"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi
You'd think, what with computers and all, schooling would be done in the home these days. It seems like it'd be a heck of a lot cheaper.I'm surprised schools haven't been replaced yet. Union thugary has a stranglehold on americans I guess.- IndividualAudienceMember
For more detail on the ineffectiveness of the Australian federal government's 1996-1997 gun buy back (which followed the 1996 Port Arthur Tasmania massacre that saw 35 people killed) see this summary of a British study of the policy hereand a summary of Australia's (low) homicide statistics over an 18 year period pre- and post-buyback (there is no discernible impact) here, from the Federal government's Australian Institute Of Criminology. It should also be noted Australian federal government, which has no constitutional power to regulate firearms outside of federal territories. Gun regulation under the Australian constitution is a state matter. The Australian federal constitution was partially modelled on the US constitution so there are possible lessons here for American students of how government use and abuse power. The Canberra Feds used their control over the compulsory national medical insurance system ('Medicare") to implement and pay for the national gun buy back system. The federal government imposed a 'Medicare Levy' on all taxpayers and used those funds to fund the buyback. Any state that refused to mimic federal drafted model gun control legislation would still be subject to the Levy but not eligible for buy back payments. In effect the federal government blackmailed state legislators - who would have to face electorates subject to the new tax but no payouts - into conformity. This (ab)use of the medicare system to extend federal power in unrelated areas should be noted by citizens in other federal systems where the central government is embarking on expanding their national welfare system.This gun control legislation was actually introduced by a 'conservative' federal government in Australia under Prime Minister John Howard who, amongst other things claimed to support states' rights against centralisation.Despite the Howard initiated increase of federal control over guns, the per capita rate of private firearm ownership in Australia (15.5 per 100 people) , although well below US levels (88.8 per 100 people), is still relatively high by international comparisons. At least according to the statistics available at GunPolicy.Org) and (same source) an estimate of about 2.7 illegal firearms per 100 people. Claims regularly aired by both sides of the US gun control debate that "Australia banned guns" following the 1996 massacre are just not accurate.
"private firearm ownership in Australia (15.5 per 100 people)"Hmm, I wonder what percentage of those are cops?If you pull out the cop ownership, would it be more like 5 per 100 People?Also, if you have to register your guns, they are not too far from being banned.I'm guessing it would be safe to say private ownership of unregistered guns is banned in Australia? For some People, that's the same as saying guns are banned.- IndividualAudienceMember
Anonymous 2:50 PM mentions cops. The source I quoted separates private civilian ownership from government firearms. The source counts the total of Police firearms in Australia as 61,211. They also count military defence force firearms at 241,420. As for civilians they say "The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in Australia is 3,050,0001 to 3,500,000." They quote 764,518 aas the total of license gun owners in Australia. The total population is about 22 million or so. They also say "(u)lawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Australia there are estimated to be 550,0003 to 6 million." I think Anon 2:50PM is correct to say private ownership of unregistered guns is banned. The actual level of compliance is difficult to say and there are reported issues (see news report here) about the quality of record keeping by various state registries.Some comparative US figures they quote for the US are 270 million private firearms, 897,000 police firearms and 3,054,553 defense force firearms, and of course, a total US population of 311 million. There are always data and statistical quality issues in these things but the commonly expressed (in US) view that 'guns are banned' in Australia is just not accurate especially if the speaker means 'all guns' not 'unregistered guns' are banned. Australian per capita rates of private gun ownership certainly are much lower than the US but they were much lower before the federal legislation of the late 1990s and have probably been much lower for decades, maybe a century, before that. Raw International statistical comparisons tend to mask the sociological and cultural differences between even similar countries.It doesn't logically follow that imposing gun control of the Australian variety in the US would lower the US rate. When those controls were imposed in Australia it did not actually impact the Australian homicide rate. My guess is these type of controls are knee jerk political responses and "don't just sit there, do something" reactions by politicians and electorates, of course, as libertarians (or anyone with common sense) no doubt knows this does not mean that the knee jerks will render the desired effect.