26 August 2013

Australia's experience with giving up guns

Recently a young Australian athlete "was shot in the back... as he jogged alongside a road in Oklahoma. One of the three teenagers who, according to police, left him to die in a drainage ditch said: “We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”
Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer warned Australians to “think twice” before traveling to the United States because you are “15 times more likely to be shot dead.”

In 1996, after a gunman killed 35 people and wounded 18 others in Port Arthur, a former penal colony turned tourist attraction, Australians collectively decided not to follow what then-Prime Minister John Howard called “the American way” on guns.

Just 12 days after the massacre, Howard, a conservative, announced that he had convinced Australia’s states to ban automatic and semiautomatic weapons and instigated a gun buyback for high-powered and rapid-fire rifles. A uniform system for registering and licensing firearms was introduced.

A third of the guns in Australia were handed in to the government. Polls found that as much as 90 percent of the public approved of the stricter gun laws.

There had been 11 gun massacres in the decade preceding 1996, but there have been no mass shootings since. This is a source of national pride, though statisticians still argue about what caused the change...

Philip Alpers, an adjunct associate professor at the Sydney School of Public Health and a specialist in firearm injury prevention, has documented that after the laws were changed, the risk of an Australian being killed by a gun fell by more than 50 percent. Australia’s gun homicide rate, 0.13 per 100,000 people, according to GunPolicy.org, is a tiny fraction of that of the United States (3.6 per 100,000 people). It should be noted that our gun homicide rates were already in decline, but the gun laws accelerated that slide.

In a 2010 paper, economists Andrew Leigh and Christine Neill found that the law change had led to a 65 percent decline in the rate of firearm suicides. Firearm homicides fell by 59 percent.

70 comments:

  1. Of course nothing is ever wrong if WE do it, only if THEY do it...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The way the statistics are presented give cause for concern that the issue is not being treated objectively.

    Here's a thought experiment for you: Suppose there were, on the road, just two brands of car, and the two brands each had, let's say, half the market share. Let's say that brand A is safer than brand B. Suppose, then, that brand A, the safer brand were made illegal, so that lawful drivers replaced their brand A car with brand B. Only crooks would retain brand A.

    Would highway fatalities go up? Of course.
    Would "brand A fatalities" go down? Of course. But so what, if overall fatalities went up?

    This thought is not an attempt to argue that citizens carrying guns is or is not safer than having them be outlawed. It is an attempt to show that "gun death" statistics are necessarily incomplete, and ought not to be used to make informed decisions.

    Anytime someone presents statistics about "gun deaths," "gun crime," or "gun suicides", you might want to ask yourself why they are focusing on that number, and not on "overall deaths," "overall crime," "overall suicide," etc. It might be that the overall numbers don't support their assertion. Or it might be that they're being sloppy. In any case, accept no substitute for the whole truth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wayne, I don't understand your logic. If guns were theoretically banned in a country and gun deaths therefore went down but deaths from diabetes and skiing accidents went up (because total deaths always have to total 100%), then you would conclude... what?

      Delete
    2. You would conclude nothing.

      But suppose, instead of deaths by diabetes and skiing accidents, you were to contrast gun deaths with deaths by violent crime. If you found that violent crime deaths went up, you might conclude that prohibiting the use of guns in self defense has caused more deaths by violent crime. Or you might not. My point, though, isn't about what specific statistics you might need to draw such a conclusion. My point is that "gun deaths" alone is never enough information to know whether prohibiting guns has had a positive effect upon health and safety.

      Delete
  3. What puzzles me most is that people seem to think the goal is to reduce gun-related homicide. Much of the major media cites graphs and charts showing a reduction in gun-related homicide, but fail to report that the actual rate of homicide has remained largely unchanged from projections predating the ban.

    http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/aic/research/homicide/homiciderate2.png
    http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/weapon.html

    Personally, if I am to be murdered, I'm not going to be more incensed if I am shot rather than killed in some other fashion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is anyone really surprised that people will go to pointy objects if guns are unavailable?

      Tell ya what Barnabas- here's a "thought experiment" (favored by some)- I'll take my chances with a knife from thirty, forty feet and you can try your luck with the fully automatic of their choosing.

      Delete
    2. That so-called thought experiment works perfectly, since criminals are generally known to comply with laws. Ban firearms, and they will adhere to using knives only.

      Delete
    3. Funny, not one person here has advocated "banning firearms." Not one. Unfortunately, this is typical of the paranoid mindset so often seen in gun proponent land.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If the goal is to simply lower the number of deaths by firearms, then banning firearms should be a very effective way to reach that goal. We could also lower automobile accidents by banning cars in a similarly effective way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A worthless, duplicitous analogy- if it can even be called such.

      If we simply outlawed automatic weapons in this country (notice I'm not saying a COMPLETE gun ban)- how many hunters, how many target shooters and yes, how many people who use a firearm for home protection would be inconvenienced? On the other hand, how many gun massacres could we prevent each and every year? Children's lives saved each and every year!

      Delete
    2. Automatic weapons are already regulated to the point where private ownership is so onerous that they are effectively illegal for your everyday criminal.

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately, semi-automatics can be easily converted, and high capacity magazines- still legal.

      Delete
    4. Not really. Converting a semi-automatic rifle to fully automatic requires a great deal of machining and gunsmithing expertise, and is also highly illegal.

      Besides, semi-automatic weapons aren't some niche product; they're the most common type of firearm in the country. A ban on semi-automatic rifles would never be accepted by the public.

      Delete
    5. Highly illegal, yes. But I've seen way too many videos and declarations (from gun owners themselves) on just how easy it is to convert to full auto with a little kit sold under the counter at numerous gun shows.

      Delete
    6. Okay.

      How do you convert an AR-15, the most commonly owned type of semi-automatic rifle in the country, from semi-automatic to fully automatic?

      Delete
    7. Not quite fully auto- but "good enough to attract a crowd at a firing range."

      http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-rifles-shotgun-discussion/124660-convert-your-ar-15-full-auto-legally.html

      PS- Didn't even have to type it all out on Google search...

      Delete
    8. Not at all full auto. You can't even aim the weapon while using it.

      It's a piece of junk. Still, if you get the chance to try one at a firing range, tell me how many times you hit the target.

      Delete
    9. PS- Here's a couple of how to videos:

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/how-make-your-gun-shoot-fully-automatic-one-easy-step

      And there's also step by step instructions in how to convert your AK to full auto with... a twist tie! You can look that one up on your own- and you'll have to experiment with different kinds of ammo (I guess ya know that better than I). No twist ties, no worries- plenty of other ways...

      Delete
    10. Anon- Come on now... a couple of banana clips in a crowd!!! Whaddaya gotta aim at???

      Delete
    11. I would suggest you fire an actual rifle instead of learning everything you know about guns from TV.

      Delete
    12. I'm sorry did all those massacres in schools, movie theaters and shopping malls with high velocity, military style weapons happen in real life, or on TV first?

      Delete
  6. i'm going to posit that the real problem with gun violence in america is our violent culture and not the actual guns.

    that being said, people in a violent culture will inevitably choose the most efficient tools to carry out their violence. granted, fewer people will die in machete killings because it's just really hard to get a high volume rapid fire machete, but until cultural violence is addressed, making guns unavailable would only result in a rise in machete slayings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And by your very own argument- fewer people would die without guns simply because "it's just really hard to get a high volume rapid fire machete."

      Delete
  7. Between 2005 and 2012, gun murders across Australia almost doubled, while the incidence of guns used in kidnappings trebled. There have been 39 people shot in Sydney so far this year, most linked to rival motorcycle gangs.

    http://tinyurl.com/kyfxfz3

    ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interestingly, you somehow left out the last part of that article:

      "...homicide rates in Australia are still low – only 1.2 per 100,000 people, with less than 15 percent of these resulting from firearms. In the United States the rate is 5 per 100,000 people with the majority involving guns."

      Delete
    2. I would have posted the entire article but I figured you could read the rest of the article for yourself...and you did.

      Glad to see you noticed the difference in the homicide rates in the comparison you quoted.

      I hear it is even worse in Mexico where private ownership of firearms has been restricted for years...22 per 100,000 homicide rate.

      Delete
    3. And ya know exactly where those arms are pouring in from...

      Delete
    4. Mostly from South America or obtained illegally through the Mexican military:

      http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110209-mexicos-gun-supply-and-90-percent-myth

      Delete
    5. Anonymous- I'm glad you agree that no matter where they are from, this torrent of guns has made Mexico considerably more dangerous- not less.

      Delete
    6. I would say it's the prevalence of drug cartels, myself...

      Delete
    7. I would say it's the prevalence of armed drug cartels, myself..

      Delete
    8. Undeniably a lot have come from the US, some supplied by our own BATF in their various failed sting operations.
      As the stratfor article above and many others point out that many if not most do not come from the US. Full auto weapons are very expensive in the US, hand grenades are not available to the public along with a whole line of weapons that the cartels use. When you have a corrupt military and nearby countries like Guatemala weapons of war (real ones) are easy to find.
      This is the same thing they are seeing in Australia to a different extent, they are smuggled into the country, off the books and used in criminal activity. Criminals will always find weapons...no matter what you do to stop it including disarming innocent law abiding civilians.

      Delete
    9. Stan, that's like saying fat people are fat because they have spoons.

      Delete
    10. Again- not one person here has advocated banning all firearms. Not one...

      But to equate sensible firearm regulation(eg- banning military style weapons that can be converted to near and full auto, along with high capacity magazines, and requiring mandatory registration and gun safety classes) with, "They're trying to take all our guns away," is paranoid, delusional, and preposterous to say the absolute very least.

      Delete
    11. Statistically speaking, how is banning the most popular, yet least deadly, rifle in the country sensible?

      You are aware that long rifles account for only about 3-5% of all violent gun deaths, right? That's all rifles, not just the ones with the scary looking bits on them.

      Delete
    12. Anon- Your logic is still off. Everyone has spoons, but not everyone is fat. No comparison to people who have and don't have guns.

      Delete
    13. "Everyone has spoons, but not everyone is fat."

      The logic is fine. Millions in the US have guns. We do not suffer millions of mass shootings. The rate of rifle ownership is higher in Switzerland than in Mexico, and their rate of violent gun crime is less than ours.

      Delete
    14. Anon- Since you cherry picked only one of my recommendations, I'll address it- you are also aware that these very popular rifles are the preferred weapons of choice for lunatics everywhere who wanna go out in a blaze of so called glory.

      That may be 3-5% points (I'll take your stats for argument's sake) but (in real life- something we seem to forget in these arguments) it translates to hundreds of human lives, many of them children.

      Delete
    15. They certainly weren't the preferred weapons at Virginia Tech, or Columbine. Besides, despite what the scary person on TV tells you, mass shootings are so rare that those deaths are statistically irrelevant. They certainly pad time for 24-hour news coverage, though.

      As to your second point, you just restate my statistics in a different metric while appealing to emotion. Meaningless.

      Besides, you could save way more kids by banning inflatable pools than by banning AR-15s.

      Delete
    16. "I'm glad you agree that no matter where they are from, this torrent of guns has made Mexico considerably more dangerous- not less."

      The presence of drug cartels and drug money has made Mexico a dangerous place. We have many more guns in the US but a lot lower rate of firearm violence. If your theory is correct we should see a higher rate of volence here than in Mexico. Remember there are law abiding citizens in Mexico that do own legal firearms but they are not the ones that cause the criminal acts and they are not the ones importing firearms and weapons of war illegally. The cartels and the criminals are the ones that are causing the violence and they would do so no matter what. They have enough money they could easily build thier own factories for their own weapons if they were no obtainadable through other channels.
      It is the criminals that cause the violence not the law abiding citizens, firearms just happen to be the tools of their trade.


      Delete
    17. What is a "near automatic" weapon? What are "military style" weapons? Are those the ones that you are interested in having mandatory registrations for?

      Both of those statement describe my deer hunting rifle...and that is why registration and bans based on hyperbole are generally scary to those of us that know the facts...

      Delete
    18. Yes, translating numbers and statistics into what they really stand for (in this case human lives) is... "meaningless."

      Reminds me of all the grade B sci-fi movies where they argue about how we differentiate human beings from cold, unfeeling, analytical machines- I'm sorry, am I appealing to emotion again? How very human of me.

      Meanwhile, since you haven't mentioned it- I guess you do agree that mandatory gun registration and safety classes are, in fact... wise. Or would banning inflatable pools cover this area as well?

      Delete
    19. Cliff- "near" automatic would constitute the "almost" automatic conversions (see video links above) of semi-automatic (are you ready for it Cliff) assault rifles.

      I understand the need to be exact here, so thanks for keeping someone not that familiar with the jargon honest. And since we're keeping things honest- for the Third time, I've never advocated a complete ban on guns. Perhaps you can tell me why hunters now need assault weapons to down a deer, why do hunters or target shooters need high capacity magazines, why does anyone need armor piercing bullets, what is wrong with mandatory gun registration with a waiting period and mandatory safety classes.

      Perhaps, if we had a little more sanity in our gun legislation, Americans would behave a bit more sensibly and responsibly with their firearms... kinda like the Swiss.

      Delete
  8. I came here to argue a couple of points, but Wayne Conrad and Barnabas have already done so very effectively.

    ReplyDelete
  9. California gun laws are among the most restrictive in the U.S. and yet we have plenty of violent crimes. In any large city (take your pick) you could make a good bet at seeing between 60 and 100 gun homicides in a year. Some cities see more.

    If you look at our statistics on gun sales (Dealer's Records of Sales data archived by the state AG's office) and the rate of violent crime statewide, it's fascinating to see that while the overall violent crime rate has generally trended downward (slowly) over the past twenty years, the rate of gun sales has kinda done the opposite (last year being the most sales on record by 175,000 guns more than the previous high).

    One conclusion that you could draw from this is that more guns means less crime. Another is that many of the guns purchased in California end up out of state. Or that they are purchased but not used. Or that you can't correlate the two figures with any real cause. But I think that it can be safely implied that more guns do not cause more crime, and because of that, I also feel pretty confident saying that reducing the number of guns in private hands would not reduce the incidence of violent crimes.

    I'm no statistician, though, and California is not Australia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rural areas and mid sized towns/cities have more gun violence per capita than urban areas. They also have looser gun laws. Looser gun laws and more gun laws absolutely DO = more gun violence. Case closed.

      Delete
  10. US tacitly allowed Iraq's use of chemical weapons: 0 comments
    Australia bans guns (no discussion of US bans or strictures): 46 comments

    Guess it depends on your trigger, so to speak.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's to say? 50 replies of "that's terrible!"?

      Delete
  11. Stan B. Asks "Perhaps you can tell me why hunters now need assault weapons to down a deer, why do hunters or target shooters need high capacity magazines, why does anyone need armor piercing bullets"

    The SKS is a very popular deer rifle. It's cheap, the ammunition is cheap, it's effective, and it's legal. It is also an "assault" weapon. (I still don't understand the lib's terminology. I mean, I've never known a gun you CAN'T use to assault someone).

    Why do hunters need high capacity mags? It is illegal to use them while hunting, (that is another problem), but being a gun owner has absolutely nothing to do with hunting.

    And armor piercing bullets... That's really rich. Where do you buy those? A movie set? Because that's the only place I've seen them.
    Perhaps you're referring to Full Metal Jacket, as opposed to Hollow points?

    Perhaps you're confused by the fact that ANY rifle round will penetrate a standard issue Level 3A police vest?

    Stan B. also asks how many massacres we could prevent by banning automatic weapons. The answer would be NONE. There have been no massacres by automatic firearms in this country.

    Now remove statistics from Chicago, Detroit and Baton Rouge.
    Also remove statistics from criminals who cannot legally own a gun, who still use them in crime.

    Now look at the Firearm Crime statistics of this nation.

    The problem is not and never has been the gun. It's the people who illegally obtain and use them; And a ban on any type of gun will make it illegal to obtain, which changes what exactly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon- You're right! The question should be- why does any CIVILIAN (not just hunters) need high capacity magazines? Could someone please, please, please answer that? What is the need, the justification, the excuse???

      As for massacres involving automatic weapons, while not in the majority- but they are clearly evident:

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map


      "The problem is not and never has been the gun. It's the people who illegally obtain and use them..." -Anon

      You may be interested to learn that of all the shooting massacres listed in the above article in the US of A--- of the 143 guns possessed by the killers, More Than Three Quarters Were Obtained Legally!

      Delete
    2. Multiple assailants, the fact that such magazines are standard for the majority of weapons sold in the country, the fact that if cops can carry them, the people should too, the fact that ours is a Bill of Rights as opposed to a bill of needs, and the simple truth that if I want something which I have a fundamental right to possess, I should be able to have it.

      Besides, if need is the metric by which we determine our rights, there are loads of unnecessary things that we can ban that would save WAY more lives than standard capacity magazines. Care to justify why you should be able to buy alcohol when it causes so many thousands of deaths every year?

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    4. Deleted because the comment was mostly ad hominem.

      Delete
  12. My apologies, Stan- let's try it again... The reason that high capacity magazines are needed (according to Anon- whoever he may be) is to quash the recent rash of attacks by "multiple assailants." Or the very fact that someday, somewhere, somehow they may per chance happen and people just have to be ready! In other words, the rationalization is based on personal, paranoid fantasy.

    The reason we need them is because we should be should able to do anything that cops can do, or the military can do, or an action hero can do on the movie screen.

    What this finally, clearly exposes, despite all the smoke and mirror statistics, all The Bill of Rights exhortations- when it comes right down to it, the reason gun proponents don't want any kind of sane, sensible firearm regulation is because it infringes on certain paranoid, macho machinations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_lapidem

      Delete
  13. Links are nice, but it furthers one's argument when you apply them in a coherent, rational rebuttal.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Stan B. -

    If you're going to simply cast aspersions on others, essentially painting all gun owners who are concerned that their rights might be infringed with the brush of "paranoid, macho machinations," does that give me the right to call you names, too? I could start with a simple one - hoplophobe.

    At any rate, all your hyperbole and vitriol aside, the basic fact is that people are the tool users, so if you want to get rid of gun violence, you could get rid of guns (which we could argue about whether it's really possible until the cows come home), but you'll still have violence. What you will have instead will be more violence against those who can't sufficiently defend themselves. For every robbery committed with a gun, there are manifold more that are stopped by a gun. For every murder committed with a gun, there are manifold more that are stopped by a gun. For every home invasion, kidnapping, rape - pick your poison - there are manifold more stopped by a gun. In many of those cases, the gun is merely presented and that ends the confrontation.

    Why, after all, do countries that have limitations or bans on gun ownership still have gun crime? You take away the ability to project force from those who are not physically strong, and you take away their best tool for defense.

    Good idea, let's make it harder for a young woman to defend herself from a large male intent on raping her. What do you suggest instead? A whistle, for chrissakes? Please tell me how that will end. Worst case, she's raped after she fills the whistle with blood from being beaten or stabbed in the process of resisting. Or are you the type that subscribes to the whole, "let it happen and recover later" school of thought?

    If you have such issues with the tiny fraction of illegal uses of guns, by all means, you should move to a place where they don't value the individual's rights and choices on how to protect themselves, and leave the dangerous stuff to those who have the wits to make our own choices and accept the consequences of those choices. Here in Reality World, the legal, positive uses for guns so vastly outstrips the bad that it's laughable that we even have these arguments.

    People that gripe and moan about guns being bad are more culpable for heinous and atrocious acts committed by bad people than any hundred or thousand law abiding gun owners ever could be. You really ought to be ashamed of yourselves for the callous nature of your empty arguments. It is sickening, just sickening to have to listen to the garbage that you spew about things about which you know nothing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nathan- Apparently you didn't read (for whatever reason) the three times (3X) that I said I have no problem with people having firearms for hunting, target shooting and home protection. And at this point... I could say it five billion times and no one would notice because ANYONE who dares say that we should have sane and sensible legislation when it comes to firearms is immediately cast as... an hoplophobe.

      You accuse me of hyperbole, and yet- your entire response is filled with your own personal list of how guns have saved mankind over and over again without even the slightest attempt to back up anything you promote (and expect anyone to believe) as fact.

      My gun terminology may not be up to snuff, but I at least try to stick to the facts. And yes, facts (not emotion) are the only way to advance this "conversation." Agreed. Over three quarters of the guns involved in shooting massacres are legally bought. Fact. Most of the guns used in "everyday" crime are gotten illegally- fact.

      "Guns are not the problem, it's the criminals who use them."

      It's a great slogan, it's also a half truth. If gun proponents were totally honest they would complete the sentence and say, "Guns are not the problem, it's the criminals who use them because of laws that make it so easy for them to obtain them." In some states, straw men can purchase their guns in the AM and sell them in the PM. Gun shows will sell whatever type and number of guns to practically anyone with no background check whatsoever- and that is insane. Is that hyperbole? No. Am I being emotional? Perhaps. It's also fact, and completely, 100% INSANE.

      And the NRA and its proponents want to keep those laws that enable criminals and murderers to get their guns so easily. You do see the twisted circle here- do you not? The NRA wants to keep the laws that make it so easy for criminals and murderers to get theirs, so that you get to complain about all the criminals with guns out there which therefore leaves you no choice but to buy more guns to protect yourself with from the "criminals." The bodies pile up as fast and as quick as the dollars for gun manufacturers and their friendly uncle at the NRA.

      So please, tell the whole truth, "Guns are not the problem, it's the criminals who use them- because of the laws that make it so easy for them to obtain them."

      Again, apologies for the ad hominem. I did kinda lose it when I asked for one sane reason as to why any citizen would need high capacity magazines- and the response (I kid you not) was for "multiple assailants." The man was actually backing up his argument with paranoid fantasy- that's hyperbole! Now if he had produced data showing how people throughout the land are being gunned down by "multiple assailants" and would still be alive today if only they had their high capacity magazines... I could have had a change of mind. Instead, I got delusional fantasy! BTW, stay away from the big ol' round ones (yeah, really gotta brush up on the terminology)- I hear they jam; don't want that when "multiple assailants" ring the doorbell.

      In closing, should I bother saying yet again that I have no problem with people having firearms for hunting, target shooting and home protection? No, guess not. But I do know that there are responsible, law abiding gun owners out there who have no problems with required waiting periods, background checks and safety classes.

      Delete
    2. Stan B, I wish you started off first with this:

      "In closing, should I bother saying yet again that I have no problem with people having firearms for hunting, target shooting and home protection? No, guess not. But I do know that there are responsible, law abiding gun owners out there who have no problems with required waiting periods, background checks and safety classes."

      Excellent. I agree with all of that.

      Delete
  15. Someone I know has recently become interested in firearms, possibly because one of his friends is a police officer. He expressed an interest in purchasing a thirty-round clip for his semi-automatic pistol. I responded that a)as a citizen I didn't understand why he wanted such a large clip when he only shot at a firing range and b)the extra-large clip would greatly affect his accuracy in using the weapon.

    His reply? It's just cool to have one.

    Need I say more?

    Okay, I will. You don't need an extra-large clip OR an automatic weapon to shoot deer. Deer are not like buffalo -- they will not just stand there and let you shoot dozens of them. Deer will take off in all directions when the first shot is fired. And deer do not generally travel in large herds, so you're not gonna get many chances to hit one. If you need an extra-large clip so that you can possibly hit one deer out of a dozen, at most, you need to practice aiming and shooting your gun more. You're admitting that you can't hit the broadside of a barn!

    Admit that the only reason you want an automatic weapon with a large clip only because you think it's cool and outlaw, not because you have any real need of the weapon. The deer still aren't shooting back at you, last time I looked. And they're not wearing armor either. You're just a guy who wants to look cool among his buddies who are equally dense.

    Meanwhile you're making it possible for any nut-case who suddenly decides to make a name for himself to legally purchase a weapon made for the express purpose of killing lots of human beings.

    Even back in the Old West in Wichita and Dodge City, KS, it was illegal to "carry heat" inside the city limits. People were smart enough then to realize that when the cowboys would get "liquored up" and had a disagreement, without guns, the number of homicides drastically fell, especially the number of innocent bystanders, women and children. Americans were smarter in the 1800s than they are now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Need I say more? Okay, I will. You don't need an extra-large clip OR an automatic weapon to shoot deer."

      The beautiful thing about freedom is it isn't necessary to demonstrate need in order to purchase something. I would guess that 99.99% of Americans own something that they technically don't need. I would expect that the majority of us own something that we purchased simply because it looks cool to us.

      I don't own a gun, but if someone purchases one mainly for the cool factor, I don't have a problem with it, provided that they operate it safely.

      Delete
  16. Wow. Poor Stan, all by yourself on the side of sanity. I'm with you. Just an anecdote from my youth: I had a .22 that I used for target shooting. My father decided that he should get something tangible for his expenditures for all those bullets, so he told me to go out by the gardens and fruit trees and kill animals plundering our produce. I did as he told me, aimed for a bird's neck in the apple tree, and the head went one way, the body another. I went in the house and put away the gun. Never shot a weapon again, because actually killing a living thing made me ill.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Outgunned, but undaunted...

    The first thing I thought of when I read your story was what a truly "Christian" response. Don't tell me you follow that cult that believes in loving their enemies and turning the other check!

    Man up, Barbwire- we worship the American Jesus in the USA! He who delights in revenge, and smites his enemies bloody at every opportunity possible...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Make that cheek...

      And thank you, Stan- for hosting and persevering through this open forum.

      Delete
    2. I'm actually getting rather tired of it, because every comment has to go through my mailbox.

      Hint, hint.

      Delete
  18. First, I would like to identify myself as an Australian. It helps, as the article is all about my people and nation.
    It is of no surprise to me that the majority of Australians want access to guns restricted. The vast, vast majority of us do not live on farms or stations, and we do not need firearms. As a recreational sport it has a small following. It is unfortunate that responsible gun owners and sports enthusiasts can be tarnished by the criminal use of firearms by armed gangs. Yet, the majority of Australians do not want to own or use a gun ever. Nor do they want their neighbour to have one.
    Perhaps this strikes you as weird from an American point of view. Frankly, it doesn't matter. It is our own cultural experience. We also have had mostly socialised medicine for decades.
    Yes, the sky has not fallen in, our lives have only improved.
    Gun crime is a problem. It is strongly linked to biker/drug gangs and organised crime. Almost every Australian wants guns out of the hands of such people. WE recognise that landholders and sports enthusiasts can and most often are responsible with firearms.
    To the everyday person here in Australia, it seems pretty obvious. Why the fuck would I want someone to have a gun who isn't a cop or soldier if they aren't on a farm or in a shooting range? That question has an obvious answer for most of us. We don't want the guns

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a fellow Australian, I agree completely (2 data points!)

      Some interesting points are raised in all the arguments above, but for me personally it all comes back to "Why does anyone need a gun?" Most answers to this question sound paranoid or depressing.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...