On Sunday, April 28, 1996 I turned on the television to watch the afternoon arts program. It wasn't on. Instead I was appalled by a news bulletin about a massacre. The report claimed nineteen victims, revised as I watched to twenty-three. Acculturated to American violence, or perhaps more able to ignore than participate in calamity, I stopped watching, and thus remained unaware for some hours that this massacre was a long way from Texas (and, as it turned out, it was bigger than Texas, since the largest rampage killing in Texas claimed exactly twenty-three victims). It was, in fact, in my home state of Australia, Tasmania. Amongst the eventual tally of thirty-five was Jason Winter, winemaker for my Moorilla Wines, and thus my employee.
Roland Browne - Vice President Gun Control Australia Inc.
I have been involved in the gun control debate for over 25 years; I have keenly observed the debate in Australia, in the United States and in Britain. Each country has vocal proponents on each side of the debate. I have seen the reporting of public mass shootings in Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Scotland, England and, of course, the US. In each country people have wrung their hands and wept at the loss of life from public mass shootings. Images on television of shocked family members waiting to hear if their loved ones have died or survived the latest mass shooting are universal. There is no distinguishing feature that marks out the impact from country to another.
I would like to take this opportunity to cordially thank you for bringing the dream of The Embassy into reality. Allow me to explain: Yes, it is true that when Sergeant Smith (that gorgeous young sergeant in charge of NOPD Gun Buybacks as well as -hallelujah!- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual + Transgender issues) suggested I give the remainder of our gun buyback funds to your gun buyback, I paused. I explained to him that relations between us weren't exactly sunny (though not outright bad either), and that you liked the idea of keeping our buybacks separate. To all of this the sergeant replied: Y'all please keep on fighting cause everybody's gonna win!