Gun Control

Time to rip into the right, who are at times like this as bad as the left.

Here is the LGF article that shows Penn & Teller's "Bullshit!" link. The clip at least doesn't give much time to the anti-gun point of view. Doesn't bother comparing it to any other country in the world, to see if their whacky theories actually stand up to reality.

Let's start with something really basic. If owning guns is a human right, then why do the Americans not allow American children to carry guns? Instead, American children are expected to face down armed adults. In a country like Australia, children never need to face a gun, and always have the option of running away screaming. In America, they have no options against an armed adult. So in Australia, 13 year old girls can walk to the library to return their library books. In America, if they don't want to face guns, they need an armed escort. What a wonderful country.

By the way, I'm not particularly against guns. Those same children have more chance of being killed in a car crash than being shot. No-one seems to give a damn about that - when was the last time you heard someone say "I'm not going to buy a car, I'm going to go in public transport everywhere, because the road toll is so high"? And if you don't give a damn about being killed in a car crash, there's no particular reason why you should be concerned about guns. You need to be consistent. However, what's even lower is the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq. No-one should be complaining about one month's worth of road toll being lost in FOUR YEARS in Iraq when they don't give a damn about the MONTHLY road toll in America. I've never seen any rally saying "ban the cars". However, in fairness, at least cars do something useful. Guns in the hands of civilians don't. The US soldiers in Iraq are doing something useful too.

Now let's move on to Penn & Teller's fallacy you can see at the end of the clip - about guns in the hands of civilians being able to overthrow the government. This is a common myth in America. And it's complete crap. Modern wars are actually won in the air, by whoever has the best air-to-air missiles. They are not won by goons with pea-shooters. Even if Americans were armed with RPGs (which they're not allowed to have), they would STILL be unable to beat the US military. Here is what happens when the military goes up against goons. Americans like to look at other countries and say "oh, look at those people who aren't allowed to defend themselves from tyranny". We are allowed to defend ourselves. And knives aren't banned. And knives are just as useless against the government forces as American guns are. The thing that keeps Australians safe IS the government forces. Those forces are loyal to the people, not the government, and will not obey illegal orders. THAT is what keeps us safe. Not knives. Not pea-shooters. Professional military with the RIGHT IDEOLOGY. The rights of Australians are protected by the state police, the federal police, the Australian military, and via the ANZUS treaty, the US military. THAT is what keeps us safe at night. Not pea-shooters in the hands of goons.

Finally, we get on to the fallacy that if guns are banned, there will be a free-for-all as criminals now know they don't have to face guns. First of all, almost no criminals in Australia use guns. They simply don't exist. At least not that individuals encounter. They're still used in bank robberies. Here is what happened when Australia introduced tougher gun laws in 1996. Do you see a big spike as all hell broke loose in a field day for criminals? Nope. What about other crime? Surely it took off? Nope. The crime statistics are a mixed bag though, e.g. in this one, crime went up in 1998, but the murder rate was the lowest in 6 years. Is that what you would have predicted from gun control? Nope. Here and here are some more statistics.

Banning firearms in Australia was expected to have minimal effect on the crime rate, which is exactly what happened. There is no evidence that banning guns helped or hindered crime. It is only lies from the gun lobby that say that banning guns will create a criminal free-for-all, or that it will usher in dictatorship. Reality is that guns were a minor problem, and remain a minor problem after being banned. However, the objective was never to change the crime rate. Australians simply wanted to stop those mass killings. And those appear to have been stopped, although it's hard to tell, because they're so rare anyway. It has been made more difficult for these mass murderers to obtain a gun. Was it worth the cost of the gun buyback? I have no opinion on that. I didn't care about the occasional mass murder, and I didn't care about the extra tax that I had to pay to buy those guns back so that they could be destroyed. I'm happy to let Australians do whatever they want in that area. What I don't want is the American right to spread lies about crime in Australia. And I don't want them to make up lies about what happens when citizens don't have guns.

If you want to find a low crime rate, go and learn from somewhere like Taiwan or Singapore. America is the last place you want to go. I was highly impressed when I was in Singapore. However, I can't stand their farce of a democracy. I want to see the same laws they already have, but with a proper democracy. So, yet again we need America's help. Whatever America's faults may be, they are the greatest force for freedom in the world today. And quite frankly, that trumps all other concerns. I think Taiwan is probably the closest we have to an end-objective. Taiwan or Australia. Taiwan is free. It is listed as "1, 1" at www.freedomhouse.org. And that freedom is combined with good government, and a low crime rate (at least from my understanding of it, I haven't seen the figures). However, they don't appear to have Australia's habit of going overseas to liberate others. So that is why I'm torn between these 2 countries for the best model. And given that America's desire to liberate others appears to be even higher than Australia's, it is up there too. I look forward to the day when liberating people is par for the course instead of being controversial, and then we can start copying the Taiwanese. I certainly wouldn't want to lose the spirit of freedom-loving. That is the most precious commodity on earth. But let's do it without the right-wing crap that only Americans are truly free because 18 year old males have the God-given right to shoot unarmed 13 year old girls returning books to the library. That is not freedom. That is just bad policy built on right-wing lies. It is disgusting that some Americans say that Australia is not free just because we democratically choose to ban one particular sort of weapon (much like the US bans RPGs). Lies. All lies.

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