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Democracy Now!

How Australia Ended Regular Mass Shootings: Gun Reforms After 1996 Massacre Could Be Model for U.S.

As the United States struggles to make sense of two new mass shootings — in Atlanta, Georgia, and Boulder, Colorado — "Democracy Now!" looks at one country that fought to change its culture of gun violence and succeeded. In April of 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in Port Arthur, Tasmania, killing 35 people and wounding 23 more. Just 12 days after the grisly attack and the public outcry it sparked, Australia announced new gun control measures.

“We had a massacre about once a year,” Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate and one of the leaders of the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws, told "Democracy Now!" in 2016. But since the new gun control measures were passed, Australia has had almost no mass shootings and now has one of the lowest levels of gun violence anywhere.

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