Australia

Australia's Gun 'Buyback' Created a Violent Firearms Black Market. Why Should the U.S. Do the Same?

With years of increasing domestic peace behind us, Americans should avoid policies that seem designed to empower organized crime.

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On the campaign trail and speaking to audiences fearful of firearms in the hands of their friends and neighbors, Hillary Clinton says "Australia is a good example" as she points to a model she wants to emulate in revising the country's gun laws. "The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns. Then, they basically clamped down, going forward."

The man Clinton wants to succeed, Barack Obama, noted, "Australia … imposed very severe, tough gun laws.  And they haven't had a mass shooting since."

The president invokes the country's restrictive laws so often that at the recent "Guns In America" town hall on CNN, host Anderson Cooper pointed out "You've praised their policies over and over."

"Over and over?" Maybe it's time to tell the president and his likely successor that the policies they so admire have been largely flouted, and that Australia remains a mostly peaceful country despite a foolish and intrusive legal tantrum that is fueling the growth of a large black market served by organized crime.

Clinton and Obama tout a 1996 "gun buyback" that was actually a compensated confiscation of self-loading rifles, self-loading shotguns, and pump-action shotguns in response to the Port Arthur mass shooting. The seizure took around 650,000 firearms out of civilian hands and tightened the rules on legal acquisition and ownership of weapons going forward.

As a result, concluded one academic assessment, "Suicide rates did not fall, though there was a shift toward less use of guns, continuing a very long-term decline. Homicides continued a modest decline; taking into account the one-time effect of the Port Arthur massacre itself, the share of murders committed with firearms declined sharply. Other violent crime, such as armed robbery, continued to increase, but again with fewer incidents that involved firearms."

A largely peaceful country remained peaceful, with alternative weapons sometimes adopted in place of guns by those who weren't so well-intentioned.

What the law couldn't do—what prohibitions can never accomplish—was eliminate demand for what was forbidden. And demand has an inescapable habit of generating sources of supply. If that demand can't be legally satisfied, it will be met through black market channels.

In Australia, part of the supply of banned firearms comes from defiance of the original prohibition. The Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia estimates compliance with the "buyback" at 19 percent.

Other researchers agree. In a white paper on the results of gun control efforts around the world, Franz Csaszar, a professor of criminology at the University of Vienna, Austria, gives examples of large-scale non-compliance with the ban. He points out, "In Australia it is estimated that only about 20% of all banned self-loading rifles have been given up to the authorities."

But that defiance was mostly on the part of peaceful civilians who just didn't want to bend their knees to politicians, and it was 20 years ago. What about the bad actors supposedly targeted for disarmament by the government?

Just days ago, Australia's Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, and Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice, held a joint press conference to announce "We don't tolerate gun smuggling in Australia and we know Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs are engaged in it. We have been keen to send the strongest possible message from Canberra that we're not going to tolerate people smuggling in guns or smuggling in gun parts. You'd appreciate that even one smuggled gun can do an enormous amount of damage."

When politicians announce that they don't tolerate something, it's a fair bet that the something is completely out of hand.

"Police admit they cannot eradicate a black market that is peddling illegal guns to criminals," the Adelaide Advertiser conceded a few years ago. "Motorcycle gang members and convicted criminals barred from buying guns in South Australia have no difficulty obtaining illegal firearms—including fully automatic weapons."

More recently, the country's The New Daily gained access to "previously unpublished data for firearms offences" and reported a surge in crime "including a massive 83 per cent increase in firearms offences in NSW between 2005/06 and 2014/15, and an even bigger jump in Victoria over the same period."

"Australians may be more at risk from gun crime than ever before with the country's underground market for firearms ballooning in the past decade," the report added. "[T]he national ban on semi-automatic weapons following the Port Arthur massacre had spawned criminal demand for handguns."

Much as the Mafia and other organized criminal outfits rose to power, wealth, and prominence by supplying illegal liquor during Prohibition in the United States, outlaw motorcycle gangs in Australia appear to be building international connections and making money by supplying guns to willing buyers.

It's as if Australian politicians looked at America's experience and said: what the land down under really needs is its own Al Capone—but Mad Max-style, with leather and a hog.

Once you enable organized crime, there are no boundaries. Australia's criminal gangs supply not just pistols, but weapons up to and including rocket launchers—some of which may have ended up in terrorist hands. "Police have only ever recovered one of the 10 rocket launchers," a report notes in the wake of an incident involving (you guessed it) a "bikie."

Obviously, items like rocket launchers come from specialized sources. "[T]hefts of guns from the Australian defence forces accounts for a steady stream of weapons falling into the hands of criminals," according to yet another news report. The military-sourced guns have been linked to crimes, including murder.

But like American bootleggers who supplemented smuggled booze with bathtub gin, Australia's organized criminal outfits have learned the joy of DIY production.  A South Australia man was arrested in 2012 for manufacturing guns, including submachine guns, for criminals. A year later, New South Wales jeweler was busted for cranking out "up to 100 of the perfectly constructed MAC 10 machine guns" for motorcycle gang members.

Maybe Australia already has its own biker Capone.

Those DIY efforts become easier every day. Surveying recent technological developments, the Australian Crime Commission foresees improved home-manufacturing abilities making "3D printing of firearms or firearm parts an increasingly viable option."

Make no mistake about it, Australia is a generally peaceful country with a 2014 murder rate of 1.0 victims per 100,000 persons and an overall homicide rate, including manslaughter, of 1.8. In 2000 the Australian Institute of Criminology reported "the homicide rate for Australia has stayed remarkably constant. The highest rate recorded over the last 11 years was 2 per 100,000 and the lowest rate was 1.7 per 100,000." So in the intervening years, they've basically seen a continuation of the "modest decline" referred to in the academic assessment cited above.

By contrast, without Australia's confiscation policy, the United States has seen its murder (including nonnegligent manslaughter) rate drop from 9.3 homicides per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1992 to 4.7 in 2011 and decline further, to 4.5 per 100,000 in 2014, the last year for which full data is available. During this time, the number of firearms in civilian hands increased by roughly 50 percent, to an estimated 300 million.

If Australia's gun policy has coincided with a continuing "modest decline" in its homicide rate, it has had more dramatic results elsewhere. The confiscation drove many of the country's peaceful gun owners underground. It also—and this is important if America's Prohibition-era experience is any guide—empowered a growing organized crime network that is enriched by the trade in guns, drugs, and other goods that people desire and that governments vainly tries to keep out of their hands. That crime network has developed international contacts, and grown wealthy and dangerous. Investigative journalists suggest the organized black market in firearms is fueling a surge in crime that has yet to appear in statistics.

Australia will have to live with the rise in organized crime for years to come. 

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and their friends need to explain to us why we should risk America's current success at reducing violent crime with an Australian policy that has succeeded most obviously at fueling the rise of a down-under Mafia awaiting only the obvious rise of an armaments Al Capone. We already lived through Prohibition once. Australia may not have learned from our experience, but we don't have to emulate that country's mistake.

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  1. It’s a natural weapon escalation. You start with a metal boomerang as a Feral Kid, then graduate to guns when you get older and more Humongous. It’s a fact, look it up.

    1. Just like your mum.

  2. Since when have gun grabbers been honest or rational? When has their agenda ever proven to be what they profess? When have their policies improved anything?

  3. That’s not a rocket launcher. This is a rocket launcher.

    1. +1 Dundee

    2. Speaking of, why hasn’t the Australian government done anything about Assault Knives huh?

      1. Don’t give them ideas…

      2. Actually they have. They passed a law allowing police to search for knives even with particulary zero evidence to believe you’re carrying one.

      3. Actually they have. They passed a law allowing police to search for knives even with particulary zero evidence to believe you’re carrying one.

  4. “But that defiance was mostly on the part of peaceful civilians who just didn’t want to bend their knees to politicians…”

    There you have it. The reason politicians do this crap in the first place. “Bow before me, peon!”

    I expect you’ll get a lot of defiance here in the U.S. if they try to ban/confenscate guns. I don’t think they’ll get anywhere close to 20% compliance. And there is already an existing network of people willing to risk imprisonment for the rewards of supplying banned goods to the public.

    I can’t see an effort like this doing any good here.

    1. not only would they get massive non-compliance,they’d get a lot of dead politicians and judges.
      The ones who enacted such unconstitutional laws,and the ones who upheld them,that violated their oaths of office.
      it would be hunting time. “reset” time.
      They forget that the original American Revolution started when the British moved to seize the arsenal at Concord,and disarm the colonists.

  5. If I’m reading this correctly, the average Australian is far more likely than the average American to have a full-auto rifle, shotgun, or pistol? Aren’t those pretty expensive? How much discretionary income have those Aussies got?

    1. They are not more expensive at all. The cost is artificially prohibitive here in the US due to regulation. They are more expensive to feed, but not to acquire.

      1. For that matter the price of non-autos is also substantially jacked up artificially by govt regulation in the states.

        1. “…prices of non-autos are also…”

          I need more coffee.

          1. First time was correct.

    2. An an Australian, basicially nobody has full auto rifles. In rurual areas it’s not uncommon for people to have shotguns or single shot rifles for hunting.
      Occasionally you hear of a bikie bust where some automatic weapons are confiscated but that’s about it. It may not have had a sigificant impact on our homicide rate but the article’s claim that gun controls have failed here is certainly contrary to the experience of almost all Australians.

      1. Perception and experience are distinctly different things.

      2. You could say the same thing about the United States regarding automatic weapons, simply because of the ratio of criminals to normal people. (And the low popularity of automatic weapons even among the criminal class, who prefer handguns)

        I find the increase in violent crimes post-ban to be a failure, even before you get around to the fact that the ban hasn’t done anything about the availablity of arms.

      3. What I get from the article is that Australia simply wasn’t a very violent country to begin with and the laws being praised by the jackasses here were a knee-jerk response to a mass shooting, which is a statistically unlikely occurrence. If Australia tightened gun laws and saw a reduction in crime I’d say that’s no more meaningful than the US loosening gun laws nationwide and seeing an even greater reduction in crime.

        It’s like a primitive tribe shoving a virgin into a volcano and then years later talking about how since there hasn’t been another eruption it must have worked.

        1. From what I can tell violent crime was in a steep decline long before their gun ban. The ban was catalyzed by a horrible and sensational mass shooting in ’96. From then until ’01 gun crime increased steeply. That increase was mitigated by large increases in numbers of police.

          It is the usual pattern. Disarm the people and turn your country into a police state. If only people would wake up and realize all we have to do is put everyone in prison and we would have no crime at all.

          1. From what I hear from corrections officers, prisoners continue to commit a lot of crimes while incarcerated.

            1. Phht! Unsubstantiated rumor.

            2. And committing their share of crimes also.

              1. Look, the corrections officers don’t tell me about the share of crimes they themeselves commit, I’m not one of them, I might testify.

                1. At the prison where I work, it’s not at all uncommon for officers to get busted for smuggling drugs in. Every single person who comes in (even the warden) has to go through a checkpoint, but it’s not very thorough; it’s not like they can do a full strip-search on the hundreds of employees and visitors who come and go every day.

                  They also drug test the inmates and they frequently come up positive. It’s gotten so bad that they actually made one of the housing units into a “limited privilege housing” for those who are known to be using drugs while incarcerated.

          2. f only people would wake up and realize all we have to do is put everyone in prison and we would have no crime at all.

            According AmSoc Cuba has a very low crime rate…

          3. “From what I can tell violent crime was in a steep decline long before their gun ban.”
            Yep, they tried to claim that murders went down after the ban, but in fact the decline was about as steep as it was before. Even the guy who originally claimed that the laws reduced murders knew it was crap. He said that massacres went down faster than they were going down, but didn’t make the same claim about murders in general. Which means he knew he couldn’t make that claim.

        2. What I get from the article is that Australia simply wasn’t a very violent country to begin with

          Yes? Australia’s crime rate tracked this US but at 30% of the US rate, IIRC.

      4. Since the entire country is trying to kill you ,I would think being well armed to be a necessity.

        1. Let me respond seriously to this joke. Only a handful of native Australian species (crocodiles, kangaroos if really enraged) are dangerous to humans. The other species are relatively small and poisonous: snakes, spiders, the blue-ringed octopus, etc. AFAIK (I’m from southern Australia), tiger snakes are the only poisonous species that will seek out and attack humans. Contrast this to (mountain) lions, and tigerswolfpacks and bears in North America.

          This has major consequences. To be safe in rural Australia, it’s best to carry a stick, but in America, you want a hand gun. (Long guns take too much time to employ.) Hence very few Aussies have ever bought handguns, but lots of Americans did once revolvers became affordable (in the early 19th century?). Hence it has been difficult and rare for Australian criminals to acquire handguns (at least until this century), but easy for American crooks. Hence civilians here have no need for guns for protection, unlike the US.

          IMO, the increasing trend for bikie gangs to smuggle or manufacture guns here is not really related to the 1996 crackdown. As others here have suggested, they wanted guns to protect their lucrative drug businesses, mostly from each other, then started selling them to the usual dickheads. The result is that criminals here are starting to use handguns more and more, which makes police nervous, which results in governments adopting dubious policies (eg., the anti-bikie laws in Queensland).

          1. There has never been an authenticated case of a healthy wolf or wolves attacking people in the entire continent of North America.

      5. By what measure have Australia’s gun controls succeeded?

      6. I realize there are 100 people in Australia and they all live in one city, but I would respectfully suggest that even I, as a gun-toting American, do not have an accurate idea of how many people have automatic weapons in my country. I can speak with accuracy for about seven people living in the DC area and a couple of people in east Texas, but that’s about it. Based on sales, I’d say a lot of people own AR-15s. Were I to guess based on past experience, I would guess that career criminals aside at least a few otherwise law-abiding gun owners have purchased trigger kits to convert a gun to close to full auto. And, of course, semi-auto guns in all sizes are very popular. But again, I have no way of knowing for certain, and can only guess based on personal experience and stuff like sales statistics.

        And speaking of statistics, if Australian gun laws haven’t had a significant impact on your homicide rate, what was the point? And in what way would you claim they’ve succeeded?

      7. And the British just love their government-run healthcare. Doesn’t mean it’s any good.

      8. Fully automatic weapons were never legal in Australia. Semi-automatic rifles and shotguns were legal and relatively common amongst farmers and sporting shooters. In 1996, the state and federal governments changed the laws to largely ban handguns and semi-automatic long guns. (Licences are available for competitive shooters, professional camel shooters, etc, under strict controls.) The compulsory buyback was meant to remove semi-automatic weapons from the general population.

    3. not full-auto,but “self-loading” rifles and handguns,or semi-autos as they’re called here.

  6. Generally speaking, where there is demand, there will be a supply.

    When the market is outlawed, outlaws will do the marketing.

    If you don’t want outlaws buying and selling something, don’t outlaw it.

    The War on Drugs should convince anyone capable of independant thought that outlawing something merely drives it underground which enables a criminal enterprise to supply the demand. The prison market for drugs should convince thinking people that no amount of money and effort will stop the market.

    The obvious solution is to drive out the black market by allowing a legitimate market to meet demand. A market that can be monitored and even regulated (somewhat) for public safety.

    1. You underestimate the magical power of good intentions.

    2. “Generally speaking, where there is demand, there will be a supply. When the market is outlawed, outlaws will do the marketing. If you don’t want outlaws buying and selling something, don’t outlaw it.

      This just goes to show that free markets and the laws of economics are evil! We could change those damn laws of economics if it weren’t for this ReTHUGliKKKAN do-nothing Congress!!

      /prog

  7. From the motorcycle gangs that I’ve seen grow more powerful, they really grew from the very lucrative drug trade. The gabgs don’t promote the sale of guns, they sell drugs and a lot of them. Automatic weapons usually only turn up when a bikie weapons cache is found suggesting they use them for their turf wars not trade.
    While the point about homicide rates not dropping significantly is reasonable, most of this article is conjecture with the point that rocket launchers may have been sold to terrorists bordering on fear mongering.
    This article reads more like propoganda than journalism, using speculation to push a political agenda.

    1. But I bet you’re used to that from the ABC.

  8. From the motorcycle gangs that I’ve seen grow more powerful, they really grew from the very lucrative drug trade. The gabgs don’t promote the sale of guns, they sell drugs and a lot of them. Automatic weapons usually only turn up when a bikie weapons cache is found suggesting they use them for their turf wars not trade.
    While the point about homicide rates not dropping significantly is reasonable, most of this article is conjecture with the point that rocket launchers may have been sold to terrorists bordering on fear mongering.
    This article reads more like propoganda than journalism, using speculation to push a political agenda.

    1. So you’ve turned the other nine rocket launchers into a modern ‘art’ installation and know for certain they’ve been neutralized?

      1. If not neutralized at least naturalized.

    2. The takeaways from this article
      a) Australians, like most modern wealthy peoples, are peaceable (at least its individuals)

      b) Disarming peaceable peoples has little noticeable effect on criminal activity

      c) Prohibition of things people want fuels the creation of organized criminal distribution groups and creates incentives to settle disputes between distributors with violence.

      1. You just gave me a fantastic mental image – LAW Jousting. The combatants are mounted on motorcycles, starting an equal distance behind two white lines on the road. Each is armed with a single rocket-propelled weapon of their choise, so long as it is an unguided missile they can fire from their sholder. At a pre-determined signal, they ride at each other, and once their front wheel passes their white line, they are permitted to fire at the other rider. The survivor wins. Expect a lot of wild shots and a high degree of danger to the audience.

        1. +1 L.A.W rocket and Harley.

        2. I fought with a LAW and the LAW won.

  9. We could lower the homicide rate further by ending Drug Prohibition.

    1. Do not bring logic into the discussion.It only confuses the gun grabbers and drug warriors.

      1. I sometimes frequent a board of 2A supporters who are totally into Prohibition. When I suggest a gun ban they tell me it won’t work. When I suggest the drug ban isn’t working for the same reason they get stupid.

        It is a wonder.

        Of course the lefties have the same problem if you reverse the items in question.

        It is a wonder.

        1. Yes,they only want to ban things they don’t like or use. The lesson should have been learned from alcohol prohibition. Crime went up,then dropped like a rock after it’s repeal.DUH.

        2. It’s animism.

          Drugs cause people to commit murder and rape, therefore they must be banned. After all, lots of murders and rapes are committed by druggies. Drugs must be the cause, right? So by going after druggies we can prevent serious crimes.

          Same idea with guns. Substitute guns for drugs and gun-owners for druggies.

          Being that this stance is not rational, but rather it is felt, reason and logic are powerless against it.

          1. You obviously hate children, so get with the “feeling.”

          2. drugs are usually highly addictive,and mind-altering. unlike legally-owned firearms. Even with alcohol,there’s addiction and problems from operating motor vehicles under the influence.

            any “addiction” to guns just means your bank account gets depleted,from buying so many guns and feeding them ammo at the range.

        3. FOR THE ~TRIBE~

          Making up reasons for having policies is secondary. Your policies aren’t determined by reasons they are determined by your Tribe. The reasons behind your policies only exist to fight the Dreaded Enemy Tribe, whom believes everything wrong and is pure evil and probably Hitler.

        4. That’s funny. Most of the lefties I talk to are in favor of drug prohibition too. For the childrunz!

        5. I have the same experience. My pro-gun friends are all super anti-drug. I don’t even try any more.

    2. Why do you want children to die from drug overdoses?

      1. They might as well,they’ll be murdered by a gun if they don’t.

  10. Okay there is this small country, and for the sake of the argument 100% of it’s citizens are armed. You put in place Australia’s gun buyback program, and then an outright ban. 20% of the population complies.
    What you have effectively done is turn the other 80% of your citizens into criminals.
    This what your government has done. It has turned a large portion of your population into criminals by merely passing a few laws.

    The very fun, older Australian gentleman. I told this to in response to his question on how I felt about gun control did concede that I had a point, because he had never heard that argument before.

    1. Just like prohibition.

    2. Okay there is this small country

      Australia is roughly the size of the continental US with a population (23M) between that of Texas (27M) and Florida (20M).

  11. There was a program about guns on CBS not long ago.

    One segment was on Australia where they focused on the change in gun laws and the confiscation/buyback.

    They claimed that 700 K guns were destroyed and showed a video of a huge pile of guns being scrapped.

    They said there hadn’t been a mass shooting since then and strongly implied that the gun law and confiscation was the cause of that.

    They made no mention whatsoever of the massive non-compliance with the gun confiscation or gave any estimate of the actual number of supposedly banned firearms that were still in the hands of the public.

    Par for the course for CBS.

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    === W?W?W.A?l?p?h?a?-C?a?r?e?e?r?s.C??O??M

  13. You can always count on the black market to hoist prohibitionists by their own retard. The only question is how many people will have to die before they figure out it’s not working. If the War on Drugs is any indication, a shitload.

    1. Many of the people most adamantly lamenting of the horrors of the War on Drugs are also some of the worst gun grabbers. It amazes me that they don’t see a connection.

  14. If you do a search for the home-made Australian guns you’ll be surprised by how professional they look. I always find it interesting that you never hear about how Australia banned the equipment required to make firearms; the subtext being that the government doesn’t think it’s possible to make guns yourself.

    Clearly, they need to round up all the skilled individuals and ‘special’ equipment that could theoretically construct them and put them in camps/storage. Right? After all, they’re like modern day Wizards that can cast death spells if they so choose. The real dangerous is knowledge here people. Put the Genie back in the box, and stop teaching Chemistry!

    Chemistry is the real danger, of course, since when you can’t get a gun you can almost certainly make explosives which are even more dangerous and do even more damage. I find it notable that the biggest school disaster in American history remains a bombing yet no one has gone on a crusade against chemicals. v_v

    1. exactly would you rather face a gun or be in a crowd when a bomb goes off, just ask those people in brussels how they feel about that.

      1. It’s a logical disconnect in the minds of the gun grabbers. Apparently, guns are the only thing in the world that are dangerous, even though more people die from auto-collisions than guns every year.

        It’s literally no more complicated than the people that want to grab guns only want to do so because they sound scary, look scary, and the people in question have no logical consistency. This is why I always bring up the fact that what is under your sink is consistently more dangerous than a gun.

  15. Ah, gun violence.

    People thinking that outlawing the former will actually reduce the latter are fooling themselves.

  16. “Gun ownership rises 10 per cent across NSW” (Apr 2015).

    In some parts of NSW, there are more than 100 guns for every 100 residents.

    They blame US gun culture.

    1. I guess they are planning on a long gun equivalent of a New York Reload for those followup shots.

  17. “Australia’s Gun ‘Buyback’ Created a Violent Firearms Black Market. Why Should the U.S. Do the Same?”

    We can play America on hard mode!!

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  19. As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, “unexpectedly.”

  20. the problems with US gun ownership don’t come from the legal gun owners. it’s a criminology problem,and a social problem with the single moms that raise so many feral children. Eliminate black/ethnic violence,and the US “gun violence” rates are on a par with the oft-cited “civilized” European countries.

  21. There is no reason at all for this country to imbibe in the Anti-Gun Cool-aide that others have drunk so deeply of. It is hoped that that the people of this country, will so instruct their “elected representatives”, their employees if you will, and that the sadly necessary instructions will be delivered in plain English, and with sufficient force as to be unmistakably clear, even to the most deluded of the peoples employees.

  22. “The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, ”
    There was absolutely no evidence that automatic weapons were available to anyone in Australia besides the military. Jesus how fucking ignorant are these politicians? Or do they just not care if what they say is tr.. oh right it’s Hillary.

    1. To be fair, it’s possible that a former Senator and Secretary of State has no clue the difference between semi-automatic and automatic. At this point though what difference does it make?

      Point of my cheap shot is the narrative is all that matters, and not being honest to the electorate.

    2. Not only that, since they passed the ban on automatic weapons in America in 1934, exactly two crimes have been committed with fully automatic weapons. And one of those was a cop killing an informant with an illegally converted weapon.

  23. So it’s well-established that Obama loves the Australian and British models of “gun control” (read: confiscation). So why do American gun-grabbers act like gun confiscation in America is some kind of wackadoo bullshit conspiracy theory that only Alex Jones would believe?

    What if Rick Santorum were president and he said, “I love what Uganda has done to protect the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. I really think we can learn a thing or two from them. But I don’t want to ban gay marriage or impose on gays in any way!” Would anyone be stupid enough to fall for that?

    What if Romney (the alleged misogynist who keeps women in binders) said, “I think the US should look to Saudi Arabia on the issue of women’s rights. They’ve really struck a great balance over there. But I don’t want to roll back any of the liberties that women enjoy in the US!” What moron would believe him?

    So why do people believe Obama and company when they say that they have no intention of taking away a single firearm when they heap mountains praise upon gun-confiscating nations?

  24. A free people are hard to ‘govern’. Lefties solution to that is to pass so many laws and regulations that everyone is a criminal that can be prosecuted at the whim of the government. Then there is the seeming compulsion of disarming citizens. With all the evidence that disarming normally law abiding citizens does little to affect crime, suicides, ect., one has to wonder if there is an ulterior motive. Of course an armed citizenry is also hard to ‘govern’.

  25. One thing that is true when you force black markets. Once someone has gone to the trouble of purchasing a gun illegally they already have done all the work in making it untraceable. That makes it more likely for them to use it in situations where identification might act as a restraint on bad behavior. Again the free market tends to civilize people, while government intervention tends to set up bad incentives.

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