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Here vs. Down Under I

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Saturday, May 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

In “A letter home — from Australia” (April 28 and TribLIVE.com), Rebecca Johnson writes about how “(l)ife in Australia is laid back” and the people there “struggle to understand” why we cherish and regularly shoot guns and continue “to hold those weapons, and access to them, in such high regard.”

Unlike America, where people can just stroll across our borders, all arriving in Australia by sea on cruise ships and commercial vessels are subject to immigration clearance, whether they disembark or remain on board.

As a general rule, vessels are required to provide passenger and crew reports to Australian customs officials no later than 96 hours before arriving, and all vessels arriving are required to enter at a proclaimed port for their first port of entry. On arrival, all passengers and crew must hold valid visas and present valid passports. Passengers are also required to complete incoming passenger cards.

Give us Americans an immigration procedure such as Australia's and I'll gladly give up my gun. Until then, I'll hold on to mine, just in case there may be another Boston Marathon bomber lurking.

Ed Liberatore

Turtle Creek

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