Those who are especially fond of America’s Second Amendment often like to say that the way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

As we’ve witnessed in Sydney today, a more effective way of halting a bad guy’s apparent determination to inflict harm on multiple people is to make it difficult for him to have a gun in the first place.

Australia’s most populous city was plunged into panic at 2pm when a man allegedly stabbed a woman, seemingly at random, at a hotel near Wynyard Station on the corners of King and Clarence streets.

A woman’s body was later discovered in a nearby residence, her throat slashed, with police alleging she was killed by the man.

During a brief rampage, police allege he attempted to attack “a number” of other people with his butcher’s knife, about 30 centimetres long, but they managed to evade him.

Within minutes, a group of several heroic bystanders confronted and chased him, using two chairs from a cafe and a plastic milk crate to bring him down.

The men pinned him to the ground until police arrived.

But consider this. Had this alleged attacker been armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, as so many of America’s recent mass shooters have been, the outcome would’ve been far worse.

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In those incidents in the US, which we seem to hear about every week or so, someone wanders into a shopping centre, place of worship, office building, music festival or school and unleashes carnage.

In roughly the same amount of time that the man in Sydney sparked uncertainty and terror, those Americans can slaughter countless innocent people.

We don’t know the motive of the alleged Sydney attacker at this early stage.

But what we can all surely agree on is that Australia’s strict gun laws should never be watered down.

Our priority must continue to be to have the strictest possible oversight to keep firearms out of the hands of those who wish to use them to kill others.

Any efforts to take a backwards step on the legacy of the government in 1996 to toughen our gun laws would be a recipe for disaster.

America might believe that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with one.

But in Australia, we prefer a situation where a group of top blokes with some chairs and a milk crate can stop a bad guy with a knife.

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