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Whether you are pro or anti gun this is shocking....

Australian Gun Law Update
Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts....From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,

Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent,

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria.....alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. (Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in 'successfully ridding Australian society of guns....' You won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.

The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note Americans, before it's too late!
We all know, of course, that reports like this will have no effect on the actions of our legislators. They are, by in large, unable to learn from the mistakes of others. They are much more concerned about the monumental problems of gays marrying, women's abortion rights (or lack thereof), ensuring that big banks, auto companies, and other mega corporations are properly subsidized with federal funds that should be going to social security, eleviating homelessness, etc.
Okay, enough rant. Looking forward to the increase in reports of armed criminal activities here.
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And here's the link to official government homicide figures that provesdisproves the figures above: http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/weapon.html

As an Australian, I looked at what was written above with disbelief and had to check the figures. I wasn't surprised to find that while the numbers may have been accurate for an instant in time (I also noted that there's no references in that report, so they may never have been accurate), the overall trend is completely different to what's implied.

Further investigation found the above 'letter' on Snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp

I'll let the reader review the Snopes article for completeness, but since I live in Victoria, the article states that the 300% increase in homocides in Victoria was incorrect. It should be 171%. Still sounds great until you realise that out of a population of 4.5 million, that was an increase from 7 firearm-related homocides to 19. That is, an increase of 12 in a population of 4,500,000 people. Is that really significant?

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The 'criminals will still have their guns and wreck havoc on an unarmed population' argument has of course been a mainstay of the gun lobby. There may be some truth in it. Who knows? What would the the overall effect of such a law, good or bad? Who knows? Do we have a problem now with all the guns in the hands of so many people? Yes.

Perhaps one consideration to be discussed while advocating disarming our population would be to toughen the laws for criminals who maintain their guns and use them in crimes. Right now there are added penalties for doing that, but certainly those penalties could be made onerous.

I would think some debates on how best to implement a law to disarm Americans would make sense. We don't want to see an increase in gun violence concomitant with fewer guns extant. But rather than say, because of this, let's not get rid of guns, let's talk about the best way not to have this kind of problem.

C

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One thing I've said before but I'll repeat here: I don't believe the Australian solution will work in the USA.

Australia has a very different gun-culture to the USA. To start with, most gun-related crimes are within the criminal community. That is, criminals tend to use guns each other and not on the general population. I believe this is partly because gun-crime has always been at low levels so any gun-related crime attracts a lot of police and media attention. The amount of resources thrown at someone who has commited a gun-related crime against the general population is very high. Criminals know that and generally avoid trying to bring that sort of attention to themselves.

That's not the case in the USA where gun-related crime appears (from this side of the world) to be part of the society. While it's frowned upon, it's not a big news item if someone uses a gun to rob someone. Even firing a gun often doesn't make the news unless there's something special about the case.

Also, as stated in the Snopes article, there's never been a high gun-ownership in Australia. I know people who own guns (my brother-in-law is a farmer, and a former neighbour was a keen hunter), but even they don't carry guns with them most of the time. Guns are used for a purpose: usually recreation or work. They're generally not used for defense.

Again, that's very different to the USA where guns are much more common.

In short, the USA has a unique culture (at least to me: I think some middle-eastern cultures may have a similar attitude to guns) and as such any solution to gun-crime will need a unique culture-specific solution. Don't look to Australia for how to solve any perceived problem. Our situation is too different and our solution isn't yours.

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When you sort things out, there are really two categories of gun violence in the U.S. The first, and most publicized, is the random violence done by a disturbed (usually) boy or man in a school or other public place -- for example, Columbine, Newtown, Roseburg. The other, much larger, and much less publicized violence is in the inner, large cities -- 30-plus victims a month, for example, in one city alone: Baltimore -- by criminals and criminal gangs. The politicians and public rail about the former, which they can do little about, and ignore the larger problem.

The reason that we can do little about the violence of the disturbed person is because of two aspects of American society. First, of course, is the Second Amendment, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. The chances of changing the Second Amendment are nil. Second, is civil liberty. According to Charles Krauthammer, who was a practicing psychiatrist, approximately 1 percent of the population -- over 3 million people -- has schizophrenia. As a society, we have elected not to incarcerate the mentally disturbed in almost all instances, something I support on civil-liberties grounds. The Frances Farmer case against involuntary commitment changed society's ability to lock people up. We cannot incarcerate 3 million people on the chance that a few of them will go over the edge into a killing spree. Furthermore, we have no sure way of identifying those who will go on such sprees, except after the fact. We don't know how to sort the truly dangerous people from those who simply make dangerous-sounding statements.

Between the Second Amendment and the civil liberties of persons, I think we are forced to accept the occasional Roseburg or Columbine.

What we need to work on is the, probably, 95 percent of the shootings that occur in inner cities. Although gun violence has gone down substantially in the past few decades, there is still too much. And, I submit that we seem on the cusp of going the wrong direction in the future: the $15 minimum wage's effect is anti-black and will lead to higher unemployment among young African Americans; the attacks on the police are inhibiting them from doing a very necessary job; the resistance to school reform -- particularly charter schools and vouchers -- and the perpetration of costly, sclerotic inner-city schools -- Washington, D.C., spends nearly $30,000 per year per student -- gives the poor little chance to escape; the assignment of blame to Asian and White privilege is not constructive (oops, I didn't mean to say 'Asian', except I did); and, finally, the African-American population in the long-term Democratic cities should look closely at how well they are being served by the party that has watched over them for, in some cases, up to 50 years.

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Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The framers of the Constitution saw this as the solution to foreign armies invading the country in the early years of the nation. Within several decades of establishing this law the country had a standing army which pretty much relegated the militia to a secondary role.

State by state, the militia was used to ward off attacks by the displaced Native Americans until after the Civil War when a larger Federal military was available to secure the borders. But by then the militia concept was well ingrained in American society.

At the time the constitution was written the "Arms" in widespread use were single shot muzzle loading black powder muskets and pistols. Nowhere in the wildest dreams of our forefathers did anyone conceive of the modern arms we have today.

The first multi-shot weapons were developed for military use. Although there were some early singularly made revolving pistols available in Europe, the widespread manufacture of self-contained bullets and revolver style arms were military issue during the Civil War.

In current terms, there is little difference between military and civilian arms as gun manufacturers churned out millions of weapons for the wars of the last century and this one. Surplus military weapons immediately found their way into the civilian market with very few limitations.

I seriously doubt that Madison and Jefferson, both involved in writing this Amendment, had any idea that future development of "Arms" would create such chaos due to their simple little law. Neither could conceive of an AK-47 or an AR-15, perhaps they would have been appalled, or at least changed the wording of the law.

I do ponder the current Supreme Court, and those past, where the justices claim to be strict in their interpretation of the Constitution. Laws are meant to evolve to reflect the changes in society and so not adapting the Amendments to reflect new, and perhaps dangerous, trends is an absurdity. The Second Amendment is a dinosaur as it stands and so perhaps is our sense of democracy.

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For those of us who can't read Chris's post above, in my browser I can select the text and then copy and paste it - and here it is:

++++++++++++++++

Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The framers of the Constitution saw this as the solution to foreign armies invading the country in the early years of the nation. Within several decades of establishing this law the country had a standing army which pretty much relegated the militia to a secondary role.

State by state, the militia was used to ward off attacks by the displaced Native Americans until after the Civil War when a larger Federal military was available to secure the borders. But by then the militia concept was well ingrained in American society.

At the time the constitution was written the "Arms" in widespread use were single shot muzzle loading black powder muskets and pistols. Nowhere in the wildest dreams of our forefathers did anyone conceive of the modern arms we have today.

The first multi-shot weapons were developed for military use. Although there were some early singularly made revolving pistols available in Europe, the widespread manufacture of self-contained bullets and revolver style arms were military issue during the Civil War.

In current terms, there is little difference between military and civilian arms as gun manufacturers churned out millions of weapons for the wars of the last century and this one. Surplus military weapons immediately found their way into the civilian market with very few limitations.

I seriously doubt that Madison and Jefferson, both involved in writing this Amendment, had any idea that future development of "Arms" would create such chaos due to their simple little law. Neither could conceive of an AK-47 or an AR-15, perhaps they would have been appalled, or at least changed the wording of the law.

I do ponder the current Supreme Court, and those past, where the justices claim to be strict in their interpretation of the Constitution. Laws are meant to evolve to reflect the changes in society and so not adapting the Amendments to reflect new, and perhaps dangerous, trends is an absurdity. The Second Amendment is a dinosaur as it stands and so perhaps is our sense of democracy.

+++++++++++++++

My own contribution to this debate? Well, here in the UK we look in concern and puzzlement at the US and its gun laws.

Regarding the argument that if you take guns off law-abiding citizens you leave the criminals as the only gun owners and free to rampage unchallenged - well, I wonder how those criminals got their guns? Presumably guns get into the criminal marketplace through a mixture of channels. If it's legal to buy them in Wal-Mart or wherever, I guess criminals can get them in the same way that honest citizens do. But what happens when they're not available freely? Then I guess the criminals do what criminals do - they steal them (or they know someone else who will steal them to order). But if the honest citizenry don't have guns to be stolen, eventually the criminal population will run out of guns as little by little these guns are taken out of circulation in police raids, arrests etc. So it won't happen immediately, in Australia or anywhere else, but inevitably if you reduce the number of guns out there enough, and for long enough, then gun crime will reduce.

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When I click into the 'Reply to this topic' box, as I've just done to type this, I get two toolbars above the text area. About half way along the upper one of these is a text colour icon (looks like a capital A with a Rubik's Cube in front of its lower right corner). If I click that and choose 'Automatic' from the palette that appears, then the text I type into the box will be appropriately coloured on all browsers and whatever skin you might have applied to the AD Forums site. At least I think that should work. There may even be a way to default that setting but you'd need to be clever to know about that - so I don't know.

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I've just edited Chris's post and done what Bruin has suggested: selected all the text and then used the icon on the toolbar (the one to the right of the "Size" drop down list) to select "Automatic" for the color. It's now readable.

Somehow, Chris's default text color has been set to the same as the background color, making it more challenging to read.... Hopefully, if he resets it to "Automatic" it'll remember it for the future. :smile:

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I'm forever frustrated by such "urgent" postings as this.

Just for the record, has anybody looked into the viability of "Mr. Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia"??? A valid claimant would more likely include department, badge number, contact information, etc. You know - the kind of stuff REAL cops do.

Seems that long before US Lawmakers spend much of their time taking note of this they should know whether the person is real, accurate, sane, etc. Then they could perhaps give a look at his purported facts and see whether they have any association whatsoever with conditions in the US.

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First, I'd like to make a note that I NEVER indicated this was an 'urgent' posting. I posted this as a means to open a dialogue on the subject. Seems to have worked. Got your attention. So let us discuss the subject of gun control instead of criticizing me for how I started the conversation.

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If we're taking a vote, I'm for more rigorous gun control. The ease with which mentally unstable people are able to get guns is a major problem. I think we should be able to write laws that reduce gun availability that would satisfy almost everyone. And maybe those who'll never be satisfied are some of the one we need to worry about.

C

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Many believe that the reason we don't have more rigorous gun control is because of the National Rifle Association. Here is a group comprised of some 4 million members (they keep the total membership a secret) with a considerable amount of political power. The US has 320 million people and there are more gay people in the country than in the NRA.

There are many in the current political system who support the NRA, probably because of contributions that get them elected. Until the politics change we are stuck in this rut.

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I seriously doubt that we can devise laws that will stop either 1) the mentally disturbed person who walks into a school and starts shooting or 2) gun violence in inner cities, where the vast majority of shooting deaths occur. Chicago has some of the most strict gun-control laws on the books and it has one of the highest shooting-death rates in the country. The mentally disturbed usually can pass a background check because there is no effective way to identify them as mentally disturbed and a danger to others, as witnessed by the Connecticut and Roseburg shootings, unless they have been committed somehow, which is a long, involved process fraught with serious civil-rights issues. Of, say, 3 million people, who can find the dozen or so that are really a danger.

As far as background checks are concerned, no felon or convicted person is even going to go to a gun retailer or gun show; he'll simply buy the gun on the street or privately -- or steal one. Even stricter background checks (that likely won't be enforced) aren't going to stop the inner-city violence, even if they were enforced.

I don't think a bunch of feel-good laws will have any major impact. It is the culture that needs to be changed.

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  • 1 month later...
Whether you are pro or anti gun this is shocking....

Australian Gun Law Update

Here's a thought to warm some of your hearts....From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi Yanks, I thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.

The first year results are now in:

Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,

Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent,

Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria.....alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. (Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in 'successfully ridding Australian society of guns....' You won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.

The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note Americans, before it's too late!

We all know, of course, that reports like this will have no effect on the actions of our legislators. They are, by in large, unable to learn from the mistakes of others. They are much more concerned about the monumental problems of gays marrying, women's abortion rights (or lack thereof), ensuring that big banks, auto companies, and other mega corporations are properly subsidized with federal funds that should be going to social security, eleviating homelessness, etc.
Okay, enough rant. Looking forward to the increase in reports of armed criminal activities here.

Let me preface this by saying that I have no desire to own a gun and will probably never seek to own one. However I think I understand why the right to bear arms was written into the constitution and I support it.

The right to bear arms is the people's check against the government should it ever become abusive.

In England and more specifically France who had a parallel revolution around the same time, outlawed gun ownership was to guard against insurrection and protect corrupt aristocracy.

Insurrection is the people's remedy for the purpose of removing a bad government. Today, government has insurmountable power but it is even more of a reason to cling to the 2nd amendment even if it is only symbolic.

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