Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.
By Ross Parker
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported recently about a forty-year study in Australia about the effect on gun-related crime by the 1997 major gun law reform. The study compared the number of mass fatal shooting incidents, rates of fatal shooting incidents, firearm deaths, and firearm-caused suicides for the periods 1979 through 1996 (before the reform) with those of 1997 through 2013 (after the reform).
In 1997, after 13 fatal mass shootings (more than 5 victims) and a high rate of firearm-related fatalities, the federal and state governments in Australia enacted sweeping new gun laws. The triggering event was a massacre in 1996 in which a man used two semi-automatic long guns to kill 35 people and wound 19 others. Rapid-fire long guns were banned as part of the reform, and the guns were subject to a mandatory buy-back program. Over one million firearms were purchased and destroyed.
The conclusions of the study were that the statute greatly reduced mass shootings, as well as the homicide rate from the use of firearms. In the 20 years since the statue Australia has not suffered a single mass firearm killing. Deaths due to firearms plummeted from 3.6 per 100,000 population to 1.3, by a factor of over 3% decline per year. The rate of firearm suicides declined by a factor of 4.8% annually. The study pointed out that part of the rate of decline on these last two categories may have been due to causes other than the gun reform law.
The study was conducted by two professors from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and a psychology professor at Macquarie University, both in Sydney, Australia.
A drunk passenger on a flight from Australia to Indonesia and miscommunication from a pilot caused fears that a Boeing 737 had been hijacked.
BBC reports that a passenger prompted the scare by trying to enter the cockpit, causing the pilot to send a distress signal.
The crew eventually handcuffed the man, who authorities identified as Matt Christopher, a 28-year-old from Australia.
“This is no hijacking, this is a miscommunication,” Heru Sudjatmiko, a Virgin Australia official said. “There was a drunk passenger, intoxicated and aggressively behaved. He was trying to enter the cockpit, banging the door but he did not enter the cockpit.”
News of possible hijacking spread worldwide early this morning.
The FBI raided the property of a 91-year-old man in rural central Indiana where he stored thousands of artifacts from Native Americans, China, Russia and other countries.
Fox News reports that the massive collection by Donald Miller spanned eight decades and also included items from Australia, Haiti, New Guinea and Peru.
“The cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable,” Jones said while refusing to divulge details of any of the items taken from Miller’s property.
Miller said he obtained the items legally and traveled to each country to get them.
“I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts,” he said.
It wasn’t clear whether he faces charges.
The Homeland Security Department helped bring down an international child exploitation ring involving as many as 27,000 people victimizing at least 251 children online, the New York Daily News reports.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson called the bust “one of the largest-known online child exploitation operations in history.”
Authorities alleges that a Louisiana man created a subscription-based website that disguises the identity and location of its users.
“So far, investigators have identified 251 minor victims in 37 states and five foreign countries: 228 in the United States and 23 in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Belgium. Eight of the victims were female and 243 were male. The majority of victims, 159, were 13 to 15 years old. Fifty nine victims were 16 and 17; 26 victims were 10 to 12; four victims were 7 to 9; one victim was 4 to 6; and two victims were 3 years old or younger,” the agency reported.
At a time when Iran is not a very popular nation around the world, the feds have indicted an Australian man and his company on charges of conspiring to export sensitive military technology from the U.S. to Iran.
Fed authorities in D.C. on Wednesday indicted David Levick, 50, an Australian national, and his company ICM Components in Thorleigh, Australia, for trying to export components with applications in missiles, drones, torpedoes, and helicopters.
Levick, who is the general manager of ICM Components, remains at large and is believed to be in Australia, authorities said.
Authorities said that from March 2007 to about March 15, 2009, Levick and ICM solicited purchase orders from a representative of a trading company in Iran for U.S.-origin aircraft parts and other goods.
The person in Iran also operated and controlled companies in Malaysia that acted as intermediaries for the Iranian trading company.
By Allan Lengel
If there’s any place on earth that takes the illegal distribution of movies seriously, it’s the Los Angeles area.
Derek Hawthorne, 21, is learning that the hard way.
Hawthorne pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles to two felony counts of illegally uploading copyrighted works. He was busted by the U.S. Secret Service.
Authorities charged that Hawthorne uploaded on the Internet for all to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Australia”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The movies had been released in the theaters, but had yet to be released on DVD. Sentencing is set for Sept. 28.
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- Ex-Boston FBI Agent Says 1980 Murder Witness Was Killed (Boston Globe)
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- Fed Jury Finds 5 Guilty in Nevada Prison Gang Case (AP)
- Detroit Mayor Picks Ex-Rival as New Police Chief (AP)
- Ala. U.S. Atty. Alice Martin Says She Was Not Pushed Out (Main Justice)
- The Story Behind D.C.’s Marion Barry’s Arrest (Washington Post)