Professor hopes tragedy sparks gun reform

Gregory Luke Larkin. Photo / Supplied
Gregory Luke Larkin. Photo / Supplied

A visiting American professor says the latest mass shooting should give New Zealanders confidence they have got gun laws right.

Gregory Luke Larkin, a world-renowned expert in injury prevention from Connecticut's Yale University, who has treated gunshot victims in his home town, said: "In the wake of this latest tragedy in an American school, I must register my shame as an ex-patriot American."

Larkin, the Lion's Chair and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Auckland as well as a keen hunter, said he hoped the latest tragedy would spark gun law reform in the United States.

"I would like to congratulate New Zealand policymakers and citizens who can be proud of learning the hard won lessons from Aramoana.

"America, however, stands proud in her resolve to avoid the facts, ignoring both logic and hard data. While many people can handle guns safely, the few who cannot must give us pause.

"New Zealand gets it, that there must be rules on how firearms are handled, registered, stored, and collected.

"It is not a mental health issue; the human race was always constituted by unpredictable, emotionally fickle, and psychologically vulnerable persons who one minute are running a powerful nation and another are found chasing skirts in the Oval Office.

"To pretend we are mostly rational beings capable of safely carrying loaded guns is to ignore many lessons of history."

- Herald on Sunday

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