Guns and public policy

Rick Sarre, University of South Australia

This paper reflects upon the role of the gun in public life generally. It reviews the gun in public hands, in the hands of private security and in the standard issue of police. It begins with the recommendations of the Report of the National Committee on Violence, Violence: Directions for Australia (AIC, 1990), and reviews the course of popular culture since that time in revering the gun as the ultimate peacekeeper. It concludes with a call for societies to resist the idolatry that currently attaches to the gun in some corners of the world.

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