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Australia’s gun laws are the envy of Obama

I like this ‘Your Say’ section. I can have a say, basically, and keep it simple.

So keep this simple I will.

With some ultra Right-wing politicians calling for the relaxation of the guns laws which were introduced by John Howard after the Port Arthur massacre, it’s probably a good time to hear from the president of a country whose gun laws are the same as those few politicians – and some of our citizens, I assume – are calling for.

Australia’s strict gun laws are considered a role model for Obama, who presides over a country that arguably has more gun deaths than any other, and who has had the unenviable duty to deliver statements on gun violence 15 times. When’s the last time an Australian prime minister has had to do that?  Howard, 1996.

Anyway, this little snippet from an article in The New York Times, ‘How a Conservative-Led Australia Ended Mass Killings‘ is worth throwing out there:

In the continuing debate over how to stop mass killings in the United States, Australia has become a familiar touchstone.

President Obama has cited the country’s gun laws as a model for the United States, calling Australia a nation “like ours.” On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has said the Australian approach is “worth considering.” The National Rifle Association has dismissed the policies, contending that they “robbed Australians of their right to self-defense and empowered criminals” without reducing violent crime.

The oft-cited statistic in Australia is a simple one: There have been no mass killings — defined by experts there as a gunman killing five or more people besides himself — since the nation significantly tightened its gun control laws almost 20 years ago.

This was not the first occasion on which Obama praised our gun laws:

After the shooting at Umpqua Community College, a visibly angry President Obama pointedly noted the contrasting responses in the United States and its allies to gun violence.

“Other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings,” he said on Thursday. “Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”

And we have idiot politicians here who want our gun laws relaxed.

I shake my head in disbelief.

They need to speak to Obama.

33 comments

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  1. Margot

    The New York Times has published a front page editorial for the first time since 1920, calling for an end to the gun violence that continues to plague the country.
    New York Times publishes front page editorial calling for end to gun violence
    First time the paper has published an editorial on the front page since 1920
    More than 300 mass shootings in America in 2015, tracking website says
    More than 12,000 deaths due to gun violence
    The editorial, titled End the Gun Epidemic in America, described the fact that civilians can legally purchase high-powered assault weapons in the country a “moral outrage and a national disgrace”.
    “America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing,” the editorial said.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-05/new-york-times-publishes-front-page-editorial-on-gun-violence/7004628

  2. Rob

    Yes there has been no “mass” shooting since the new laws, in that regard they seem to have worked. However while the oft-touted factoid that “gun homicides have steadily fallen since 1996” is technically true, they were in fact already falling for over 10 years before that. The stricter laws had NO effect on “normal” firearm homicide rates.

    Australian gun laws are by and large about right IMO. The US certainly has a problem and I think it’s endemic and unfixable.

  3. Roswell

    Rob, a lot of counties have soft gun laws yet their citizens don’t go around shooting each other. There’s something about America that makes them different. Maybe it’s something to do with the culture. It’s hard to know.

  4. Roswell

    Rob, just because our gun related deaths had been falling before Port Arthur, it doesn’t mean to say that it is likely to stay that way if our gun laws are relaxed. We seem to me to be a much angrier country now.

  5. Margot

    In a recent article in the Guardian Australia – David Leyonhjelm uses Paris attacks to further a dangerous pro-gun agenda
    Hugh McDermott
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/25/david-leyonhjelm-uses-paris-attacks-to-further-a-dangerous-pro-gun-agenda#comments
    the pro gun lobby came out in force in the comments. Commentators that had only registered on that day. All the makings of an orchestrated pro gun campaign.

    Liberal democratic senator David Leyonhjelm has appeared in a video for the National Rifle Association of America in which he describes Australia as a “nation of victims” because of the government’s tough stance on gun control.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/we-are-a-nation-of-victims-progun-senator-david-leyonhjelm-tells-nra-20151117-gl1fzb.html

    Gun deaths involving children are devastating. The NRA has no idea what to say about them.
    And neither does David Leyonhjelm

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/04/09/deaths-of-children-are-the-most-devastating-effect-of-our-gun-culture-the-nra-has-no-idea-what-to-say-about-them

  6. NoGunDa

    Watch the NRA, the political front of the gun industry, try to “own” politicians here as they have in the States. Any proliferation of guns will result in easier access to the wrong people and hence more deaths due to gun violence – homicides, suicides, accidents, and the inevitable mass killing. NO to any relaxation of gun control laws here. In what way is rhe legitimate gun user currently deprived?

  7. Bighead1883

    Seeing as the POTUS is only left with veto powers nothing he wants will get passed,Repubs have both houses
    Not even his flowery Climate Change promises will get a look in because the were voted down before Air Force One touched down from Paris.
    Here`s my take on US gun laws in a GIF
    https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/CVbsnnNU8AAWe38.mp4

  8. kathysutherland2013

    The only thing I have ever been thankful to John Howard for is our gun control laws. And I am indeed thankful!

  9. Kaye Lee

    America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population but almost half of its civilian-owned guns.

    In 2013 in the US, 21,175 people committed suicide by firearm, while 11,208 people died in gun homicides. After Howard’s buyback, firearm suicides declined by 74% with no related increase in other forms of suicide. How many statistics can they ignore?

  10. Sen Nearly Ile

    the gun lobby could be tested by a referendum in any of about 30 states.
    Arguably the gun lobby is right to say it is not the guns. There are countries where every household has a rifle and no masssgootings.
    ergo the society should not have guns.

  11. NoGunDa

    Name these countries please?

  12. Jake

    NoGunDa, I believe (please correct me if wrong) Switzerland is one country where almost every adult can own a gun and are encouraged to do so, in a long standing practice of national defence policy. Pretty sure they have nowhere near the levels of violence demonstrated in America. It would seem the societal attitude towards guns is the difference. For many Americans gun ownership is a matter of personal privilege, and therefore emotionally based – “it’s mine and I will defend what is mine, no matter the cost”. The Swiss treat it as a patriotic duty but don’t view the ownership as a societal right or privilege that endows personal ‘strength’. Rather, it’s about defending each other if necessary. One country is traditionally a dominant aggressor, the other neutral almost to a fault.

  13. RosemaryJ36

    Why does any non-defence force person want or need an assault rifle or any other weapon capable of continuous firing?

  14. Annie B

    @ Roswell … ( your comment – Dec 5 – 11.40 pm )

    I am certain it is the culture – and the mindset of American citizens. .. There are some exceptions to that – thank heaven. …. However, there are simply not enough of them – clear thinking, moderate, peaceful, properly educated people.

    Violence is a way of life for so many there and add to that, their arrogance, aggression, their self-styled ‘exceptionalism’ which has them look down on many other countries and their peoples, as inferior .. .. all the while seeming to be a God loving religious country, and very polite when speaking to ‘aliens’ from other countries. Most countries term visitors as just that, or as tourists, non-residents etc. ….. Aliens ?? … That is the term used, from modern legislation in the U.S. They are a sad, isolated and very ignorant nation.

    One has only to look at the gratuitous garbage they make for television for instance … to see what types they appeal to, and make for. And we buy the damned package deals, and promote them on our own screens ?? …. I do not watch U.S. thriller / cop series – they are blood thirsty, the dialogue is angry, impolite and pushy, and there is scant attention paid to plausible content – it is all way over the top – violently, with massive use of guns in the content.

    Superior they ain’t. …. A U.S. friend once asked me why people of other countries referred to their population as “Ugly Americans” …. I could have said plenty in reply, but did not want to hurt her feelings. … maybe I should have been more outspoken. And that was years ago.

    As Rob said in his post — ” The US certainly has a problem and I think it’s endemic and unfixable.”

    I certainly agree, ( although I wish I could say I don’t. )

  15. Annie B

    @ Jake ….

    Add to all that, their devotion to the 2nd amendment of the Constitution. …. Which reads ( and I do wish they would all read it as it was written and supposed to be understood !! ) … ” 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.” ….

    It was written so long ago, and today reads as somewhat ambiguous.

    It has been majorly mis-interpreted, for personal privilege ( as you mentioned ) … and they hold on to it like precious gold.

    Your comment was spot on … particularly, the last sentence. re : Dominant aggression – – – neutrality.

  16. paul walter

    Rosemary J 36.. groundhogs. No one in their right mind would dare head into the wilderness to purge God’s America of the varmint critters without at least a rocket launcher for protection.

  17. paul walter

    Annie B, it is indeed to do with that. It goes back two centuries to the fierce War of Independence with monarchic, imperialist Britain, when Indians were still a military force to be reckoned with (Pontiac and others), the supermarket was the Great Outdoors where they shot deer and so forth because they hadn’t invented fastfoods and supermarkets and the Bears and Wolves were still physical threats, not club mascots. Muskets were the most formidable weapons available, especially when used en masse for defence against bully Big Powers like Spain and Great Britain.

    Manifest Destiny consolidated the notion; as God’s Chosen, they were not only entitled, but obliged to, make war on the Heathen.

    Like our Hansonists and Abbottists, they have a romantic view of a mythical past in which they are sunburnt and gnarly forces for Universal Order, heroically turning back the Forces of Darkness. There is a bit of Darwinism thrown in later, although they wouldn’t admit it beause it denies fundamentalist Creationism.

  18. Michael Taylor

    What the hell is wrong with those Republicans? They oppose doing anything on climate change. They oppose Obamacare. They support the gun laws that has seen tens of thousands of their countrymen/women murdered. What the hell drives them?

    Oh, it’s money.

  19. Michael Taylor

    Jake, you’re correct about Switzerland.

  20. Annie B

    @ Paul Walter ….

    Absolutely, Paul.

    At the time it was written, there was much to be protected from – and they did have to hunt their own food etc., so it was way more relevant then, than it is now – for private citizens. That amendment was written for those times, not now.

    But try telling that to most over there ??????

  21. Bronte ALLAN

    Howard may have “destroyed” the legal gun ownership in Australia, but it is strange just how many people now have access to & try to use guns here? Bloody criminals will stop at nothing to ensure they can get & keep guns! Bastards! The trouble with the US is this inept “Second amendment” which they all seem to rely on as some sort of “god given right” to own any sort of gun/rifle etc. The all-powerful & very Republican, NRA & all its redneck & right wing supporters, is still the organisation blocking any & all attempts to bring in any sort of gun control.

  22. matt

    rosemary when a country is invaded everybody is a defence person. every .an woman and child.

  23. paul walter

    There’s the thing, Matt. Antagonise enough Muslims with Western invasion policy for too long and the San Bernadino effort will be just the entree- this attack showed how vulnerable a society awash in guns would be for infiltrators.

    Everybody is a defence person in parts of the Muslim world also and many of them regard us as invaders.

  24. Margot

    Liberty University president urges: ‘End those Muslims’ via concealed gun carry
    The president of Liberty University urged students, staff and faculty at the Christian school to carry concealed weapons on campus to counter any possible armed attack like the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

    “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here,” President Jerry Falwell Jr told an estimated 10,000 students at the weekly convocation held on Friday in Lynchburg.

    The call-to-arms was met with rousing applause from students, but some said Falwell went too far when he appeared to be referring specifically to Muslims, the News & Advance reported.

    “I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in,” Falwell said
    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/05/liberty-university-president-san-bernardino-shooting-concealed-weapons-carry-muslims

  25. Kyran

    Having had a 1/2 share in a farm in a previous life, I had a gun licence for my .22 rifle (those bloody rabbits). As it was in the ‘high country’, deer hunters would appear in the winter months. Their weapons were a far higher calibre, usually .222 or .303. None of the weapons had magazine clips that were significant. If you are hunting for an animal (regardless of its size) and you haven’t dropped it with the first two shots, walk away.
    The NRA in America are a ‘weird mob’. As best as I can find, their membership size is about 4mil members, out of a population of 360mil. Their annual turnover is in the hundreds of millions. As they have deep pockets, their voice is amplified. So much so, Obama has had to forget his assault on getting assault rifles off the street. He is now concentrating on magazine size.
    Australia’s illegal weapons imports (those criminal gits who want to have a weapon) are predominantly from America.
    The most recent ‘mass shootings’ in America were a nut job shooting up a family planning clinic and a couple of other nut jobs shooting up a site in California. In the latter case, the FBI have been at pains, as have the Islamic Leaders in that state, to declare they were nut jobs. They are all, apparently, worried about a conflagration of the ‘right to bear arms’ and a nutters rights. For what it is worth, I’ve yet to see a post of the first extremist being declared a ‘Christian extremist’, yet the second extremists were declared ‘Muslim extremists’ in the blink of an eye.
    That layonhim bloke will probably get his wish with the shotgun magazine capacity. The relevance of a shot gun is short term, short sighted, close quartered. Rosemary J36 said it best. Why have more than two cartridges? Thank you Roswell, take care

  26. Do Youself a favour

    Australias gun laws on the back of the lies of Port Arthur. Innocents sacrificed for gun laws.
    Martin Bryant is innocent, Gumshoenews (dot) com is dedicating stories all week to the farce knows as Port arthur

    by Mary W Maxwell

    Thanks to our uncaring Parliament, rules about concentration of media ownership favor two publishers who thereby can influence the nation. They concocted a story about a lone gunman — when it was in fact a “special operation.”

    Thanks to uncaring citizens, the false story is still accepted even though many researchers have presented conclusive proof of its falseness. Shame on Australia.

    An intellectually handicapped person, who likes company, has been deprived of visitors, except his mother, for 19 years, and he is often in solitary confinement. Martin Bryant is not treated like a human being.

    About 99% of the academics in Oz couldn’t care less.

    The judicial system has no value. No matter how much the law says Bryant should have had a trial, he had none. No matter how much the law says there must be a coroner’s inquest into the deaths, there was none. Let me repeat: such a judicial system has no value to the public.

    A band of Insiders in government think they can get away with anything. They are wholly unaccountable. This can be measured by the fact that when we know they have committed a crime – e.g., tampering with evidence, no one can be bothered to indict them.

    The rest of the parliamentarians are apparently there for selfish reasons. God help us.

    Gun control was effectively achieved, nationally, within weeks of the massacre, thanks to John Howard. As the push for citizen-disarmament is rather uniform worldwide, it must be that Australia is doing the bidding of outsiders.

    For years, the media appears to have been preparing to incite the killing of Martin Bryant, who is now 48.

    Nevertheless, almost a thousand people have signed a petition to demand a coronial inquest!!!

    Many others, too, may be out there champing at the bit to do something about our terrible situation. Go for it!

  27. Annie B

    @ Do Yourself a Favour ….

    As far as I can make out, gumshoenews ( dot ) com … is an American site. Mary W Maxwell, claims to be Australian ( living in Adelaide AND Massachussets, U.S. ) …. and reading this, it seems to be a push for the gun lobby over there.

    Despite the fact that Bryant was persuaded by lawyers to plead guilty, he was found to be sane enough to stand trial – pleaded guilty, so that was the end of the story – as far as court proceedings were concerned.

    The bottom line is, however : …. Martin Bryant was the one who committed the crime, fired the shots that killed so many innocents in Port Arthur, pleaded guilty, and had to be given the punishment to fit the crime. The aftermath, is a subject for debate perhaps ( only ‘perhaps’ ). ….. This article smacks of conspiracy theory through and through, which of course the Yanks all love to get their teeth into. The article referred to above, speaks of Australia and what happened here – but is not emanating FROM Australia.

    It is a blatent attempt to use this dreadful massacre here, as a furthering of the rights to bear arms in America. Don’t even have to read between the lines to figure that out.

    But it’s good that you have brought this to attention – we need to know what the hell they are saying over there about us. !! ( and apparently there is plenty at the moment ).

    Please do not fall for their propaganda.

    ………

  28. Do Youself a favour

    @ Annie B

    Based on all the facts and evidence, it is you who has fallen for the propaganda.
    Obviously you failed to read any of the articles that show absolutely no evidence to support the case against Bryant, or you suffer from epic problems with comprehension or any inkling of cognisant ability.

    Bryant was in no way competant to plead anything, and if you do want to take what he said into account, he said he wasnt at Pt Arthur that day, also, there was a witness to the shooting who knows Bryant, who stated categorically, it wasnt him.

    The articles these ladies are writing, cover witness testimony from people at the scene, retired police officers, etc.. whatever you believe, the facts remain, Bryant never had a bloody trial!

    If you have any facts, and by facts, I mean something other than your unqualified opinion, that shows anywhere that anything these ladies have written in regards to this case, is erroneous in any way, then by all means post it, until then, dont tell me I am the one that has fallen for the propaganda.

    Thank you.

  29. Annie B

    oo-whee Do Yourself a favour !!!!

    My post was not insulting — especially not to you. … But your comment back to me was insulting, rude and an attempt to derail. …. And the link you have most lately posted – in reading down further on that link – relates to the fear and horror the gun lobby in America is experiencing at the moment. ” OMG – they are going to take our guns off us.” So – they dredge up whatever they can, to support their push for retaining guns – of all kinds.

    I stand by what I said – and as far as I am concerned, I want nothing further to do with you – you can reply till the cows come home – you’ll get no more from me. …. Indulge yourself as much as you like in blogs that promote gun ownership – and conspiracy theories.

    You have displayed arrogance and ignorance …. do yourself a favour and go think about that. !!

  30. Do Youself a favour

    @ Annie

    “Please do not fall for their propaganda. ” = insulting… especially when you offer nothing to back up your unqualified opinion.
    you can stand by it all you like, doesnt make it right.. like I said, get back to me with some facts to back up your ignorance, otherwise, dont be surprised if your comments are treated with the ridicule they deserve..

    fact. the murders at Port Arthur, DEMAND a coronial inquest.. by law.. – it never happened – .. youre ok with that are you? that should be a red flag to even those with your level of intelligence..

    “conspiracy theories” really? that is the best you have? when all you have is theory? – get real. come back to me with a single piece of verifiable evidence that proves Bryant guilty beyound all reasonable doubt.. or.. well.. have a couple BEX and a good lie down you poor miserable thing

  31. Do Youself a favour

    @ Annie Dopely

    “Despite the fact that Bryant was persuaded by lawyers to plead guilty, he was found to be sane enough to stand trial – pleaded guilty, so that was the end of the story – as far as court proceedings were concerned. ”

    sane enough to stand trial? HE NEVER HAD A BLOODY TRIAL YOU NUMBNUT!

    I rest my case.

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