Samara McPhedran writes in The Conversation (19.6.17) about the federal government's proposed three-month buy-back of illegal or unlicensed firearms, suggesting that we need to be realistic about what gun amnesties are, and are not, likely to deliver in terms of increased safety.
'After 18 months of false starts, Australia is about to hold another gun amnesty for three months from July 1.
'Last week, Justice Minister Michael Keenan claimed the amnesty would take illegal guns off Australian streets. He went on to link the amnesty with terrorism, citing the Lindt Cafe siege and the murder of Curtis Cheng as examples.
'In a time when the spectre of terrorism is increasingly used as both a shield to prevent scrutiny of policies and a sword to attack anybody who criticises government decisions, we would do well not to accept at face value Keenan’s claims. So, are gun amnesties an effective way of tackling serious criminal activity?'