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Analysis and Comment (10)

Guns were part of Pistorius' life at home and in public. Guns were part of Pistorius' life at home and in public. EPA/Phill Magakoe/Pool

Pistorius verdict reflects a troubling relationship with guns

South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found not guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The presiding judge, Thokozile Masipa, found him guilty, though, of culpable…
Murder trial: Oscar Pistorius after giving evidence last week. Murder trial: Oscar Pistorius after giving evidence last week. EPA/Stringer

The Pistorius defence and the fear that grips white South Africa

The week has not begun well for Oscar Pistorius. Under relentless cross-examination from prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the Paralympian athlete, standing trial for shooting and killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp…
Another day, another massacre in the US. Another day, another massacre in the US. EPA/Shawn Thew

Hard evidence: does gun control work?

This week brought news of yet another gun massacre in the United States at Washington Navy Yard. It is the latest in a string of 146 mass shootings, with more than 900 victims since 2006. The tragedy gives…
Packing heat: but pack your bags for prison if you get caught with an illegal firearm. Packing heat: but pack your bags for prison if you get caught with an illegal firearm. Zorin Denu via Creative Commons

Missing the target - mandatory gun sentences don’t work

With an election looming next month, Tony Abbott, Australia’s opposition leader, has become the latest in a line of politicians playing the familiar law and order card. An incoming Coalition government…
An American protesting the easy availability of military style weapons in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. An American protesting the easy availability of military style weapons in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Faking waves: how the NRA and pro-gun Americans abuse Australian crime stats

The Sandy Hook massacre and President Obama’s response to it has refocused attention on impact of regulation on American gun crime. Crime statistics before and after the implementation of gun laws provide…
President Barack Obama hinted at gun reform in his speech at Newtown. President Barack Obama hinted at gun reform in his speech at Newtown. EPA/Olivier Douliery

Gun control and the price of freedom: Obama’s great challenge

Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year…
Once the shock of the Connecticut shootings has receded, will US law actually change? Once the shock of the Connecticut shootings has receded, will US law actually change? EPA/Justin Lane

The gun lobby, the Second Amendment and the Sandy Hook shootings

It is a form of warfare in urban settings. The recent spate of shootings in the United States have seen the assailants dressed in combat gear – in Aurora, Colorado, an Oregon shopping mall and the latest…
When 20 children - along with six adults - are murdered in cold blood, is there an appropriate response? When 20 children - along with six adults - are murdered in cold blood, is there an appropriate response? EPA/Michael Nelson

Connecticut shootings: we must carefully define our response

There are two ways of responding to deadly violence such as the school shooting in Connecticut. We can respond violently, as a way of protecting ourselves from the fear and anxiety we feel. Or, we can…
Mourners place flowers near Sandy Hook Elementary School after Friday’s shootings. Mourners place flowers near Sandy Hook Elementary School after Friday’s shootings. EPA/Justin Lane

Connecticut shootings: guns don’t kill people, lack of gun control kills people

After the mass shooting of children and their teachers in the United States of America a few days ago, some may say it is too soon to make a political point out of a personal tragedy. In reality, it is…
Sydney is currently in the grip of a series of shooting attacks, particularly drive by incidents like this April 20 incident in the western suburbs. Sydney is currently in the grip of a series of shooting attacks, particularly drive by incidents like this April 20 incident in the western suburbs. AAP/Dean Lewins

If police and government can’t control Sydney gun crime, local communities must

The spiralling rise in shooting crimes in Sydney’s western suburbs requires strong and sustained political, community and police action to make suburbs safe for families. I happen to live in a suburb that…

Research Briefs (2)

Green grass means safer communities

Well maintained and green, vacant neighbourhood lots make residents feel safer, a University of Pennsylvania study has found…