Port Arthur Massacre – Legal Studies
Port Arthur massacre Outlines the nature of the contemporary issues. On Sunday, 28 April 1996, Martin Bryant set off for Port Arthur, about an hour drive from his home in Hobart. On his way he stopped off at a guesthouse called the Seascape cottage where he killed the owners, David and Noelene Martin. Once Bryant had made it to Port Arthur he had a meal at the Broad arrow cafe. After finishing his meal, Bryant walked back into the Broad Arrow cafe, took out an AR-15 semi automatic rifle and opened fire indiscriminately.
After the cafe Bryant moved into the gift shop and car park where he pulled out an automatic weapon and once again open fired at the general public. After just 90 seconds, 20 people were dead and 12 were injured. After leaving other four people dead in the car park he began to drive down the road continuing to shoot at innocent people. Bryant arrived at a petrol station after killing another seven people, at the petrol station he forced a male driver of a car into his boot and killed the female passenger. Bryant returned to the Seascape cottage were he took a hostage inside and set fire to his car.
An 18 hour standoff with police ensued as Bryant claimed he had hostages. Eventually Bryant set fire to the house and ran from the house where he was then captured by police. By the time Martin Bryant was finished 35 people were dead. Bryant was charges with 35 counts of murder, 20 of attempted murder, four of aggravated assault, eight of wounding, three of causing grievous bodily harm, one of arson and one of unlawfully setting fire to property. On 22 November 1996 Bryant received 35 sentences of life imprisonment without parole for the murders and 21 years for each of the other counts in the indictment. n total Bryant received 35 life sentence plus 1035 years without parole.
Legal response to this issue After the massacre at Port Arthur the Australian government proposed tight new gun laws.
This proposal included a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and a tightly restrictive system of licensing and ownership controls. As the Australian Constitution prevents the taking of property without just compensation the Federal Government decided on a “buy back” purchase and destruction of all emi-automatic rifles including . 22 rimfires, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns. A 1% increase on income tax paid for this program.
Non legal response to this issue Walter Mikac lost his wife, Nanette Mikac and his two daughters, Alhannah and Madeline Mikac at Port Arthur. Phil west a father of two daughters himself was moved by the event at Port Arthur and along with a small group of volunteers set up the Alhannah and Madeline Foundation. The aim of the foundation was to keep children safe from violence.
The foundation runs programs to assist the recovery of children affected by violent. It also acts as a children’s advocate before federal state and local government. Evaluate the effectiveness of the response to this issue.
The response from the Australian government to the Port Arthur massacre was good as it massively cracked down of gun laws and helped to prevent another event like the Port Arthur massacre from reoccurring. It also caused the tightly control and resistive ownership and use of firearms in Australia and sort to ban the most deadly types of firearms.