The Firearms Act 1996 Vic. Essay Example For College

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 The Act repealed the Firearms Act 1958 Vic.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.

A Mother’s Influence On Her Child’s Education

For over fifty years, sociologists and educators have been analyzing the relationship between a student’s performance in secondary education and the socioeconomic status of his or her parents. These studies are often aimed at proving the harmful effect of poverty or divorce on a child’s academic performance, and unfortunately publish skewed data only relevant to the point they are trying to prove.

Interestingly enough, more than the income level or marital status of a parent unit, the greatest determining factor of a child’s success is his parent’s education level.The American educational system requires parents to manage their child’s school career to maximize their child’s school achievement. Unlike schools in other countries, schools in the United States are part of an umbrella group, the U. S.

Department of Education. Almost all children born in the united stated complete school through their eighth grade year, seventy-five percent complete high school, and forty-five enter post-secondary education (Baker and Stevenson 156). Schools in America are not structured around fixed future possibilities for students, but rather by student management.Students often have the option of choosing their own courses instead of being placed in a career path by a standardized test.

Being given this opportunity, parents with a higher education are more likely to pressure their child into or select college-preparatory courses for their child, regardless of his academic performance (Baker and Stevenson 160). This leads us to the argument that children’s educational attainment is more directly derived from home income level. This is an interesting claim considering the direct correlation between a family’s income and that family’s education. During his time at MIT, Professor H.

S. Houthakker developed a table illustrating the relationship between a family’s income range and the resulting representative income; adjusted for inflation, the table tells us that a child with an annual family income of between $5,000 and $10,000 will make an average annual salary of $9,000 in his chosen career (Houthakker 24). This Pareto-efficient trend grows exponentially for every five thousand dollars a parent unit rakes in per year. For a family making $10,000-15,000 annually, the child will make $17,000; a child from a family making $40,000-$50,000 will earn $64,000, and so on.

So if one was to define success by gross annual income, yes, the wealthier family will produce more successful children on an average. But then what is to speak for the child from the impoverished blocks of south Brooklyn who went on to become the first black congresswoman of the United States. “I thank my motherShe was the one who inspired me to be all I am today. ” Says Shirly Chisholm in her autobiography, Unbought and Unbossed.

“Years later I would know what an important gift my mother had given me by seeing to it that I had my early education. (Chisholm 30). Chisholm’s parents were immigrants from Barbados; her father a warehouse grunt and her mother a night-school teacher. Because her father was constantly working, Chisholm spent her days playing and practicing numbers and letters with her mother.

Amazingly, Chisholm claims to have been able to read and write by age three, and she credits that to the countless hours of her mother’s tutelage (Chisholm 34). At this point, one may begin to wonder why the mother is more of an influence than the father.In the 1920s and 30s, men were still considered the breadwinners of a family unit and few women went to college or had jobs at all; yet the children of that generation still grew up and contributed to incredible advances in science and technology throughout the world. Carollee Howes of the American Psychological Association believes that it has more to do with the “maternal relationship” than specifically education.

“The nurturing of the child is more significant than education level, although education plays a major role. (Howes 53) The role Howes is referring to, is the ability for a child to transition into an institution after being attached to the mother for the first two years of his life. “Education is not just a college degree,” says Howes, “you have life experience to take into account. ” More educated mothers just have a better sense of human, and therefore child development.

The next natural argument is the debate over marital status and child care and this affect on the child. Are children placed in child care influenced as much by their parents as they are their sitters?And do children from split homes experience enough stress and anxiety to damage that psychological relationship. Family characteristics account for academic progress, school skills, and behavioral problems more than peer pressure or alien influence (Baker and Stevenson). These traits are nearly ingrained into a child’s DNA, and no amount of outside influence after the first two years can truly remove that imprint on a child.

And although viewed as psychologically damaging to children, divorce and separation of parents more often leads to temporary outbursts of ill behavior rather than deteriorating educational value (Harmon 25).Research conducted for the Carolina Abecedarian Project explored the effects of implementing education a family figure (group A) versus an institution (group B) in a child’s development. Subjects of different ages were put into groups, observed and evaluated during the study, and then given identical cognitive assessments at the end of the test period. What this study found was that not only is a family figure better at establishing positive intellectual development in a child, but that the period of the most mental growth and development was between the ages of infancy and three years (Campbell and Raimey 3).

Doctors Campbell and Raimey found that school-age treatment alone was ineffective at teaching children and produced nearly the same results as a control group (group C) who received no maternal contact and no schooling whatsoever. Thus, Campbell and Raimey concluded that maternal nurturing between infancy and age three was the most productive period of brain development (Campbell and Raimey 7). The unique bond between a mother and child during the early nurturing stages of pre-academic life determines that child’s social skills and how those skills will later relate to the academic and professional world.From the evidence presented, we can definitively say that mothers who have at least a college education know more about their child’s school performance, have more contact with the teachers, and are more likely to take action to manage their child’s academic achievement.

Academic achievement is not an individual measure; students cannot be credited on personal ability alone, because they received these skills from those who influenced them most, their parents and guardians.

How Environmental Problems Can Be Solved By Markets?

This assignment will tackle the possible solutions of how environmental problems can be solved by markets on a global scale. In defining terms, environmental problems will be classed as any negative impact on the environment driven by markets. In turn markets shall be defined as economics and moreover the drive to make profit, capitalism.

Firstly this assignment will begin with a brief explanation of the magnitude of markets, and how in many instances they are creators of environmental problems. Indeed by going directly to the culprit of environmental problems markets will eventually offer effective responses.However there are limitations with this sole approach, as they fail to address the mass inequality in the world. In addition the future is scarred with great risk and uncertainty.

These two factors are barriers together with belief that future generations will offer better alternatives. Leading on will be an evaluation of responses offered, in the form of economic instruments. Then pre conclusion, further ideas will be added to help aid environmental solutions. Most countries in the world build towards economic growth.

A good economy provides a country with high employment levels, education, housing and moreover a good standard of living.Though interestingly enough there is no psychological evidence that increasing income relates to happiness Blowers et al, 2003 pg 139. Wealthier countries, similar to the UK, are encouraged to consume more by sweeping trends, which occur on a frequent basis. This new wave of consumerism is stemmed from intelligent marketing and easy access to credit facilities.

High levels of purchasing are good for the economy, but its knock on effects reduce the life –cycle assessment levels of goods. This has a negative impact on the environment.In short extra goods produced are adding pressure onto natural resources, energy supplies, transportation and unnecessary packaging, for example carrier bags. All this action for goods, which maybe replaced within a short space of time.

In contrast the developing world currently offers a very different picture. Due to the mass power in balances in the world inequality is rife. As a net result economies vary in strength. Different countries have different priorities.

Therefore political agendas vary significantly. Therefore global environmental problems, like climate change carries unequal weight across the world.However the nature of economic globalisation, has helped many economies grow especially those in the developing world. Trade has become increasingly more interconnected and fluent.

For example communication levels with China are significantly higher than they were 20 years ago. Clearly this has been supported by technological advances and greater transport links. In addition businesses have also been attracted to the developing world, as cheap labour and relaxed environmental laws allow them to maximise their profits. Overall in both instances, environments are mainly valued instrumentally.

By using the Livelihood model illustrates that in the contemporary world it’s rational to pollute if your goal is too make money. In addition the Tragedy of Commons model points out the importance ownership. If the atmosphere or the seas were owned, it would be in the owner’s interest to monitor pollution, if only for commercial reason. As this is currently not the case environmental injustice will continue penalty free.

So the world faces many environmental problems and as the developing world grows richer, the reality of living in westernised style societies becomes stronger.This additional economic growth accompanied by a rising birth rate adds immense pressure to the environment. So how do we respond to this? In attempt to control pollution levels various economic instruments are offered. These include: Permits to pollute Private property Taxes Subsidiaries Fines Regulations Evaluating these responses add an instrumental value to the environment, which is how the contemporary world understands.

But will this slow down pollution levels? Or will payment offer some environmental justice?Obviously developing countries, which already struggle on a daily basis, may initially have to be exempt. In general terms their current actual contribution to pollution is minimal. The real problem lies in implementation, distribution, quantifying and monitoring. Permits to pollute, popular in USA add an unusual angle of acceptance to pollution.

With this particular response disadvantages occur with distribution, monitoring pollution levels and perhaps more importantly changing the discourse of pollution. Questions are raised firstly who is entitled to a permit? Is there an annual fee?Or charged accordingly to pollution levels? Who sets the pollution levels? If so how are pollution levels monitored? Perhaps more importantly in the developed world, pollution is condemned as relatively bad. By offering a permit or a license lends itself to a more relaxed and ‘ok’approach to pollution, which ultimately could change this discourse. On a positive note, finances accumulated from the sale of these permits can be fed back into the environment in its search for a sustainable future.

Private property, begs the question what is classed as private property?When institutions become privatised they often become more economically effective as they are owned. They look at overheads and try to cut back. They are profit driven not environmentally driven. On a positive note they would be accountable for their pollution, and any environmental fee or tax endorsed, would encourage them to innovate and look for more sustainable options.

Furthermore it’s less government cost. Taxes are perhaps one of better environmental responses. They offer an incentive not to pollute, which in turn encourages innovation. Monies raised can be feed back into the environment.

Disadvantages are with implementation and monitoring. How much do companies pay? Would smaller family run businesses be exempt? Could it be a percentage of annual profits? How is pollution monitored in accordance to the taxing system? In addition lobbying by the government would be apparent, due to the sheer power of business makes them reluctant to implement. Also the prices of goods would increase, as previously members of the public have not paid for externalities. It is most definite that companies will not deduct this extra cot from profit, they will just pass it on.

Taxes would deliver fairer trade and the monies raised can be fed back into the environment. Subsidiaries for more environmentally friendly solutions positively encourage change and offer a helping hand. Though questions are raised who pays? In addition who receives subsidiaries? Fines occur once the event has happened in addition disadvantages lie in calculation. How much would be charged? Would it stop re offenders? Who receives the money? Though fines do encourage best environmental practise.

Regulations again this offers an incentive not to pollute and prevents pollution from happening in the first place.Disadvantages lie in implementation may be too difficult and expensive to regulate and monitor effectively. Additional ideas include rent agreements. Tariffs could be drawn up for countries, which have forests as they offer carbon sinks and purify our air.

Though difficult to quantify, countries could pay a sum to prevent deforestation and instrumentally acknowledge their importance. This sum would contribute to economic growth and in addition encourage eco –tourism. Industrial ecosystems are another option though unique. Companies if possible use each other’s waste to function.

For example in Demark, 3 commercial sites succeeded in doing this effectively, causing minimal environmental damage Blowers et al, 2003 pg. In summarising and offering environmental responses, it seems quite rightly we do have to work with markets, however there are limitations. Not only are numerous questions raised, but also presumptions are made about countries being able to communicate together in a civil manner. As countries are sovereignties, their immediate interest lie within in their own land, not abroad this hurdle proves difficult to overcome, especially when there is so much inequality in the world.

In terms of evaluating economic instruments suggests a combination of responses namely private property, taxes and subsidiaries could hold potential answers. Firstly, power in balances have to be re addressed. Along with this, palming off method that future generations may hold improved answers. Quite rightly it is easy to become overwhelmed by flaws, however this situation is not impossible to deal with.

This situation purely demonstrates that the environment is not valued enough non-instrumentally.

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