survivor of the Queen Street massacre, also rallied heavily for tougher gun laws, making public appearances and speaking to the media "“ "People are fed up with excuses. People don't want this sort of thing to happen again". Many other individuals and groups spoke out against tougher gun laws including the Victorian Paintball Operators Association, that claimed they would loose business to other states because the Act required paintball players to hold a Category A licence. Recreational shooters were also against the change, which meant that they would only be able to shoot at approved shooting ranges. The Australian Institute of Criminology's 1996 report on guns was widely distributed, playing an important role in support of the change. It concluded that 7.3% of all injury deaths were firearm related and that most firearm deaths were suicides. These important statistics supported claims from groups such as the Human Rights and Responsibilities Commission and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare for stricter gun control. In the ten-year period building up to the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, various individuals and groups had demanded change in Victoria's firearms laws. After the Queen and Hoddle Street massacres of 1987, Premier John Cain tried to tighten Victorian gun laws to restrict the use of semi-automatic weapons in response to the wide public outcry. In 1988, Prime Minister Bob Hawke established the National Committee on Violence in response to public concerns over the growing number of firearms and weak state laws. The committee achieved little prior to the 1991 Strathfield massacre, when it convinced the Federal Government to ban the importation of military-style semi-automatic weapons. Federal and State Governments responded effectively and promptly to the strong call for stricter gun control from almost all Australians after the Port Arthur massacre. Only 12 days after the massacre, Prime Minister Howard called the historic Police Ministers meeting to discuss tougher uniform gun laws and create the important National Agreement on Firearms. This agreement aimed to remove "dangerous firearms from our community and"¦ [establish] uniform registration and licensing together with the introduction of comprehensive conditions for firearms ownership". The Victorian Government responded to the strong gun control lobby, fuelled by the outrage of Port Arthur, emotional cries from Walter Mikac and demands from groups like Gun Control Australia. Victoria was the first state to respond to nation-wide calls for stricter gun control. , including the public view "possession, use, acquisition and disposal of firearms are conditional on the need to ensure public safety and peace by establishing a system of licensing and regulat[ion]" in the act. The Victorian parliament responded competently to public demands by complying with all parts of the National Agreement on Firearms, including the 'genuine reason' aspect contested by Queensland and Western Australia as a result of strong public demands for guns to be only available where absolutely necessary. Gun law reform reflected the existing values of the majority of the community and also attempted to generate new values through the new laws and stringent penalties. The value that everyone is entitled to live in a safe environment was reflected generally in the Act. Specifically, it reinforced this value through the gun buy-back scheme by removing dangerous guns from the community, the prohibited persons category by taking guns from potential criminals and different licence categories by ensuring that people only had access to the firearms they were licensed to use. The belief that access to guns should be restricted to only those with 'genuine need' was reflected through the Act and was a primary element to be established before a licence could be issued. The Act further enforces this value by deciding "that personal protection not be regarded as genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm". The community value that preservation of human life is of paramount importance was strongly reflected in the Act by prohibiting certain groups of people from owning guns. The Act prohibited criminals convicted for indictable, assault or drug related offences from owning firearms for specified periods of time depending on their conviction. Those subject to domestic violence intervention orders were also prohibited because of the high correlation between domestic violence and gun deaths. Despite the inclusion of most common social values, some particularly those held by the anti gun control lobby were excluded from the Act. Shooters claimed that the most important right was their supposed 'right to bear arms'. However, Australians have never been guaranteed this right, and this belief was enforced in the Act through the 'genuine need' aspect of licensing. Through the Firearms Act, the Government also tried to generate new values as most people respect the law and government and incorporated the new laws into their values, reinforcing the value that society should be free from dangerous firearms. Harsher penalties for firearm offenders reinforced the opinion that people should only have access to the guns they require. The Act also encouraged a higher public regard for the law through creating reasonable sanctions. The Firearms Act 1996 Vic. impacted positively and negatively on individuals, the legal system and society in general. The Act made the community safer and prevented an uncountable number of firearm deaths, but also restricted legitimate recreational shooters' access to firearms. The Act impacted heavily on the legal system because many people rejected the new laws and refused to surrender their newly-prohibited weapons. This forced law enforcement agencies to spend extra time and resources tracking down offenders, causing extra expense to the community and giving the impression that people who disagreed with laws could simply disregard them. Many illegal firearms were siphoned on to the black market, where government control was impossible. The 'genuine reason' requirement for licensing stopped a US style 'gun culture' from developing in Australia, as only those who needed guns could access them. Paintball players and operators were also affected by the Act which required all players to hold a Category A shooter's licence. The added inconvenience of licensing stopped people from playing and subsequently, many paintball centres were forced to close. Many gun shops too were forced to close after the new laws were introduced, because tougher restrictions meant that fewer people had access to guns. Although the Firearms Act has impacted negatively on some parts of the community, as a whole, the Act exemplifies the views and beliefs of most people and has resulted in increased community safety.   

The Firearms Act 1996 Vic. was passed by the Victorian Parliament on October 31st 1996 in accordance with the National Agreement on Firearms which aimed to create uniform gun laws Australia wide. The Act repealed the Firearms Act 1958 Vic. and the Firearms Act Amendment 1983 Vic. and established prohibitions...

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