Liberal Democratic Senator, David Leyonhjelm, has truly ‘jumped the shark’, appealing to the National Rifle Association (NRA) in America not to follow Australia’s lead and implement greater gun control.
In the interview (above), Leyonhjelm says the following about Australia’s gun laws:
“I dont think Australia is a model for the United States on gun control at all…
[Gun control after the Port Arthur Massacre] made no difference to firearms violence – violence overall. In fact we had a tick up in general violence after the gun ban…
We are a nation of victims – you cannot own a gun for self defence. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, it doesn’t matter how big the threat, you cannot defend yourself. The criminals still have plenty of guns. There’s no shortage of guns. There’s a vigorous black market for guns. So it’s really not made the slightest bit of difference. If you want a gun, you can get one.
Look at what Australia did. It’s a defenseless country these days. I’m absolutely in awe of the success of the NRA at holding back the tide. And it never gives an inch. We love the NRA here in Australia amongst us owners. And in fact we rely on you guys to also help hold the line in Australia.
[Gun control]…is not something that any country should contemplate. It is completely disarming the population…”
Leyonhjelm’s claim that Australia’s tightening of gun ownership laws in the wake of the Port Arthur Massacre “made no difference to firearms violence” is highly dubious.
An Australian National University study found that the firearm homicide rate fell by 59%, and the firearm suicide rate fell by 65%, in the decade after the National Firearms Agreement law was introduced, without a parallel increase in non-firearm homicides and suicides.
And earlier this year, Business Insider published the below chart showing the overall drop in gun-related deaths in Australia after the law was introduced:
By contrast, the United States has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, along with a high homicide rate. As shown below, the US has 88 firearms per 100 people (15 in Australia); 60% of homicides in the US are by firearm (11.5% in Australia); and the homicide by firearm rate per 100,000 population is 2.97 in the US (0.14 in Australia):
The last word on this issue must go to The Idiot Tax, who today published the following:
The argument regularly raises its head in relation to US mass shootings. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” It’s the default line from the NRA and the argument is used to ward off any talk of gun control. If you’re in another country and there’s a gun massacre, the gun advocates use a similar line, “well if only the citizens only had more access to weapons, so they could defend themselves…”
For your enjoyment, here’s a timeline of some of the deadliest US mass shootings in the past 30 odd years and how they ended. Also included are known incidences where a gunman or gunmen were somehow stopped by an armed citizen (bolded).
October 2015, Roseburg, Oregon – 9 dead, 9 injured. Gunman Christopher Harper-Mercer shoots himself after exchanging fire with law enforcement.
June 2015, Charleston, South.Carolina – 9 dead. Gunman Dylann Roof escapes before being arrested in North Carolina.
April 2015, Chicago, Illinois – 0 dead, 0 injured. Gunman Everardo Custodio begins randomly firing at a group of people with a handgun, an Uber driver in the area shot and wounded Custodio with a shotgun.
March 2015, West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 0 dead, 0 injured. Gunman Warren Edwards pulls weapon after argument in barber shop, fires multiple shots before passerby enters the shop killing Edwards with his gun.
July 2014, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 1 dead, 1 injured. Gunman Richard Plotts killed his caseworker and shot his psychiatrist before the psychiatrist returned fire, wounding Plotts before he was overpowered by staff.
May 2014, Isla Vista, California – 6 dead, 7 injured. Gunman Elliot Rodger shoots himself.
April 2014, Fort Hood, Texas – 3 dead, 16 injured. Gunman Ivan Lopez shoots himself after being confronted by Military Police.
January 2014, Portland, Oregon – 0 dead, 3 injured. Gunman Thomas Hjelmeland was refused entry to a strip club. He returned with a gun, shooting a bouncer, patron and waitress. As Hjelmeland exited the club a second bouncer shot him dead.
October 2013, Clackamas, Oregon – 2 dead, 1 injured. Gunman Jacob Roberts may or may not have seen an armed citizen point a weapon towards him. The armed citizen didn’t fire as a fleeing person crossed his path, opportunity gone the citizen took cover, Roberts then shot himself.
September 2013, Washington, DC – 12 dead, 3 injured. Gunman Aaron Alexis shot dead by law enforcement. Alexis shot two officers during multiple firefights – one in the legs, the other in a tactical vest.
June 2013, Santa Monica, California – 5 dead. Gunman John Zawahri shot dead by law enforcement.
December 2012, Newtown, Connecticut – 27 dead, 1 injured. Gunman Adam Lanza shoots himself at the scene.
October 2012, Brookfield, Wisconsin – 3 dead, 4 injured. Gunman Radcliffe Haughton shoots himself.
September 2012, Minneapolis, Minnesota – 6 dead, 2 injured. Gunman Andrew Engeldinger shoots himself.
September 2012, Plymouth, Pennsylvania – 1 dead, 1 injured. Gunman William Allabaugh started shooting inside a bar after being asked to leave. Outside Allabaugh shot another man dead before a bar patron shot and seriously wounded Allabaugh.
August 5 2012, Oak Creek, Wisconsin – 6 dead, 3 injured. Gunman Michael Page shoots himself after being shot by responding law enforcement.
July 2012, Aurora, Colorado – 12 dead, 58 injured. Gunman James Holmes surrendered to law enforcement without incident.
April 2012, Oakland, California – 7 dead, 3 injured. Gunman One L. Goh surrendered away from the scene to law enforcement.
March 2012, Spartanburg, South Carolina – 0 dead, 0 injured. Gunman Jesse Gates burst into a church with a shotgun. From another building the pastor’s grandson saw Gates approach and confronted him inside with a weapon, Gates was then disarmed by parishioners.
October 2011, Seal Beach, California – 8 dead, 1 injured. Gunman Scott Dekraai arrested without incident.
January 2011, Tucson, Arizona – 6 dead, 11 injured. Gunman Jared Loughner tackled by bystanders while attempting to reload.
August 2010, Blountville, Tennessee – 0 dead, 0 injured. Gunman Thomas Cowan pulled a handgun while talking to the school principal, a student resource officer (law enforcement) pulled her weapon and allowed the principal to escape. Local police then arrived on the scene, shooting Cowan dead when he pointed his gun toward them.
August 2010, Manchester, Connecticut – 8 dead, 2 injured. Gunman Omar Thornton shoots himself.
May 2010, New York Mills, New York – 0 dead, 1 injured. Gunman Abraham Dickan entered an AT&T store intending to kill employees, after hitting one employee an armed off duty police officer also in the store shot Dickan dead.
February 2010, Huntsville, Alabama – 3 dead, 3 injured. Gunlady Amy Bishop surrendered to law enforcement.
November 2009, Fort Hood, Texas – 13 dead, 32 injured. Gunman Nidal Hasan captured by military police after being wounded in firefight.
May 2009, Atlanta, Georgia – 0 dead, 1 injured. Gunmen Calvin Lavant and Jamal Hill broke into an apartment where a party was being held. They announced their intention to rape and kill party goers. A marine at the party managed to get to his gun, shooting Hill, who fled, before engaging fire with Lavant who was wounded and fled before dying of his injuries. A party goer was wounded in the gunfire.
May 2008, Winnemucca, Nevada – 2 dead, 2 injured. Gunman Ernesto Villagomez entered a bar filled with 300 people, killing 2 brothers as part of an ongoing feud between several families. An armed bar patron killed Villagomez.
April 2009, Binghamton, New York – 13 dead, 4 injured. Gunman Jiverly Voong shoots himself.
February 2009, Dekalb, Illinois – 5 dead, 16 injured. Gunman Steven Kazmierczak shoots himself.
December 2007, Omaha, Nebraska – 8 dead, 4 injured. Gunman Robert Hawkins shoots himself.
December 2007, Colorado Springs, Colorado – 4 dead, 0 injured. Gunman Matthew Murray entered a church killing 4 people before a volunteer church security guard and former police officer (armed citizen?) shot and badly wounded Murray. Murray then shoots himself.
April 2007, Virginia Tech – 32 dead, 17 injured. Gunman Seung-hui Cho shoots himself.
February 2007, Salt Lake City, Utah – 5 dead, 4 injured. Gunman Sulejman Talovic exchanges fire with an off-duty police officer before reinforcements arrive and Talovic is fatally wounded.
October 2006, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania – 5 dead, 5 injured. Gunman Charles Roberts kills himself as police approach.
March 2005, Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota – 9 dead, 7 injured. Gunman Jeffrey Weise shoots himself.
July 2003, Meridian, Mississippi – 5 dead, 9 injured. Gunman Doug Williams kills himself.
October 2002, Tucson, Arizona – 3 dead. Gunman Robert Flores shoots himself.
January 2002, Grundy, Virginia – 3 dead, 3 injured. Gunman Peter Odighizuwa either ran out of bullets and was subdued by two unarmed students, or two other armed students confronted Odighizuwa, who still had ammunition, and called on him to drop his weapon. Witnesses at the scene suggest Odighizuwa was subdued by the unarmed students before the armed students arrived.
March 2001, Santee, California – 2 dead, 13 injured. Gunman Charles Williams apprehended by law enforcement.
December 2000, Wakefield, Massachusetts – 7 dead. Gunman Michael McDermott surrendered without incident.
November 1999, Honolulu, Hawaii – 7 dead. Gunman Byran Uyesugi surrendered to police after 5 hour stand off.
September 1999, Fort Worth, Texas – 7 dead, 7 injured. Gunman Larry Ashbrook shoots himself.
July 1999, Atlanta, Georgia – 9 dead, 12 injured. Gunman Mark Barton remains on the run for six hours before shooting himself.
April 1999, Columbine, Colorado – 13 dead, 24 injured. Gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris shoot themselves.
April 1998, Edinboro, Pennsylvania – 1 dead, 3 injured. Gunman Andrew Wurst killed a teacher, shooting another and 2 students at a school dance. Leaving the hall Wurst was confronted by the hall owner who had a shotgun, he held Wurst at bay until police arrived.
March 1998, Jonesboro, Arkansas – 5 dead, 10 injured. Gunkids Mitchell Johnson 13 and Andrew Golden 11 are captured by police.
October 1997, Pearl Mississippi – 2 dead, 7 injured. Gunman Luke Woodham killed 2 classmates and wounded 7 others, before being confronted by the school’s armed assistant principal (an army reservist and national guard member) who demanded Woodham surrender. He did.
December 1993, Garden City, New York – 6 dead, 19 injured. Gunman Colin Ferguson is eventually overpowered by other commuters on the train he was shooting up.
July 1993, San Francisco, California – 8 dead, 6 injured. Gunman Gian Ferri is confronted by police and kills himself.
May 1992, Olivehurst, California – 4 dead, 10 wounded. Gunman Eric Houston holds 85 people hostage for 8 hours before surrendering to police.
November 1991, Iowa City, Iowa – 4 dead, 2 injured. Gunman Gang Lu shoots himself.
October 1991, Killeen, Texas – 22 dead, 22 wounded. Gunman George Hennard kills himself in a restaurant toilet after killing 22 patrons.
June 1990, Jacksonville, Florida – 10 dead, 4 injured. Gunman James Pough shoots himself.
January 1989, Stockton, California – 5 dead, 29 injured. Gunman Patrick Purdy shoots himself.
August 1986, Edmond, Oklahoma – 14 dead, 6 wounded. Gunman Patrick Sherrill shoots himself.
July 1984, San Ysidro, California – 21 dead, 19 wounded. Gunman James Huberty shot by police sniper.
If you made it through that list, congratulations. If you have some PTSD after reading it, pity me – I was stupid enough to compile it…
Going by the list, despite a gun apparently in circulation for every US citizen, help from a good guy appears to be slim pickings. Crucially, the times a good guy with a gun was available, they weren’t available during a mass shooting situation.
Perhaps if Senator Leyonhjelm is such a fan of US laws he should seek to migrate there?