In the decade before Australia's 1996 Port Arthur massacre, 11 mass shootings left 100 dead. There have been none since. Homicides and suicides also plummeted.
The politician in me understands that in crafting policy, factors such as social conditions, supports available for mental illness, and the protection in place at children's schools, must all be considered. I am well aware of how important comprehensive consideration, investment, and ultimately prevention can be in avoiding incidents like Friday's shooting. The cop in me, however, is an unyielding proponent of strict gun control after witnessing firsthand the devastation gun violence causes society. It also makes me intolerant of playing the politics of re-election and courting public support on issues of this magnitude.