NRA fan David Leyonhjelm owned on gun laws


By Leith van Onselen

Late last year, Liberal Democratic Senator, David Leyonhjelm, 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 argued that tighter gun restrictions in Australia made absolutely no difference to firearms violence:

“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…”

Now, a landmark study has been released finding that Australia’s tighter gun laws have caused a significant reduction in firearm violence, thus debunking Leyonhjelm’s claim. From The Guardian:

Researchers from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University analysed data on intentional suicide and homicide deaths caused by firearms from the National Injury Surveillance Unit, and intentional firearm death rates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. For the period after the 1996 reforms, rates of total homicides and suicides from all causes were also examined to consider whether people may have substituted guns for alternative means.

From 1979 to 1996, the average annual rate of total non-firearm suicide and homicide deaths was rising at 2.1% per year. Since then, the average annual rate of total non-firearm suicide and homicide deaths has been declining by 1.4%, with the researchers concluding there was no evidence of murderers moving to other methods, and that the same was true for suicide.

The average decline in total firearm deaths accelerated significantly, from a 3% decline annually before the reforms to a 5% decline afterwards, the study found.

In the 18 years to 1996, Australia experienced 13 fatal mass shootings in which 104 victims were killed and at least another 52 were wounded. There have been no fatal mass shootings since that time, with the study defining a mass shooting as having at least five victims.

The findings were published in the influential Journal of the American Medical Association on Thursday…

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):

ScreenHunter_10395 Nov. 18 09.22

Perhaps if Senator Leyonhjelm is such a fan of US gun laws he should seek to migrate there?

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Leith van Onselen
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Comments

    • We could do our American friends a huge favour and list the NRL as a terrorist organisation under section 102.1 of the criminal code act 1995. Specifically aiding a terrorist act.

      • Hahahaha! Phew! That made me laugh so hard! and so did this:

        Keep an eye on those pesky swedish soccer players:

        https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jun/22/swedish-footballer-sent-off-for-farting-during-match

        ““I had a bad stomach, so I simply let go,” the 25-year-old told Länstidningen Södertälje. “Then I received two yellow cards and then red. Yes, I was shocked, it’s the strangest thing I have ever experienced in football.

        “I asked the referee, ‘What, am I not allowed to break wind a little?’ ‘No,’ he replied … I don’t get it but maybe he thought I farted in my hand and threw the fart at him. But I did not.”

        Opposition striker Kristoffer Linde told the paper: “I was standing a good distance away but I heard the fart loud and clear. It’s the strangest thing I’ve seen on a pitch, and I’ve been playing football since I was eight years old.””

        Not fair, it is a perfectly normal bodily function. I thought it would be impossible to hold in a fart while playing sport. How strong must your pelvic floor muscles be?

      • Well at least those members of the NRL or club officialdom who assault teenage referees (or other officials). then the ones who abuse the teenage referees (or other officials), then the ones who abuse the referees (or other officials) at any club game. If the assailants mental capacity is diminished they should be banned from attending any matches rather than putting young referees or other officials at risk or in fear of harm ie being terrorised particularly by bigger, older mature adults. And the same for parents who want to abuse and terrorise young referees too.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Ah the lolz from all the butt-hurt about evil Libertarians, to think individual Liberty is a scourge makes Libertarians both cringe and chuckle

        Not as much as the rest of cringe and chuckle at the rampant fallacies like that gigantic straw man just there – in Libertarian “logic”.

        Thanks for the “David and the LDP are the ONLY voice of Objective Reason” line, though. I’m still getting a good belly laugh out of that.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        You made a point?

        “Not as much as the rest of cringe and chuckle at the rampant fallacies like that gigantic straw man just there – in Libertarian “logic”.”

        Libertarianism is the philosophy of children and psychopaths: “me want, fuck you”.

      • The Sub-Saharan African utopia awaits you Cost Index, if you want to live a life devoid of law.

        See, it’s just as easy to build a strawman the other way.

  1. Thanks for writing this. Libertarians are a huge threat to the freedoms of human beings living in the real world.

  2. In the 18 years to 1996, Australia experienced 13 fatal mass shootings in which 104 victims were killed and at least another 52 were wounded. There have been no fatal mass shootings since that time, with the study defining a mass shooting as having at least five victims.

    While I don’t disagree with the thrust of the article, I’m not sure this statistic is correct. The awful Lockhart massacre resulted in 5 deaths by shooting (albeit one by suicide).

    • billygoatMEMBER

      To me this doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure there have been less massacres for the media to wet themselves over which is clearly a good thing. However I doubt a week goes by where there is not a gun related incident (murder/suicide or both) reported online, tv, radio or newspapers. And what about the underbelly series – the gift that keeps on giving – wasn’t the first series all about gun deaths on the streets on of inner Melbourne in the nineties & naughties? My favourite line in the episode I saw was “we’re the kings of [email protected]&king Sunshine, uttered by some hot actor playing gangsta after shooting incident!

      • Was the legal status of the weapons used in the Melbourne gangland killings in any way altered by the 1996 gun control reforms? For example, would there have been a different answer to the question ‘Did Andrew Veniamin carry the gun that killed him (a Smith and Wesson 6-shot 0.38) legally?’ in 1995 compared to the day he died?

  3. Why aren’t we comparing our gun laws and homicide rate with Switzerland ?

    The US is one of the worst comparisons ever. Within the US there are so many different jurisdictions and gun laws. Detroit has the toughest gun laws yet the highest gun murder rate in the country.

    Why aren’t we comparing our gun murder rate with New Zealand ? They didn’t have a kneejerk reaction in 1996 and yet they also saw their gun violence decline at the same rate as Australia.

    • Completely different cultures -NZ has a much more robust hunting culture, Switzerland’s is about national defence – and the “ownership” percentage is about a strategic reserve, whereby they can call up 100’000’s of armed soldiers within hours. Of course, ammunition is very tightly controlled, and again the Swiss are HUGE about rules and regulations…I mean it – there is no “she’ll be right mate” culture there…and they are avid marksman, going back centuries.

      Cultures matter in this debate – and socio economic conditions.

      I think NZ gun laws are far better than Australia’s, and something the US should aspire to but probably wont get to for decades, if ever. Over the ditch, the emphasis is on personal respoinsibility – again, part of their hunting culture, and its the person thats heavily regulated, not the firearm. (long arms are not registered, only pistols).

      • Well thanks for bringing up culture.. Thats exactly why we shouldnt be making blind comparisons with the USA, and suggesting differences come down to the gun laws.

      • lol ! The Swiss will come out of their houses after a big storm to clean or even repair street signs. Totally different culture from Oz. Australians are much more like Americans.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Thats exactly why we shouldnt be making blind comparisons with the USA, and suggesting differences come down to the gun laws.

        Australia has been trying to become a mini-America for decades. We are light years away from Swiss culture and a mere hop-skip-and-jump away from American. These days we are closer to American culture than British.

        Hence the rise of Libertarian nutters like Leyonhjelm.

      • Hmm, kind of agree/disagree there Doc…

        Id say Australia is halfway between Swiss and USA. Australians want to be regulated – its in the DNA – but they dont want to follow the rules (only others)..

        Culturally on a veneer Australia is closer to America, in terms of how business/government works, how consumers are treated due to the rise of neoliberalism etc but it has a similar but not as homogenous culture as the Swiss – although Australia is multicultural with waves of immigration, this has been in the main very peaceful integration. USA has not had the same fate….

        Also Australian and Switzerland share a democratic socialist framework that is almost non existent in the US. The Swiss healthcare system is a good working hybrid of private and public – similar to Australia, but better run because, well its Swiss…The US is a disaster…disgustingly disastrous…

        Combine that with a very broad middle class with very little poverty and Australia is more European than the US, maybe not Swiss, Ive been saying for years its headed to Southern European status…

      • Know IdeaMEMBER

        That is a good observation.

        When it comes to Europeans I have to say that it is the Swiss and the Poms that I most relate to. The remainder of the Continental Europeans, in my experience, think quite differently. That does not make them wrong, it is just a matter of how easy I have found it to relate to the different nationalities.

        So maybe there is some truth in putting Australia culturally about half way between the US, on the one hand, and the UK and Switzerland on the other.

    • “Why aren’t we comparing our gun laws and homicide rate with Switzerland ?”

      Do we have compulsory national service and weapons training?

      • So does Greece, but they’re just dirty southerners right? (Not referring to your comment, just some ignorant twat above)

    • Switzerland’s high gun ownership is based on national service and although they keep hold of the guns they are not allowed to hold on to the ammunition for them.

      • The personal weapons of the militia can be kept at home as part of the military service. However, it is generally not permitted to keep army-issued ammunition, but compatible ammunition purchased for privately owned guns is permitted. – Wiki.

        I think our maturity is somewhere in between too. FWIW.

    • Thanks Jono ,

      The author although forgot to mention the decline in Gun homicides in the US from the late 90s until today. Despite more guns in the hands of the general public.

      • Yup exactly. They also don’t mention plans to remove “silly” weapons (tek9, subuzi) etc from general use. Never mind that AKM’S are available from $30-100 in all of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The author although forgot to mention the decline in Gun homicides in the US from the late 90s until today.

        Since the early ’90s, I think you meant. Since the late 90s it’s been basically flat.

        Gun ownership looks to be flat as well in the same time period. Except for a bit of an uptick the last few years thanks to NRA hysteria about Obama ‘tekken err gerns’.

    • Borders, Jono, borders! Detroit can have the tightest gun control laws in the whole United States, but if you can go next door where they have none, it won’t ………g matter!

      The US is past the point of no return when it comes to gun control, way to late. It’ll be a decades long campaign to restrict their purchase and 100 yrs to reduce the number of guns. Place is awash with them.

      • Gun controls in Detroit, effectively gave ownership of the city to criminal syndicates. The city is intentionally run this way. I have not talked with one American who doesn’t tell me this exact thing every time I bring it up. Us gov have been fucking Detroit over for 50 years.

      • dystopeon,

        Can you explain how control laws gave “ownership” to gangs (other than only crims have guns response)? Any evidence about the intentionality of this deliberate act (I have family in the US and worked with a large number of Americans and have never heard this said before)?

        Can you explain your last sentence?

  4. LabrynthMEMBER

    I see the right to bear arms inclusion in the US constitution as a necessary means to an end. The loss of life from the increased gun ownership rate is a cost that is well worth it for a country that could never be invaded by a foreign nation due to the monumental task of fighting off not just the army but well armed locals.

    Now, this was at a time when guns shot one bullet, but maybe de-arming the locals is a good way to avoid modern weapons especially nuclear bombs. As a foreign invader if I know I can defeat the army and control the local population I invade, if I can’t do this then the only option to defeat the enemy is to go big and most likely nuclear.

    • “The loss of life from the increased gun ownership rate is a cost that is well worth it for a country that could never be invaded by a foreign nation due to the monumental task of fighting off not just the army but well armed locals.”

      Well worth it? For the risk that a country could invade the US and defeat the largest and most powerful military in the world (by far) but couldn’t overcome largely untrained locals. I think I’d disagree with your conclusion.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34996604

      The home front: So many people die annually from gunfire in the US that the death toll between 1968 and 2011 eclipses all wars ever fought by the country. According to research by Politifact, there were about 1.4 million firearm deaths in that period, compared with 1.2 million US deaths in every conflict from the War of Independence to Iraq.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      There are many factors that make a foreign invasion of America a “nightmare”.

      Private gun ownership is a rounding error in those factors.


    • As a foreign invader if I know I can defeat the army and control the local population I invade, if I can’t do this then the only option to defeat the enemy is to go big and most likely nuclear.

      Which invasion force are you that has such confidence in defeating the combined forces of the USA?

    • Sorry, but this is utter bs. Think who would be the invading country. Let me see, China or Russia, maybe. I doubt either of them will really care about world opinion on how they treat the populace if it was to start shooting at the occupying forces, I think very quickly people would learn that it isn’t very smart. Forget it, the occupying forces will bring the pop to heel very quickly and there would be no tribunals after.

      It always cause me to laugh when the old “defending themselves from a rogue gov” line is thrown out there. As if. So they ignore the Supreme Court, okay. The military? How likely is that humongous organisation’s likely to follow one path? No, it’ll be civil war.

    • I see the right to bear arms inclusion in the US constitution as a necessary means to an end. The loss of life from the increased gun ownership rate is a cost that is well worth it for a country that could never be invaded by a foreign nation due to the monumental task of fighting off not just the army but well armed locals.

      I got two words for you: Neutron bomb. Any country trying to invade the US would need to be using nuclear weapons to triumph. What can an AR-15 do against that?

  5. If i was an American i’d want the right to bear arms. Their police force is totally militarised, and their govt. gets more and more fascist with each passing year.

  6. All the major parties still don’t want to actually introduce tougher sentencing for firearm related crime. They just keep targeting the soft target, law abiding firearm owners.

    They’ve been effectively ignoring the criminal element / gang related firearm importation apart from a few token busts. There is a body of evidence indicating endemic corruption and criminality in the Aus customs departments that is letting things through…

    I also would recommend doing a comparison against NZ with their firearm laws and crime rates involving firearms. As has already been mentioned they saw similar declines in crime rates.

  7. “We are a nation of victims – you cannot own a gun for self defence.”

    Other than libertarians, I wonder what percentage of the population actually feels this way? I live in a very low socioeconomic area, with a high crime rate, and yet I’ve never felt like a gun would make me safer. I just don’t understand the mindset.

    • That can be changed by making it an everyday item. Then everybody will start to feel they need one. That’s the plan of the gun lobby/industry.

    • I think the reality is you are far more likely to use that firearm on yourself, someone you know or have an accident than on an intruder. The intruder also likely has the advantage of surprise meaning you won’t get to your weapon in time anyway.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Successfully defending yourself is a long way down the list of likely outcomes from keeping guns, behind suicide, accidentally shooting yourself, accidentally shooting your neighbour, accidentally shooting your kids, being accidentally shot by your kids, being robbed by people looking for your guns, and daylight.

    • Its not hard to imagine if you had a family to protect and there was a recent spate of violent crimes, break ins or burglaries in your neighborhood.

      The only way to defend yourself against a gang or large group is to arm yourself.

      • “The only way to defend yourself against a gang or large group is to arm yourself.”

        Ahem…have you considered

        Harshly worded email?
        Twitter campaign?
        Disavowing misogyny and abolishing the patriarchy?
        Racial and gender quotas on corporate boards?

        These will cure all suffering !!

      • “Harshly worded email?
        Twitter campaign?
        Disavowing misogyny and abolishing the patriarchy?
        Racial and gender quotas on corporate boards?

        These will cure all suffering !!”

        So ignore any practical solution like decent safely nets, sustainable jobs, policing, strong community links, neighbours looking out for you, and jump straight to arming everyone? You’re probably right, what could go wrong?

      • Jono,

        Qld police were defending themselves against a mentally ill man a few weeks ago, with plenty of room to move, he wasn’t running away or anything and they SHOT THREE OTHER PEOPLE!!

        The defending myself from crims always gets me a nice smile on my face, while I’m thinking if some idiot kills one of my family “defending” themselves from someone else they’ll pay a hefty price for it!

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        The only way to defend yourself against a gang or large group is to arm yourself.

        If violent gangs roaming the streets indiscriminately attacking others were a common threat in Australia, your position on free-for-all gun ownership might carry some weight.

  8. “Perhaps if Senator Leyonhjelm is such a fan of US gun laws he should seek to migrate there?”

    lol should we pull this line out every time you highlight an overseas policy you’d prefer to see here?

    Looking at America’s murder stats (2014), they have a higher murder rate (when adjusted for population) than Australia even once you remove all those committed with a firearm in the U.S. (but leave included for Australia).

    https://www.quandl.com/data/FBI/WEAPONS11-US-Murders-by-Weapon-Type
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/by%20Subject/4510.0~2014~Main%20Features~Homicide%20and%20Related%20Offences~9

    There’s more to consider when looking at America’s murder rate than gun availability.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      There’s more to consider when looking at America’s murder rate than gun availability.

      +1

      Easy gun availability just makes the underlying problems worse, it doesn’t cause them.

  9. ceteris paribus

    Love your photo of the good Senator to this story. That picture is an essay in itself.

  10. You can get plenty of guns in Australia, it is just regulated, and pretty lighly at that. One of my friends who is a keen shooter and a bit of a collector had 31 guns when the laws were changed, he only had to hand in 4 guns. Those repeating shotguns are a retrogade step and should be stomped on.

    • “Those repeating shotguns are a retrogade step and should be stomped on.”

      How many people has your friend killed with this shotgun?

    • Onerous regulations aren’t taken so light by the law abiding, & breaking them is weighed very seriously against to the point of being considered guilty until proven innocent – maybe fair enough in some cases. But even if proven innocent, don’t expect to get your guns back! (unless you’re Michael Diamond).

      I’m presuming you’re talking about the Adler lever action hyperventilation that’s been going for near a year – there’s always been lever action shotties here, these are just a modern restyling. Functionally they’re no different to the old ones & associating these with the assault rifle genre is pure Hollywood fantasy & obvious political opportunism. But Honest Johnnie’s got to protect his legacy somehow, so he beats the ever willing frothers up for his own means…………

      In the wrong hands with the wrong mindset almost anything can be used to do wrong – it’s why removing the semi auto’s with fast changing massive mags, & locking the others up has been imposed & accepted – & is working!

  11. The problem I have with this analysis is that one fails to take into account of what has already happened in the US. That is, widespread guns ownership, especially among the insane/evil/bad/criminal people, is already high. Introducing laws that akin to “buying back” guns from the lawful and “good” owners will not achieve anything because the bad guys will never give theirs away anyway.

    I just can’t see how you will ever bring the US homicide rate by guns down to Australia level short of magically taking the guns away from the “bad” guys.

    Let’s say even if an outright ban and ownership of guns is implemented along with a compulsory buy back of all registered guns. The balance of ownership between the good and bad guys will favor the latter, so what is the consequence to the homicide rates as a result? Is it true that having a gun have absolutely no affect in deterring other people from using a gun in the public?

    Beside, there may be other benefits of having a population with high guns ownership. For example, keeps the military in check in case they want to try a coup d’état, guerrilla warfare if country is occupied or resist against an alien invasion. (yep, just a bit of fun here)

    Here is an interesting article too,

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-16/fbi-us-homicide-rate-51-year-low (yeah, zero hedge…but still, read the reference report)

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/#what-is-behind-the-crime-decline

    • The US is mostly a lost cause but surely reducing easy access to the type of assault weapons used in Orlando and Sandy Hook is a start.

    • “I just can’t see how you will ever bring the US homicide rate by guns down to Australia level short of magically taking the guns away from the “bad” guys.”

      What about accidental deaths or homicides that would otherwise have just been a fistfight or minor road rage incident?

      Or http://www.ibtimes.com/accidental-gun-deaths-involving-children-are-major-problem-us-2250568

      By the end of 2015, about 265 children under 18 picked up a firearm and shot someone by accident, and 83 of those shootings were fatal, according to research compiled by the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. Some 41 of those deaths involved the shooters themselves, and most of the shootings involved toddlers or teens who were playing recklessly with the guns.

    • Oh my god, if only I had a $ every time someone said..”if they take our guns only criminals will have guns” crap! If the Sydney shootings are anything to go by the crims are too busy shooting each other, and I’m okay with that! I’m more concerned with people who have guns and lose it and start shooting their family or neighbours. There are plenty of people with guns who weren’t criminals until the day they decided to shoot someone.

      Close to 20 yrs ago a former work colleague shot his ex wife in the head (NSW) over a custody dispute, this guy in our opinion was not all there and it didn’t surprise us. Some how he got away with manslaughter. He wasn’t a criminal right up to that point.

  12. It shouldn’t be a surprise that gun-related suicides are down, as there has not been a (technical) recession since 1996 – so it stands to reason that suicides would be down.

    Let’s go through some of the recessions in the 70s/80s/90s and see how suicides and murder rates stack up. Even worse if/when the bubble economy bursts resulting in an 1890s-type depression.

  13. Terror Australis

    This guy is a nut.
    Can’t fathom why the NSW ALP put him no. 6 on their Senate HTV recommendations.
    Ahead of REAL progressive parties like Drug Law Reform, mind you!
    Hope that doesn’t come back to bite them with him retaining a seat.

    • The LDP were around a lot longer than Drug Law Reform and are the biggest advocates of relaxing our drug laws. The same goes for alcohol taxes, tobacco taxes and sugar taxes.

      Are the Greens progressive because they want a sugar tax on soft drinks ? I just think they are crazed authoritarians but most people love the sound of taxing something they disapprove of.

      • “most people love the sound of taxing something they disapprove of”

        It’s not a simple issue and even as a Greens member I’m not sure I’d support a sugar tax, but I think it’s more like encouraging people financially to make healthier choices. Just like allowing health insurance companies to charge premiums based on lifestyle risk factors would do. And I’m pretty sure the LDP would support that change (but for other reasons of course).

      • Terror Australis

        Are the Greens authoritarians because they want to tax things that cause people self-harm?
        If so then every member of parliament must be in that camp.
        Tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes… a sugar tax on carbonated drinks is a no-brainer for all the same reasons.
        Taxing sugar drinks is just common sense which is why the UK CONSERVATIVE government recently legislated it.

        As for Lleyonhjelm, he might have the right instincts on drug reform but he is hardly a “progressive” (which is what Labor purports to be after all). He wants to cut welfare and shrink the state so small that it would drown in a wading pool.

  14. Meh, this clown will be gone after July 2 so he can say whatever he wants.

    The gun question deserves more discourse. There is a case to argue on all counts, but hysterics prevent a proper and reasoned debate. More people are killed in road accidents than mass shootings and we don’t ban cars. I bet I get hammered over that!

    • He really says some silly things but don’t be too quick to dismiss his endurance – Gun owners don’t have many political friends & farmers feel they’re under siege & that an essential tool will be taken from them.

      Lleyonhelm has just been refused a FOI on new draft gun laws that are being kept secret till after the election! Will there be reasoned debate, or will it be like the TPP with a bigger cheer squad?

      • Fair enough Nudge. I live in the sticks and a neighbour was shot through his lounge window by a deranged kid who pinched his shotgun after murdering his father.
        Two weeks later the constabulary banged on my door and demanded I hand over my weapons. After showing them the gun safe and sitting around with blue lights flashing while they picked at their anuses they departed saying that I should be careful because a man was shot close by.
        I mean ffs is this the best we can do? Although I need an auto loader I can’t get one because of some obscure rule so the place is over run by vermin. I use a .223 which permits one shot each night making the vermin scatter. It is more cost effective to fart at them. Can’t bait because the greenies don’t like 1080 and traps are verbotten. No wonder farmers get pissed!

      • Truly Tragic Malcolm! I’m sure that wouldn’t have been a great time for anyone.
        It might be an argument for a combination lock instead of keys? (I don’t know the circumstances) Then OTOH, If the kid had used a shovel, would you have still had a visit?

        There’s no easy answers but it does need thorough Sober debate instead of what we have. This is an Economics blog weighing in, & not for the first time…….. Why?

        I’ve lost count of the number of farmers who’ve walked off the land for similar reasons to yours. 1 shot/night is entirely absurd! Maybe you should hook your farts up to a gas gun?

  15. Cost IndexMEMBER

    So high fives around the MB office today with this piece lads? A few nerves struck yesterday?

    Sheesh, I could retort everything here but I have more productive work to do than address the Libertarian Boogey-Man and gun freak meme. This straw-man tactic just doesn’t wash anymore.

    Instead I’ll let the following post do all the talking. It’s factual and annilhates all the above. Do your research without the usual Aussie cognitive bias and stop being so tribalistic, it lowers this sites potential stature

    http://therevenantrising.tumblr.com/post/126179875315/gun-control-master-post

    Otherwise, sincerely, keep up the good research in other areas…

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Sheesh, I could retort everything here but I have more productive work to do than address the Libertarian Boogey-Man and gun freak meme. This straw-man tactic just doesn’t wash anymore.

      That is some fine, artisanal irony right there.

      • Doc, give him a break! His “productive” job is to pump up an aluminium tube with air; it’s leaving him light headed.

    • The latte-sipping, inner-city hipsters who populate this blog love to express righteous indignation with gun related anything, so why should this be any different.
      I had so much more written on the subject but I’ll save my breath! Instead, I’ll just post a link to a photo of the last MB editorial meeting, taken as they were tackling the agenda item simply named “Kumbaya” I believe; though not sure what that was about…

      Stick with the economics boys, there’s plenty to discuss and this is certainly not your sweet spot!

      • Boom boom (or is that too gun like for comfort?)

        Judging by the number of comments you’ve left on this thread (9% of the comments and counting) I’d say that you’ve got an axe to grind on this issue, but you’d probably like to see those banned too I suppose?

        (Just thought I should try some light comedy instead.)

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Indeed. Any random punter should be able to go to KMart and drive away in short order with an arsenal, having faced barriers no greater than pulling out a credit card.

        And keep a howitzer. Y’know, “for self defense”.

      • Sure…I don’t actually recall advocating that approach drsmithy, and nor would I ever, though your response shows the irrationality of the debate. The straw-man is alive and well it seems – any voice of opposition to the pacifist-lefties’ desire to ban firearms entirely is met with outrageous claims of free guns given out on street corners, killing babies for sport and uncontrolled carnage in the streets – yeesh, get a grip man.

        The staggering majority of people here are completely ill-equipped to participate in this discussion save for their irrational fear of firearms, or their conviction that, because they don’t need/want them, then nobody else should either. Yet here everybody is waging keyboard wars over the very subject.

        I’m actually a big fan of a very tight licencing and registration legislative framework and believe that it needs to be improved further still, but let me be clear that this doesn’t involve taking the guns away – especially not lever-action firearms (only left-handers will understand why…)

        For some rational perspective speak to any of the Divisional Firearms Safety Officer in VicPol and they will tell you that the two biggest issues they have are: 1) illegal firearms and 2) theft of licenced firearms which then become illegal firearms.

        If I remember correctly, at last count there were about 200k licenced firearms owners in Vic alone holding approx 750k firearms. Each year about 1000 of these are stolen (0.0013%), most of which are being stolen from country areas, including both farming properties and holiday houses etc. The biggest issue being that firearms are allowed to be stored at addresses where nobody may be in residence for months at a time, providing ample opportunity for criminals to access them at their leisure.

        This issue is exacerbated by the legislation on firearms storage, the rather low standard of licencing as well as the lax safety culture in some parts of the firearms community. Any Muppet with a pulse can pass the firearms safety course test as it’s just 40 multiple choice questions with three answers, two of which should probably earn you a retard award if you get them wrong, yet you’re allowed to get up to 4 wrong provided you get the 10 legal questions and another 7 mandatory safety questions right. It’s just not that hard!

        In addition, there are still far too many firearms owners who don’t take reasonable precautions when storing or moving their firearms, and this is contributing to the problem. VicPol are under-resourced in this area and can’t perform storage inspections on every owner and every registered storage address in the state. I wish they could, because then we’d be able to prove that the legal guns and owners are not the issue, meaning the debate could return to what to do about the illegal guns.

        The other aspect ripe for improvement are the storage laws. Currently the legislation specifies a hardwood or metal storage cabinet capable of withstanding reasonable attempts to penetrate it. This has lead to the use of school lockers with padlocks on them and all manner of other cheap-arsed attempts to tick the compliance box. It still surprises some gun owners that where the law states that ammunition must be stored in a locked receptacle, separate from firearms, it doesn’t mean a padlocked toolbox sitting on the floor beside the “gun safe” (school locker.) I know, right? If all owners would spend a small fraction of what they spend on some of their firearms on a decent gun safe, we’d be halfway there!

        Whilst on the surface of the argument these are pretty serious issues, which greatly concern our police force, the flow of firearms from legal to illegal channels can be rapidly and readily reduced. My concern is more about those weapons already held illegally, whether that be through importation, theft of legal firearms or the illegal retention of firearms past the 1996 buy-back deadline as well as those enterprising chaps using their CNC lathes to manufacture gun parts and suppressors etc right here in our backyards.

        Either way, let’s have a rational discussion, not whatever this is…

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Sure…I don’t actually recall advocating that approach drsmithy, and nor would I ever, though your response shows the irrationality of the debate. The straw-man is alive and well it seems – any voice of opposition to the pacifist-lefties’ desire to ban firearms entirely is met with outrageous claims of free guns given out on street corners, killing babies for sport and uncontrolled carnage in the streets – yeesh, get a grip man.

        That’s pretty funny from someone who opened with this.

        If you’re going to get all high and mighty about “rational discussion”, best not start off being an abusive nitwit. Others will respond in kind.

        The staggering majority of people here are completely ill-equipped to participate in this discussion save for their irrational fear of firearms, or their conviction that, because they don’t need/want them, then nobody else should either.

        I haven’t got the slightest fear of firearms. I grew up in the country. I’m not a particularly good shot, but I’ve fired plenty of guns in my day and even killed a few ‘roos.

        What I do have a fear of is very lightly regulated access to guns, which is what *most* people playing the “gun rights” cards are arguing for (including Leyonhjelm).

        A mate of mine from when I was living in AZ used to keep a loaded shotgun behind the bedhead and a loaded Glock (with one in the chamber) in his bedside table. Plus numerous other unsecured weapons elsewhere in the house. Probably 4-5 times a year he’d take himself off to a gun show and buy or sell a few more guns, easy as pie. No background checks. No ownership registry. No requirement for secure transport.

        It was not unusual in Phoenix or Scottsdale to be in a Frys doing some shopping next to someone with a couple of pistols strapped to their hips or a shotgun slung over their shoulder.

        This is the kind of insanity that “gun rights” types are typically arguing should be acceptable, implicitly if not explicitly. This is the kind of stuff that’s scary. Which is why you need to jump to absurd counterexamples to get the point across.

        I’m actually a big fan of a very tight licencing and registration legislative framework and believe that it needs to be improved further still, but let me be clear that this doesn’t involve taking the guns away – especially not lever-action firearms (only left-handers will understand why…)

        Excellent.

        That means we have established you have no fundamental disagreement with the vast majority of “latte-sipping, inner-city hipsters who populate this blog”, and the only disagreement is on the scope and scale of licensing and ownership restrictions.

        The rest of your post was remarkably cogent and relevant, in light of the childish stupidity you started with. Perhaps, in future, you could extend people the courtesy of considering their views might also have considered basis behind them and lead with that sort of post instead.

        Either way, let’s have a rational discussion, not whatever this is…

        Sure, but most of the irrationality comes from the pro-gun side (people making “right to own guns” type arguments). Like it or not, the vast majority of people live in the city and there’s little reason for them to own guns outside of sport shooting, which is a pretty niche hobby. So the “pacifist-lefties’ desire to ban firearms entirely” – ignoring for a second that’s complete bullshit outside of a tiny minority – in the context of suburban society is both reasonable and rational given the negative impact is near zero and the benefits are almost certainly measured in multiple lives.

        Rural use – ie: guns as a tool of the trade – is another game all together, and it’s pretty unusual to find anyone who thinks farmers shouldn’t be allowed to own guns (not saying they don’t exist, but to try and present them as a significant percentage, let alone majority, is just flat-out dishonesty).

    • How does an increase in gun ownership that appears- from the data the article presents – to begin in around 2008 make homicides fall from somewhere between 1990 and 1994 onwards, again, according to the data presented in the article?

  16. What is the difference between a libertarian and an anarchist? Apart fro selectively choosing rules that convenience themselves I struggle to see it. If the government bothers you that much, go whole hog, get rid of all these arbitrary rules that are only there because the weak are pathetic. Anarchy or communism, they are obviously the only two real options.

    • Cost IndexMEMBER

      If I can point you in the right direction?

      There are some loaded opinions and misconceptions in there footsore however I grant being a Libertarian position is genuinely hard to understand so long as it framed through the current ideological viewpoint of self sacrifice, whether religious or any other tribalism.
      A quick Google or Wikipedia search of Libertarianism will reveal at us fundamental core that you shall not have your rights infringed by any other individual or group and you shall not infringe upon them
      Objectivism is one such Libertarian ideology and is a reasonable start to understand it.
      Many will decry it as evil and any other notion, that is because a millennia of indoctrination of self sacrifice in the name of someone or something else is both confronting and unsettling to an individual and the tribes that seek to control their minds.

      This is not conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo, it’s just reality.

      I wish you the best in following these areas up. Cheers

      • I was (mostly) being tongue in cheek. For the record I’m a fan of Thomas Hobbes and J. S. Mill. Individual liberty that takes place in an environment that prevents harm and exploitation. So, I can understand the sentiments of the serious and considered libertarian, though I see it as been impossibly impractical. Yet most I come across are as just sprouting empty words that suit their method of gaining more for themselves. Not at all different from a lot of socialists I’ve heard and read over the years.

      • Cost IndexMEMBER

        I can definitely appreciate that footsore. I’m no philosopher however I seek understanding at all times so I can only convey the philosophy in general, I hope that can be appreciated.
        However if anyone claims to be a Libertarian and they are coercing against their will or forceably confiscating another’s property or their individual rights then are not a Libertarian they would be anything other. This is not a “No True Scotsman Fallacy” either.

        Kind Regards

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      The most obvious difference is that anarchists don’t believe in private property whereas a libertarian would see no problems with buying the air around your house and charging you per-breath-rent, if it were practically possible to do so.

      Anarchism is a philosophy steeped in historical reality. Contemporary American-style Libertarianism of the kind Leyonhjelm represents is a 20th century invention of corporatist stooges designed to justify the strip-mining of society’s wealth by the top fractions of a percent under the guise of “freedom”.

      • I know, I was just playing on the whole dislike of rules that a lot of the libertarians go on about. Now that I think about it, I was just trolling.

  17. Australia also hasn’t experienced many big recessions or unemployment. MB’s view is that some financial pain is coming.

    Lets re-assess crime rates when people are a lot more desperate and have a lot less to lose. Not saying I want guns for self defense or anything, but Australia is truly not a good place to be a victim in. The feeling of powerlessness when you’re dealing with people who know they can trespass on your land at-will with no repercussions isn’t very pleasant.