Gun Control

Does Hillary Clinton Want Your Guns?

The Democratic presidential candidate thinks Australia's mass confiscation of firearms "is a good example."


When it comes to gun control, Hillary Clinton said last Friday, "Australia is a good example" for the United States to follow. That comment suggested the leading Democratic presidential candidate's plans in this area are much more ambitious than she usually lets on—so ambitious that implementing them would require ignoring or repealing the Second Amendment.

By Monday a spokeswoman for the former secretary of state was already backpedaling, saying Clinton did not mean to endorse mass gun confiscation, a central element of Australia's approach to firearms. But if that was not Clinton's intent, she has an alarmingly cavalier attitude toward laws that impinge on constitutional rights: The details don't matter as long as you mean well.

The question of what impact Australia's gun restrictions had on suicide and homicide rates remains controversial. But before you can intelligently discuss the results of what Australia did, you have to understand what Australia did, which Clinton apparently doesn't.

During her appearance at Keene State College in New Hampshire last week, Clinton took a question from an elderly man who asserted that "Australia managed to…take away tens of thousands—millions—of handguns, and in one year they were all gone." His question: "Could we do that? And if we can't, why can't we?"

Although Clinton nodded vigorously when her interlocutor claimed the Australian government had confiscated all of the country's handguns, that is not true. But at least he understood that the transfer of guns from Australians to the government was not, as Clinton portrayed it, a voluntary process similar to President Obama's "cash for clunkers" program.

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, in which a gunman used two semi-automatic rifles to kill 35 people, Australia's states and territories established a new system of gun control that requires a license for every owner and a permit for every purchase. The National Firearms Agreement limited possession of certain weapons, such as pump-action shotguns and semi-automatic rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of no more than 10 rounds, to people whose jobs require them and restricted other weapons, including semi-automatic centerfire riles, to government use.

Under the National Firearms Buyback Scheme, the government confiscated about 660,000 newly prohibited long guns and paid owners compensation for their property loss. In 2003 a similar "buyback" program confiscated about 50,000 licensed target pistols after the government, in response to a shooting at Monash University in Victoria, imposed new limits on caliber and barrel length.

In her remarks last week, Clinton made it sound as if these "buybacks" were optional, saying the government "offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns." She likened Australia's mass confiscations to local programs in the United States that offer cash or gift cards for guns in a vain attempt to reduce the supply of weapons to criminals.

Even if we attribute Clinton's misleading portrayal of Australia's policies to ignorance rather than dishonesty, it hardly inspires confidence that she knows what she's talking about when she says this model is "worth considering." But if we take her at her word, Clinton is open to restrictions that clearly would be inconsistent with the right to armed self-defense.

Australia, which has nothing like the Second Amendment in its constitution, recognizes no such right. Australians must demonstrate a "genuine reason" for owning a gun, and personal protection does not count.

That policy cannot be reconciled with what the U.S. Supreme Court has said about the right to keep and bear arms. Neither can Australia's requirement of a "genuine need" for owning handguns (including air pistols) or its firearm and ammunition storage rules, which preclude self-defense. It is also seems doubtful that Australia's gun registry or its 28-day waiting period for firearm purchases could pass constitutional muster in this country.

Yet in addressing the question of whether the U.S. could adopt Australian-style gun control, Clinton did not mention the Second Amendment once. The omission speaks volumes.

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Yes. All tyrants want a disarmed populace.

    1. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

      Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more ? we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”


  2. Clinton would love to nullify the 2nd Amendment and go door-to-door snatching every gun not held by a state agent. So would her political handlers. That’s a bad combination because no one in the room is speaking up at what an unpopular, unworkable and unconstitutional notion it is. A second President Clinton would likely live in the same ideological bubble that the current White House occupant does.

    1. If she came to my door and tried to collect, it would be her last act of bad faith regarding the Constitution. She hasn’t anywhere near the guts to do it herself. If she’s all for gun confiscation, I’d like to see her force her Secret Service detail to give them up first…as a demonstration of her belief that we’re safer without them.

  3. This petty tyrant wants my weapons, wealth, and stash.

  4. I lived that unfortunate time back in Australia. You always had to have a license and have your firearm registered. The buyback banned all semi auto rifles and shotguns and pump action shotguns, turn them in or face a felony. Then they went after handguns as the article points out in 2003. Again as everything was registered they could do this. Iam a life member of the NRA now here in the US as I have seen what governments can do to individual rights, make no mistake if the anti gun crowd could confiscate they will. It starts with small changes, eg enhanced background checks, moves to a push for registration then step by step they get to the point of confiscation. Beware beware beware.

    1. As a Yank in Oz, its worth mentioning that paintball guns are “firearms”, slingshots are mostly banned and you can’t even buy ammo without a license.

  5. Yes.

  6. Stockpile, stockpile, stockpile, people.

    Fuck, soon you won’t even be able to buy a DRONE without registering for government permission….

    1. And not just guns. Stockpile AMMO and magazines. We tend to get short sighted when they start talking about confiscating GUNS….

      1. Huh? Walmart can’t run out of ammo, can it?

        I kid. When I’ve needed/wanted ammo, I’ve placed orders with wholesalers to buy a case or two at a time. I don’t buy ammo very often. Every time there has been an ammo shortage at Walmart (and other places) over the past several years, people like me get called “hoarders” because we have some ammo. Anyone who didn’t learn from past shortages might not be capable of learning a lesson. Within reason, whatever are your circumstances, stock up and keep it that way.

  7. Clinton should not be cut any slack here. She knew full well what she was advocating and what the Australia program entailed and, rightly, got blowback that required a walk back.

    The idea of forced buybacks, aka confiscation, is a siren song to her and many like her but they’re usually smart enough to keep their mouths shut about it, at least until they get power.

    It’s simple: she let the mask slip.

    1. I’ll give one thing to her, she can’t hide much for very long. She’s not nearly the actor that Bill or Barack is.

  8. They are all [Dems and Repubes] scam artists.

    I don’t care which scam artist finally gets elected, or which doesn’t, nor what the Fed does/does not do, nor whether, according to Mr “investment advisor with a claimed “near perfect prediction record” [insert advisor name of choice] , we are supposedly in for recession, depression, deflation, hyper inflation, a stock market boom, or whatever .

    Why? Because whatever happens, my entirely self-managed, fully diversified, once per year adjusted long term savings plan will be safely protected and will , 9 times out of 10, grow at an average of 8% per annum over and above the prevailing inflation [or deflation], rate, year in, year out, as it has since 1986 when I started using it.

    Savings plan results 1972-2011: http://onebornfreesfinancialsa…

    Financial Safety Services

    1. When I sign up will emailing you my credit card and bank account info be sufficient or do you need my social as well?

  9. With the availability of GPS systems, there’s no excuse for every American not to have multiple stockpiles of weapons and ammunition buried.

    You’ll only have yourself to blame when Hillary’s stormtroopers kick your door down and kill your children.

    Over 100,000,000 people have been murdered in cold blood during the 20th century for the advancement of socialism/communism.
    Shame on you if you allow your family to add to that statistic.

  10. I think the answer is better viewed form the answer to this question;
    Is it really Hillary’s goal to save lives?
    Hillary said during the debate that “90 people die from guns every day, and this has to stop!” This is why it tops her priority list to do something about guns…anything!!!

    ….But 1500 people die every day from cancer. It has been proven that marijuana not only helps prevent, but in some cases fights off some cancers. So where is her anger on government regulation of a plant that i could grow in my back yard, and potentially save my life? Where is any politicians anger on this?…I know there is a couple,

    Until we realize that politicians use emotional arguments like “saving lives”, “for the children”, or “the greater good” only for political gain, then we can see through their BS.

    The answer to the question is no, she doesn’t care about lives, which reveals the answer…Yes she wants to disarm citizens.

  11. At least at this point Americans have a good argument against those who continue to say that no-one wants to take your guns away.

  12. I have never understood liberals’ fascination with the concept of gun confiscation. Is it that they think it worked in Europe? (That’s where they get their fetish for passenger rail; the fact that the US is mostly much less densely populated than Europe, and our trackage is not in as good shape, doesn’t register.)

    Or are they afraid that their precious blacks will be shot? In liberal-to-leftist circles, it’s more socially acceptable to admit to any other vice than to criticize blacks. And black males are 4% of the population, more-or-less, but commit half of all the violent crime.

    1. Liberals’ primary motivation for gun confiscation isn’t for saving lives, it is for making it easier to impose their will upon people who would resist them.

  13. Australia, which has nothing like the Second Amendment in its constitution, recognizes no such right.

    Thank God one of the founding members had the forethought of “Gee, I wonder if we should enumerate some of these rights, just in case some idiot can’t understand that anything that isn’t expressly mentioned in the Constitution is not under the jurisdiction of the gubment.”

  14. With the influx of Muslims and Hispanics, looks like pHillary doesn’t want anyone to have a gun to defend against those immigrant’s favorite weapons, machetes and long knives. Way to go Hillary.

  15. Possibly Ms. Clinton will give living in Australia a try, assuming that they would have her.

    1. We took Sheik Hillali, so apparently we’re OK with loons who back Islamic extremist.

  16. The question of what impact Australia’s gun restrictions had on suicide and homicide rates remains controversial.

    Actually, an honest appraisal of the available statistical data leads to the pretty non-controversial conclusion that the post-Port Arthur Massacre gun restrictions did little-or-nothing to bring down homicide rates.

  17. Of course the anti-self-defense totalitarian loves what Australia did. It’s the wet dream of every such person to not have to worry about armed resistance when pushing their designs upon others “for the good of society”. After all, we peons shouldn’t dare talk back to our self-declared moral superiors, let alone actually think of fighting ones so far above us muckdwellers. They are the elect, the wise chosen ones (because their money and power say so), and it’s a testament to their great kindness and selflessness that they have decided to order our otherwise worthless lives for us. And we’re such a bunch of ingrates as to not just lie down and lick their boots! For shame, my fellow muckdwellers.

  18. The fact that she thinks “following” Australia is a good idea for anything implies she is no leader. Leaders lead, never follow.

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