"Gun-Free" Australia Has First Mass Shooting in 20 Years

A grandfather is suspected of shooting and killing six members of his family, including four of his grandchildren, before turning the gun on himself.

Despite strict gun control laws, illegal firearms are still finding their way into the country in ever-growing numbers.
Despite strict gun control laws, illegal firearms are still finding their way into the country in ever-growing numbers.photo from australiangeographic.com

Australia, a country with notoriously strict gun laws, has experienced its first mass shooting in about 20 years.

A grandfather is suspected of shooting and killing six members of his family, including four of his grandchildren, before turning the gun on himself, according to this story from foxnews.com.

Peter Miles, 61, is accused of killing his wife Cynda, 58, his daughter Katrina, 35, and her four children Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Ayre, 10, and Kayden, 8, on Friday at Forever Dreaming Farm, where they lived in the village of Osmington in Western Australia state. Miles was found dead on the property, believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the story says.

The incident is the worst mass shooting (defined by the inclusion of four victims, which can include the shooter), since 1996, when a lone gunman killed 35 people, prompting the nation to introduce a progressively intense program of gun control.

In a story from March 30 of this year, we reported that, despite the country's strict gun control, criminals are now better armed than at any time since the nationwide buyback scheme was introduced by then-Prime Minister John Howard in response to the aforementioned 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

Additionally, it has been reported that the rate of gun crimes in the city of Melbourne are on the rise and have become almost a weekly occurrence.

In another story, we reported that research shows Australians are illegally buying and selling guns and explosives—even grenades, as well as downloading instructions on how to make bombs, from overseas sellers in Asia, Canada, South America, and the U.S. with prices ranging from $218 for a second-hand pistol to $2,495 for a submachine gun.

The guns are hidden as parts inside electronics like TVs and printers. The guns are also often taken apart and shipped in different parcels.