Brendon Nelson: (from The Sun-Herald, Sydney August 30th, 2009.)
“After the Port Arthur massacre in 1996, the new prime minister John Howard fronted our Liberal Party meeting. More than a few were opposed to gun control. Howard said this: “What I am about to do is contrary to everything I’ve ever believed. We are going to have to pass laws to control the lives of people who have never done anything wrong and never will. Many are our supporters. The Commonwealth is going to tell the States what to do -legislatively if necessary. But never in my 23 years in public life have I been more convinced that this is the right thing to do.”
The legacy of the unpopular Howard gun laws is more than a billion dollars wasted on crushing the guns of “people who have never done anything wrong and never will”, while leaving the criminals with theirs. A thriving black market in stolen guns. No change in violent crime.
A million Liberal votes were lost in the following Federal election (1998) and Howard almost became a one-term PM.
Every State and Territory in 1996 had a Liberal or (in Queensland) National Party government, except NSW (Labor). At each subsequent State election the Liberals (and Nationals in Qld) were voted out. (“Many are our supporters”).
In NSW the Labor government increased its majority.
Numerous Liberal party branches closed and in NSW (and several other States) the Liberal Party switched leaders so many times and became so factionalised that they may never again win the confidence of voters.
As an ex-Liberal party supporter I recommend all shooters maintain the rage and not elect a Liberal government unless they publicly denounce Howard’s monumental mistake.