Spinning a Tale
Media Bias and Government Spin:
In 1996 following a horrific multiple shooting at Port Arthur in Tasmania, the
commonwealth government coerced the states into adopting the National Firearms
Agreement pushed by Prime Minister John Howard. This was in spite of the fact
that nothing in the Constitution gives the federal government authority over
firearms. That power is the exclusive province of the states.1
The Port Arthur murders were committed with a military style, semi-automatic
rifle. The new legislation banned all semi-automatic rifles, and all
semi-automatic and pump action shotguns.
following a double murder at a Melbourne university, committed with a
handgun, the prime minister again imposed his will upon the states and induced
them to ban a large number of handguns based on calibre, barrel length and
Some 640,000 rifles and shotguns were
confiscated and destroyed in 1996. The number of handguns to be surrendered and
destroyed is unknown at this time but is probably around 25,000. These firearms
were all taken from ordinary law-abiding Australians; criminals have surrendered
not one gun.
The total cost of both buybacks is likely to exceed $600,000,000.
Oft-repeated phrases used by proponents of the new controls during both the
so-called ‘buybacks’ were “getting the guns off the streets” and “making
The main sources of information relating to the usage of firearms in Australia
are the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Australian Bureau of
Statistics. Both organisations are regarded as credible. However, on some
occasions the manner of publicising their findings leaves something to be
The Institute of Criminology also releases papers2
on suicide with a firearm in Australia. One might ask what a body set up by the
government to examine crime and criminal justice is doing examining suicide.
Suicide is not a crime in this country.
So how effective have the buybacks been, and how much safer are Australian
It depends on whom you believe.
Many Australians maintain a healthy disregard for pronouncements from the
government; pronouncements that they regard as being heavily ‘spin-doctored’.
Similarly, Australians increasingly
do not trust the media to objectively report on some subjects. Many reporters
will repeat word for word, right down to the headline, any media release issued
by government press secretaries without even the most cursory checking of the
contents for accuracy. Some journalists often mistake opinion for fact.
It cannot be denied that there has been a reduction in the number of deaths with
a firearm but this has merely continued a trend dating back to the mid 1980’s.
If the trend line for all firearm deaths is examined it will be seen to have
followed a steady downward progression while the overall murder rate has
remained stable and the overall suicide rate has increased. Accidental firearm
deaths have also declined.
A news item in The Weekend Australian of 3-4 January 2004, written by Padraic
Murphy and headlined “Gun deaths plummet”, claimed that “shooting deaths have
halved over the past decade, driven largely by the crackdown on gun ownership
after the Port Arthur massacre. Between 1991 and 2001, firearms were involved in
5083 deaths – 77 per cent of them suicide.”
The news that deaths involving firearms have shown such a marked reduction in
numbers is indeed welcome, but to claim that this is a direct result of the
“crack down on firearms ownership” is misleading, and since suicide has
increased it is obvious that method substitution has occurred.
The Weekend Australian based the article on a Trends & Issues3
paper issued by the Australian Institute of Criminology. Information contained
in the AIC report very clearly shows that the reduction in firearm related
deaths began well before the implementation of the National Firearms Agreement
Nowhere in this paper is the decline in shooting deaths attributed to the
“crackdown on gun ownership after the Port Arthur massacre”.
The Australian’s article goes on to say: “ “The available data
suggest a trend towards greater use of handguns in suicide and accident-al
deaths,” the report found.”
But the AIC report qualifies this statement by adding, “To place this in
perspective, it is important to note that in Australia handguns are one of the
firearms least likely to be used to commit suicide or to be involved in an
accidental discharge resulting in death.”
The AIC report also noted that of 128,544 deaths recorded in Australia in 2002,
7876 were caused by accidents, poisoning and violence including suicide
(referred to as ‘external causes’), and firearms represent only a small fraction
of all external causes (4.2%).
Figure 1, compiled from figures contained in the AIC report, shows the trend
line continuing from 1991 in a steady downward progression. If anything, the
trend appears to have flattened since 1998,
the national controls
started to show an effect.
A Long Running Saga
Nor is this the first time The Australian has exhibited a bias against shooters.
A news item published in the April 29th, 1998, edition was headlined
“Joy for shooters on day of massacre”. The article reported, among other things,
that the “Queensland cabinet had approved a massive rifle range to cater for
10,000 shooters in Brisbane.”
Following complaints to the Australian Press Council by the Sporting Shooters
Association and 36 other persons, the council issued a ruling that said in
principal concern of the complainants is that the headline, rather than the text
of the article, implies that shooters do not feel sympathy with those affected
by the Port Arthur massacre. The article does not carry any indication that
shooters will be joyful at the establishment of the rifle range. No
representative of shooters is quoted in relation to the rifle range or the
massacre. The council considers that the headline is misleading in that it does
not summarise the views of shooters and it is open to the reader to infer that
shooters do not regret the massacre. The council accordingly upholds the
Australian did not accept the Press Council ruling but was obliged to report it
which it did with considerable bad grace quoting remarks by Justice Glass of the
NSW Court of Appeal in a 1976 case to support its attitude.
December 2002 The Weekend Australian Magazine carried an item headlined “Gun
Lobby takes pot shot at the facts”. It contained a cartoon ridiculing shooters
and after expressing an opinion on the US NRA quoted John Crook of Gun Control
Australia, as follows:
owners) are reckless”, counters Crook, citing figures that show the number of
accidental gun deaths is close to the number of actual homicides.
fact there were 45 accidental firearms deaths4
in 2000, the latest year for which statistics were available at the time, and
total homicides amounted to 327 in 1999, again the latest year for which figures
were available. A reasonable person might infer from Mr Crooks remarks that
there were in excess of 300 accidental firearms deaths in that year.
complaints, the editor of the magazine replied claiming the article was “fair
and accurate” and quoted statistics[i]
from the United States to support that contention. The editor ignored the
situation in Australia and the reporting of Mr Crook’s misleading remarks. The
relevance of the US statistics remains unexplained.
The Australian refused in any way to admit bias and the Australian Press Council
declined to consider the complaint. Other newspapers in Australia have shown
bias from time to time but many also put the opposing view. So far as can be
ascertained, The Australian has not carried a balancing article since 1996 when
it printed an opinion piece by the poet Les Murray6
and prior to that one by D. D. McNicoll.
Sins of Omission
Daily Telegraph, Sydney, has long been an advocate of tighter firearm laws. In
2001, following a spate of crimes involving (illegal) handguns, it ran an
editorial headlined “Total ban is best form of protection”7.
said, while pushing for an outright ban on handguns, “There is no reason for
anyone to be allowed to carry a gun on the streets of Sydney or any other
Minister John Howard’s ban on military style and semi-automatic rifles and
shotguns in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre changed the national psyche.
600,000 (sic) banned semi-automatic weapons were destroyed.
are tough new conditions about storing guns that are owned legally.
ban has been partly responsible for a dramatic fall in the number of homicide
deaths caused by guns.
28 per cent of homicides were caused by firearms. In 1998-99 only 20 per cent
were caused by firearms.”
Unfortunately, the editorial omitted the fact that the guns used in crime are
not registered, their owners are not licensed and they take no part in any
It omitted to
mention that no one, other than police, security guards, etc., is “allowed” to
carry a gun on the streets of any Australian town or city.
omitted to explain that the decline in homicides committed with a firearm began
well before John Howard’s 1996 gun bans were introduced8.
omitted to point out, that when the 1991-2001 figures9
are examined, it is clear that the bans had no effect whatsoever on the overall
homicide rate which has remained relatively stable since 1915.
The editorial continues; “It is
estimated that 60,000 handguns are registered in NSW and police say that the
weapons, which are easily concealed, have become the weapon of choice for
criminals,” the clear implication being that properly licensed and registered
handguns are the choice of criminals.
have been purchased illegally on the black market.
lobby argues that a ban on the weapons will force ownership underground but
police concede there is already a black market in the weapons.”
Telegraph can’t have it both ways. If there is already a black market in
operation, how will banning legally owned handguns, which demonstrably are not
used in crime, prevent criminals acquiring illegal handguns on the black market?
It omitted to explain that, too.
Australian governments, both state and federal, have used subtle, and sometimes
not so subtle, ways to ensure that firearms owners are presented in as poor a
light as possible.
1997, The Advertiser, Adelaide, carried an item10
headed “Law targets 1000 Games ‘extremists’.” It claimed that a joint
law-enforcement operation had identified 1000 South Australian “extremists” with
the potential to strike at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
“Many of the
targets are believed to be linked to the gun lobby and include recipients of
classified publications on bomb and illegal firearm manufacture,” wrote The
sources have told The Advertiser undercover operatives have been infiltrating
the gun lobby, attending public meetings to identify “radical elements”.”
“Law-enforcement agencies fear those identified as extremists may use the
Olympic Games and the international media exposure to show their opposition to
the gun ban which followed last year’s Port Arthur massacre” claimed the
difficult to understand why a police force would conduct a so-called undercover
operation and then announce it to the world.
was said to have commenced the previous June (1996) at about the same time John
Howard was shown in a photograph, carried in newspapers across the nation,
addressing shooters at a rally in Victoria wearing a bullet proof vest[ii]
and at the time the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Fischer, “warned that failure to
resolve the issue could see owners stripped of all weapons”[iii].
intention is obvious and the message was clear.
In the event
the allegations, attributed by The Advertiser to anonymous “police sources”,
appear to have been totally without foundation and served only to denigrate and
further marginalise firearm owners.
Government spin, Media bias or just sloppy research?
Courier-Mail, Brisbane, carried an item on February 23rd 2004
headlined “Buyback cuts gun crime in half”.
It claimed to
have obtained Queensland Police Service figures revealing that firearms offences
against people in the “Smart State” fell to the lowest figure in a decade.
According to The Courier-Mail, firearms offences against people amounted to 400
in 2002-2003, 424 fewer than in 1996-1997.
Queensland Crime Statistics Bulletin #2, May 1998, puts the total number of
firearm offences against the person in 1996 at 477, not 824 as implied in The
University criminologist Dr Tim Prenzler said crime had decreased Australia
–wide in recent years and the homicide rate had more than halved to 0.24 (sic)
for each 100,000 people since 1996.”
do appear to be in less danger of being killed by a firearm than they were in
the past,” he said.
appear that they are in as much danger as ever of being killed – just not with a
firearm. The homicide rate in Australia has remained relatively stable at about
2 per 100,000 since 1915 and was at its lowest during the years from 1930 t0
minimal controls on the ownership of firearms during this period and many homes
in Australia had a .22 rifle in the closet.
Coincidently, moves to restrict firearms ownership gathered pace during the
years when firearms crime was at its lowest.
responsible people are penalised, then that’s the price of safety, as it is for
road regulations or dog ownership,” Dr Prenzler is quoted as saying. It could
also be said that “responsible people” have indeed been penalised but statistics
indicate that the promised safety has proven illusory.
to be a bizarre belief among some academics, and sections of the media, that
murder by means other than with a firearm is somehow more socially acceptable.
As for road
regulations, about 2000 people a year die on Australian roads but the wait for
similar measures to be introduced against motor vehicle owners will, rightly, be
long and tedious.
Cartoon published in The
Australian on June 17th 1996.
Newspaper cartoonists in
Australia have a long and honourable history but they have displayed a sense of
narrow-minded intolerance during the so-called ‘gun debate’ that is breathtaking
for its spite and malice. The example on the previous page was just one that
The Australian printed in the months following the commencement of the Prime
Minister’s campaign for stricter gun laws. It depicts gun owners as violent,
illiterate rednecks hurling insults and missiles at John Howard.
Rallies by gun owners may have
been conducted in a manner that John Howard would have described as “robust” -
most rallies are - but they have never been violent. In fact, police have
complimented shooters on their good behaviour. No missile was ever thrown at
the prime minister, or anyone else, at a shooters’ rally.
During the first term of the
Howard government, a union rally at Parliament House in Canberra caused more
than $100,000 damage to the building. Rallies by shooters, on the other hand,
have caused no damage wherever they have been held.
The union rally was reported
without the provocative rhetoric or inflammatory cartoons used against shooters,
such as the one above by Nicholson. Gun owners are portrayed in both cartoons as
over weight, slobbering, camo-wearing imbeciles.
Bias manifests itself in many ways.
Most times those who exhibit it are unaware that they do so and when it is
pointed out to them will strenuously deny that it exists. They would be amazed
if anyone described them as anything other than “middle of the road”. It is
often not an intentional bias; it’s just the way things are.
A number of
presenters on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation could accurately be
described as ‘small l’ liberals. They believe that their view of the world is so
obviously correct that it must be held by a majority of their fellow citizens.
It follows from this that anyone who disagrees with that view must at the very
least be ill informed or illiterate, or worse.
The Law Report, ABC Radio National
At the height
of the ‘gun debate’ in 1996, Susanna Lobez presented an edition of The Law
Report that discussed, inter alia, national gun laws following Port Arthur.
Ms Lobez spoke to Dr David Neal and
at the conclusion of the interview said, “I usually try to keep my personal
views out of The Law Report,” then went on to make sure that her personal views
were known to all, concluding with the following remarks:
personally urge all politicians to stand up to the lobby groups who demand the
right to keep and use guns. A suggestion: if they need guns to kill feral
animals or go on hunting trips, or do target practice, couldn’t the guns be held
in protective custody and then retrieved, or hired, just for the hunting trip?
say we must avoid knee-jerk reactions, but surely sometimes such reactions are
appropriate. So carpe diem, politicians, Seize the Day.”[v]
the same vein Kerry O’Brien while hosting the 1997 Election Night Report on ABC
TV in South Australia disparagingly referred to the United Australia Party,
which contested the election, as “…the shooters party”. The leader of the
federal National Party, Mr John Anderson, has at times described himself as a
shooter. Would Mr O’Brien disparagingly refer to the Nationals in the same way?
ABC Local Radio
on the Morning Show on Adelaide’s ABC radio station 891 in 2002, talking about
the delay in putting the legislation to implement the “buy-back” before the
South Australian Parliament asked what was so hard about legislating to remove
the personal property of a sizable number of the state’s citizens concluding
with the words, “Just do it!”
overall crime rate has increased in recent years, the armed crime rate has not.[vi]
In fact, after rising during the 1990’s, it fell in 2002. Knives are the weapons
most often used. Other weapons range from sharpened screwdrivers to blood filled
syringes. Armed hold-ups with firearms are relatively rare[vii].
hold-up is reported on TV news, regardless of the weapon used, the logo almost
always inserted into the news item will invariably show the “standard” red
circle with a diagonal slash superimposed over a semi-automatic handgun.
Sometimes semi-automatic rifles, which have been banned since 1996, are also
the TV station will sometimes see the circle and slash pistol logo removed from
subsequent news bulletins only to reappear with the next report of an armed
On Sky News,
the satellite TV news channel, in December 2003, Michael Willesee asked the
question “Do we need tougher gun laws?” He invited viewers to email him with
He must have
been surprised that many who replied took the opportunity to express their
opinion that the firearms laws should not be further tightened because he
accused those who disagreed with him of “not looking at the issue with an open
He used the
theft of a pistol from Kerry Packer as an example that guns are being stolen all
conveniently ignored the fact that Mr Packer’s gun was improperly stored in a
drawer of Mr Packer’s desk[ix]
and that theft is a crime committed by criminals who take no notice of the law.
In the end it was Michael Willesee who was shown to have a limited grasp of this
important subject, and to have a closed mind.
Myths and illusions
inability to countenance an opposing view can be very comforting. It reinforces
beliefs that fly in the face of all the evidence. It means that an opinion can
be held without the need to justify it. Myths can be created; illusions
One of the
myths perpetuated in Australia is that removing guns from the community will
lead to a reduction in the homicide and suicide rates. Nothing could be further
from the truth.
While the rate of homicides and
suicides committed with a firearm has declined, the overall homicide rate has
remained steady for almost 100 years and the overall suicide rate has risen.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suicide in Australia rose from
2,197 in 1988 to 2,723 in 1997, an increase of 24% over the period.[x]
The media persists in the portrayal
of shooters as beer swilling, overweight rightwing rednecks. Again, that is far
from the truth. Firearms owners come from all walks of life from bank managers
to surgeons and boilermakers to truck drivers. And even prime ministers, as in
the case of Malcolm Fraser.[xi]
The present prime minister has
fostered the myth that restricting the ownership of firearms by law-abiding
Australians will lead to a ‘safer Australia’. Since the destruction of 640,000
firearms in the “buyback” of 1996 we have seen an increase in the criminal
misuse of firearms – but not their misuse by licensed owners.
In Melbourne alone there have been
24 gangland killings in the past six years.[xii]
Similarly numerous drive-by shootings
and murders, all with illegal firearms, have been committed in Sydney recently.
The police in both cities seem to be powerless to prevent these crimes and
appear to have had limited success in solving them.
The increase in gun crime mirrors the
experience of the United Kingdom since the total ban on civilian handguns in
1997. Firearms offences, which had been decreasing since 1989, have doubled
since the ban according to Home Office statistics.
Perhaps the greatest illusion
fostered by the Australian media is that the National Coalition for Gun Control
(NCGC) is anything other than a one-person show. The March 25th 2004
Newsletter circulated by NSW MLC, John Tingle, offered the following:
March 22 2004, Mike Jefferys, who does the
breakfast programme on 2CC Canberra, interviewed Samantha Lee. When he asked
her who the NCGC actually were, and how many of them there were, she hedged.
When he put it to her that she was the only member, she replied, “Maybe I’ve
just got a loud voice.”
He then asked her what had happened to the TV Commercial. Was it a fact they
had to withdraw it because segments in it could be in breach of the firearms
laws? No, it had been canned because of a personal matter between herself and
the advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, which produces ads for the NCGC on
a free “pro bono” basis; and that the “public” didn’t need to know the reason
behind the cancellation.”
Ms Lee, often aided and abetted by
sections of the Australian media, demands full disclosure from all and sundry
but is remarkably reticent when asked to provide details about her own
The National Coalition for Gun
Control is an organisation of smoke and mirrors that makes outrageous
statements, often bordering on slander, for the sake of a quick headline.
The nature of the ‘gun debate’
guarantees that the opposing sides will view it from diametrically opposite
Firearms owners in Australia are in
little doubt that bias exists in both the reporting of anything to do with
firearms and shooting, and in the way the federal government approaches the
Some members of the media exhibit
bias that is palpable to firearms owners, but which journalists and editors
regard as fair and accurate reporting. Evenhandedness requires that where a news
items contains a quote from an anti gun source, a shooters’ representative
should be invited to submit a rebuttal. In fact, this seldom happens.
As an example, John Crook, President
of Gun Control Australia, was quoted in The Advertiser, Adelaide, on July 15th
logic is that shooters are the most ill-disciplined people of any recreational
group, that's what attracts them to guns. It's a state of mind."
" . . .
they are usually poorly disciplined, they never had much success at school and
were never very good at sport. Guns to them represent something they were never
able to achieve."
A rebuttal from a shooters’
representative was not included.
Bias manifests itself in many ways
and some of the more obvious examples have been included in this document, but
there is a more subtle bias that is not so easily countered.
Many of Australia’s gun owners are
prolific letter writers to both politicians and to the letters to the editor
section of daily newspapers – at least they were before losing patience at the
media’s refusal to publish those letters. Yet letters with an anti gun focus are
often printed even when they have little literary or factual merit.
If Australia’s ¾ million licensed
firearms owners are to have any confidence in the accuracy and fairness of the
reporting of firearm related topics by the media, the mindset of journalists and
editors will need to change.
On past performance this is unlikely,
at least in the short term, but the media owes it to itself and its’ readers to
report on this subject in a balanced way and to question why, with ever more
draconian laws being enacted, criminals continue to acquire firearms illegally
and with little apparent hindrance.
Minister John Howard addressing a rally of firearms owners at sale,
Victoria, in June 1996 wearing a bullet proof vest. The imagery was devastating
and many shooters were deeply insulted. In all the rallies conducted by them,
involving more than a quarter of a million people in all, not once was an
instance of violence recorded.
Figure A2. Another of Nicholson’s cartoons
distorts the facts. The people he was attacking were not
heavily-armed lunatics on the street, but plain people who had guns locked in
heavy safes at home. There are and always were plenty of laws to manage
pistols. There were plenty of laws to deal with murder. The police
procedures for legal pistols in Victoria were voided by bad enforcement,
when a foreign student used a licensed pistol to murder someone who refused to
fraudulently sit his exams for him.
don’t think people should have guns unless they’re police or in the military or
in the security industry. There is no earthly reason for people to have …
ordinary citizens should not have weapons. We do not want the American disease
imported into Australia."
think guns have become a blight on American society. We do not have the same gun
culture as the Americans and we should strenuously resist any slide into the gun
culture of the United States.”
Sydney, 17 April 2002.
“Well look I don’t like getting into the business of banning things. I’m not a
banner. I’m an encourager and a persuader and an advocate.”
Doorstop interview Meewen, Victoria. 2 February 2001.
“Our year long national gun amnesty and buy back scheme saw over 640,000
firearms surrendered for their genuine value totalling almost $315 million. All
of those firearms with the very few exceptions for museum and police use were
then destroyed. Taking such a strong stand was unpopular in some quarters but
demonstrated the Government's determination to fight crime.”
Asian Regional Conference Rydges Hotel, Canberra. 17 February 1998.
Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, 9 September 1997
on the gun buyback.
“ … it was all about draining the suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney
David Kelly, Senior Adviser, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, 16 December
Asked how the buyback
will reduce crime in
“The simple answer to
your question is that the first part of your question has nothing to do with the
second part of your question.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics; Report in The Australian, 27 September 1997
Gun deaths fell by 46 per cent during the last 15 years before tough new firearm
legislation introduced after last year's Port Arthur massacre, according to
figures released yesterday by the ABS. "The figures clearly show that the
absolute numbers of (gun) deaths, and the rates of death, has been steadily
declining before Port Arthur."
1 All powers not
specifically reserved to the Federal Parliament remain with the states – The
Australian Constitution, Part V, Powers of the Parliament. The Howard
government has used quite extreme coercion to enforce Howard's will over the
states' reserved powers.
2 Trends & Issues in
crime and criminal justice No, 269, the Australian Institute of
Criminology, November 2003
Institute of Criminology ‘Trends & Issues No. 269’ Firearm related Deaths
in Australia, 1991-2001.
4 The number of
accidental deaths involving firearms spiked in 2000, up from 28 in 1999 and
falling to 18 in 2001. In the years 1991-1999 the mean was 26.66. The spike
to 45 in 2000 remains unexplained.
Even the supporting figures quoted for the United States were wrong being
overstated by almost thirteen per cent. (FBI Uniform Crime Reports)
6 Les Murray, The
Australian, 24th July 1996, asked, “Did the gun row have much to
do with guns?”
The Daily Telegraph, Monday April 30, 2001. D D McNicoll, “Greenies out for
a duck”, The Australian 2nd February 1995.
8 Trends and Issues No.
269, The Australian Institute of Criminology, Firearm related deaths in
Law targets 1000
Games ‘extremists’, by Police Reporter Nick Papps, The Advertiser, Adelaide
S.A., February 5th 1997.
Christopher Dore, in an article “The smoking guns buyback” in the Weekend
Australian, 26-27 May 1997, wrote: “So heated was the debate over gun reform
throughout most of last year that Australians experienced a rare and, to
most, disturbing sight: the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, addressing angry
Victorian gun owners wearing a bullet-proof vest underneath his dark tweed
That image . . .
galvanized a nation and almost in itself guaranteed the success of Mr
Howard’s push for uniform national gun laws.” See appendix.
“NP infighting flares”, The Advertiser, Adelaide, June 6 1996. Again, the federal government appeared to be operating outside of the
confines of the federal constitution.
The Second Outlook Conference - Violent crime, Property Crime, and Public
Institute of Criminology, Canberra 3 & 4 March 1997.
The Law Report, Radio National, Tuesday, April 30th, 1996.
Australian crime facts and figures, 2003. Australian Institute of
Criminology, February 2004.
Guns are used in only 6% of armed hold-ups. Australian Institute of
Mr. Packer’s pistol was stolen in January 2003 during a break-in at his
NSW Police have decided not to charge Mr. Packer for failing to safely
secure his Glock pistol, The Advertiser, April 12th 2004. By
contrast, in 1998 NSW Police insisted on prosecuting a 16-year-old boy with
firearm offences for possessing a toy cap gun. The presiding magistrate, who
described it as a “silly case”, threw out the charge. The Sunday Mail,
Adelaide 29th September 1998.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002. AusStats, Special Article -
The gun showdown, article in The Australian March 17, 1988.
The Age, December 16, 2003.