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Libertarian loony or Tea Party turkey?

It is time that people started paying more attention to the harm that Senator David Leyonhjelm is doing to our country.

As gun deaths in the US rapidly approach 10,000 in 2015 alone, our libertarian wheeler dealer wants to send us down the same path.

This is the same guy who wants to get rid of pool fences and bike helmets while thanking Australian smokers for their ongoing contribution to the economy (not to mention the political donations from the tobacco companies). He’s anti-nanny state – unless it’s those evil wind farms in which case we must mobilise all forces to destroy an industry which is apparently causing great anxiety for a few people who find them noisy, ugly things. (Tell that to the people in the Hunter Valley.)

Leyonhjelm will unashamedly sell his vote in the Senate to get his way.

In August, he forced the Abbott government into a partial retreat on a ban on imports of a new rapid-action shotgun. Leyonhjelm boasted in the Senate that he had undertaken political “blackmail” – in return for the government’s backflip, he abandoned a plan to vote for an entirely unrelated Labor amendment that would have required an adult or guardian to be present when blood, saliva or fingerprints are taken from children by the Australia’s Border Force.

“We are not happy the federal government has placed a ban on imports of lever-action shotguns with a capacity of more than five rounds – commonly called the Adler ban – while it reviews the National Firearms Agreement … Last week I managed to blackmail the government into adding a 12-month sunset clause to its Adler ban,” he told the Senate.

When Lenore Taylor wrote about his complicity, Leyonhjelm responded with a tweet

“Lever actions are over 100 years old. Lenore Taylor and her ilk should stick to things they know, whatever that is.”

During the week, Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said “The idea that taking guns away from the law-abiding will make us safer is insane and childish.”

“What people always throw out there, is look at Australia, they have no gun violence, they don’t have guns, their citizens aren’t allowed to have guns. But they have no freedom, you can go to prison for expressing unpopular views in Australia and people do.”

When Ben Pobjie wrote an amusing article for the Drum in response to this ridiculous claim, Leyonhjelm tweeted

“People who don’t understand freedom shouldn’t write about it. Especially when they try but fail to be funny.”

What is not funny is this man’s ignorance.

The 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA) banned semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns, bought back more than 650,000 of these weapons from existing owners, and tightened requirements for licensing, registration, and safe storage of firearms. The buyback is estimated to have reduced the number of guns in private hands by 20%, and, by some estimates, almost halved the number of gun-owning households.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that after the buyback, the percentage of robberies where the assailant used a firearm did drop significantly. There was little change in “unlawful entry with intent,” one of the few types of crime where one might make a case for a possible deterrent effect of having a gun in the home.

The massive Australian gun buyback occurred over two calendar years, 1996-97. Firearm homicide and firearm suicide dropped substantially in both years, for a cumulative two-year drop in firearm homicide of 46% and in firearm suicide of 43%. Never in any two year period, from 1915-2004 had firearm suicide dropped so precipitously.

Since the gun laws were introduced there have been no mass shootings in Australia. In the US, at last count, there had been 297 so far in 2015. While almost a million guns were handed in and destroyed in the post-Port Arthur amnesty, imports have now taken the national gun inventory back to 1996 levels.

Leyonhjelm has already said that he will contest the 2019 election to rewin a Senate seat for the Liberal Democrats but has no intention of serving the term. We must make absolutely certain that this does not happen. Until then, we are reliant on the other crossbench Senators to keep this Tea Party turkey at bay.

 

151 comments

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  1. Rossleigh

    He’s a man who was not only elected on a very small fraction of votes, but it’s generally considered that many people voting for the “Liberal Democrat” candidate actually thought they were voting for the Liberals.
    Which probably means that the average intelligence of the voters for both parties was increased in that election…

  2. Kaye Lee

    He started out with Young Labor working on Gough’s campaign (anti-conscription). Then he joined the Liberal Party but resigned in protest over the gun laws. He was a member of the Shooters Party until he fell out with John Tingle. Then he ran unsuccessfully for the Liberty and Democracy Party and the Outdoor Recreation Party. It took several name changes, the donkey vote, and a degree of illiteracy for this man to finally weasel his way in.

  3. M-R

    I wondered if anyone was ever going to point to this madman. High time. Write more.

  4. Kaye Lee

    “The argument [against pool fences] is parents are responsible for their children and the Government is taking that responsibility away from them,” he said.

  5. Kaye Lee

    A survivor of the Port Arthur massacre is calling for a ban on the importation of a powerful new rapid-fire shotgun.

    Carolyn Loughton, who lost her 15-year-old daughter Sarah at Port Arthur, is petitioning against the sale of the Adler A110 shotgun in Australia.

    Robert Nioa, the son-in-law of Queensland MP Bob Katter, had planned to start importing the weapon from Turkey this month.

    Senator Leyonhjelm told the ABC he did not think Ms Loughton was qualified to advocate for a ban on the Adler shotgun.

    “Being a victim of gun violence is not a qualification for social policy of any description,” Mr Leyonhjelm said.

    “It doesn’t make you an expert in gun control. All it means is people might listen to you.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-20/port-arthur-survivor-petitions-against-turkish-adler-shotgun/6710336

  6. Keith

    At times I’ve been irritated by people wanting to wrap me in cotton wool claiming what I proposed doing was physically dangerous. But, should anything have gone wrong it would have been me who was hurt, nobody else.
    It is completely different when the lives of a number of people are placed at risk when they might be innocent unsuspecting by standers.
    When I went to High School about 55 years ago there was a young bloke who had blown off a hand in a shot gun accident.
    Happily, because of stricter regulations those kind of accidents don’t happen now. Whereas, in the US a recent story has come through about an infant boy shooting a infant girl because she was not co-operative.

    Incidentally, as a twelve year old I had access to a .22 rifle; but now, especially as the nature of society appears to have changed believe it is idiosy to allow more weapons to become available. Drugs were not available at that time where I lived in a rural setting.

    It is completely negligent to allow rapid fire weapons into Australia.
    The rabid rugged individualism of libertarians is an insult to any community conscious people. The ghastly IPA displays all the meanness of a libertarian point of view. Abbott came to grief with the first budget by pushing some of IPA’s wish list.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Over the 20 years since Port Arthur, the gun lobby have steadily won concessions. For example:

    – The original agreement restricted gun licences to adults but now several states have brought in “minor’s permits” and in Western Australia there are no age limits for club shooting. The Sporting Shooters’ Association says this would be the “ideal situation” across the nation.

    – The agreement established a 28-day “cooling off period” between applying for, and getting a gun, but four states have now done away with that for second and subsequent guns.

  8. Keith

    “Senator Leyonhjelm told the ABC he did not think Ms Loughton was qualified to advocate for a ban on the Adler shotgun.”
    @Kaye Lee

    Is it only Leyonhjelm who has the expertise?
    I would have thought anybody who has been a victim of a monstrous attack should be heard over likes of Leyonhjelm.
    Whole communities and families are impacted by shootings. Victims, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Social workers have experience in the impacts on individuals, families and communities obviously more so than the Senator.

    In his comments on fences around pools Leyonhjelm is displaying the sensitivity of a brick; the kind of response you might expect from somebody who has been diagnosed with high functioning autism.

  9. olive

    A concerted and vigorous campaign to point out to the naive public who voted for this man in the run up to the next election ,the dangerous libertarian stance that he adopts re guns, bike helmets, pool fences etc with emotive ads and statts re the consequences of not having a pool fence, ( drowned toddlers ) not wearing a bike helmet , ( brain damaged people ) not having gun control.( dead people ) . The libs would no doubt get behind this as well as they want him gone

  10. Matters Not

    David Leyonhjelm is supported by Helen Dale/Darville/Demidenko (take your pick as to what moniker she uses these days) who has a reputation for being a gun nutter as well. I remember a few years ago she posted a photograph of herself, gun in hand, standing over a very large boar which she claimed she’d shot. Turns out it was photo shopped. She has a proven track record of deceit.

    Nevertheless, if Leyonhjelm was to step aside, chances are, she would be the new Senator. You can read more here.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-10/david-leyonhjelm-hires-author-once-known-as-helen-demidenko/5733790

    As for the new shot gun, you can read about it here.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/rapid-fire-shotgun-heading-to-australia-after-sidestepping-ban/6831360

  11. totaram

    @Keith: Please do not be uncharitable to people with autism. This grub is very likely a psychopath.

    All the controls he wants to abolish were put there for a reason and there is evidence to show that they have reduced harm since they were introduced. His claims to “expertise” on anything at all are ludicrous. So what if lever actions are hundreds of years old? So are machine guns. Does that mean we should be allowed to own them privately?

    Finally, if everyone voted below the line for the senate, you wouldn’t get these nutjobs. It takes just five minutes extra of your time – probably less than the time it takes to walk to the polling booth.

  12. kerri

    There are so many idiotic arguments when it comes to firearms!
    The argument that homicides and suicides have not dropped since gun restrictions is trite! People hell bent on suicide or the homicide of a person they have some grief with will find a way to do what they think they have to! Gun laws make it a fair bit harder. If you live in a house with guns, legally the only person who is supposed to have keys or know how to access the guns is the licensed gun owner. That works until the police show up for a random gun locker check while that person is at work. Realistically people know where their family members guns are and how to access them. So realistically they could access them and commit suicide or homicide. That was not the intent of the gun laws anyway as their purpose was to prevent mass shootings.
    Like could be committed with a fast discharge weapon. .???
    The other argument that gets up my nose is the guns for defence BS! We all saw how well that worked for Reeva Steenkamp, assuming Oscar Pistorius really did think she was a burglar. Incidentally the hollow point bullets used were extremely tissue damaging and illegal in SA.
    But the notion that if everyone was allowed a handgun the young man in Parramatta could have been shot before someone read his mind and figured he was about to shoot Curtis Cheung is garbage and is the sort of crap that Leyjonhelm likes to spout.
    Similarly imagine the Lindt Cafe siege if every person in the cafe had a concealed weapon and chose to use it for “self defence”. The gun nuts who uphold the self defence are the first to claim they would not hesitate to shoot if they saw someone open fire in the street. This is not self defence and is in fact as much murder as the person who started shooting, assuming they were not an undercover cop.
    The argument works in the US because they believe in “pre-emptive strikes” rather than violent attacks which is what a pre-emptive amounts to as you still have no evidence that they would have attacked first!
    George Orwell’s “thought crime” in his book 1984 sums up what these idiots think would work.
    You cannot defend yourself against something you don’t know is about to happen!
    Leyjonhelm is indeed a dangerous, self interested fruitcake and his argument that a victim is not worth listening to goes equal for politicians. A politician is simply a member of the public who ran a campaign and got elected! An ordinary citizen albeit one who people might listen to!

  13. Thomas Brookes

    A perfect example as to why all candidates should be psychologically, ethically and IQ tested prior to standing for public office. The Military do it, the police do it, many companies do it. Is there anything more important than having the proper type of people running our country and making decisions on our behalf. Eliminating psychopaths, narcissists and those who are ethically and morally deficient, or display a lack of empathy, would ensure better government. eg Rudd, Keating, Abbott, Pyne, Newman, etc. Without eliminating ordinary people and it is important that we have a balance of people with their feet on the ground, testing intelligence and ability to properly reason, should also eliminate impulsive, reactionary and divisive people eg Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie. Any ideas?

  14. brickbob

    Tea Party Loony,sums him up perfectly.”

  15. Kaye Lee

    From Leyonhjelm’s maiden speech…..

    “Our liberty is eroded when our money is taken as taxes and used on something we could have done for ourselves at lower cost. It is eroded when our taxes are used to pay for things that others will provide, whether on a charitable basis or for profit. That includes TV and radio stations, electricity services, railways, bus services, and of course, schools and hospitals. It is eroded when our money is taken and then returned to us as welfare, with the only real beneficiaries being the public servants who administer its collection and distribution. It is eroded when our money is used on things that are a complete waste like pink batts, unwanted school halls and accommodation subsidies for wealthy foreign students. It is eroded when the money we have earned is taken and given to those of working age who simply choose never to work. Reducing taxes, any kind of taxes, will always have my support. And I will always oppose measures that restrict free markets and hobble entrepreneurship.”

  16. Adro

    “Leyonhjelm has already said that he will contest the 2019 election to rewin a Senate seat for the Liberal Democrats but has no intention of serving the term. We must make absolutely certain that this does not happen.”

    True this. We want another term.

  17. John Lord

    A good reason why eligibility rules for Senate positions need to be changed.

  18. Florence nee Fedup

    This senator, along with what appears to be his mate, senator Day, give some of the nastiest speeches I have heard in the senate. One should make it their business to listen to them.

  19. Bo Taylor-jowett

    look i’m not going to disagree that this guy is bat shit crazy but some parts of this article is incorrect “The 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA) banned semi-automatic and pump-action rifles and shotguns,” pump action rifles are completely legal on a B class firearms license and to ban a specific model of lever action shotgun is purely for political points and the gov taking the easy way on firearms by making lots of noise a show about cracking down on legal and law abiding firearms owners instead of removing the close to a million illegal firearms due to howards “grey Market” and illegal imports due to customs checking less then 10% of imported crates.
    i will make the claim like many others that it shouldn’t matter what kind of firearm a person owns as long as they are responsible and licenced with new zealand being the proof of this and claiming that guns make people act like America is foolish to solve problems with a firearm is built into the culture of America something lacking in the rest of the modern world, not to mention the lack of having to secure firearms and ammunition, to surmise we aren’t America to claim that if we have guns we will somehow lose our minds and become deranged murders is the very nature of distrust and paranioa and if you wish to do that then feel free to lobby to remove all the knives from this country and wrap are hands in mittins, and ban any product that could be used to poison people, remove all the cars and tools you can claim that its been said before but is true ”guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and if someone wants to murder someone they will do it in anyway they can and if they truely want to use a gun it’s far easier and cheaper to get an illegal firearm then it is to get one legally so rather then to spend all you time and resources pushing a ban on a gun that already exists in here but made by a different company is childish and illformed i think as a people and nation to tackle the “firearms problem” is to increase penalties for illegal possession of firearms and to check all the shipments coming into the country, to punish those in the wrong not those who obey the law.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Bo,

    And what do you say about the significant drop in gun-related suicide? Some suggested it would be replaced by other forms of suicide. It was not.

    Suicide rates in Australia peaked in 1963 (17.5 per 100,000), declining to 11.3 per 100,000 in 1984, and climbing back to 14.6 in 1997. Rates have been lower than this since that year.

    In the US, guns are involved in over half of all suicides. In Australia, they represent about 6.5% of suicides.

  21. diannaart

    Anti-nanny-staters base their ideology on the belief that all humans are always rational at all times.

    Ironic, no?

  22. Keith

    @ totaram
    Fair comment, my meaning was that what he was saying about pool fences showed a lack of social insight. It was a poor example I provided. My apologies.

  23. corvus boreus

    Bo Taylor-jowett.
    Punctuation into distinct sentences is a way of achieving clarity through compartmentalisation.
    Punctuation is the drawing of breathe between declarative statements which, along with the appropriate employment of qualitative clauses, constitute what separates a speech from a rant or ramble.
    I recommend punctuating your sentences more frequently. Each burst should have a defined target.

  24. PappinbarraFox

    David Leyonhjelm’s qualifications do not qualify him to talk about libertarianism. Being mentally insane does not qualify one to talk about mental insanity or anything very much at all, so dickwads like him ought to just STFU!!!

  25. pappinbarafox

    How could someone so thoughtless and stupid get to be so old? You’d think the principle underlying the Darwin awards would have seen him off the planet by now.

  26. Kyran

    “Being a victim of gun violence is not a qualification for social policy of any description,” Mr Leyonhjelm said.
    Does that suggest that being at the other end of the gun does qualify you to comment on social policy? The perpetrators of violence must have a better experience than the victims! A subtle shift from blaming the victim to ignoring the victim.
    “What is not funny is this man’s ignorance.”
    Even less funny, Ms Lee, is that he is one of the one’s making the rules. Take care

  27. Bolly

    In answer to the question in the header- both.

  28. Wally

    David Leyonhjelm is the type of person who does more harm for the cause he is lobbying for than good. His actions are probably helping the anti gun lobby without any of them realising it.

    Definitely need to stop idiots like him from being re elected.

  29. win jeavons

    corvus boreus; thankyou. I gave up trying to read the nonstop drivel very quickly.

  30. mmc1949

    Keith (11.12am) “At times I’ve been irritated by people wanting to wrap me in cotton wool claiming what I proposed doing was physically dangerous. But, should anything have gone wrong it would have been me who was hurt, nobody else.”

    Is that ‘really’ true, Keith? No one but you hurt?
    What of my heroes, emergency services personnel, who would be called upon to scrape you up or patch you up? Is there not enough stress in their jobs without having to deal with the consequences of stupidity?

    It’s neither possible nor desirable to eliminate all risk from our lives but when it comes to pool fences, seat belts, bike helmets and the like where some people are too stupid to take proven precautions, then we need to have laws to protect the rest of us from the idiots even if we can’t protect them from themselves.

    Has Leyonhjelm even been on the front line when people have ignored nanny? Perhaps he should be.

  31. cousincat

    As if this libertarian wingnut’s views on gun ownership aren’t dangerous enough, how about his insane stance on renewable energy – especially wind turbines. Senate voting reform can’t happen quickly enough!

  32. crypt0

    When I went to school, kids in the cadets would take their rifles home on the school bus.
    As far as I am aware, no-one got shot as a result.
    It’s not only Senator David Leyonhjelm …
    This whole country is much crazier than it was when I was growing up.
    In those days, people could leave home without locking up for fear of being robbed.
    These days, the last thing Australia, or any country needs, is anything vaguely like US gun laws.
    It’s a whole different world.

  33. Matters Not

    With all due respects one needs to understand where David Leyonhjelm comes from. He entered this world without the assistance of any other (almost a virgin birth). He fed himself. He changed his own nappies. He comforted himself when he fell over. He nursed himself when sick. He developed his own antibiotics. And so on.

    More importantly, David didn’t ‘inherit’ a ‘society’ which provided him with an education, afforded him protection against physical violence, and the like. No! for David ‘society’ is an irrelevant concept at best or doesn’t exist, according to Thatcher.

    No! David has no ‘social/cultural’ obligations because he invented the wheel, discovered how to generate ‘fire’, developed a counting system, and as he grew older, he generated a mathematical system that recognise the power of a ‘zero’. Also developed political concepts such as ‘democracy’ …

    David is like Ayn (Rand) who only discovers that we need the ‘other’ when it matters.

  34. Matters Not

    As an aside, has anyone investigated whether David has any ‘offspring’? Or Helen Dale for that matter?

    Not that it’s important, unless of course one wants to discuss Julia and her ‘choices’.

  35. Wally

    Matters Not

    Cannot find any mention of children but he is married.

    Thankfully politics is not like AFL, there is no father son rule. Or mother daughter rule.

  36. Mark Rayner

    10,000 deaths in a population of almost 500,000,000.. On a per capita basis, thats around the same that currently happen in Australia with its ‘prohibition’.. Of that 10000 gun deaths in america almost 1000 of those a year are shot by police!! So, remove the police shootings, that brings the per capita total UNDER what happens in Aust WITH prohibition..
    In the states which have open carry, gun crime and crime in general is even less..
    Germany in the thirties banned guns, look what happened there!!
    If you think that gun control is about harm prevention, then you are sadly mistaken..
    “Get on ze trrrrain”………

  37. corvus boreus

    Mark Rayner.
    US population in 2014 = 318.9 million (considerably less than 500 million). Since you are so lax on such a simple sum, it brings in to doubt the rest of your broad assertions.
    For the record, in 2013 the US had about 10 times the rate of gun death per capita compared to Australia.
    That year, the US had 33,565 domestic gun deaths in a population of 316.5 million (roughly 10 gun deaths per 100,000).
    The same year, Australia had 226 gun deaths in a population of 23.13 million (roughly 1 gun death per 100,000).
    Your claims do not match these documented facts.

    PS, I chose 2013 because the full figures for 2014 are not readily available yet (and 2015 is not finished).

  38. corvus boreus

    As Kaye Lee mentioned, brand misidentification, along with the donkey vote, may have played a large part in us being landed with the ancraophobic, hoplophillic Mr Leyonhjelm as a federal senator.

    The ‘Liberal Democrat’ bloc drew the top left of the upper house ballot paper (the start of the page).
    Your apathetic but conscientious ‘tick’n’flick’ voter takes a quick precautionary glance at the first option on the senate sheet to make sure it’s not the Communist Party or some such (‘Liberal Democrats’; sounds reassuringly bland), makes their verticle pencil scratch in that square, then folds the sheet up and deposits it in the cardboard box, electoral obligations dutifully satisfied.
    Presto, another vote for David Leyonhjelm.

    I often wish more of the politically disinterested would vote informal instead of donkey.

  39. Keith

    @ mmc1949
    The activities I have been involved with in my view are safer than being in a car. Important priorities being to be able to self rescue, doing the activities in appropriate weather conditions, and being fit enough to carry out the activities. Parachuting in my opinion is quite dangerous; but I would not dissuade anybody from participating.

    Leyonhjelm is completely wrong in his laissez faire view in relation to regulations about safety with weapons, swimming pools, and bike helmets. Where tragedy has occurred in the past, and those impacts have been known to have profound sad consequences for individuals, families, and communities; there is no rationale for not having regulatory safeguards in place.

  40. darrel nay

    The politicians are all protected by guns, at different times, but they don’t want us to have the right to defend our families. Look at the lindt cafe shooting where disarmed citizens were effectively sitting-ducks. Slaves are always dis-armed and dictators always dis-arm their citizens. Particularly for people who live in the bush, where police response times are in excess of an hour, firearms are essential to self defense. Further, anyone who lives in an area with wild dogs, bears, lions, psychotic methamphetamine users, etc. may find themselves needing a gun.

    If anyone genuinely wants to see the character of successive Australian governments we only need to look at the fireworks ban – ‘our’ politicians are control-freaks. Who died and made Canberra God? These sickos think they can spy on people and micro-manage our lives and many of us are sick of it. If you are the sort of person who enjoys having Canberra be your nanny then good luck to you but when you advocate for Canberra to micro-manage my life I object.

    Our national anthem says ‘young and free’ but banning fireworks, guns, raves, compulsory voting, compulsory schooling,etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. is the antithesis to freedom.

    Cheers

    Q Why did the chicken cross the road?
    A Because Canberra hadn’t banned it yet

  41. Kaye Lee

    Darrel,

    Could you point me to some statistics about how many times Australians have used guns in self-defence?

  42. Kaye Lee

    As for cracker night, I heard that ridiculous notion put forward by Young Liberals who are too young to remember the maimings, the blindings, the burns, the fires, the terrified and tormented animals, the damage to property. Putting explosives in the hands of children and drunk adults is not such a good idea.

  43. darrel nay

    Kaye,

    If statistics are what get you going then I’m afraid you’ll have to find your own. But if you look at WW2 you’ll see millions of guns were used to protect our families. If you don’t want a gun don’t have one – if, however, you want to ban guns then you will join a club that includes Mao, Hitler and Stalin, just to name a few – are you comfortable with that? Further, unless you have lost faith in Australians, you will realise that most of us are good people without ill-will towards others – the answer to bad people with guns is for more good people to be armed. Also, if we are ever invaded or if we get/have a totalitarian government, guns in the hands of good people would be our best defense.

    Freedom is prosperity.

  44. Kaye Lee

    What a load of hooey. Sorry Darrel but that is just utter rubbish. I am not suggesting we disarm our soldiers or our police. I cannot think of one single incident where a civilian Australian has had to use a gun to defend themselves – not one! Can you? (ps You probably can stop being worried about being attacked by a lion or a bear)

    I agree most Australians are good people but there are a few who really worry me, particularly paranoic vigilantes who feel we must “protect” our country from “others”.

  45. Alison White

    Poor Darrel! It must be horrid living life with such a fearful siege mentality.

  46. Möbius Ecko

    A statistic the gun lobby in the US deliberately keeps buried and undermines every time it’s raised is the number of gun related deaths and injuries caused by own guns.

    That is a shooting by a gun used against the owner, an owner’s family member, associate/friend or used by a family member or associate/friend against someone else or the owner either deliberately or accidentally. An example is the boy shooting the girl because she wouldn’t allow him to play with her toy.

    In every one of those cases if the gun supposedly purchased to protect a person and their family wasn’t there then the shooting wouldn’t have happened.

    I would be interested in the statistic for shootings in America where a gun not fired by law enforcement has actually been used to save a life or injury. My guess it will be far less than the owner gun shootings and suicides.

  47. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    Parsing 2012 numbers, the center counted 259 justifiable gun-related homicides, or incidents in which authorities ruled that killings occurred in self-defense.

    That’s in a nation in which there are some 300 million firearms, nearly one for every person (though only a little over a third of Americans own guns). This is also a nation in which, in 2012, there were 1.2 million violent crimes, defined as murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Or, put another way, 1.2 million scenarios in which there was potential for someone to kill in self-defense.

    Oh, and match those 259 justifiable homicides with the theft of about 232,000 guns each year, about 172,000 of them during burglaries. That’s a ratio of one justifiable homicide for every 896 guns put in the hands of criminals.

    Those 259 justifiable homicides also pale compared with, in the same year, 8,342 criminal homicides using guns, 20,666 suicides with guns, and 548 fatal unintentional shootings, according to the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Report. The ratio for 2012, per the Violence Policy Center, was one justifiable killing for every 32 murders, suicides or accidental deaths (the ratio increases to 38-1 over the five-year period ending in 2012). That’s a heavy price to pay.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-guns-self-defense-charleston-20150619-story.html

    The whole article is worth a read and has links to other stats from official sources as opposed to the gun lobby’s crap.

  48. Wally

    darrel nay

    I think David Leyonhjelm is an idiot and should be booted.

    I live in the country and guns owners are probably a majority, some are members of gun clubs others are professional hunters like my next door neighbour and some just own guns to shoot injured animals on their farms. None of these people (hundreds of them) complain about the gun laws, they get annoyed with the system at times but their biggest complaint is idiots who do their sport an injustice.

    I have an issue with both sides of the gun argument, lets stop trying to fix things that are not broken, the laws we have in place are working well and lets put our resources to good use and catch some gun smugglers or illegal arms dealers.

    Kaye Lee

    Please do not take my comment the wrong way, pleased you bought David Leyonhjelm to our attention.

    And to everyone who has argued we should not relax our gun laws I agree, but I also think our current laws are a good balance that give us protection from gun toting idiots and allowing people with good reasons to own guns. I was talking to a prison guard from Barwon Prison last night about the recent riots and hearing the injuries the prisoners inflicted on each other, the damage they have done to the prison and the general lack of consideration for their actions, we need to ensure these types of people never own guns.

  49. Herbie

    Thank you Kaye, for that article.

    I have long wondered about statistics such as those, particularly every time the pro-gun lobby sprout their ridiculous mantra that more armed ‘good guys’ would slow the rate of shootings by ‘bad guys’. Now I can see what I suspected was true – good guys very rarely control these situations and prevent these shootings unfolding.

    A key reason I thought I was correct in this assertion was the simple fact that in the US a mass-shooting (4+ ppl killed) occurs at a rate more than one per day for 2015, and yet they already have all these ‘good-guys’ running about with guns to protect themselves, their families and others.
    It seems they are not doing a very good job of protection! The very fact that more than once per day on average, a gunman is able to shoot more than 4 people before he/she is stopped suggests rather blatantly that the good guys are not rushing in to prevent these killings in the early stages.

    It is really quite laughable, if it wasn’t quite so sad.

    Oh and another thank you to Corvus B for your beautifully articulated comment on punctuation.

  50. Rossleigh

    Actually, Kaye Lee, I’m struggling to think of a time when a mass shooter in the USA was stopped by a civilian who was also armed. Usually, it’s the police or the shooter turning the gun on himself.

  51. Kaye Lee

    Rossleigh,

    I have had this conversation online with Americans who insist they must have a gun to protect themselves. Of the hundreds of gun owners involved in the forum, not one of them had ever used it for protection yet they all argued that owning the gun was what was keeping them safe. That’s the mentality rather than the reality.

  52. Sir ScotchMistery

    “Senator Leyonhjelm told the ABC he did not think Ms Loughton was qualified to advocate for a ban on the Adler shotgun.”
    @Kaye Lee

    I’m almost certain you could have stopped just before you used the “Ms”

    It is quite clear that the unabashed turkey bonker David the Dutchman, doesn’t think. Like quite a few of his regional compatriots (Dutch and Belgian throw-aways).

  53. Keith

    Darrel, the US provides a good example of why guns should be regulated. Nobody is stopped from owning firearms in Australia.
    There are regulations in relation to the particular weapons people can own; should somebody be able to buy a howitzer, mortar gun, machine gun or quick firing rifle? Where should regulations begin or end?

    Another area regulated is motor vehicle driving, should the number of road rules be reduced? If the road rules were to be reduced; should we just say its the fault of reckless drivers if accidents happen?

  54. darrel nay

    Few people realise that during WW2 the Australian government decided that they would only defend areas below “the Brisbane Line”. If this situation arises again people living north of Brisbane will wish they owned a gun. IF Australia ever gets invaded we will need every gun we can get and for those who don’t own guns, well they can just roll-over and play dead. Sitting ducks can’t defend themselves – look at Mexico where the citizens have been disarmed leaving a zone of victims where foreign funded cartels (fast and furious) can run amok.

    Cheers

  55. darrel nay

    reply for Keith,

    Good question mate – when will the regulations ever end? We already have so many laws and regulations that we have lost count. Canberra even thinks they can tell us which colour our cigarette packets should be – they’ve lost the plot. Millions of us are sick of being micromanaged by these people.

    As for vehicle regulations – we have just witnessed people in our small town being fined for having a bag of groceries on the passenger seat – yes, we have way too many laws and regulations.

    Freedom is not millions of laws and regulations.

  56. diannaart

    Freedom is everyone owning a gun?

    There are many I wouldn’t trust with a toothpick.

  57. Keith

    Darrel, I don’t think you caught the gist of my questions…where should regulations begin and end?
    Should I be able to buy a howitzer along with ammunition, or a machine gun etc etc?.

  58. darrel nay

    reply for Keith,
    You could buy any weapon to defend yourself if you are free. Of course, if you are a slave, then you can only buy what your owners allow you to buy. One of the reasons pedophiles and other violent criminals are operating in every Australian city is because law enforcement are running around enforcing the plethora of laws and regulations aimed at peaceful people.

    Cheers

  59. Keith

    Darrel, you have not answered the specific questions.
    The implication of your last answer is that there are no pedophiles in the US as they have access to any number of weapons there.

  60. Kaye Lee

    Darrel.

    I would like to know who you think might invade us? If China really wanted to they could (there are over 1 billion of them) but why would they? They can buy commercial and residential real estate. They are partners in many large mining and agricultural ventures. We are both a market for them and a provider of the resources they need at a far cheaper price than a war would cost.

    You are living in irrational fear. Your paranoia is not justified. Countries that engage in war are destroyed. Why would they kill the goose?

    If your fear is of Islam, I would remind you that many Australian Muslims fled the horrors that we all deplore. They represent about 2% of the population. No-one is trying to impose Sharia Law on non-Muslims in Australia. You repeat lines that others spout with no justification.

    You mention the Lindt café. One mentally disturbed man, who was known to authorities and who should have been dealt with long before this happened, shot one man. The response when others with guns opened fire was to kill an innocent bystander and wound several others. Yet everyone seems to have forgotten that the next day a woman killed 8 children in Cairns.

    Arming the population is not the answer to our problems. Reducing inequality, investing in mental health, providing counselling and support services and crisis management, educating our kids, working towards an inclusive, tolerant, multicultural society – these and other social initiatives will work far more effectively to keep us safe.

  61. mars08

    Oh ha! That’s so typical. You silly, latte sipping, commie tree-hugging, do-gooders don’t appreciate the elegance of the system.

    First an alert, armed civilian confronts and kills a suspicious individual. And then the msm, social media and/or police confirm that the deceased was guilty… of something. It’s brilliant! If you want to see how well it all works… see Trayvon Martin

  62. Florence nee Fedup

    Paedophiles have always been around. Mostly embedded in the families ofr children they abuse. Yes, even fathers. sometimes mothers.

    As for protecting ourselves against another country invading, do you really believe owning a gun would be of any protection. This is 2015, not 1915. One would be unlikley to sight an invader. They just bomb from a distance.

    What you are describing, is the early days of the USA, long before law and order came into being. A time when most wore a gun on the hip. Where the law of the jungle ruled.

    Are you suggesting we should go back to those times.

  63. Wally

    darrel nay this is off topic but.

    There is a huge difference between slavery and a regulated society that has laws to protect the public.

    I agree we are over regulated to some extent but this is in the main due to people doing the wrong thing and there is no social group or barrier that divides good from bad. There are idiots and criminals in every section of our society and while people continue to do the wrong thing we will waste resources policing idiots that could have been used to solve real crimes.

    I personally cannot comprehend why the speed limit is the same for a learner driver and an extremely experienced driver. I also believe that the best way to lower the road toll is better driver education, this approach has been proven to be correct in Europe. Just increasing the speed limit as was done by the Cain Government in Victoria resulted in a massive increase in road fatalities. You cannot deregulate in any area until correct training, acceptance of change and positive attitudes to change have occurred.

    Unfortunately in todays society they claim there is no such thing as common sense and the end result is that people no longer accept or take responsibility for their own actions or stupidity. Society doesn’t expect or demand people to take responsibility for themselves either!

  64. Kaye Lee

    In the 70s they used to call me a communist pot-smoking lesbian 🙂

  65. Florence nee Fedup

    Kaye, does that mean you were a outspoken woman with the guts to speak up about what was wrong in our society.

    I would say, something to be proud of.

    I think that darrel nay is having us on.

  66. jimhaz

    The smartest person I’d ever met was a libertarian. He went somwhat mad though.

    Darrel Nay however simply is lacking in IQ. He talks about slaves when really he is the slave – the slave to irrational fears.

    “IF Australia ever gets invaded we will need every gun we can get and for those who don’t own guns, well they can just roll-over and play dead”

    Privately owned guns will never save anyone from “invasion” of any type. Were there an invasion and you defended your self with serious weapons then you and your family would be far more likely to be shot dead at some point or harshly imprisoned in such circumstances.

    I do agree however that governing bodies do go overboard with rules. The sort of people that post here most frequently, and honestly “women who govern when in majority”‘ in general, would need to be prevented from being obsessive with rules. Too much feminisation of society is not good, and that point is worthy of discussion. As we are competitive animals at different levels of progress (particularly at the competing nation level), a Utopian world of snuggling up to mothers breasts is not possible.

    Overall, I’m a believer in “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Puddles will always exist and one must learn how to jump them.

  67. Kaye Lee

    I am uncertain what the ‘feminisation’ of society means but I am fairly certain it would be preferable to the militarisation of society.

    If it means caring for people, helping them when they fall down, and encouraging them to get back up, then I am all for it.

    If you think it means absolving people from taking responsibility for their actions, then you should perhaps speak to my children. Tell the truth, apologise, do what you can to make up for your mistake, and learn from the experience. Also learn to forgive. Don’t just participate, be a contributor.

    Puddles can seem like oceans at times so throwing out a lifeline can stop someone from drowning. Keep them afloat until they can head for shore. Or we could ignore them because we are strong swimmers.

  68. corvus boreus

    We all need to have guns to defend ourselves (Red Dawn style) when the forces of the NWO, having brought about global martial law by faking anthropogenic climate change through the mass deployment of chemtrails, come to enforce mandatory birth control measures and (further) enslave us all.
    We also need guns to defend ourselves from lions, bears, and those who would force us to subject our children to education.
    FREEDOM!(!!!)
    Cheers.

  69. mars08

    “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”

  70. Florence nee Fedup

    I suspect saying ‘feminisation’ has gone too far, means they want to return to a paternalistic society, One where men are given the respect, they see themselves entitled to.

    One where woman know their place.

  71. Kaye Lee

    A paternalistic world ruled by who has the biggest gun vs a feministic world ruled by concern and care for the collective. A world where we enforce co-operation through fear or encourage it through tolerance and compassion. Having regulations that ensure that we can provide for the collective and minimise risk is not a sign of weakness but rather of strength. Anticipating and preventing problems is not a loss of freedom, it is just sensible.

    Men want women to be at the bottom of the cliff ready to scrape them up when they fall. I’d rather erect a fence and talk to them about the dangers of playing near the edge.

    (Sorry to the many men to whom this does not apply. I probably should be directing my remarks to libertarians and those who think they keep us safe by owning guns)

  72. diannaart

    Well said Kaye Lee.

    Freedom is not having to own guns- who wants that type of world? – apart from libertarian nutters, of course. The USA is one of the least free places I have ever lived – I could not get over how easily Americans accepted the flag waving patriotism (very incessant and ‘in your face’ if you are from Australia), the requirement for a Green card to work for poverty level wages, cost of health services, cost of education.

    When I returned from this ‘land of the free’, I hoped that Australia would not follow the American path. We have lost many freedoms already, our higher education is now beyond the means of low income people, our health care needs protection, our wages are being slashed under the claim that businesses can’t afford to run paying a reasonable income to workers (middle to low income have remained literally stagnant, while CEO’s remuneration continue to spiral upwards), then we are told we are in danger from terrorists.

    How many Australians have been killed by terrorists from 2014 to date? 1, 2 maybe three.

    How many women have been murdered this year? So far we are averaging 3 women a week!

    Yet I and most other women I know, do not want to bear arms – even though we have good cause.

  73. Möbius Ecko

    …259 justifiable homicides… and …548 fatal unintentional shootings

    Thanks as always Kaye Lee, that’s one of the set of the figures I was looking for.

    8,342 criminal homicides using guns… There’s a statistic not broken out from that and the stolen guns figures, this is the number of home invasions or attacks on someone, e.g. mugging, where the perpetrator not initially having a gun has gotten hold of a victim’s gun and used it against them. I heard a discussion on this a long while ago on LNL. It’s another circumstance were it not for an owner gun being there, a fatal shooting would not have occurred. It’s not to say a stabbing, blunt weapon or bashing would not have occurred, but in that circumstance the chance of a death is lower. Plus it now puts another gun in criminal hands.

    From memory of that LNL piece I think I recall it being stated that in some US States or in one State no electronic records on gun ownership are kept as the gun lobby had successfully campaigned against it. So there are on only huge vaults of paper records that are extremely difficult to collate and research.

  74. darrel nay

    We should ban spoons because they make people fat and we should ban motor vehicles because they kill people and we should ban water because people drown. Thank god they banned fireworks – it doesn’t matter that millions of people loved fireworks night because a few people were injured/killed. Let’s ban showers because people fall over. Hey, let’s ban prescription drugs because millions of people are injured by medications. Can we ban bush walking because people are hurt by critters or falling down. While we’re on a roll we can ban alcohol, cigarettes, etc. etc. etc.

    Totalitarians legislate to make us follow their beliefs ie. people posting on this site who promote legislation curtailing the freedoms of others (including the right to self-defense) are totalitarians – experience suggests very few of these mini-totalitarians will admit their bent. Millions of Australians are sick of the politically correct cult telling us how to live, speak and think.

    Cheers

  75. Kaye Lee

    Darrell,

    You have not replied to any of the valid points raised to you. Do you understand the concept of risk management?

  76. corvus boreus

    Don’t you mean ‘partial totalitarians’?
    Cheers.

    P.s Kaye Lee, don’t you know that ‘risk assessment’, and any attendant ‘hazard reduction’ measures, are totalitarian tyrannies imposed upon the basic human right to be a reckless phuqknuckle with absolute disregard to other peoples’ safety and wellbeing?

  77. Kaye Lee

    I loved cracker night too but I remember very well setting fire to the paddock next door. Another year the fence went up. A girl in my class was blinded in one eye (she was just watching when a rocket shot in the wrong direction).

    Some stats from the US…..

    •In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.

    •In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of those injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.

    •The risk of fireworks injury is highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.

    •On July 4th in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

  78. darrel nay

    Kaye,
    You clearly have a warm heart but, I’m sure you’ll agree, this doesn’t give you the right to tell everyone else how to live. The State has given us endless war, GMO’s, total surveillance, banker bailouts, etc. but you continually advocate giving them more power over our lives – I am saying ‘leave us alone and stop legislating and taxing us into submission. Millions of us just want to get on with our lives without having the self-righteous hordes micro-managing us. Your utopia is in fact a version of fireworkless hell for many of us.

    Kaye, you raise the concept of risk management. The military industrial complex has used the concept of risk management to argue for pre-emptive strikes – so it’s a great theory but in practice risk management can be dangerous. I have used the story of the chicken that crossed the road a number of times to illustrate that life involves taking risks – should the chicken have practiced risk management and stayed in bed?

    Kaye, you don’t always answer my ‘valid’ points either – so what?

    Cheers

  79. Kaye Lee

    I am yet to hear you make one.

    If you don’t want to pay taxes I assume you will be building your own roads and railways, hospitals and schools. You will insist on paying the full price for your own education and for any stay in a private hospital. You will insist on paying the full price for all medications (and I warn you, some of them cost thousands for one injection without the PBS). No more sewers, no regulation of energy and telecommunications services and prices. You want us to do away with firemen and ambulances and police and the armed forces and just give everyone a gun in some sort of Mad Max fantasy?

  80. darrel nay

    If I post a heap of statistics about car accident deaths will those who promote banning every other thing apply their ‘principles’ to push for a ban on cars?

    Freedom

  81. Kaye Lee

    A car is a mode of transport. Because it can be dangerous, we have many regulations to minimise the risk caused by unsafe drivers and faulty vehicles.

  82. Möbius Ecko

    Even in Mad Max the organised groups, good or evil, had rules and laws.

  83. darrel nay

    Kaye

    I think you are intelligent enough to recognise that I don’t promote paying no taxes – rather I complain about the complexity of the tax system, the unfair aspects of the tax system (eg. foreign multinationals offshoring profits to avoid taxes), the scale of the tax haul and the compulsory nature of taxes as opposed to a voluntary tax system. You continually manipulate my comments to try to pigeon-hole me – whatever. As for bringing up the PBS well surely you know that drug manufacturers are manipulating that system to milk Australian taxpayers.

    Cheers

  84. corvus boreus

    We do not have a ban on gun ownership, nor is one being seriously proposed.
    If you are a professional shooter you can own a firearm for your work.
    If you are a sporting shooter you can own a firearm for your hobby.
    If you are a rural property owner you can own a firearm for purposes such as protection of stock from predation by wild dogs (if not lions and bears).
    This right to own a firearm for specified purposes is provisioned by a background check to assure there is no history of violence, criminality or serious mental illness, and a necessity to show capacity for secure, responsible storage and handling of firearms, and the registration of any firearms acquired.
    Our domestic firearms laws have enabled a more than significant decrease in the incidence of gun injuries and death in Australia since the laws were tightened in 1996.
    I am happy enough with that.

  85. darrel nay

    Hey Mobius,

    Yes they had laws on Mad Max but they didn’t have millions of laws and regulations.

  86. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for a more considered reply Darrell. I have no problem with discussing better taxation laws or improvements to the PBS. Read the following article about how we could vastly improve the PBS.

    https://theconversation.com/fixing-australias-bad-drug-deal-could-save-1-3-billion-a-year-12707

    I know you won’t like this suggestion but if the government became the sole drug importer we would save a fortune because they could negotiate far cheaper prices due to the bulk in which they would be ordering. Generics also save us a fortune but I fear these things have all been put at risk by the TPP.

  87. Mark Rayner

    “”Kaye LeeOctober 10, 2015 at 8:55 am
    I am yet to hear you make one.

    If you don’t want to pay taxes I assume you will be building your own roads and railways, hospitals and schools. You will insist on paying the full price for your own education and for any stay in a private hospital. You will insist on paying the full price for all medications (and I warn you, some of them cost thousands for one injection without the PBS). No more sewers, no regulation of energy and telecommunications services and prices. You want us to do away with firemen and ambulances and police and the armed forces and just give everyone a gun in some sort of Mad Max fantasy?””

    You do realise, that until the ‘federal reserve’ was created, no-one paid taxes, we still had roads and services.. If our resources werent owned by overseas interests and owned by the citizenry, we still wouldnt need to pay taxes.. The consequences, people have more, poverty would be by choice, harm reduction, happier healthier, etc etc..
    Any form of totalitarianism is going to cause issues for everyone eventually, even you!!

  88. Kaye Lee

    I do not consider the provision of services to be totalitarian and I feel far more comfortable with a transparent accountable government providing those services than I do being at the mercy of private enterprise.

  89. miriamenglish

    Darrel, spoons, cars, swimming pools, and so on are almost entirely used for their primary purposes, which are harmless. Guns have one use: to kill.

    Cars are a special case because hurtling around at high speed in a heavy metal can is inherently dangerous. However a lot of work has been, and is still being done to make cars less risky (seat belts, air bags, automated braking systems, safety fencing and guard rails, traffic lights and roundabouts, road signs, speed limits, keeping to the left side of the road, and so on). In the very near future expect driverless cars, making them far safer than they currently are. I don’t think you’ll ever get anybody to argue that we should have have cars that are more dangerous to the driver, their passengers, other drivers and their passengers, and pedestrians. Contrast this with gun-nuts who are always arguing for more dangerous guns. (See how truly crazy these people are when they oppose a safer gun when it was developed.)

    Only a short-sighted Libertarian extremist would think that a person should have a right to drive an unsafe vehicle on our roads. But driving a car is a social contract whether you like it or not. You have a responsibility not to endanger other people, and they have a right not to be killed or injured by you. You are perfectly free to drive a deathtrap vehicle at high speed around a paddock where you only put yourself at risk. As far as I know that’s always been legal. But venture onto a road paid for by the rest of society, where you endanger the lives of other citizens and you will hopefully be stopped. That just makes good sense.

    Darrel, I bet you’d be the first to sue or insist on prison for someone who ran you over in an illegally unsafe car by someone who didn’t have a licence and didn’t know how to drive. I can’t see you shrugging and saying it was their right to cripple you for life. Or would you still proclaim that such road laws and drivers licences are restrictive examples of tyranny, and that the person who injured you is an outstanding exemplar of freedom?

    All the arguments in favor of having a society riddled with guns just don’t stack up. The only way those arguments look even half good is to view them narrowly through the eyes of a child throwing a tantrum (“I want it! I want it! I want it!”) who doesn’t listen to any responsible counter-arguments. But it’s worse than that, because that person is rarely a child; they’re usually a paranoid adult who acts like a child. That is exactly the worst person to get their hands on a gun — worse even than a criminal. From my flawed memory (I couldn’t be bothered looking it up) in USA those people seem to kill and injure far more people than criminals do.

  90. mars08

    I don’t recall the last time a disgruntled kid went to an American school with a bucket of water, and drowned a dozen classmates.

  91. corvus boreus

    Mark Raynor,
    The first sentence in your latest contribution (after the cut and paste quote) is patently wrong.
    Governmental taxation of citizenry to pay for public works has existed since ancient Egyptian times (at least).
    The North American colonies that would eventually become the US of A were taxed from the get-go (partially to fund expanding infrastructure), and the cry “no taxation without representation” was one of the slogans of their independence movement, decades before the first formation of a US Federal Reserve.
    In Australia, Governor Phillip came ashore a with statutory decree authorizing him to levee taxes upon the colony as deemed necessity for it’s improvement, a capacity which he immediately utilised.
    You should either check your facts or express yourself more carefully.

    .

  92. diannaart

    WHITE PINE, Tenn. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy has been charged with murder after he killed his 8-year-old neighbor, police said, and witnesses say it was because the girl wouldn’t let him see her puppy.

    Deputies were called to the neighborhood in White Pine, about 40 miles east of Knoxville, on Saturday night. The boy shot the girl from inside his home with his father’s 12-gauge shotgun, said Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mckayla-dyer-11-year-old-charged-puppy

    If only someone had a gun and shot the 11 year old first.

    http://tinyurl.com/q5arff7

  93. Keith

    The case of the 11 year old boy shooting his 8 year old neighbour places huge stress on families, the police, other emergency service workers, neighbours, the community in general, and persons involved in the funerals. Your views produce an environment where such a tragedy would be more common having huge psychological and psychiatric ramifications.. The thought bubble “Freedom” becomes somewhat murky when opened up further.

  94. diannaart

    @Keith

    I know it is absent from our gun-totin’ freedom fighters – however, you do understand the use of irony to make a point?

    Irony – the only weapon I use.

    🙂

  95. Kaye Lee

    I cannot tell you how many fights I have broken up during my time as a barmaid, a schoolteacher and working in a youth refuge. I have never felt that a gun would have been helpful even in one very hairy situation where a kid had a very large knife but I am sure that, in the heat of the moment, there were many situations where, had anyone had a gun, they may well have used it.

  96. mars08

    @dianaart…. I suspect (hope) that Keith’s comment was aimed at the libertarian waffle. Try reading it again from that angle….

  97. diannaart

    @mars08

    Yeah, I did wonder that – but females using irony tends to bring out the ‘mansplainer’ – perhaps in future, Keith will identify just whom he means when he uses terms such as ‘your views’.

  98. Keith

    @mars08
    I thought I had made it very clear that I’m totally against rapid firing weapons, and there needs to be strict regulation in relation of any firearm. The libertarian viewpoint generally is quite anti social from my point of view.

  99. Keith

    @ diannaart
    The comments I have been making have been in relation to what Darrel has been writing only.

  100. darrel nay

    If someone lives in an area where police response times exceed 30 minutes how are they supposed to protect themselves against a criminal that breaks into their home and threatens their children?

    Cheers

  101. Wally

    miriamenglish

    “In the very near future expect driverless cars, making them far safer than they currently are.”

    The concept of driverless cars really worries me, when I consider my so called smart phone, it has an mind of its own and it is a hopeless case when it comes to doing what I want it to do. Many of the improvements to car safety are excellent, they help drivers do their job better, they make it less likely that occupants will be injured if an accident occurs and they make driving more pleasurable.

    On the other hand we make cars that park themselves, stop themselves and control the cars stability, to some extent these all take away the skill set a driver needs. The end result is similar to what calculators have done to/for students learning mathematics. What are time tables? Yes calculators allow students to do harder maths easier but do they make them better mathematicians? I believe it doesn’t but this is a very arguable point depending on your perspective.

    In the cars situation I am certain that many of the modern aids designed to replace driving skills allow people to drive faster/better than they could otherwise but what happens when something goes wrong and they lack the basic reactions/skills to deal with the situation? Electronics can only mimic intelligence by assessing input signals and controlling the outputs but as soon as any component fails the system is rendered useless. Yes we still have some control and systems can include redundancy but there is no intelligence inbuilt than can adapt in real time to overcome any failure or adverse situation that arises. That is why we build big guards around machines to protect people from automated and/or dangerous situations.

  102. mars08

    diannaart:

    …but females using irony tends to bring out the ‘mansplainer’….

    mmmmm…. hahahha… Irony on top of irony? So, I try to explain Keith’s comment and you explain… that you thought HE was mansplaining. And around it goes again…

    BTW, the preceding was a comment, not an attempted explanation!

  103. darrel nay

    driverless cars – boring, no thanks! All the computer systems they are putting in cars are making them less reliable and harder to repair. The proliferation of computers in cars is also shortening the lifespan of vehicles which leads to further pressure on environmental resources.

  104. Möbius Ecko

    Wally driverless cars are not just about safety, and maybe that’s not even their main purpose. They are all about efficiency and that has been proven in tests in several countries.

    Currently human interference in driving causes stop start traffic, fluctuations in smooth traffic movements and complexities in traffic management. Tests have shown that having all driverless cars not only gets someone to a destination quicker they do so with better fuel and vehicle efficiency, that is brake and other car component wear.

    Indeed having humans control cars means that many of the driving components of a vehicle are over engineered to take human driving variability into account, which makes the vehicle heavier than it needs to be, adding to the cost and subtracting from the efficiency of the vehicle.

    Apart from humans loosing control, which can be a mental health issue, there really are no downers to cars driving themselves.

  105. diannaart

    @mars08

    I hear and, um understand 😉

    @Keith

    Thank you for clarification – important to know 🙂

  106. diannaart

    Suggestion for darrel nay

    Try mounting a machine gun on the front of your car – you know you want to…..

  107. darrel nay

    Mobius claims there really are no downers to cars driving themselves – that is rubbish. I guess Mobius won’t be one of the millions watching Bathurst this weekend. Maybe instead of enjoying skydiving or snorkelling we should all just watch a video because it’s ‘safer’.

    Cheers

  108. darrel nay

    Suggestion for dianaart

    If you experience a violent home invasion and the police can’t reach you in time, maybe you could poke fun at the attacker or just make an inane suggestion – it might work for you. If you are attacked you will experience being unempowered.

  109. diannaart

    @darrel nay

    If I experience a home invasion I would be swiftly disarmed of whatever weapon I bore by even a moderately stronger opponent – in fact I would be seeking escape rather than fight – this has saved me in the past.

  110. darrel nay

    reply for dianaart

    You express the victim mentality. You will find it difficult to flee if you are cornered or have a number of young children – in which case most people would prefer to fight to protect the children. Home invaders seek unarmed targets.

    Cheers

  111. Wally

    Möbius Ecko

    “They are all about efficiency and that has been proven in tests in several countries.”

    I fully appreciate the objective and perceived benefits but my memories of Windows 95 crashing on a regular basis does little to instil faith in computers and seeing what happens when a robot system loses sync with an axis controller rings very loud alarm bells.

    “Currently human interference in driving causes stop start traffic, fluctuations in smooth traffic movements and complexities in traffic management”

    We need better managed roads, in particular traffic light sequencing to improve traffic flow and reduce stop start driving. In Melbourne they have deliberately made alternate routes to the toll roads slower than they were previously. On some roads like Old Dandenong Road the traffic is stopped at every set of lights. With properly sequenced lights once a car has been stopped at a set of lights it should flow through the next 5-6 sets without stopping until the car turns off to travel in another direction. In Melbourne nowadays as you accelerate from 1 set of lights the set ahead of you change to red and you start off again and again….

    “Apart from humans loosing control, which can be a mental health issue, there really are no downers to cars driving themselves.”

    I love driving so for me it has nothing to do with losing control it is more like being denied participating in a sport.

  112. diannaart

    No darrel nay

    I am expressing survivor mentality.

    Your hypothetical situations are similar to what I have already survived.

    Did you not notice in previous comment I said my strategy has worked in the past?

    Also no one was harmed or died.

  113. darrel nay

    I agree 100% Wally

  114. Kaye Lee

    How do you decide someone is violent before they attack you? When do you shoot? Would you shoot a kid who broke in to steal cash? Most violence in homes is perpetrated by relatives or people known to the victim. When do you decide to shoot your neighbour or your uncle?

  115. miriamenglish

    Wally, I can understand your concern. I feel these worries myself, as I’m actually something of a control-freak as regards my immediate environment. I’m also a rabid infovore. However at some point we have to decide which unnecessary abilities we want to retain and which cool new abilities we wish to make room for. We really only have so much room in our brains for well-practiced skills and only so much time in which to perfect them. I would love to be able to make a stone axe by chipping the correctly chosen stone and use resins and vine or bark to glue and tie it to a sturdy piece of wood, but I have far more pressing things to finish: several computer programs and the two books I’m currently writing, as well as getting my new 3D Printer to work properly. I’ve long ago given up on being able to do mental- or even hand-arithmetic reliably as I seem to have dyscalculia and have difficulty remembering numbers, or even copying them down in the correct order (a real bugger when trying to pay for something online by typing in my debit card number). I’m deeply envious of people who can relatively easily and reliably calculate without a computer. However I don’t lose any sleep over it; the chances of me being stuck without a computer diminish daily.

    Regarding the safety of self-driven cars, if you consider the likelihood of computer failure against the fact that humans fail all the time to drive safely, I’ll take those odds (just please let the computers not be built on Microsoft bloody Windows!!). Sure, there will be the odd failure, but humans fail constantly. Humans really are not very good at driving. We can’t watch several things simultaneously, we become angry at perceived slights, we have lapses of attention when we tire or are distracted, we often overestimate our ability or underestimate safety margins. These things are not unusual. In fact they are so common as to be normal among humans. I remember one foggy morning in Melbourne, when I lived down there, hearing about a pile-up of, I think, about 20 cars on a main arterial. They were all following too close for the weather conditions. Frankly, when I see the way people drive I am constantly amazed the road toll is not far higher.

    Driverless cars will be a great boon. There will be resistance to them at first, but the road toll will plummet and people will wonder how anybody could have possibly considered doing something as crazy as manually controlling something as dangerous as a car.

    They’ll also make cars far more energy efficient.

    I hate driving. I look forward to the time when I can use that time reading or writing or snoozing while being computer-chauffeured to my destination.

  116. darrel nay

    reply for dianaart

    if you had 3 or 4 kids with you it may not be possible to run – so running is not always the answer. Sometimes you have to muscle-up and defend others. I would not like to leave children in your care if you aren’t prepared to at least try and defend them.

  117. Matters Not

    Wally, I remember driving in the good old days when cars were started with a Crank Handle. (Broken wrists were but a mere driving hazard.) When double declutching was a necessary skill to change gears in vehicles with unsynchronized manual transmissions.

    Yes we are deskilled these days with braking systems that don’t lock up and automatic gear changing and the like. And it’s what I prefer.

    One further point.

    similar to what calculators have done to/for students learning mathematics

    Arithmetic is not Mathematics. Arithmetic is to Mathematics as spelling is to writing. The mastery of the lower level skill does not lead necessarily to the higher level. And with the use of calculators, mastering that lower level arithmetical skill may not be necessarily a handicap in pursuing the higher level Mathematical explorations, both applied and theoretical.

    As for Freedom. Are we talking about ‘freedom from’, ‘freedom to’ and variations. They need to be unpacked.

  118. diannaart

    Among the 62 mass shootings over the last 30 years that we studied, not a single case includes evidence that the killer chose to target a place because it banned guns. To the contrary, in many of the cases there was clearly another motive for the choice of location. For example, 20 were workplace shootings, most of which involved perpetrators who felt wronged by employers and colleagues. Last September, when a troubled man working at a sign manufacturer in Minneapolis was told he would be let go, he pulled out a 9mm Glock and killed six people and injured another before putting a bullet in his own head. Similar tragedies unfolded at a beer distributor in Connecticut in 2010 and at a plastics factory in Kentucky in 2008.

    Or consider the 12 school shootings we documented, in which all but one of the killers had personal ties to the school they struck. FBI investigators learned from one witness, for example, that the mass shooter in Newtown had long been fixated on Sandy Hook Elementary School, which he’d once attended.

    Or take the man who opened fire in suburban Milwaukee last August: Are we to believe that a white supremacist targeted the Sikh temple there not because it was filled with members of a religious minority he despised, but because it was a place that allegedly* banned firearms?…..

    ….Not one of the 62 mass shootings we documented was stopped this way. Veteran FBI, ATF, and police officials say that an armed citizen opening fire against an attacker in a panic-stricken movie theater or shopping mall is very likely to make matters worse. Law enforcement agents train rigorously for stopping active shooters, they say, a task that requires extraordinary skills honed under acute duress. In cases in Washington and Texas in 2005, would-be heroes who tried to take action with licensed firearms were gravely wounded and killed. In the Tucson mass shooting in 2011, an armed citizen admitted to coming within a split second of gunning down the wrong person—one of the bystanders who’d helped tackle and subdue the actual killer….

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/gun-free-zones-mass-shootings

    ,,,and I have lived, survived, escaped those who tried to harm me…

  119. darrel nay

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/10/23/12-year-old-girl-shoots-home-intruder/

    A 12-year-old Oklahoma girl took extreme measures to protect herself when an unfamiliar man broke into her home last Wednesday. The girl, who was home alone during a day off from school, shot and wounded the home intruder, local NBC affiliate KTEN News reports.

    Kendra St. Clair, was home by herself when a man rang the doorbell to her Bryan County, Okla., home. She didn’t answer, so the trespasser walked to the back of the house and kicked open a door. St. Clair called her mother, who advised her to grab the family’s gun and hide, according to an interview she gave to local broadcaster KFOR-TV. Authorities said that the girl found the gun and took shelter in a bathroom closet.

    “I was sitting there in the closet, really scared, holding the gun, not knowing what was going to happen,” St. Clair told KFOR-TV.

    Bryan County Under Sheriff Ken Golden told KTEN that the intruder worked his way through the house and to the bathroom, and he was turning the doorknob to St. Clair’s closet when she fired through the door.

    The girl then called 911 for help.

    “She was very brave, she stayed on the phone with the dispatcher the whole time—talked all the way through it and was still on the phone with dispatch when we got into the house,” Golden said to KTEN.

    The intruder, who KTEN says has been identified as 32-year-old Stacy Jones of Texarkana, was flown to a hospital in Plano, Texas. Jones survived the shot to his shoulder, and he has been charged with first-degree burglary, according to KOCO TV.

    St. Clair has been widely lauded as a hometown hero for her quick actions, KFOR reports.

    “When I had the gun, I didn’t think I was actually going to have to shoot somebody,” St. Clair told ABC News. “I think it’s going to change me a whole lot, knowing that I can hold my head up high and nothing can hurt me anymore.”

  120. Matters Not

    Rutledge was shot at about 10.20am on Tuesday, in the electronics department of the Hayden, Idaho, Walmart. Kootenai County sheriffs said her son, sitting in the front of a shopping cart, reached into Rutledge’s purse, found her weapon and shot his mother.

    While shopping with her son and nieces in the store, Rutledge carried a loaded small-caliber handgun zippered in a pocket in her purse. The purse was a Christmas gift from her husband, Colt Rutledge, one designed specifically for concealed carry, the Washington Post reported.

    “All the precautionary measures weren’t taken to ensure the safety of that weapon,” Miller said later.

    Despite Miller’s comment, the Rutledges were reportedly experienced gun owners and shooters. Rutledge had a concealed carry permit, police said. She loved to hunt, shoot and camp, friends and family told the Washington Post

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/31/idaho-nuclear-scientist-shot-dead-son-walmart

    Further:

    A 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an instructor with an Uzi at an Arizona shooting range said immediately after the shooting that she felt the gun was too much for her and had hurt her shoulder, according to police reports released Tuesday …

    The girl’s father was the first one in the party to handle a weapon. After he fired shots, Vacca instructed the girl on how to shoot the gun, showed her a shooting stance, and helped her fire a few rounds.

    Then, he stepped back and let her hold the Uzi by herself. She fired the gun, and its recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, killing Vacca with a shot to the head, according to the report.

    The girl dropped the Uzi, and Vacca fell to the ground. The girl ran toward her family, who huddled around her as she held her shoulder. Another instructor rushed over to help to Vacca. The other children were then taken away from the range, according to the report

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/02/girl-fatally-shot-instructor-uzi

    No further comment required.

  121. darrel nay

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/exclusive-westgate-interpol-chief-ponders-armed-citizenry/story?id=20637341

    Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.

    In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

    “Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

    Freedom

  122. Matters Not

    Darrel nay from your link:

    A Halloween party became a horror story Saturday night when a 9-year-old girl was shot, after a relative accidentally mistook her for a skunk, WPXI reported.

    At about 8:30 p.m., a male family member shot at the young girl, who was sporting a black costume that included a black hat with a white tassel, thinking it was a skunk

    And yes I know it couldn’t happen in Australia because we don’t have skunks. And if it were my relative they wouldn’t have a gun in my house. But then again it was a ‘party’. Perhaps the invitation said – Bring your own gun!

  123. Kaye Lee

    There have been two more school shooting deaths today in the States with a few more wounded….two separate incidents. That figure was a couple of hours ago so may be out of date. They won’t count on mass shooting statistics because not enough people died, unless some of the wounded don’t survive.

  124. Matters Not

    Re the Halloween Party and the shot ‘skunk.

    Word is that the invitation said that drinks and nibbilies would be provided but guests should bring their own guns and ammo.

    (No need to check them in at the door.)

    Isn’t their definition of ‘freedom’ so liberating.

    For those who need to ‘prepare’. http://www.prepperwebsite.com/

  125. darrel nay

    The fact that some criminals use guns in horrible ways is not a reason to destroy the right to self-defense of millions of law-abiding citizens – it’s pretty simple really. If someone uses a knife to injure someone, we don’t all run around like headless chickens calling for kitchen utensils to be banned.

    Cheers

  126. Kaye Lee

    We have approximately 9 million households in Australia. Violent home invasions number in the tens and are often drug related. I cannot think of one single occasion in Australia when a person could have protected their child from an intruder. The cases I can think of, the child was snatched when no-one was looking.

    Darrell…can you name one situation where an Australian has, or could have, protected their family/home with a gun? I recall when a farmer shot an inspector from the EPA. Home invasions are either for burglary or because someone you know is angry – not to “harm children” unless it is a domestic violence incident.

  127. Wally

    miriamenglish and Matters Not

    What is best for one person can be totally wrong for another. Some people drive cars because they have to get from A to B while others (like me) only bother to go from A to B because it involves driving.

    Miriam you are close to the money in suggesting “Humans really are not very good at driving”, certainly the average Australian driver is an accident waiting to happen but if you were to assess the skills of the average driver in many European countries the opposite is true. I think we could reduce the road toll significantly if every driver was compelled to do a defensive driving course every few years. Parents who are bad drivers spend hours teaching their kids to drive just as badly as they do and then learners do a hand full of lessons with a driving instructor on how to pass a driving test. Once they pass the driving test we let them drive on the road at the same speed as a driver who has been licensed for years developing their driving skills?????

    diannaart

    I want one of those huge go anywhere off road military vehicles with everything that opens and shuts but I don’t want the bonnet mounted machine guns or a rocket launcher. Maybe I could sell them in the USA to pay the fuel bill.

    darrel nay

    Earlier in my life I associated with idiots and had close associations with many criminals, by associating with these people you introduce the possibility of bad consequences occurring to your family. If we had a school reunion the attendance would be doubled if the event was held inside Barwon Prison. As Kaye Lee replied most domestic violence is carried out by family members or friends who have been invited into the home. I no longer have the time or patience to deal with dickheads so I have deliberately lost contact with the people who make it harder for me to enjoy a peaceful wholesome life. Because of my lifestyle I don’t need a gun nor do I want gun laws relaxed but I am sick of being over regulated.

  128. darrel nay

    If anyone thinks violent home invasions number in the tens they are living in la-la land. But, if you or someone you know is ever in that situation maybe you’ll think differently – probably not.

    I’m off to watch the golf now

  129. Matters Not

    has, or could have, protected their family/home with a gun

    On the Redcliffe peninsular, quite a few years ago in the early Goss years, the home owner shot a young bloke oberved in his car port. Caused an uproar at the time because the youth was simply sheltering from a ‘down pour’.

  130. Matters Not

    I’m off to watch the golf now

    Pity, but remember to keep your weapon handy.

  131. miriamenglish

    David Waldman has been collecting gun shooting statistics and stories which he publishes on DailyKOS under the tag “GunFAIL”. The stories are often harrowing, sometimes hilarious, of ordinary people shooting themselves, their kids, their friends, almost always accidentally. Far too often they are kids shooting each other. The really impressive thing is how horrifyingly common these events are. He used to publish them more frequently than he has of late, but he still collects them and posts them from time to time. Each post usually contains about 50 or 60 shootings. Here are two recent posts: 6 days ago and a week and a half ago.

    The usual paranoid excuse for owning a gun (to protect you from a boogeyman) doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Very few people get shot by strangers who are criminals with guns. Most gun injuries and deaths are accidents by close friends or family.

    And Darrel, you’ve got rocks in your head if you think living out in the countryside away from towns is dangerous. The city is where most bad things happen. Even the city is increasingly safe as violent crime has trended downwards ever since we started keeping records hundreds of years ago… even in scary violent USA.

  132. Matters Not

    darrel nay @ October 10, 2015 at 1:53 pm and the story of the 12 year old girl who shot the intruder, there are some things that don’t make sense. For example:

    called her mother, who advised her to grab the family’s gun and hide,

    Why wouldn’t she advise the child to exit via the front door and run very quickly, shouting as she sprinted. Further, why was the gun (apparently) not under lock and key. Why didn’t the mother (herself) not ring 911 but chose to wait for the child to take that course of action after the child had shot the intruder?

    A further worry was the girl’s closing statement.

    “I think it’s going to change me a whole lot, knowing that I can hold my head up high and nothing can hurt me anymore

    nothing can hurt me anymore. The ‘liberating’ ‘affect and effect’ a gun can bring.

    The ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’.

  133. Kaye Lee

    Since 1999, when there was a peak of 344 victims, the number of murder victims has been in decline. The 2012 figure of 255 victims represents a 26 percent decrease in the number of victims of murder compared with 1999.

    In 2012, 42 percent of all victims of murder were killed by an offender armed with a knife. When it comes to assault, similar proportions of victims were assaulted by ‘known other’ (33%) and family (32%) with 28% for strangers.

    Males were assaulted by strangers at a much higher rate than females (179 per 100,000 population compared with 54 per 100,000). Conversely, females were victimised by family members at a much higher rate than males (188 per 100,000 population compared with 73 per 100,000).

    Sexual assault victims were most commonly victimised by ‘known others’ or family members. Specifically in 2012, 45 percent of all victims were sexually assaulted by a ‘known other’ and 27 percent by a family member.

    In 2012, strangers accounted for 19 percent of sexual assaults.

  134. mars08

    @dianaart…. Apparently you “express the victim mentality”

    How pathetic of you. How careless! How deluded you are

    Don’t you understand that it’s much better to live in constant fear of being mauled by lions and bears, having your home invaded, being set upon by psychotic drug users, being attacked by a foreign army, being enslaved by your own government. You should always remain alert… remain prepared to use deadly force and…. above all, remain armed. Because… it seems that behaviour in NO WAY expresses a “victim mentality”

    Fair enough?

  135. Florence nee Fedup

    Darrel how many of those thousands laws and regulations you claim exist, stop you from going about your daily life.

    What worries you about the complex tax laws you complain about?

    Do you own a gun or not? If so, do you want to carry it around with you, or keep it safely locked in a gun cabinet?

    If you feel carrying a gun would make you safer, please explain how?

    Personally Darrel, I can’t help but feel you are just stirring on this site.

  136. Florence nee Fedup

    The guns law are accompanied by many other laws that prohibit us, going around armed. Under law be can’t arm ourselves with knives, sabres knuckle dusters, many more things, even baseball bats.

    I can’t think of any law, that hasn’t come about because of crisis in society.

    People are killed, laws come into place to prevent this happening to others.

    Does anyone want to go back to the days, when drunk drivers thought nothing of getting behind the wheel drunk. I don’t.

  137. Florence nee Fedup

    I went to Europe around 1990. I was not impressed or felt any safer with the heavily armed guards that was apparent everywhere.

    Was amazed to see armed guard outside small sox shop in London. Was not amused at the security system, with armed guards one had to get past, to enter a bank in Rome to withdraw some money.

    What brought it home to me more, was getting off a plane in Venice, coming down the steps, proceeding to the terminal between a line armed police/soldiers? and beautiful german shepherds. Didn’t make me feel safe at all. Had opposite effect.

    I note,over the years, such highly apparent armed security didn’t prevent terrorist attempts in their cities.

    I came back home, with one thought in mind, I do not want to see the same in this country. I don’t want to see anyone with guns. I am becoming uneasy, that our police appeared to be relying too much on arms. Gun etc. Seem to have lost the ability to talk people down, to calm situations. (Not talking about what happened in Parramatta).

    No, I am happy with the laws we have. Especially the one about duty of care. Duty of care we all have to one another.

    Darrell I suspect I would be hiding any gun in a home invasion. Would fear them getting hold of it. Would also question my ability, pulling the trigger to kill anyone.

    When dealing with people, there are many times one has to be conscience risk management. Another to keep in mind is exit clauses.

  138. Florence nee Fedup

    Kaye, I bet you broke up many of those blues, by being calm, soft spoken. Going in like bull in the china shop would have made matters worse.

  139. Kaye Lee

    Of course Florence. The kid with the knife was as scared as I was but he didn’t really want to stab anyone…he just didn’t know how to make the bullying stop. I was all very calm as I said you don’t want to do this, give me the knife….but I was a shaking mess by the time I got to the staffroom.

  140. Florence nee Fedup

    I have been in a siege many years ago in Liverpool. Believe me, having guns available for self defence wouldn’t have made situation any better. In fact, I believe it would have increased the angst.

    After a number of hours, we were safely released. Those near the gunman were left alone. The siege ended through the night with gunman killing his partner and himself.

    As for us, we were eventually moved to new premises with security built in.

    Sadly the above was not the only time we faced violence. Something that was inbuilt in the job. Was threatened on more one occasion of having my head blown off. One time, with description of how he would put the gun under my chin. That occurred in front of couple policeman. Yes, he was indeed into hunting, yes did have guns.

    Personally, I can see no good reason why gun laws shouldn’t be tightened.

    I also find knives as frightening.

    I was reared on the land. yes, used to having guns in the home. Also taught to treat them with respect. The little 22 of my mother’s was used the couple times I saw them used.

  141. diannaart

    I see darrel nay is still fantasising about bears ‘n lions ‘n drug fuelled crazies…. My own home assault(s) were far more mundane, perpetrated by my then husband, bringing his fist home just for me.

    Incidentally I have also talked my way out of couple of dodgy situations – seems even strange men can be more reasonable than my ex-husband. Not so the road rage maniac who tried to threaten me with a tyre iron – fast get away in my car along the wrong side of the road – once again I am a survivor – although looking back now, I wonder if I am, in fact, a winner.

    I have never physically attacked anyone, let alone use a knife or gun, nor do I live in fear (like darrel nay does) the chances of me being invaded at home by complete strangers are minimal compared to the likelihood, should my ex husband ever discover my address…. and I still feel no need for a gun.

    Ooooops, apologies mars08 – got all serious and non-ironical.

    😉

  142. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    The last person you want around you in a possibly dangerous situation is a loud-mouth hothead – especially one with a gun in his hands.

  143. mars08

    Funny thing about Libertarians…

    They don’t like paying taxes, they don’t like “needless” laws… but they still want to complain about the local police not showing up on time. You’d think they would hire their own cops!!!

  144. Miriam English

    🙂 Good catch Mars08. It is indeed odd.

    An old girlfriend of mine used to spend some time in the Philippines from time to time where the wealthy people often have private armed police forces. She was always bringing back stories of those police doing hair-raising stuff, shooting people and each other(!!!) for the dumbest of reasons. The USA saturating their culture with guns and the unrestrained “free market” mindset worked out so well for them.

    It’s weird how Libertarians and gun nuts become so divorced from reality. I would have thought a sprinkling of facts would give them pause, but it actually appears to have the reverse effect of making them adhere more strongly to their beliefs.

    I am a fan of the market, but recognise that until we work out ways to change some of its inbuilt positive feedback mechanisms the market needs to be carefully regulated for its own sake. One of its worst feedback loops is the concentration of power and money into fewer and fewer hands, trending toward monopolies and effective feudalism. A totally “free market” never stays free for very long — it quickly becomes completely distorted by its own processes, leading to domination by a few powerful players. You can show this to Libertarians, and in fact they are often very conscious of the threat of giant corporations themselves, but they appear unable to see this as a shortcoming of their beloved unregulated free market.

    Likewise, gun nuts can be shown the toll such weapons have on society and that unarmed societies are far safer places to live, but the facts are somehow never allowed to mesh in their minds. I have an intelligent friend in USA that I chat with on the net from time to time, but he is utterly convinced that he will need his guns for protection from the government if it turns on its people (though I think this is mostly a rationale for his adoration of guns, which appears to be like an illness in USA). This guy is no redneck halfwit. He is mostly a clear-thinking, sensible person… except when it comes to the “free market” and guns, and then he becomes blinded by the propaganda and deafened by the chants “the invisible hand of the free market” and “guns for protection”.

    With all the gun-porn on TV and at the movies and in computer games it is worrying that gun culture and its rationalisations could be seeping into Australia. Darrel seems to be evidence of this. There is a heck of a lot of money to be made by the sociopaths who operate the gun industry and they are always looking to expand. Perhaps we all need to mount counter-offensives. One of my current stories will include examples of people firing guns and hitting bystanders or each other (I’m hoping it will be a comedy eventually, though it’s not very funny so far [sigh]). Maybe we need to scorn gun-porn wherever we see it and reinforce how guns make society less secure, not more so.

    Oscar Wilde said, “As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.” I wonder if that observation can be used to thwart the growth of gun culture here.

  145. Keith

    Something that is strange in relation to libertarianism is that during the 1950 and early 1960s people where I lived in a rural setting were very restrained by social norms. So instead of regulation of activities people can involve themselves in, old values were an inhibiting factor. Now people have far more options in what they are able to do … people in rural areas can still belong to gun clubs and are still able to own rifles, guns and pistols.
    In a deregulated world manufacturers would presumably not need to call back faulty appliances that could catch fire; an example, of libertarianism on a wider front.
    Australia definitely has more options available now than when I was growing up. My guess is that libertarianism is a step towards anarchy

  146. corvus boreus

    The scenario of marauding psycho meth-heads with baseball bats booting in the door and invading the home does infrequently occur outside the hypothetical, and, being mildly paranoiac, I do indulge in some degree of prior preparation and planning against such and similar (although I have no contingency for lion/bear incursions).

    The only way a firearm would be conceivably useful in this situation is if it was pre-loaded and immediately accessible to the occupant. This means having a loaded gun stashed in the house (or possibly watching the golf on TV [riveting shit that!] whilst wearing a packed gat in a shoulder holster).
    As alluded to in the (oh so boring!) statistics quoted for the US, registered guns carried or left lying around (for ‘just in case’) are generally misused and ‘oopsed’ with far more often than they are effectively used for deterrence or defense.

    Once you have the loaded gun in your hand, it can only really be used to point with threat of use (at distance), or fired to disable/kill (disabling in this case involves blasting a chunk of metal into or through the other person). A gun does not have much versatility in application, It’s only ‘defensive’ use beyond intimidation is to explosively project trauma.

    For these reasons, I prefer a combination that enables me to block and disarm (non-lethally).
    For home defense I have the handy options of a steel buckler and a 40mm x 450mm solid brass rod.

    Were I to exercise my current right to own a firearm (I own some rural property), I would definitely be keeping gun and ammunition separated and locked away until required for proper use (eg; feral animals rather than gangs of crank addicts).

    Under current laws, a license to keep and use firearms is available for those who are able to sufficiently demonstrate reasonable character and appropriately responsible attitude to storage, transport and use. I have little trust for those who crave and clamour for greater availability of firearms and less restriction on their usage.

    I wonder if darrel (FREEDOM![!!!]) has exercised his right to obtain a gun license.

  147. Miriam English

    I love Tom Lehrer’s work.

    Here is one of Mark Fiore’s most recent cartoons on Gun Logic:

    https://vimeo.com/141746344

  148. metadatalata

    It is certainly high time that some sort of mental health screening is conducted on potential senators in Australia. David Leyonhjelm would probably be certified as mentally unstable. Neocon fascists like Tony Abbott and his mates have demonstrated that not only are they serial liars but they are unable to make decisions that represent the wishes of their constituents. Guys like him should never have a shot (sic) at representing Australian people.

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