Aftermath of a Massacre

  • Share
  • Read Later
PORT ARTHUR, Australia: Australians are trying to come to terms with the enormous shock of Sunday's massacre that left at least 34 dead. Memorial services in Hobart drew hundreds of mourners, and the Prime Minister says the nation has been "shaken to the core." Martin Bryant, the man accused of opening fire on the group of tourists in Tasmania, is sedated and being treated for burns in the same hospital where several of the people he wounded are recovering. The staff there is on edge after anonymous callers threatened the nurses and doctors who are treating him. "There is a great deal of anger against the man," says TIME South Pacific deputy editor Steve Waterson. "Despite police surveillance inside, someone managed to write 'An Eye for an eye!' on the outer wall of the hospital. Counselors say the unusual fact that the man is still alive makes it difficult for the families of the dead to deal with their loss." Mass murderers often end up turning their guns on themselves, but Bryant retreated to a home and was surrounded by police. He was captured after torching the house with three people inside. The killings come after years of campaigns for tighter gun control laws. Gun laws in the state of Tasmania are extremely liberal, even by American standards. A national conference scheduled for July intended to harmonize gun control laws in Australia's various states has been moved up to a week from Friday.