Back in 1996, 35 people were gunned down in Tasmania. As a result of this tragedy, the Australian government instituted new gun-control laws. Among them was a compulsory buyback program. Since then there has been much debate over how this affected violent crime rates in Australia.
Gun rights advocates have, for the most part, been claiming that violent crime actually increased after the buyback. Anti-gun advocates argue that such claims are flawed, and that violent crime went down after the buyback. Each side accuses the other of using flawed, or meaningless, statistics.
If we are to address the issue of post buyback crime rates at all, the burden of proof must fall on the anti-gun crowd. Regardless of what the Australian Constitution says, or does not say, about gun ownership, people have a natural right to defend themselves. Our natural rights are not contingent upon any government-issued piece of paper. The right to defend oneself against violence is primal. Therefore, if we are to argue that the Australian government was justified in its theft of its citizens’ firearms, the burden of proof is on us to show that such a measure is necessary and effective.
But we cannot simply point to a decrease in violent crime and assume that it’s due to the buyback. Correlation does not equal causation. Similarly, we cannot assume that an increase in violent crime is due to the buyback. There are many, constantly changing, factors that influence crime rates. I would argue that the very complexity of the issue renders such claims (on either side) practically meaningless.
I would also argue that, even if it could be shown that gun confiscation does decrease violent crime, this still does not give people the right to steal guns from other people.
Consider the case of motorcycles. Why not make recreational motorcycle riding illegal? Such a law would certainly save lives; there’s no doubt about it. While it’s true that the person most at risk, with motorcycles, is the rider himself, the same could be said about guns. Suicide rates are much higher than homicide rates.
Most people understand that we must accept certain risks if our lives are to worth living at all. If it’s worth risking our lives for fun, how much more so for self-defense.
My brother just got back from a prolonged trip to Australia. He tells me that the Australians he spoke to were very pleased with their strict gun laws. There seems to be an assumption that living in Australia makes one an expert on Australian crime and gun laws. Thinking back on my own visit there, I don’t think this is the case. My impression is that many, if not most, Australians are heavily indoctrinated by their left-leaning government and press – the same as Americans and Europeans.
I recently overheard a conversation between two of my friends. They were talking about the recent shooting in Troutdale, Oregon. I’m familiar with Troutdale, since I often visit that area during the summer. It’s only about 45 minutes from my house. My friends were citing this incident as justification for gun-control. It’s funny because Troutdale was also the scene of a “wilding” a couple of years ago. Here’s a video of the incident:
… but I don’t remember calls for diversity-control after that. Perhaps this is because of selective reporting by the corporate-owned media. People hear about lone gunmen, but they’re less likely to hear about black mob violence. I would wager that the average American is much more likely to become a victim of black violence than he is to become a victim of a lone white gunman – but the powers that be, in order to serve their own political agenda, aggressively publicize white gunmen (even if they’re only part white) while ignoring black violence as much as possible.
Ethnic diversity leads to a degradation of our culture. Hence, even when the culprit is a white high school student, some of the blame can be laid at the feet of “diversity.” What we need is diversity-control, not gun-control.