This is why we must never go soft on gun laws 352



View Profile

A man whose wife and small children were killed in the Port Arthur massacre has told politicians and the Australian public why we must never relax our gun laws.

Appearing on The Verdict last night, Walter Mikac described the loss he continues to feel, having lost his wife, Nanette, and daughters Allanah, 6, and Madeline, 3, to gunman Martin Bryant in 1996.

He read a letter Alannah had written to him just before she died, it says “I love my Dad – my dad owns the chemist and he loves it when I come to the shop with some paintings. And Dad loves my Mum. I love you Mum and Dad, and I know you love me.”

Mr Mikac has been campaigning for better gun control ever since his family’s murder, and he feels regulations are becoming more relaxed.

“We’ve probably become a bit complacent, because things have been going quite well here,” he said. “We’ve had no mass shootings since Port Arthur… our rate of murder by firearms has decreased by over 50 percent, and it’s one of those things, when it’s not affecting people they become a bit complacent.”

Last night he implored Bob Katter to ban a new Adler rapid-fire rifle, which Mr Katter’s son wants to import.

“My challenge is to Bob Katter and his son-in-law (Robert Nioa), who is the biggest importer of firearms in Australia, if they lost some of the members of their family because of a gun massacre, would they be wanting to import those guns into Australia,” Mr Mikac said.

“Do we want to bring in weapons that fire five shots in five seconds, or do we actually want to work the other way?

“If the opportunity comes to make that stand, make that stand.”

Mr Katter’s response was that if he had he his way, “Port Arthur never would have occurred”.

He argued that gun laws had not been properly enforced, allowing disturbed people like Martin Bryant to use them.

He said he felt “rage and fury” as he saw news of the Port Arthur massacre.

“Now, my rage and fury became even worse as it became obvious that at 13, arguably 20 separate points this man was available to the police as a raving nutcase and extremely dangerous,” he said.

“Was there any effort to take firearms off him? No. No. Were the laws were there saying that he shouldn’t have that weapon? Of course the laws were there, but they weren’t enforced.”

In August, we reported that the government was considering lifting a ban on the controversial lever-action gun.

Mr Mikac says he isn’t “anti-gun”.

“People are entitled to have a weapon if they want… that comply with the law, however we’re not at war. We’re not in a country where you need semi-automatic firearms… I think we want to be individual in that we can live as a peaceful nation, not as a nation where everyone’s in fear of someone else having a firearm.”

Tell us, do you think Australia has become complacent about gun control? Should it be up to the survivors of gun crimes to remind us of the dangers? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. My sympathy is for Mr Mikac, he has gone through a horrific tragedy , that no Australian should have to go through. Bob Katter needs to put the good of the country ahead of his own family’s gain. We do not need this gun !!!

    10 REPLY
    • I agree we do not need this type of firearm in this country, We have enough to contend with at the moment without re introducing this type of weapon.

    • You don’t but it is okay to recruit soldiers to our armies and teach them how to kill and send them into combat

    • silly comment Gerry , every country needs an army for defence but private citizens do not need automatic wepons, we have no lions and tigers in Australia and the wepons our farmers have are good enough to do the job.

      2 REPLY
      • The Adler is not an automatic or semiautomatic rifle – its a lever action – perfectly legal for ownership in all states.

      • I agree with you David, what a stupid statement to make Gerry. We have to have an army and they have to be taught how to use guns but this isn’t necessary for the general public. This is like in America where they all seem to carry guns.

    • Gerry Gageldonk, soldiers training for war, being taught to defend themselves against Australia’s enemies, is an entirely different subject.

  2. Rapid fire guns should continue to be banned, the number of innocent victims that a deranged individual can kill or injure increases with this style of gun.

    5 REPLY
    • You are correct Gerry. Just let’s not make it so easy for them by providing this type of weapon, please.

    • The more sophisticated the weapon the more who can be killed before someone gets the opportunity to stop the killer. The more guns in the community the easier it is for the deranged to get there hands on them Gerry.

      1 REPLY
      • Rubbish comment Barbara – are you aware of licencing and storage requirements – apparently not. Get the facts before making uninformed comments.

  3. Katter should make himself extempt from any debate over this gun or any guns, he has a vested intrest and his family will make profit from the decision to import it

  4. My deepest sympathy to all involved . But I want my guns back . And you need to understand there is great danger loose on the world . And people like you will be the first to cry for someone brandishing a weapon to protect you and yours

    14 REPLY
    • Sorry Tony but you’re wrong. Not once in any of the mass shootings in the US has the rampage been stopped by a passer by with a gun. On the other hand many folk including the son of a friend have lost their lives to the gun they kept to protect their family. We are not under threat and we don’t need guns!

    • Even if you are a sensible and responsible gun owner, you can still be subject to theft. And how would you feel in today climate , if someone stole your gun and shot a Police Officer and an innocent by stander ? You can live without that gun, but in the wrong hands ,someone may lose a life because you bought it

    • Why do you need a rapid fire gun? For hunting? You must be a shit shot

      1 REPLY
      • Lever action shotgun (which the Adler is) is no different to a lever action rimfire or centre fire, both of which are perfectly legal in all states today. A rapid action firearm will be used by a hunter in cases of hunting some dangerous game such as feral pigs or water buffalo both resident here in Australia. A lever action firearm is not remedy for being a poor shot.

    • This person may need some help, I am being serious here, this attitude scares the hell out of me.

    • Your fantasies are what are dangerous in the world. If you find yourself under threat then call the f*****g police. That’s their job.

    • Guns get in the hands of the wrong people. Keep them away. Get a guard dog instead if you are so neurotic.

    • Agree Lee, if they won’t let him have his guns back there’s a reason. Sane, responsible people can still get a licence and own guns

    • Tony does seem a bit over the top about Muslims in general. I would not like to see any sort of weapon in this person’s hands. I don’t agree with Muslims coming in and taking over their new country either, their Sharia Law is not something that any civilised race would be happy to follow. I think that is something that the Government needs to address as well.

    • Lee Horrocks do you think they’ll arrive in time to save your life that is if you could call them at all

    • No guarantee you could get to your gun either Rod, the law says you must keep them in a locked cupboard. We’re not allowed to wear them in a holster so we’ll just have to take our chances

  5. Thank Abbott for this act of madness, we don’t need any guns, farmers and law enforcement should be the only legal owners of guns.

    8 REPLY
    • And sporting shooters who compete in Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games and shooters who enjoy their weekends in competition shooting? Have you noticed yet that most crimes are perpetrated by PEOPLE be is knives, guns, cars!

    • If you didn’t react to the comment on here this morning then maybe you need to take a long hard look at yourself.

    • Julie I suspect that is because guns are not owned by every household any more. Lets not change the rules in Australia, keep gun ownership to the minimum and require them to be locked in gun safes.

    • Guns do have to be registered and owners have to be licenced. You named just two owners you would like Lee Horrocks, I added more. I don’t ride high horses any more, I’m too darn old 😉

    • It was only LNP that had the guts to stand up and stare down the gun lobby. Were it not for them the country would still be awash with guns. Lily livered ALP wouldn’t have done it.

    • It takes 12 months to obtain a pistol licence and up to 6 mths for a firearms licence. I agree the USA should adopt our gun laws. However they still do not stop the criminal from obtaining an illegal weapon.

  6. Guns only for proven to be legitimate farmers, and, gun clubs where the weapons are handed in after every event.

    1 REPLY
    • Not all farmers need them either, I don’t have one. If I need an animal euthanised I ring the knackery or get a neighbour to do it. I don’t feel deprived for not having one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *