Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Let's Get Serious on Censorship; Life Has Desensitised Us to Carnage and Brutality on Our Screens

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Let's Get Serious on Censorship; Life Has Desensitised Us to Carnage and Brutality on Our Screens

Article excerpt

The M-Files

With Merryl Miller

MY DAUGHTER is lucky.

She has been raised in a land where the right to bear arms is not held sacred and bandied about as a political weapon.

She lives in a country where there was once a man in charge who showed outstanding guts and balls and imposed limitations on who could buy guns and where they could shoot them.

She has never had to learn the correct response to someone storming her school firing a high-powered rifle.

She doesn't yet comprehend the implications on a community, a town, a country, of random acts of violence committed by those holding pistols.

At the end of this year, she will travel on a youth exchange program to North America; a place where the people are not so lucky as her.

A place where innocent children are shot dead.

A place where schools are not safe, where shopping centres become scenes of carnage, where cinemas bring the horror of the big screen into the aisles.

A place where pro-life lobbyists shoot dead pro-choice doctors (irony, what?), a place where democracy often involves bloodshed, a place whose short history has been mired in warfare.

It's a place where a siege mentality runs rampant, where the dictates of ashoot or be shota are fiercely protected.

I am scared for her.

Not because I believe she will become a victim a surely in a country that size, the odds must be forever in her favour a but because the exchange experience will probably destroy, at least in part, that wonderful naivety enjoyed by our kids.

It will teach her just how very lucky she is to live in Australia a and make her realise how we can't possibly remain that lucky for very much longer.

We were extremely fortunate that in the days following the Port Arthur massacre, we had John Howard at the helm.

Defying the Chicken Little doomsday predictions, he instigated strict gun laws... and guess what?

The sky has not fallen. Life has gone on unchanged for most of us.

And we have not had to ever since cope with the devastation of an Aurora, or a Columbine, or a Virginia Tech. It didn't even cost one brave man his leadership.

But gun laws only go part of the way. …

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