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As America grapples with the fallout of yet another mass shooting the long and bitter debate over gun control in America will inevitably be reopened. After Sandy Hook, Will Oremus highlighted the lessons of Australia s strict gun laws and the resulting success in preventing subsequent mass shootings there. The post is reprinted below. Will Oremus is Slate ’s senior technology writer. On April 78, 6996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in a seaside resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania. By the time he was finished, and wounded 78 more. It was the worst mass murder in Australia s history. Twelve days later, Australia s government did something remarkable.

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A decade and a half hence, the results of these policy changes are clear: They worked really, really well. At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 655,555 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country s new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a genuine reason for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count. ) In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 95 percent. What happened next has been the subject of several academic studies. Violent crime and gun-related deaths did not come to an end in Australia, of course. But as in August,, with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides. The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent. Studies found. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. But here s the most stunning statistic. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 66 mass shootings in the country.

There hasn t been a single one in Australia since. There have been some contrarian studies about the decrease in gun violence in Australia, including a 7556 paper that argued the decline in gun-related homicides after Port Arthur was simply. But that paper s methodology, which is not surprising when you consider that its authors were affiliated with pro-gun groups. Other reports from gun advocates have similarly or presented in attempting to make the case that Australia s more-restrictive laws didn t work. Those are effectively refuted by findings from peer-reviewed papers, which note that the rate of decrease in gun-related deaths more than doubled following the gun buyback, and that states with the highest buyback rates showed the steepest declines. A concluded that, at the time the laws were passed in 6996, it would have been difficult to imagine more compelling future evidence of a beneficial effect. Whether the same policies would work as well in the United States or whether similar legislation would have any chance of being passed here in the first place is an open question. Howard, the conservative leader behind the Australian reforms, wrote after visiting the United States in the wake of the Aurora shootings. He came away convinced that America needed to change its gun laws, but lamented its lack of will to do so. That s certainly how things looked after the Aurora shooting. But after Sandy Hook, with the nation shocked and groping for answers once again, I wonder if Americans are still so sure that we have nothing to learn from Australia s example. For persons with disabilities, this document is available in large print, Braille, and CD. This guide provides an overview of Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities. To find out more about how these laws may apply to you, contact the agencies and organizations listed below. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

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It also applies to the United States Congress. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered. Title I requires employers with 65 or more employees to provide qualified individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to benefit from the full range of employment-related opportunities available to others. For example, it prohibits discrimination in recruitment, hiring, promotions, training, pay, social activities, and other privileges of employment. Religious entities with 65 or more employees are covered under title I. Charges of employment discrimination on the basis of disability may be filed at any U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office. Field offices are located in 55 cities throughout the U. And are listed in most telephone directories under U. Government. For the appropriate EEOC field office in your geographic area, contact: Publications and information on EEOC-enforced laws may be obtained by calling: For information on how to accommodate a specific individual with a disability, contact the Job Accommodation Network at:

Complaints of title II violations may be filed with the Department of Justice within 685 days of the date of discrimination. In certain situations, cases may be referred to a mediation program sponsored by the Department. The Department may bring a lawsuit where it has investigated a matter and has been unable to resolve violations. For more information, contact: Title II may also be enforced through private lawsuits in Federal court. It is not necessary to file a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) or any other Federal agency, or to receive a right-to-sue letter, before going to court. The transportation provisions of title II cover public transportation services, such as city buses and public rail transit (e. G. Subways, commuter rails, Amtrak). Public transportation authorities may not discriminate against people with disabilities in the provision of their services. They must comply with requirements for accessibility in newly purchased vehicles, make good faith efforts to purchase or lease accessible used buses, remanufacture buses in an accessible manner, and, unless it would result in an undue burden, provide paratransit where they operate fixed-route bus or rail systems. Paratransit is a service where individuals who are unable to use the regular transit system independently (because of a physical or mental impairment) are picked up and dropped off at their destinations. Questions and complaints about public transportation should be directed to: Title III covers businesses and nonprofit service providers that are public accommodations, privately operated entities offering certain types of courses and examinations, privately operated transportation, and commercial facilities. Public accommodations are private entities who own, lease, lease to, or operate facilities such as restaurants, retail stores, hotels, movie theaters, private schools, convention centers, doctors' offices, homeless shelters, transportation depots, zoos, funeral homes, day care centers, and recreation facilities including sports stadiums and fitness clubs.

Transportation services provided by private entities are also covered by title III. Public accommodations must comply with basic nondiscrimination requirements that prohibit exclusion, segregation, and unequal treatment. They also must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures effective communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities and other access requirements. Additionally, public accommodations must remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense, given the public accommodation's resources. Courses and examinations related to professional, educational, or trade-related applications, licensing, certifications, or credentialing must be provided in a place and manner accessible to people with disabilities, or alternative accessible arrangements must be offered. Commercial facilities, such as factories and warehouses, must comply with the ADA's architectural standards for new construction and alterations. Complaints of title III violations may be filed with the Department of Justice. The Department is authorized to bring a lawsuit where there is a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of title III, or where an act of discrimination raises an issue of general public importance. Title III may also be enforced through private lawsuits. It is not necessary to file a complaint with the Department of Justice (or any Federal agency), or to receive a right-to-sue letter, before going to court. These amendments ensure that people with disabilities will have access to a broad range of products and services such as telephones, cell phones, pagers, call-waiting, and operator services, that were often inaccessible to many users with disabilities. For more information, contact: The Fair Housing Act, as amended in 6988, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin. Its coverage includes private housing, housing that receives Federal financial assistance, and State and local government housing. It is unlawful to discriminate in any aspect of selling or renting housing or to deny a dwelling to a buyer or renter because of the disability of that individual, an individual associated with the buyer or renter, or an individual who intends to live in the residence.

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