We’ve argued for a while that the definition of mass shooting as three or more people shot in a single incident was wrong, that the American public equates the term with three or more people killed in a single incident, and failure to use that term is nothing more than an attempt to mislead.
For that reason, it’s the preferred definition of those who also claim that such shootings are uniquely American.
Well, there are a few families in Australia who probably wish that were really the case.
Two constables were shot dead Monday night while investigating a missing person report in stringently gun-controlled Australia, and a third person was shot and killed when he heard the shots and went to investigate.
The New York Post reports that the shooting occurred after police went to an address in “Wieambilla in Queensland” in response to a tip regarding the whereabouts of 46-year-old Nathaniel Train.
Two constables–26-year-old Matthew Arnold and 29-year-old Rachel McCrow–were shot and killed as they approached the residence, and a third member of law enforcement was shot and wounded.
Fifty-eight-year-old Alan Sure was then shot and killed when he came from his neighboring residence to investigate the shots.
It should be noted that the suspect was eventually shot and killed by police, but not until after he took three people’s lives.
Let’s also note that Australian gun control is significant. It’s one of the more restrictive regimes on the planet, and one that many claim we need to put in place here in order to prevent things like mass shootings.
As we see, that worked out splendidly.
Now, let’s remember that Australia enacted its strict gun control policies in the wake of the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996. Proponents of similar measures here claimed that it ended mass shootings there, but such shootings have never been particularly common in Australia.
And, as we now know, it didn’t end anything.
Further, this was an armed criminal. This isn’t someone who navigated the Australian hoops in order to get a gun, then went out and killed people. This was someone who would never get a license to own a firearm there.
Yet, he had a gun that he used to kill two police officers and one other person.
Let’s note that Australia has a lot of advantages that the United States wouldn’t have if we were to crack down on private gun ownership the same way. For example, it’s surrounded by water, creating fairly limited points of entry into the country.
Plus, they’ve had their strict gun control on the books for decades now and have had numerous amnesty periods where people could turn in guns without fear of prosecution. In theory, there shouldn’t be many guns outside of government hands.
Somehow, though, this guy got a gun and still shot three people. We can also suspect that the only reason more weren’t killed is that more weren’t present at the time, thankfully. Three dead is bad enough.
Gun control doesn’t stop mass shootings, as we see here. It’s beyond time to look for something that will, and will do so without restricting people’s rights.