The Australian government has begrudging and indirectly admitted the failure of their strict gun control laws, which included a gun buyback scheme that has been ignored by hundreds of thousands of citizens.
In a desperate attempt to get guns out of the hands of citizens who refuse to give them up, the Justice Minister has lamely offered an amnesty that amounts to whining, “won’t you please hand over your liberty?”
Australia on Friday announced a gun amnesty for next year after a criminal intelligence report estimated there were 260,000 illegal firearms in the country.
Australia introduced tight curbs on gun ownership after the massacre of 35 people by a lone gunman in and around a cafe at a former prison colony in Tasmania in 1996.
The country has had no mass shootings since and has been held up by many abroad as an example of the need for tight controls.
The amnesty comes amid a debate over gun laws that has opened up a rift in the ruling Liberal Party, pitting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull against the man he overthrew ahead of a key party gathering this weekend.
“The amnesty will provide an opportunity for those individuals who, for whatever reason are in possession of an unregistered firearm, to hand it in without fear of being prosecuted,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan told reporters in Melbourne.
“While Australia has some of the strongest firearm controls in the world, illicit firearms remain the weapon of choice for criminals.”
While forced buybacks under the threat of prosecution for failure to turn in firearms are favored by Liberals in Australia and radical progressive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the United States, the fact of the matter is that most people have simply chosen to ignore the law, as it violates the core human right to armed self-defense.
All the law has done in Australia is to turn otherwise law-abiding but non-compliant citizens into criminals in the eyes of the law, while having very little effect on crime at all.
In fact, according to the Australian government’s own statistics, a number of serious crimes peaked in the years after the ban. Manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and unarmed robbery all saw peaks in the years following the ban, and most remain near or above pre-ban rates. The effects of the 1996 ban on violent crime are, frankly, unimpressive at best.
Violence Declined Stateside Without A Gun Ban
It’s even less impressive when again compared to America’s decrease in violent crime over the same period. According to data from the U.S. Justice Department, violent crime fell nearly 72 percent between 1993 and 2011. Again, this happened as guns were being manufactured and purchased at an ever-increasing rate.
By the way, reporters love to claim that there have been “no mass shootings” in Australia since their restrictive gun law went into effect in 1996, but that simply isn’t true.
At Monash, seven people were shot (two fatally) by a murderous student who was armed with multiple handguns. All six handguns were acquired legally. The attacker was later determined to be mentally ill. The Hectorville siege that saw seven people shot (three fatally) was conducted with a shotgun that was legal under Australian law. The attacker in this incident was also found to be mentally ill. The Hunt family murders were likewise carried out with a legally-owned shotgun. The murderer in this instance was thought to be highly stressed due to his wife’s head injury.
Laws are nothing more or less than an agreement by the citizenry that they will abide by certain guidelines in order for a civil society to work. The paradox of laws is that the more there are, and the more restrictive they are, the less likely even good people are to follow them. Once laws rise to a certain level of absurdity, then the legitimacy of the government itself falls into question, and good people begin ignoring government edicts nearly as much as criminals do.
It is at this point where governments and constitutions fall.
Australians are engaging in so-called “Irish Democracy” by ignoring an absurdly restrictive gun law, and instead of having a regulated arms trade as there is in the United States, their 20-year experiment has had the effect of moving the personal firearms market underground without significant impacting demand or for that matter, supply.
There are more than a quarter million “illegal” firearms in Australia, despite the government’s attempt to ban them, and despite the fact that Australians lack the “gun culture” found in many other nations.
Gun control and democracy cannot coexist.
Free peoples want to be armed.