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Response to beevul (Original post)

Wed Sep 2, 2015, 02:16 AM

11. Regarding Australia...

Australia's next-door-neighbor, New Zealand, didn't ban guns and has a somewhat lower homicide rate than Australia, no? (0.9/100K vs. 1.1/100K, though Australia's fluctuates in the low to high 1's/100K year to year). If Australia counts homicides the same way the Brits do (on convictions, yes?), then the rate would also be increased slightly if counted as the U.S. counts them, though for all I know Ausstralia counts homicides the same way we do. A number of U.S. states do have homicide rates similar to Australia (Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Idaho, Maine, Hawaii are in the same 1.0 to 1.9 murders per 100K that Australia tends to bounce around, and very few other states are as gun-friendly as Vermont); most U.S. murders are concentrated in dysfunctional urban cores with double-digit homicide rates per 100K, which Australia seems to lack. I also note that the overall U.S. suicide rate is slightly lower than that of Australia, despite the very poor state of mental health care in this country, and the fact that Americans work the longest hours with the least time off of any First World nation, last time I checked.

I do note that Australia's homicide rate appears to have remained a lot more constant before and after the ban than the U.S. media likes to acknowledge, with a much later decline that paralleled the decline in many other nations that *didn't* ban guns, including the USA (whose rate has declined 50% since 1991 or so, FWIW).



Australia's gun ban and confiscations went into effect 1995-1996. Note that the overall murder rate didn't move much; looking at the data, it appears Australia's murder rate has always been low, before and after the bans, just as it was in England. And the restrictions are never enough; the Australian gun control lobby, having confiscated all handguns and most rifles/shotguns, is now fighting to ban 1860's style lever-actions and is even going after some bolt-actions now in West Australia. Personally, I think the better takeway from Australia (and Europe in general) is to figure out how they managed to avoid dysfunctional urban cores like Chicago's and Baltimore's, because that is where the overwhelming majority of U.S. gun violence occurs.

Oh, and Australia *has* apparently had mass shootings since the confiscations went down, although they don't get a lot of media play, which is probably a good thing; we'd probably have fewer ourselves if our own media didn't insist on portraying mass shooters as celebrity antiheroes.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/10/21/1034561430158.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Hectorville_siege
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2906200/Farmer-DID-shoot-three-children-wife-years-immense-stress-recovery-brain-injury-murder-suicide-shocked-quiet-community.html

Thing is, Australia didn't have many mass shootings in the decades before Port Arthur, either; they still don't, but they do have them. To claim that they were rampant in the decades prior, and vanished after, is probably misleading.

Also, a lot of people who praise the "Australian model" in the abstract don't realize just how extreme Australia's laws are compared to the rest of the Western world (even England, where Brits can own semiautomatic shotguns with unlimited capacity, never mind continental Europe where handguns and "assault weapons" are legal, or New Zealand), and don't think through the surveillance and police actions that would be required to implement Australia-style confiscations in the United States. You'd be looking at confiscating 140 to 200 million guns and a third of a billion magazines from more than sixty million citizens (outnumbering the police perhaps 100:1), which would make the War On Drugs look like merely a warmup. Of course, what would actually happen in *this* country would be that most law enforcement would simply refuse to enforce such a ban against their fellow citizens, as we saw with the recent magazine ban in Colorado and with the ridiculous new restrictions in New York state. So the effect would be simply to drive the legitimate gun market underground, where it would be less regulated.

The other interesting thing about Prohibition is that it tends to push the market toward trafficking in harder, more profitable goods, just like the Volstead Act pushed alcohol consumption toward distilled liquors instead of beer and wine, and the War on Drugs pushed drug consumption away from cannabis and such and toward cocaine, meth, and heroin. Looks like Prohibition in Australia is starting to move the firearm black market toward more profitable automatic weapons.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/jeweller-angelos-koots-admits-to-making-submachine-guns-at-his-seven-hills-home-and-supplying-them-to-bikie-groups/story-fni0cx12-1226760983916

I'll bet he isn't the only one. Submachineguns are conceptually a whole lot simpler to manufacture than closed-bolt semiautos are.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=175220

Here's the thing: Australia can make whatever laws it wants. I may think those laws are ineffective, counterproductive, or unjust, but I don't have to live there, and I certainly don't frequent Australian political forums trying to get them to legalize UK- or US-legal guns. I *do* have to live in the USA, though, and since the 2ndA is an integral part of the very charter that created my government in the first place (recall that the Bill of Rights was a condition of ratification), it's not going anywhere. Prohibitionists can daydream about confiscating 75% of guns in the USA a la Australia, but it is not going to happen, and pretending otherwise doesn't do their movement any good.

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