American Gun Laws

For Americans these laws are highly controversial. The majority of Americans prefer to keep laws as they are. We see the problem as the failure of the Federal and State governments to enforce existing laws. The guns used in Paris and San Bernadino were illegal* guns. If the laws we have are not being enforced, what makes anyone think new laws will be enforced?

Europeans and Australians think the removal of guns in their countries has reduced crime. But, those people have not looked to see how crime reporting has changed. So, they are easily confused by reports showing crime is down and other reports showing crime is up. The path to clarity is in looking at how those writing the reports count crimes and label what they are reporting. (UK now the most violent country in Europe.) 

Japan is held up as a good example of gun control working. Japan has made guns and swords illegal. But, the most influential aspect of Japanese crime reduction is their putting a police officer on each street corner and having a legal system and cultural willingness to lock criminals away with harsh sentences and tolerate police searches of any citizen at any time. (Reference)

10 Myths About Gun Control (PS: link broke – replaced 12/14)

The Facts That Neither Side Wants To Admit About Gun Control – I will point out that it appears this writer did not examine the crime reporting method changes.

Washington Post: Gun Violence Declining, Except in Gun-Free Zones

There is a myth that all guns can be removed from society. We saw Russia disintegrate and soldiers in countries like Ukraine start selling off military grade weapons. After thousand of years of history the need for armies is obvious. Armies are never going a way. Thus guns are never going away.

We have seen 3D printing moving toward low cost manufacturing and production of plastic guns. There is demand for more durable 3D printing materials for general manufacturing uses. But, we know from past experience those will be used to make better 3D printed guns.

Metal machining tools are scattered throughout the world. Any moderately competent machinist or hobbyist with plans can build a weapon. There is nothing to keep them from making it a fully automatic gun. The San Bernardino shooters converted semi-automatics to full-auto.

Removing all guns from the face of the Earth is an impossibility. While it is possible to disarm the law abiding, it simply is not possible to pass a law that disarms criminals.

So, what does that mean for you?

In the USA we have an Average Response Time of 10 minutes. (References) The best response time according to DoJ is 4 minutes and the worst 1 hour. (Women’s Self Defense Institute.) Chicago reports a response time of 3.46 minutes for priority 1 calls. In Detroit average response time is 58 minutes. The problem with these numbers is interviews with residents of Chicago and Detroit in poor neighborhoods reveal they are much longer. But, who are you going to believe? The government, police, or a few residents? Personally I see the motivation for government and police to tweak the numbers to avoid looking bad. Residents enduring the wait probably tend to exaggerate. The true is likely somewhere in the middle.

How will you defend yourself for 3 to 12 minutes in a gun free theater, NFL event, or other large gathering when a jihadie or mental case starts killing people? Call 9-1-1 and wait? Run? Or just hope someone else had the foresight to arm their self?

*The spin is they were ‘purchased’ legally. But, the guns were illegal in California and later modified beyond legal limits. It is also illegal for any person classed as a criminal, which includes terrorists, to own a gun. If properly vetted the wife coming from Pakistan and being associated with a radical mosque would not have been allowed into the US. So, legal or illegal is a mess of technicalities and verbal parsing. The point is laws intended to stop this person were not enforced.

30 thoughts on “American Gun Laws

  1. What a load of complete rubbish. how many people have been shot in my city in the last year, ummm 1. How many fist fights were there, hundreds, if that makes my city violent, so be it, the people in the fist fights all walked home, after maybe a bit of patching here and there.

    • You didn’t answer the question of how we get guns away from criminals. You just want to disarm the good guys.

      Since most of the video is about enforcing laws we have and you call that rubbish… doesn’t that make you part of the problem?

      Nor did you answer what you’ll do when a machete welding nut comes through your front door? Call 9-1-1 and wait 4 minutes?

  2. For me the sad thing is that when a massacre occurs in in the rest of the world, I feel shocked and sad, when it happens in the USA its just another news story, they happen so often. It is up to the citizens of a democracy to vote for the policies, and Americans have the laws they voted for, and have to live with ( and die from ) the consequences of those laws.

    Maybe, one day, when something really REALLY bad happens, obviously it would have to be much worse than sandy hook, then maybe a majority of Americans will vote for something different. Till then you do have to wonder where all the “Good Guys With Guns” are when these slaughters are occurring. In the meantime I will try to not become numb to it all. Guns don’t kill people, People kill People. You guys sure have a big “People” problem.

    • Your points are rational but uninformed. You are right a majority of Americans have the laws they want. The point of the video and my point is they are not being enforced. The bureaucracies charged with enforcement are a mess of conflicting political agendas and they are failing, repeatedly. The news is currently confusing mass of contradictory reports on the legality and/or illegality of the weapons used. Little mention is made of the illegal bombs stockpiled in the homes. So, again, what law could have stopped the San Bernardino killing? If you can’t answer that question, you are part of the problem.

      The good guys with guns… all the mass shooting are happening in gun free zones. Law abiding good guys won’t take guns into those areas. Only the crazy, criminals, and jihadies do that.

  3. I’m from Australia and the main thing gun control has done here is eliminate mass shootings. You guys have mass shootings sometimes more than once a day, there has not been a mass shooting here to my knowledge since the gun controls were introduced.

    I can walk around my neighbourhood as a woman at 3am and not fear getting mugged or shot. Yes there is crime but there are no shootings by your average criminal, you hardly hear of gun related violence here at all.

    I’m personally all for gun control. It’s made Australia a better place since the Port Arthur massacre of 1996. I guess without living in a country with gun control you can’t really make judgements on what it’s like just like I’ll never understand what it’s like in America. All I know is from the outside I feel like I’d be in fear of my life over there.

    • Australia and the UK have adopted basically the same laws. Both run a steady stream of news reports on how great it has been since they took guns away from the people. But, reports of what is actually happening are leaking out. Those reports get no mainstream coverage. So unless you are research and digging you won’t know what is actually happening.

      Gary Mauser’s study of raw data for UK, Wales, and Australia show things getting worse. The total homicide rate in Australia, after having remained basically flat from 1995 to 2001, has now begun climbing again. While violent crime is decreasing in the United States, it is increasing in Australia.

      Few are actually looking at the raw data behind the crime statistics reports. In Australia one has to shoot and kill more than 4 people to be counted as a mass-shooting, regardless of what the perp was trying to do. When comparing mass shooting before and after 1997 there is no significant difference.

      If you use Google to research crime stats you are at a disadvantage.

      So, you have a false sense of security. You ignore the mass shootings that have occurred in Australia since 1997. What to you hear there about the Muslim Rape Gangs? They are operating in Australia. Have you looked to see how those are reported in the crime stats?

      In America as gun ownership has increased violent crime is going down, significantly. It is a near linear correlation. In Britain and other gun free countries violent crime is increasing. But, you will have to dig into the raw crime data and examine how the government is counting.

      FBI stats show that the average deaths at a mass shooting where police are relied on is 14+. If there are armed citizens on scene the average is 2+.

  4. How many cases were there exactly where a “law abiding citizen” who owned a gun stopped a shooter, terrorist or maniac, saving their own and other peoples lives and preventing more tragedy ?

    • Enough that the FBI actually has stats on the number of deaths at police and citizen stopped shootings. 14 deaths for police and 2 for citizens.

      It is easy to Google and start collecting that information. So, is the point of your question to try and show it is ‘none’ because you know of none? That shows you are another of the low information people. Have you considered whether you can actually trust your news sources to provide you information you need? – This is a partial list.

  5. I have an idea. Why not outlaw murder. If a criminal is inclined to obey a gun restriction, he/she will also be inclined to obey a murder restriction, yes?

    If you remove such gun-free zones as Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Washington DC, the United States would fall into the bottom five of per capita gun related deaths. Now what do these cities have in common?

    Personally, I am a bit of a gun builder. I have completed four (ghost) guns so far. ! rifle, 2 carbines, and a pistol. Just received some final parts for a second pistol which will be assembled this winter. Its a fun hobby and not terribly difficult to do. I will NEVER register or turn in any of my guns.

    • 🙂 You make an interesting point. Let’s make murder illegal. That’ll stop them.

      I have friends with machine tools. They all make guns. Nothing overly difficult. It is tricky staying within the law in California, but they do.

  6. \So, you have a false sense of security. You ignore the mass shootings that have occurred in Australia since 1997. What to you hear there about the Muslim Rape Gangs? They are operating in Australia. Have you looked to see how those are reported in the crime stats?\

    Yes, gun-related crime does occur elsewhere in the western world. Nevertheless, gun-related deaths do not occur anywhere near the levels experienced within the United States. According to the UN, the figure for the USA stands at around 10.5% per 100,000 people (including domestic homicides, suicides and accidental death involving guns), compared to 0.86% for Australia and 0.26% for the United Kingdom as a whole.

    When it comes to murder using a gun, the figures stand at 3.2% per 100,000 people in the United States, compared to 0.2% in Australia and 0.1% in England and Wales. And if you are unwilling to believe UN figures, the FBI places gun-related murders in the US at between 2.8-3.0% per 100,000 people, which is still stunningly higher than other developed nations.

    No amount of gun control will ever prevent those determined to use guns in criminal acts / action of violence – that much is true. However, by the same standard,to proclaim attempts to increase background checks on those wishing to own guns, etc., on the grounds it cannot eliminate such crime / acts is to miss the point when it can be demonstrated – slight rises notwithstanding – those developed nations which do employ proper checks and balances on the ability to procure and own guns do have significantly lower rates of gun-related deaths when compared to the United States.

    As to crime in the UK – your sources themselves are open to question. AWR Hawkins is himself pro-gun, so hardly an unbiased commentator, and the UK’s Daily Mail (which he quotes) is better known for its sensationalism rather than its accuracy of reporting. Further, you and he both conflate the issue of crime in general with the issue of gun control in order to try to make an erroneous point.

    It’s also interesting how you link guns as an issue with \Muslim Rape Gangs\. Why \Muslim\? Rape is not an exclusive act on the part of any single religious or ethnic group, nor is it necessarily related to the matters of gun crime or gun control. Rather, by linking the two, you seem to again be demonstrating an almost xenophobic outlook on certain quarters of humanity, a trait which has been disturbingly evident in some of your recent posts.

    • Inara, you cite the UN stats. I do believe them. But, they aren’t saying what you think. Did you look at the raw data they use and how they compiled it? Did you read the footnotes? The appendix? Remember. The UN is run by a majority, made up of mostly dictators, who have horrible human-rights records, oppressing their citizens and with a clear vested interest in disarming their citizens to avoid rebellion. The US is one of the few countries that creates problems for those counties, or used to, by calling them out and publishing their abuses. Just a little research into UN data, even reading report footnotes, starts to reveal the spin and agenda in UN data against the USA. Having a country where personal ownership of guns is shown to reduce crime is upsetting to the majority of the UN members. Thus, the agenda reflected in the body of their reports. You have to dig. Did you? Or are you just repeating what someone else quoted from the report?

      The UN numbers you quote as provided in the report are correct but misleading. What you missed is they ONLY compare ‘gun-related deaths’ and omit the murder, suicide, and other violent deaths from other means in the comparison. You might want to examine a broader range of data. See Myth: Countries with strict gun control have less crime for a starting point. The article references studies you will never see in the mainstream media and several that Google has dropped from or buried in its database. But, the study made it easy to examine the data used and where to find the raw numbers, whereas the UN makes it possible but difficult to examine their data and find the sources.

      If you want to shift to the FBI data you will find the same propaganda spin. You again have to look at a broader collection of data and look at changes in reporting. It is common in US data, regardless of agency, so see either historical or current data changed to support the current administration’s agenda. Start with the FBI’s 2014 information: Decrease in 2014 Violent Crimes, Property Crimes.

      It is FBI data that shows on average 14 people die at a mass-shooting when police arrive to stop it. But, only 2 die when an armed citizen was present and stopped it. It also shows violent crime in the US is decreasing as private gun ownership increases.

      Also, in FBI data it is hard to find where reporting methods change. That is also very true of data from Australia and the UK. As a current obvious example, in US weather data many people missed that current high temperatures being publicized are a calculation of temperature, humidity, and wind giving consistently higher temps, while historical temperatures are thermometer only readings, which are consistently lower. The same trick is used in gun statistics. But, you can figure out what is really happening with some effort.

      If you believe “No amount of gun control will ever prevent those determined to use guns in criminal acts / action of violence – that much is true.” Then why do you want to take guns away from or make it hard for law abiding citizens to own guns and be able to protect their self and family during the 4 to 10+ minutes it takes police to arrive?

      Your statement that countries doing proper background checks have lower gun related deaths is true enough. But, ignores the fact a majority of those countries have higher and increasing violent crime rates.

      While Hawkins may have a bias, so does the UN, UK, FBI, or Australia’s ASIS. So, why do you question my source and not yours? Hawkins provides his data and methodology. Did yu look at it or stop because someone told you he is biased?

      I don’t believe I am conflating crime. I think you are cherry-picking gun control. My point is gun control does not reduce crime, but instead increases crime. Your narrow point seems to accept the propaganda agenda that controlling guns means less gun crime and therefore less overall crime. The raw data and unbiased studies say it isn’t so.

      In your last paragraph you seem to shift to the Alinsky tactic of attacking the messenger. Really!?!

      Agreed rape is not a religious crime. But, we have an incredible amount of data that gangs made up of Muslims are operating using rape as a terror tactic in number countries, including Australia. My point was not to show Muslims are bad, but to show because religion is associated with a crime the news media refuses to report it and when they do fails to properly characterize it. You seem to have accepted the general propaganda that anyone criticizing anything associated with gun control or the Muslim religion is hating or prejudiced, and anything but honest rather than actually examining the facts. It is a very basic Alinsky tactic to control thinking. What I don’t understand is why you are susceptible to it?

      Notice that the media has no difficultly associating crimes with the Christian religion. Many still think the Crusades were started by the Christians. Have you studied the Crusades, the politics behind them? It wasn’t a religious war any more than fighting the Barbary Pirates was.

      I subject to being called xenophobic because I am pointing out what a massive propaganda barrage is denying. It has everyone focused on gun control while denying that 1.5 billion Muslims are taught to believe they are to dominate the world and 400 million think violent jihad is called for. If I say anything about the most prevalent and obvious biases in the media to demonstrate the bias and delusion, I am called xenophobic and a hater no matter how many facts I point to. It is a pure Alinsky/Stalin/Goebbels/Bernays tactic. The book The Rape of the Mind explains in detail the tactics and why they work.

      The problem is not guns. The problem is political agenda. It is ideology that drives radical Muslims. It is mental illness that drives other mass shooters. If you believe gun control can’t stop them, why do you want to take personal protection from these people away from law abiding citizens?

  7. I asked because I didnt know and because I figured you would. Your agressive answer is very telling though, thank you.

    • My response is telling. As is your lack of ambition to look for the answer yourself and to expect a more gentle answer in the midst of some personal attacks.

      I’ve seen far more setup questions phrased as yours is then I have honest ones. If I miss inferred, sorry.

  8. One cannot compare the situation in the USA to Australia or the UK. Due to cultural, social and political differences as well as differences in the availability of weapons. One only has to compare Canada with the USA to see how differences in a society can influence crime. I believe that the USA would be incapable of emulating the reduction in murders by firearm achieved by the Australians for example because the Americans lack the political will and the social ability to accept such a change. The yanks will have to find another way.

    Consider for example how Australians perceive guns, the vast majority see them as threatening, possessed only by Military, Law, Farmers or Criminals. There simply is no perception of guns as a civilian defensive tool in Australia. Thus there was little resistance to the removal of self loading firearms after 35 or so tourists were killed in Tasmania almost 20 years ago. I recall that Australians were surprised and horrified that such military standard guns were legally available at that time. Millions of guns were handed in voluntarily by concerned citizens, many were not the \mass killing\ type the Government banned, but old farmer’s guns and single shot hunting guns, all legal and licensed. They were handed in anyway, voluntarily, within days of the massacre. Australians didn’t have their guns \taken away\, they realized that they had no use for them.

    Apparently it took months to melt them down.

    I doubt that the American political and social system could achieve such a change, simply because the American leadership do not have *and have not been given* the power to implement similar reform. Australian politicians did the right thing within the social and cultural context of Australia, and there hasn’t been a mass shooting since. If one accepts that the USA is incapable of similar gun reform, why are politicians not looking for other ways to reduce the risk of massacre?

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Americans have to live with the laws and the society they have, and the consequences thereof. It is unfair to compare one nation’s gun reforms with another – the causes of gun related crime are rooted much deeper than the mere availability of weapons.

    Just thank your god(s) you don’t live there.

    • Natascha I agree there are cultural differences. I have American friends that have moved to Australia. They do not see the Australian people the same way you do. I suggest you look through the search results here: Australia Gun Control. [PS: I forgot links don’t paste in… sorry] You make it sound as if the Australians are all of a similar mindset. Everything I see says they aren’t. I am not at all sure the real cultural differences between the Yanks and Aussies are what you think they are.

      In 2012: quoting and Aussie report: Since the gun ban in Australia, armed robberies are up 69%, assaults with guns up 28%, gun murders increased 19%, and home invasions jumped 21%. More proof that not only does gun control not work, it makes it safer for the criminals at large.

      In 2015 (mostly 2014 data) Australian reporting shows decreasing crime after law enforcement geared up to provide additional force at additional cost. Not because gun control is helping, but a larger law enforcement effort and changes crime reporting methodology since the 1997 gun ban.

      You state what Australians think of guns. After 5 minutes of searching and reading comments posted by Aussies, I think you are wrong. You’re going to have to come up with something that supports your statement about how a majority of Aussies perceive guns. Otherwise, I think that is just your opinion.

      I think saying whether Aussies ‘gave up’ their guns or had them ‘taken away’ is a game of semantics. The basic law was enforced as all laws are, ultimately at gun point. There is the law that got pasted by the majority and the minority that didn’t want to give up their guns, either did so or risks going to jail. That does not sound voluntary to me. But, the semantics is debatable.

      In America it is less a matter of political will than it is the problem of changing the Constitution. Obama’s alternative plan was to change the courts as Chavez did in Venezuela. Since our older judges have not died or resigned, that is out. This coming year we will see him try to affect change via executive order.

      Mass-shootings in Australia is a narrow look at mass-killing in Australia. Try reading the only study on the subject: Mass shootings in Australia and New Zealand: A descriptive study of incidence, by Samara McPhedran and Jeanine Baker, published in the Justice Policy Journal, Vol. 8, No. 1, Spring 2011.

      Does it matter if mass-gun-killings decreased if mass-killings by all other means increased? Did gun control actually solve the problem? Or did it just remove an individual’s protection against other forms of mass-killing?

      You say, “It is unfair to compare one nation’s gun reforms with another.” Why is it unfair? What is unfair about comparing?

  9. A couple of points.

    Nowhere in my reply do I ever state any personal opinion as to the matter of gun control. Rather, I question your reply to a previous comment, and offer up reasonable counter-points. That I am against gun control is your own assumption.

    Nor do I use any form of \tactic\ in replying to you. I merely offer feedback on how this, and some of your more recent posts on world / political affairs seem (note that word again, please) to come across as I read them. That’s not a personal attack – it is a simple observation. Although I do notice you’re quick to use the very same tactic of which you accuse me., both in raising the idea of tactics being employed and in questions whether or not I’ve \read the footnotes\ or have researched Hawkins or studied history, etc. Comments which read as an attempt to subjectively dismiss my response on the basis I’m somehow less versed in the matters than yourself.

    \Your statement that countries doing proper background checks have lower gun related deaths is true enough. But, ignores the fact a majority of those countries have higher and increasing violent crime rates.\

    No, I don’t. That’s purely an assumption on your part. But are you really advocating that the only way to deal with violent crime is to allow everyone to have access to guns? Because this is again how it reads – and I would venture to suggest that such a viewpoint in misguided in the extreme.

    • True, you never explicitly state you are for gun control or taking guns away from law abiding citizens. From what you have written in two comments, why would anyone not assume you are for gun control?

      Tactics… perhaps you and I are assigning different meanings to the word. There is a clear dictionary meaning. But, in practice the word is often misunderstood. As an example, telling a person with blue eyes they have brown eyes will usually push the person into denial, ‘No I don’t.’ Denial is a tactic. Whether the word ‘tactic’ can be applied to their response/behavior isn’t debatable. By definition denying is denial. But… whether the blue-eyed person feels they are in denial or not, identifies the behavior as a tactic, or has brown eyes or blue eyes has nothing to do with how the response/behavior is named or what it is. What they feel has everything to do with how they respond and think of their behavior not what it is named.

      When you say, “Comments which read as an attempt to subjectively dismiss my response on the basis I’m somehow less versed in the matters than yourself.” You are making a huge assumption. You infer I am subjectively dismissing your statement. You infer my motivation.

      Your response is a rather sophisticated diversion. You could have moved the discussion forward by simply answering. You didn’t. I knew full well you couldn’t without discrediting your position, because the data supports my points. Your assumption I am trying to win the point by making you ‘look’ less knowledgeable is inaccurate. That it was to embarrass you or otherwise diminish you is inaccurate. If I am wrong you could easily have defeated what you believe I attempted by answering. My goal was to get you to question what you believe and get to the facts, but you choose to divert.

      You last paragraph is telling. While a bit ambiguous I take it that you mean you are not ignoring the fact that increased gun control has lead to increased violent crime in subject countries. If you are not ignoring it, then why are you writing about the UN and FBI stats that clearly ignore it? Seems self contradictory.

      The question you then asked is ‘Do I think giving everyone access to guns is the only way to deal with violence?’ is misleading and further suggests you are ignoring the fact that increased gun ownership among law abiding citizens is decreasing violent crime. My point throughout the article and comments is that existing laws restricting gun ownership aren’t but should be enforced and law abiding citizens should be allowed guns for defense and other legal purposes. I am going in the direction that more laws for gun control are not going to stop the violence if we don’t enforce the ones we have and removing people self defense leaves them vulnerable.

      That you think what I’ve written sounds like I propose everyone be given guns seems to show a lot of inference on your part.

  10. you do realize I was agreeing with you on most your points? Admittedly for different reasons. I lived most of my life in Australia. It isn’t a perfect society as portrayed by your anti gun crowd!

    Australian society has problems with alcohol, drugs, organized crime, racism.. you name it. But it was, and still is, a very safe society overall. Both Melbourne and Sydney compete for being the most livable cities in the world, whatever that means… The only guns I’ve ever seen in Australia were worn by police. No-one I met had a gun, or admitted to owning one, not that anyone ever brought the subject up around the BBQ. Gun ownership, and laws just aren’t an issue over there.

    There is/was a \shooters\ party, that contests Australian elections, in which every adult HAS to vote.. I didn’t, not being a citizen, but that is a fascinating thing in itself as no lobby group can exert too much influence over election campaigns over there. I digress. The shooters party used to get a few percent of the vote, about the same as the \sex\ party and the \recreational vehicles\ party. Guns just aren’t a political issue in Australia. Check out and look at the articles on Australia. There’s some really sound statistical analysis from the University of Sydney. Sure there’s violence in Australian society, there has recently been a lot of gang violence involving illegal firearms, and several terrorist incidents. All I’m saying is all the American politicians comparing Australia with the USA are wasting their time as they are oversimplifying the situation. As for Mass killings in Australia, there has been nothing like Port Arthur since. There have been lunatics with knives. The best answer to a nutter with a machete is a cop with a gun.

    The Lindt cafe seige involved a \Isis\ martyr with a shotgun from the 1940’s – he only managed to kill one hostage with it before he was shot dead. If he had a rifle like the one used at Port Arthur, perhaps many more hostages would have died.

    Baker and McPhedran were revealed to have been commissioned by the NRA by the way so you have to subject their conclusions to a very critical eye, It would be better to quote more credible research, perhaps Lee and Suardi?

    [Reader: Please note in the comments below Dr Samara McPhedran is the likely author of a rebuttal to the above paragraph.]

    • No, I don’t see you agreeing with most of my points.

      In this comment you ignore my points and post points philosophically opposed to what I am saying. So, why would I think you are agreeing with me?

      May be instead of trying to disqualify information based on who the author of a study is, one tackled the meat and methodology of the report?

    • This statement is false. Drs Baker and McPhedran have never been commissioned by the NRA to undertake research. They have not received any support, financial or otherwise, from the NRA. Please retract this untrue assertion immediately.

      • Two people,natascha and you, are asserting opposite points about what others, Baker & McPhedran, did. Use of the names Baker and McPhedran might or might not be an unfounded attempt to add credibility to the comment. So…

        Looking to decide who is more likely correct in their assertion by tracking you, the Baker/McPhedran poster, back to the email and IP source of the comment. I find you are most likely Samara McPhedran, owner of Nothing I found can conclusively prove a McPhedran is the author of the comment. But, it does prove some connection to and likelihood of authorship.

        So, I approved the comment and let the names remain as entered.

        Thank you for posting.

  11. Well, I do agree with you. It irritates me to see American anti-gun people using Australia as an example of some sort of violence free nirvana! It’s a lie, and doesn’t stand scrutiny.

    But your pro gun people make out that Australia is going to hell in a handbasket… sorry but that is also a lie. Arguments based on lies from whatever angle are weak ones.

    Your link to the \Freedom Outpost\ blog would not actually be taken seriously by anyone who’s actually lived in Australia. Sgt Andy Dunn, whom they (mis) quote was actually arguing in favor of stricter gun law enforcement. He is the officer in charge of the police in a small rural town called Denmark in South Australia. Just after the gun laws came in, a lot of criminals couldn’t steal guns in the cities anymore, so crime gangs began breaking in to rural houses out of desperation. Farmers are allowed to have guns in Australia, as are sporting shooters, gun club members and licensed collectors. Anyhow, Sgt Dunn found that many farmers were not securing their firearms in the manner required by the new laws – in a proper gun safe. If you google the news report from which the \Freedom Outpost\ selected just a few lines, you would get quite a different impression. Andy was getting frustrated that farmers were putting themselves in danger, and allowing their guns to be stolen so easily. That kind of misquoting just makes the \Freedom Outpost\ look kinda stupid and hard to take seriously in a rational debate.

    The meat and methodology of Baker and McPhedran has been well and truly dissected and discredited by experts, Neill and Leigh 2007, Hemenway 2009 and 2011. Lee and Suardi, on the other hand, do a much better job of demonstrating how the gun laws did NOT reduce violence in Australian society, they are Australian researchers funded by a the US National Criminal Justice Service. If you are going to quote stuff, quote stuff that’s been peer reviewed and independently funded or with authors who disclose their funding and any potential conflicts of interest. It makes your arguments stronger.

    • We see things differently.

      I already questioned your perception of Australians having a homogenous opinion on gun control, you didn’t respond. (Those disagreeing – — the video supports several of my points.) Now you say you perceive Americans as seeing Australia ‘going to hell in a hand-basket’. Most of the anti-control people don’t. But, we do often point out the outlawing of guns did not stop the violence or even decrease it. And when one digs into the raw data they find the rate of increase grew. But, all that does not mean we ALL think Australia or the UK are falling apart, just that gun control is not the answer.

      You repeatedly speak for Australia, but provide nothing to backup your perception/opinion. In debating there are names for well known tactics. You repeatedly use a combination of Argumentum ad populum and Argumentum ad verecundiam. You often rely on Argumentum ad hominem (argument directed at the person). This is the error of attacking the character or motives of a person who has stated an idea, rather than the idea itself. None of these are convincing tactics and often signal weaknesses in ones arguments or thinking.

      I went looking for the original source of Sgt. Andy Dunn quote. (Reference – – transcript – You tell me they are misquoting him. The reference shows they are not. In fact the quote is word for word from the video. That puts your follow-on statement that he was arguing for stricter enforcement in question.

      I went looking for anything that would suggest Sgt Dunn does support stricter gun law enforcement in Australia. I didn’t find it. Do you have a link?

      You consistently consider and stress the reputation of the reporter. It is valid to question their bias and methodology. I continue to point you at the data, which you repeatedly ignore. So, I went looking for documentation that my sources have been discredited. I don’t find it. Do you have a link?

      I continue to think raw data and basic source data is the best way to prove a point. Both you and Inara have ignored my pointing to data that defeats your positions.

      As long as you support gun control and ignore the causes of violence, we won’t be able to reduce it.

  12. I thought you said links don’t work here? Here is one showing Sgt Dunn spearheading an initiative to enforce the gun laws. .

    It is from the ABC news, often disliked by the Australian Government for being critical of its policies. I’d rather believe a national news outlet rather than stuff published by the NRA. ( I have never heard of LYBIO net – but they could just as easily be misquoting Sgt Dunn ?)

    This Article on the other hand IS biased!! I am sure you can tell me what wrong with it. It makes CNN look biased an irrelevant.

    Here is an article that has links to all the statistics, from an Australian University. Very credible.

    The thing is, this should be the same data you refer to, but the conclusions are largely different. Therefore one can only conclude that once or both interpretations have a level of bias. SO it does come down to the reputation of the source.

    Of course I am critical of the sources of information I see on the net. I don’t believe everything I read on the net is fact, even if it does support my opinions.

    Be critical, be self critical, look for sources of bias, conflict of interest or hidden motives.

    My point is BOTH sides of the debate in the USA are being disingenuous with regards to the situation in Australia. I’d suggest that the NRA and the Gun reform lobbies in the USA find their own solution to a very American problem.

    For the record I am in favor of individual gun ownership in the USA and I am also in favor of the current gun Laws in Australia. Time and events may change my opinion on both subjects, but I believe, as stated in my fist post, that each nation has the laws its citizens have voted for, and that cultural and social differences mean that Aussie style gun reform would not work in the USA.

    I am currently in Australia. TO back my \perception\, I repeat. Every three years Adult Australians HAVE to vote. Its compulsory at both state and federal level. There is a dedicated party to overturn the gun laws. That party, the Shooters Party, has never gained more than around 2% of the vote. . They didn’t do so well last year in the state I’m in at the moment, or anywhere else for that matter. Aussies just don’t care about guns that much.

    This Video by an Australian gun owner puts things in perspective.

    Regarding your source of data Baker and McPhederan were totally discredited by researchers from Harvard University. They described Baker and McPhederan’s conclusions as \Incredible\ and also questioned their impartiality.

    Now its up to you to decide who is being misleading? The NRA? Blogs called Freedom Outpost? Hillary Clinton? or perhaps, the University of Sydney, the Australian Electoral Commission or Harvard University.

    Actually I think I will let Australian Ambassador to the USA Beasley have the last word on this.

    The last point is telling. There are just as many guns in Australia today as there were before the gun laws changed.

    • Yes, Dunn is enforcing laws. That is his job. But, the article never gives us any information on his thinking. I think we got a better sense of it in the video.

      You still seem to be hung up on who says what rather than dealing in the facts and data being talked about. The data and facts defeat your ideology. The NRA gathered information, they didn’t create it. So, one has to compare what they report with what CNN reports and then look at the facts to see who is omitting what and how much they spun it.

      It isn’t about reputation. While reputation can be handy, the NYT had a reported that faked stories. So, one has to look at more than reputation. Any person with a modicum of intelligence can wade through the data and make their own decisions. I only see you relying on others opinions.

      The CNN story is typical of those that support Obama and gun control. They omit the fact that ALL of those places where a mass shooting occurred in the US are gun free zones.

      They say Australia’s gun control has been successful. But, define successful. By most any definition you get from a citizen, it hasn’t. But, try.

      CNN says the problem is the NRA. But, recent polls show 80% of Americans are against more unenforced gun laws. We can’t get them to enforce the ones we have. The NRA is a reflection of the citizens joining together to promote what they believe is important. The media pushes what they believe is important. The difference is who provides facts and rational thinking. I don’t see you questioning what they presented, you dismiss them on your idea of their reputation. You ignore the facts presented.

      CNN does what all gun control advocates all do. They limit their reporting to gun violence stats. They exclude overall violent crimes stats. The graph is cut short and doesn’t show the last 9 years. Nor do they mention the change in how crimes stats are tabulated. Biased? Sure. But, their facts are not wrong, just incomplete. I have to look for more complete information. That comes from those with the opposite bias.

      While it would be nice if people did what they SHOULD, that isn’t the way the world works. There is no reason not to look at what has happened in Australia. We look at lots of countries and see what does and does not work. Gun control doesn’t work and once you define ‘working’, facts can be looked at to see if it does.

      The Harvard report in the first page says only gun violence is being studied. Again overall violent crime is ignored. It also slams Baker, J. and McPhedran, S. for deciding there was a 20 year trend, nearly a generation, starting in 1979. Anyone can debate when to start the graph of a trend. Biased people do cherry pick their starting and ending points. But, the Harvard paper never delves into why ’79 was picked. They assume it was from only bias.

      Havard says Baker & McPhedran assumed trends would continue. I don’t see that assumption in Baker & McPhedran paper. Besides Harvard is assuming the trends wouldn’t continue.

      The Harvard paper really says almost nothing beyond opinions. All they say is these people looked at it this way and that’s wrong. No meat to support their opinion. Just opinion. The Baker & McPhedran paper is full of red meat. They explain why they used the methods they did and why they think it suggests what they conclude. The level of intellectual honesty in Baker & McPhedran paper is much higher.

      You are certainly hung up on opinions of people and who is the most or least biased and who you want to trust. I prefer looking at the facts and deciding for my self. Of course if you did that, you would likely have to change your opinions.

      Thanks for the information and links.

  13. Nalates, I’m afraid you are wrong, since the simple fact is that guns kill and injure more people.

    You had two terrorists with guns in California who killed 19 and injured 21, whereas we had one terrorist with a knife on the London Underground who managed only to seriously injure one person – and our police subdued him with a taser, they didn’t need to be armed either.

    It’s not about the amount of violent crime – and guns kill more people accidently too, look at the case of the 5-year-old Kentucky boy who fatally shot his 2-year-old sister for example.

    • Sylvie, I’ll assume your English is is a second language. Guns and other machines are inanimate objects, machines that require an operator. It is improper English and thinking to attribute motivation to machines. The propagandist change wording to make their agendas acceptable and to delude people. People kill people. Guns, knives, clubs, fists, rocks, bombs, gases, and more are used by people. To reduce violent crime we need to look at the true perpetrators of violence.

      You obviously didn’t read the comments or post. Since it is impossible to remove guns from the planet, you are pushing an idea that can never stop violent crimes.

      That you think it is not about the AMOUNT violent crimes… are you kidding!?! Tell the victim of a rape gang it isn’t about the amount of violence.

      Look at the overall stats. Do you want to save a few lives at the cost of more deaths, injuries, rapes, and whatever? Are you really going to try and make that argument? Don’t you have any compassion?

      Countries with high gun ownership have less violent crime. Countries recently disarming their citizens are suffering higher rates of violent crime.

      It seems you are all about gun control and have no interest in reducing violent crime… how cruel… why?

  14. Oh dear, it seems I’ve hit a nerve. How else to explain such nasty personal comments?

    The simple fact is that you can kill and injure more people more easily with guns than with knives, clubs, fists, rocks etc, whether by accident or design*. Hence guns will contribute to there being more violence – whoever’s hands they are in, whether terrorists or children or anybody else – and whether that violence is criminal or not.

    Thus you have cases like the Indiana woman who was shot when she left her shotgun on the ground without the safety on during a hunt and her dog trod on it and depressed the trigger, or the 5-year-old Kentucky boy who fatally shot his 2-year-old sister. Doesn’t this matter? Who was the true perpetrator of this violence?

    ….. and terrorists with guns kill and injure more people than terrorists without.

    Should you need statistics, then look for example at which shows that the USA has a death by violence rate per 100,000 people of 5.56, which is more than five times of anywhere in Western Europe – and also about three times that of Canada and more than four times that of Australia.

    If you want to argue that those statistics have nothing to do with guns, and that Americans – who live in a country with nearly as many guns as people – are much better at killing each other and/or more aggressive in general, fine, but I honestly think that people in the USA are better than that.

    Also, if you want to argue that trying to remove guns doesn’t stop violent crime, that seems to me you’re trying to say that all weapons are the same, that people with knives, clubs, fists or rocks are no more dangerous than those with guns – or that Americans are inherently more violent and/or less law-abiding than people in other countries.

    ….. and can’t you help to control the use of guns too by restricting the sale of ammunition, even if the guns themselves aren’t removed?

    Alternatively, if you look at crime statistics, then UNODC figures for 2012 show for example that the number of per capita gun murders in the US is nearly 30 times that of the UK, at 2.9 per 100,000 compared with just 0.1. Of all the murders in the US in 2012, 60% were by firearm compared with just 10% in the UK.

    If guns aren’t the easiest and most efficient way of individuals being able to kill and maim others, why do armies use them above and beyond any other type of personal weapon?

    The death toll from gunfire in the USA between 1968 and 2011 is estimated to be about 1.4 million altogether, compared with 1.2 million U.S . deaths in total in every American conflict from the Revolutionary War to Iraq.

    Isn’t that appalling? Don’t you want to reduce it?

    [*Yes, bombs and gases can kill a lot of people but they aren’t easily employable personal weapons in the same class as guns.]

    • What nasty personal comment?

      You can’t deal with facts. You still keep saying guns can cause more violence than not having guns after I supply you with data from unimpeachable sources (the raw data) showing the opposite. Is it nasty to point out you are more into who people are and their bias while ignoring facts or lacking a willingness to dig deeper?

      You again quote a UN set of stats without examining the raw data and the counting and comparison methods, which when analyzed show the UK is far more violent than the US or that Australia and New Zealand with the same frequency of mass shootings while New Zealand has guns and less violent crime. Guns stop crime. Its a fact.

      The UN’s WHO has repeatedly been shown to spin stats where the USA is being compared to other countries. You ignore that the UN is run by a majority and the majority of UN leaders are dictators and human rights abusers with an agenda.

      You continue to look only at gun violence when I REPEATEDLY point to overall violent crime. Of course doing so will destroy your argument… so, I guess it is to be expected.

      You are also consistently miss stating what I have said, trying to paint an opinion on me, and arguing against that.

      I am well aware of the tactics and believe it shows a lack of intellectual honesty on the part of those using such tactics.

      You’re done.

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