10 years

Sunday 28th 1996, 1.30pm. One man changed Australia and the world, forever. His acts may have only lasted less than 8 minutes but have affect many long after this time. It has been 10 years since one man created a new world record for “a one man killing spree”. Of course im talking about Martin Bryant.

Many people have speculated at what made him kill 35 people and injuring 37. I’m not going to try and figure out why, what or how he did what he did. What Martin did was change Australia, in a fundamental way. He created national laws that prohibit the use of many guns, without a license. Automatic and Semi-automatic “Military style” guns were also banned from being imported and sold. This is huge, one man, such huge changes. I don’t really blame the government for doing what they did. I support it, one thing they didn’t tackle at the time, which could have helped was the fact that Martin had mental health issues.

The fact that he has the mental age of an 11 year old, and able to get his hands on such powerful weapons, and also live on his own, is baffling. How come he didn’t have a carer? Was he let down by the system? Most would say yes. The result are obvious. Whilst im not trying to provide answers here it has been facinating to read all the reports of various perspectives. Even such a long time after it has happend, FOI (freedom of Information) request by various media outlets has been denied. Obviously some people aren’t able fully over what happened. Which i can understand at the same time.
I offer my condolences to the people that have had to suffer and experience anything like this. Sometimes i wonder what i would do when faced with a life changing event such as this, i honestly don’t know what i would do. I would like to think i could handle events, but you never know. I just hope that it never does occur to me or anyone i love.

Sources:

Wikipedia
Crime Library
ABC Radio

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3 Responses to 10 years

  1. emz says:

    it a really contraversial issue and you wrote it really well!!
    in fact one of our lectures got heated about this very issue. Was it the ignorance of the health care system to recognise his mental illness or simply an act of unspeakable crime? I think it fits into both. I think society still has a long way to go in recognising and fully supporting mental illness. The government is currently preposing a 1.8 million dollar mental health strategy in recognition of this. However on the topic of Martin, I think he went too far and if his illness was of serious concern, the family members should have had the responsibility to encourage the intervention of health professionals if martin isnt at the adequate mental status to do so himself. I think those innocent deaths could of been avoided if like every one should, look at preventative measures before the cure of problems.

  2. Occasionally I’m sent reminders of this event. As it happens I was in Tasmania in 1988 and have photos of many of the places that my namesake later visited. I’ve heard many stories, including the usual conspircy theories but I am inclined to think that the world is a weird enough place for them to be totally unnecessary.

    It would be nice to have my name associated with some one a little more famous than infamous, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles, huh?

    Martin Bryant
    The English One

  3. Jess says:

    I was reading the other day abut Martin Bryant and his mother was saying that he is a zombie now, he doesn’t move or talk or do anything.
    Now i’m not quite sure about the quote that said ‘at the time of the massacre he had a mind of a 11 year’ because i dont think a mind of an 11 year old would be able to hunt down innocent people and murder them in cold bloody. He had to have some adult mind about killing people to do what he did. I don’t doubt the fact that now he may have mental problems but who wouldn’t after killing 37 people.
    I have mixed thoughts but i do hope that it doesn’t happen again. Then again with tv and video games these days kids are exposed to a whole new type of violence.

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