Solved Martin Bryant and Port Arthur

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wally funk

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Mar 14, 2007
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This is one case that has fascinated me endlessly since watching the horror unfolding on the news as a ten year old back in April 1996. I've never been to Port Arthur, nor knew any of the victims, but the sheer size of the attack one man could place on a township on a regular weekend day was so shocking and confusing to me. Who was this crazy man? I couldn't remember seeing anything like it in our country.

To kill 35 people, including children aged 3 and 6, and wound however many others. What kind of person does this? The Dunblane massacre, I remember, had happened only a few weeks (or maybe months) before Port Arthur, and I'd thought, like so many times while watching terrible things the news, Thank God that doesn't happen here. I fear the day where we do see a similar incident like it in our country.

The National Firearms Agreement (banning automatic and semi-automatic guns) that followed was another controversy, but perhaps the best, bravest move of the freshly-elected Prime Minister Howard's entire political career.

Martin Bryant was sentenced to 35 life sentences for the murders, plus 1035 further years for various other charges. Never to be released. He has attempted suicide at least six times.
 

Doss

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Still remember it like it was yesterday- I even remember the exact moment I first heard about it. I was in my next door neighbour's house and we were watching television- I was not quite eight years of age.

I've been to Port Arthur twice- in 2004 and at the start of this year. It wasn't so strong this year, but in 2004, the feeling when I stood there and looked at the memorial pond where the Broad Arrow Cafe once stood was seriously eery.
 

Robbo92

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Port Arthur was already the scariest place in Australia, seriously. I would never walk around that place alone at night. Lucky they have those tours. But I've been going down there every year since I was a little kid, haven't really known too much about Martin Bryant though. Other than my mates mum used to take care of him in the prison/hospital thing he's in and he's really fat now.
 

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Falchoon

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Still remember it like it was yesterday- I even remember the exact moment I first heard about it.


I was in the car at VFL park. It was the Sunday after Trevor Barker had died and the minute's silence for that is still vivid in my mind. There was complete silence, with the only exception being the metal halyards banging against the metal flag poles.

It was a good day, Stewie Loewe kicked a bag and the Saints knocked off the doggies, and there was a great atmosphere in celebrating Trevor Barker, one of the Saints big 5 names.

Then we left, hopped in the car and turned the radio on, and again vividly, I remember facing that big mural when I heard the news, so whenever I see it it always takes me back to Port Arthur.

I went to Port Arthur for the first time last year, and was semi surprised at the lack of recognition it's given.
 

Howard Littlejohn

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The National Firearms Agreement (banning automatic and semi-automatic guns) that followed was another controversy, but perhaps the best, bravest move of the freshly-elected Prime Minister Howard's entire political career.
The word in bold is brazen political spin. The Libs and their salesmen managed to have it seen as "brave" despite having over 90% support in opinion polls for the ban. It was hardly politically "brave", it was in fact politically expedient.
Best, maybe; brave, certainly not. The GST was "brave". The Telstra sale was "brave" (and possibly the worst decision of any Australian government). WorkChoices was "brave" (or foolhardy). The guns ban was not.
 

GoGoGadget

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I remember when he was holed up in the b& b just outside port arthur - i rang the b& B but obviouslyt he police had shut the line down

What were you gonna say if he picked up?

What if he put a bullet in a hostage because he didn't like what you said?

What if you were found to be the one who made the call?
 

peejay

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What were you gonna say if he picked up?

What if he put a bullet in a hostage because he didn't like what you said?

What if you were found to be the one who made the call?


Lot of what ifs there.

Just remember i did not say in what capacity i made the call.
 

Malifice

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Oct 2, 2007
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I was 21 and serving with the Army in Malaysia when our SSM told us the news.

My Dads a Tasmanian, and I'd been to Port Arthur a bit so it really struck home.

Been there since, and stood in front of the memorial silent for a while. Still difficult to come to terms with the magnitude of what happened there. 6 year olds (and younger) gunned down. Whole families; couples on their honeymoon, retired couples in their 70's.

Just horrible.
 

PVF

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I would've been 4 or 5 and was living in Ross at the time so I didn't know much about it then but I have read up about it.

Kinda scary having something like that happening to kids around my age and it was only two and half hours away from me.
 

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Malifice

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I find it weird to picture your liberal-minded, jackass, BigFooty-posting self in the army!

You'd find it even weirder if I told you I was directly involved in the MV Tampa affair.

Needless to say, I quit the Army shortly afterwards in absolute disgust.

Might put my stance on a few... related issues in a personal light.

Pains me to say I still miss the Army though. And weirdly, most of the things I miss the most, are the things I hated the most at the time. All the punishing endurance marches, being in the middle of nowhere, spending countless months on exersises and operations, stomping up mountains in pissing down rain carrying a 40kgs of weapons and gear not having slept in a week.

As an experience, Im certainly glad I did it.
 

J_Moore

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I thought that most of the shootings were point blank apart from when he was in the bus/car park.

Yep, he was in a cafe the size of a living room. Firing a bullet about every 3-4 seconds, on average. And didn't kill everyone he shot, either.
 

Rack Watts

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I remember it clear as day and I was only 10. (Like so many people in this thread, 86 represent)
I am a Tassie lad, we were supposed to go down there that weekend for a historic tour and a chartered fishing trip but it got cancelled as my sister's glandular fever went crazy. When I got told what happened that night after spending all day being angry about the cancellation I think it was the biggest "woah" moment I have ever experienced.
It was really sad, because everyone in Tassie knew someone that knew someone who had been injured or had been killed.
 

Barry Zuckercorn

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Port Arthur is just the eeriest place on earth. It's all too surreal. Two stories that really stick with me:

1) In the late 90s/early 00s I used to work with a bloke who was originally from Tassie. Back in 1996 he used to work in a bakery and one day a young bloke walked in, stood in the middle of the bakery looking around at everyone for a minute or two and then bust out laughing. After a few minutes laughing hysterically he walked out. My workmate didnt think too much of it until a couple of weeks later he recognised him on the TV as the psycopath responsible for the Port Arthur massacre.

2) My best mate's brother law own a pharmacy in an inner-north suburb of Melbourne. He bought it many, many years ago from a bloke who had made good money and decided to sell up and move back to Tassie for a slower paced life. His wife and child ended up victims of the massacre not too long after he moved from Melbourne.
 

Malifice

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Port Arthur is just the eeriest place on earth. It's all too surreal. Two stories that really stick with me:

1) In the late 90s/early 00s I used to work with a bloke who was originally from Tassie. Back in 1996 he used to work in a bakery and one day a young bloke walked in, stood in the middle of the bakery looking around at everyone for a minute or two and then bust out laughing. After a few minutes laughing hysterically he walked out. My workmate didnt think too much of it until a couple of weeks later he recognised him on the TV as the psycopath responsible for the Port Arthur massacre.

2) My best mate's brother law own a pharmacy in an inner-north suburb of Melbourne. He bought it many, many years ago from a bloke who had made good money and decided to sell up and move back to Tassie for a slower paced life. His wife and child ended up victims of the massacre not too long after he moved from Melbourne.

This.

And the f’ed up thing is we've all experienced dudes like this.

Arming them aint the best idea.
 

SE_Blue

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Dad was mates with Tony Kistan, the bloke who stood up to shield his wife. Fairly sure they were on their honeymoon too. Depresses me, even though I never had actually met him.
 

TheKanga

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I was around 7 years old when it happened.
I remember some of my dad's relatives were at Port Arthur only hours before it happened.
Scary thing is my dad considered driving down with my then newborn sister.
Glad he decided not to go.
 

Dalphonso

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A mate of mine went there a couple of years ago and reckoned there was nothing written anywhere about the Port Arthur massacre.No one talked about it either.I guess it's just too upsetting.
 

Dalphonso

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You'd find it even weirder if I told you I was directly involved in the MV Tampa affair.

Needless to say, I quit the Army shortly afterwards in absolute disgust.

Might put my stance on a few... related issues in a personal light.

Pains me to say I still miss the Army though. And weirdly, most of the things I miss the most, are the things I hated the most at the time. All the punishing endurance marches, being in the middle of nowhere, spending countless months on exersises and operations, stomping up mountains in pissing down rain carrying a 40kgs of weapons and gear not having slept in a week.

As an experience, Im certainly glad I did it.
I thought it was the navy involved in the Tampa?
 

arkie

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As much as I support what you are saying here, correlation does not equal causation.

Various studies have been written and published. Take a look at the link below to one. I understand what you're saying but the statistics don't lie. You can't say Australia's gun law reform hasn't been a successful public policy.

http://db.tt/dw6ibYnc
 

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