Comparing Australia to the US on gun control: The Argument of Fools
In the wake of the terrorist, yes, terrorist attack in Orlando that left 49 dead, the Australian media and it’s legion of indoctrinated followers joined in the universal chorus of deflection for gun control. Hereby, doing everything they could to avoid mentioning those dreaded words “radical islam” and everything they could to ensure Waleed Aly gets another Logie for yet another unqualified rant masquerading as journalism. Bettered only by this morning’s sophist rant from Gun Control Australia’s Roland Browne.
Realistically speaking, firearms are a fourth tier issue for most Australians – they aren’t that important. That’s not to say that the rapidly growing annually 1.3 million licenced firearm owners owning more than 5.7 million firearms aren’t affected by that all, or will be when the Australian government announces more unnecessary and unsubstantiated changes to the NFA after the election (obviously using the Orlando shootings as some twisted kind of emotional platform).
Yet, every time there’s a shooting, 99% of the Australian population instantly become experts on firearms and the US; the overwhelming majority of them vastly unqualified to make any kind of valid assessment.
Once again the usual media sycophants passed their ignorant, unqualified opinions on gun control off as gospel. After David “A14” Koch’s ridiculous grand standing on yet another issue he knows nothing about, Mark Geyer shouting over the top of callers who have a difference of opinion (because who better to take the moral high ground than an ex drug using footballer who wants violence “the biff” to return to sport); Huffington Post editor Josh Butler having a tantrum and then blocking us on Twitter because he couldn’t answer any of our rebuttals to his inane tweets; News Corp hipster Matt Young spending more time on his haircut than actually researching facts for his article on the volume of AR15’s sold post Orlando, it was the sycophantic, ignorant offerings of Aubrey Perry in the Sydney Morning Herald that was by far the worst of them.
We hear it time and time again. On cue, Australia is compared to the United States in a simplistic, polarised generalisation that is forbidden from any kind of mainstream debate, in favour of moral grand standing and screaming. It is the default, and often only, card that mainscream media presstitutes and insecure hoplophobes at Gun Control Australia and the University of Sydney wheel out on command.
In reality, the comparison of 23 million Australians to 320 million inhabitants on the United States on gun control is the most intellectually dishonest argument one could make. Two countries who share a language, a few western liberal values (and the way things are heading in Australia that is a huge stretch) and that’s about it.
On the contrary, our societies, cultures, history and the rest could not be further apart.
For a start, our healthcare systems are markedly different. For although the US does possess Medicare (a very poorly functioning one at that on which over 55 million Americans are relying on) it is a far cry from the socialized healthcare Australia has, and who we are fighting Malcolm Turnbull tooth and nail not to privatise. That being said, Michael Moore’s incessant scaremongering over the US health care system is a drastic misrepresentation; however, it is not comparable to Australia’s and when seeing the doctor or getting an operation is often unaffordable for the average US citizen, the impact and pressure this can have on an individual’s life state of mind cannot be denied. Oh hello, mental health care, didn’t see you standing there. That’s because it’s even further apart in terms of standards and accessibility to the average person in the United States vs Australia. And what is routinely blamed on mass shootings? Mental health. Further to that, there are an estimated 11% of Americans on some form of SSRI or anti-depressant/anxiety medication. The hallmark of many of these large scale mass shootings is use and/or abuse of these legally administered drugs, but informed discussion about this is readily cast aside in favour of demonization of those who didn’t do it. It’s not the FDA’s fault, it’s the NRA’s fault, stupid. Can’t upset the pharmaceutical industry now can we?
Then there’s the issue of higher education accessibility standards: US user pays vs the Australian student’s HECS. The reality of coming out of a US college with a degree and an average $30,000 debt, to slim employment prospects and low wages and never getting ahead is enough to make most people desperate and turn to less lawful pursuits to make ends meet. Oh I don’t know, selling drugs, crime or even suicide perhaps?
Then there’s our difference in income inequality and welfare systems. There are currently an estimated 46.5 million people reliant on food stamps to supplement their income in the US, that is MORE THAN DOUBLE THE AUSTRALIAN POPULATION. One cannot begin to comprehend that scale of poverty which is certainly not present in Australia. Furthermore, unemployment in the United States is at a high since the great depression. Disputes as to the accuracy of true statistics rage and it is believed that the actual figure is in the realm of 20-30% unemployment, not the 6% claimed by the US Bureau of Labor. The United States also happens to be the country with the largest wealth gap between the rich and the poor among developed countries and 4th overall (behind only Turkey, Mexico and Chile) according to the OECD and has parts of the country in crippling poverty. It’s not just the LA, Vegas and New York lifestyle sold to the rest of Australia. And again, what generally happens when you have large numbers of disenfranchised, unemployed, undereducated, poor people in crippling debt trying to eat and make ends meet? Crime. A lot of it. It’s a perfect storm for violence, not just in the US but the world over.
That being said, since 1992 both the per capita homicide and violent crime rate in the United States has fallen 49% according to the FBI and DOJ. Per capita homicide is now at it’s lowest rate since 1963 – 4.5 per 100,000 people. The number of firearms added to the supply in the same timeframe is well over 170 million. In 1981 only 10 states had concealed carry rights. Now all 50 do (46 technically when NJ, DC, CA and NY do everything they can to subvert the process). There are now a record number of concealed carry holders across the United States, 13.5 million and growing every single day. I am not saying that there is causation there but there is definitely not correlation. The United States is globally ranked 111th place for per capita homicide. The USA globally is ranked 28th for firearm deaths by the UNODC, that’s right 28th. Not 1st. Compare that to the fiasco south of the border in Mexico, where 20,000 people a year are being killed in a country with stricter firearms laws than the UK. You know, the country run by drug lords that Barack Obama and the ATF were running guns to?
Homicides in the United States are concentrated in major cities with the top offenders being Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore, St Louis, Newark, Chicago and Oakland. What do these cities all have? Two things – stringent gun control and high populations of socioeconomically marginalised African Americans.
Why do we bring this point up? It’s because both the Australian and US media do everything they can to avoid talking about it. Homicide is tragically listed as the largest killer of African American males aged 16-34 and the 8th largest killer of African Americans overall according to the CDC. African Americans, according to the FBI in 2014, committed more than half the number of homicides, 51.3%. A very significant statistic when they only consist of 13% of the population of 320 million. What does the African American community sadly also have – the lowest household income of any demographic in the US and the highest rate of single parent families. These are two important risk factors for criminality in later life. And unfortunately African Americans represent the highest population demographic in prison.
An excuse often peddled by the anti-firearm types in Australia is “most of the gun crime in Australia is by illegal firearms by criminals, so therefore it doesn’t concern me and Howard’s laws have worked.” Yes, the people that shouldn’t have them and are doing bad things with them like home invasions, have them. Shock. Just like the killer of Wally Achmed, the day after the Port Arthur memorial, shooting an innocent bystander – but that wasn’t “direct” so it doesn’t count. Much like NSW Police in Hornsby.
And what do you think the case is in the United States? The exact same story is in play albeit on a much larger scale. The FBI stated in its annual Gang Assessment report in 2015 that there are over 1.4 million American Citizens who are members of more than 33,000 gangs. Crips, Bloods, MS13, La Raza, Latin Kings, Los Zetas, Sinaloa Cartel, Aryan Brotherhood, etc to name but a few. Perhaps you should look up some of those upstanding associations and their activities? But no, that totally has nothing to do with any of the violence, none of it. You know, when nearly 6% of Australia’s total population is in a criminal gang with propensity for violence, you might just think it has an influence on the statistics.
“Oh but there’s 30,000 firearm deaths in the US”. Two thirds of the firearm deaths in the United States are suicides. Japan, who has a firearm ownership rate of 0.6 per 100 people vs the United States 112 per 100 people, has a far higher per capita suicide rate than the US. But apparently people who shoot themselves are more dead than those who hung themselves or stepped in front of a train.
Contrary to popular misconception, CCW holders have intervened numerous times in potential mass shootings and indeed, it is a poor metric and fallacious argument to make against carrying a concealed firearm. In fact, a study commissioned by President Obama himself in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting courtesy of the CDC, found two distinct facts – firearms are used for self-defence in a variety of scenarios at an absolute minimum 500,000 times a year (in 90% of cases the firearm is not discharged, presentation of the firearm is enough to end the threat) and that victims who are armed are FAR less likely to be injured in violent crime than those who are not.
From a historical perspective, the US was founded on distrust of government authority and a revolution, the result of which produced constitutionally enshrined freedoms. Australia was founded as a penal colony with government as lord and master and in many aspects of Australian society nothing has changed in 200 years. More government overreach, nanny state laws and the country being sold overseas. Australians never had to fight their own government for their freedom on a national scale (Eureka Stockade aside) – so why should they take it upon themselves to be the moral arbiters of another country’s foundation? The impact of both countries psychology over the years, in my opinion, cannot be denied in terms of prevailing attitudes to authority and government.
Estimates have a third of the US population, 100 million people, owning over 380 million firearms. Many of them combat veterans and law enforcement who are private firearm owners and who are very pro 2nd amendment. For all the frivolous claims that “hurr durr AR15’s no match for drones and tanks” well, those all require human interface. You know, that can be killed and makes mistakes? Remind me who won again in Vietnam? How did the Soviets fare against the Mujahedeen? Or the 15 years in Afghanistan which the most sophisticated military in the world still can’t leave? Tactics nearly always beats technology, and armed insurgency, as we’re seeing with Syria, Iraq and a plethora of other countries has long proven the nemesis of superior firepower.
The 2nd amendment is there so that citizens would have the ability if their government became oppressive then they could defend themselves against oppressive government. It also has the added bonus of being able to fight off criminals and protect life and property, as the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 2008 (DC vs Heller) and in 2010 (McDonald vs Chicago). But as is standard with the authoritarian Australian media, revisionist history tells us that government is never tyrannical or genocidal. Especially in the 20th century. Never.
As Colion Noir pointed out in his video response to the Orlando shootings, Mateen passed a plethora of background checks which were even more onerous than any licence category in Australia. He was twice investigated by the FBI, who decided to follow due process when they didn’t have any information to charge him with. The gun store also called the FBI to alert them and nothing was done. What more could be done? More laws right? The Australian way?
For Australians who love to pontificate about how the US should change it’s laws but have no clue how they actually work, well there are 50 different states with different sets of laws. Those laws become even more numerous at the individual county level within the state. Texas, Arizona, Wyoming all have very different laws to California, New Jersey, New York etc. But hey, go ahead and try and repeal the 10th amendment when you’re trying to repeal the 2nd The states might have something to say about that.
Apart from the obvious, guess what Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Aurora, Fayetteville, Charleston, Orlando and the rest have in common? They’re all gun free zones. Places where law abiding citizens are legally unable to carry firearms for personal protection. The very places sought out by monsters that have perpetrated these acts are exactly where the right of self-defence is severely handicapped. You can also thank Vice President Joe Biden for the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990 for facilitating these acts on college campuses and schools around the nation. Or you can be like Texas which passed Campus Carry earlier this year and the sky has not fallen in. So in essence, it’s where the anti-gun crowd’s laws are on the books are where people are dying. Thanks a lot.
Further to that, Chattanooga, Ft Hood and the Washington Naval Yard have also been shot up because federal law prohibits soldiers from carrying firearms on many bases across the United States. And guess what happens – the same result. When even soldiers cannot carry they are just as defenceless as the average citizen.
The ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ of 1994 didn’t stop Columbine or the North Hollywood shootout. It didn’t stop Timothy McVeigh blowing up the Federal Building a year after it was brought in. It didn’t stop 3000 people dying on 9/11. And it certainly didn’t stop any of the criminals because surprise, they don’t follow the law.
Oh but, “laws stop the ‘average loony’ getting a gun and going on a rampage.” No, they do not. They can be acquired very easily illegally in Australia as the same with anywhere. Less than 5% of shipping containers are inspected by Australian Border Force. That’s 130,000 out of 2.6 million that enter every year. By contrast, Border Force announced just recently that they had intercepted 1700 illegal firearms in the past year. I’ll let you figure out how many get in illegally. As the AFP certainly don’t know themselves when they testified at the Senate Inquiry last year. A USAS semi auto shotgun with a 20 round drum mag was recently seized on the Gold Coast, capable of much devastation in the wrong hands. In fact, all Howard’s laws have essentially done is make the black market great again. The coca plant doesn’t grow in Australia, yet cocaine is everywhere – the market always wins.
In fact, all Australia’s laws have essentially done is placated a large section of the populace into feeling safe rather than actually being safe. Man Monis could’ve turned the Lindt Café into the Broad Arrow Café if he really wanted to and no one could’ve stopped him. There is absolutely NOTHING to stop another mass casualty event in Australia and when it happens (I say when, not if) as we saw in Paris the body count is likely to be high.
Disregard for the above mentioned factors when debating the issue of Australia and the US on gun control is pure intellectual dishonesty and nothing more than that. Although a brief summation, as aforementioned the United States has a glut of socioeconomic issues and problems that are the underlying contributing causes of violence and social unrest. Australia does not have even remotely close to the level of said issues that the US does. However, it’s far easier to blame the prevalence of inanimate objects because it distracts from said problems (because it’s apparently too hard to solve them), and also serves as an excuse for those who wish to disarm the populace for their own benefit. After all, what better strategy to combat eroding freedoms, increasing income inequality, militarized police and all that benefits the small handful of wealthy oligarchs than to be even more dependent on them and surrender your only physical means of resistance to the same people?
Why the gun control comparison is never directed towards more socioeconomically and culturally congruent nations like New Zealand, Canada and a slew of EU countries, who allow the types of firearms banned or heavily restricted in Australia and do not have large amounts of firearm violence, is quite deliberate on part of the media and the anti-gun groups within Australia. There’s a reason the Australian populace has for 20 years been drip fed false representations of “ooga booga American gun violence” interspliced with trauma based recollections of Port Arthur, and John Howard’s incessant need for self validation – deliberate social engineering. A discussion for another time.
The comparisons of Australia to America on gun control need to end. They are baseless, misleading, completely inaccurate, sophistic and delusional nonsense. But, we won’t wait for journalists in Australia to actually do their job. In a country that takes the opinions of David Koch and Carrie Bickmore seriously, there’s about as much chance of real debate happening as Philip Alpers admitting he has no academic qualifications – SFA.
No problem. We’ll take it from here.