The anti-gun crowd in the United States often holds up Australia as a model of what America should be… but trying to emulate “the land down under” may not be a perfect solution after all.
Australia’s prime minister met with President Trump on Friday, but made a surprising statement: He doesn’t actually recommend his country’s gun laws here in the states.
“You have an amendment to your Constitution which deals with gun ownership. You have a very, very different history (with guns),” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said during a press conference with Trump, according to The Washington Times.
Turnbull acknowledged that the U.S. had some decisions to make on its gun policy, but took a fairly prudent stance of respecting that America was in a different position and declining to lecture the president.
“We certainly don’t presume to provide, you know, policy or political advice on that matter here,” Prime Minister Turnbull said. “I will focus on our own political arguments and debates and wish you wise deliberation in your own.”
Australia has much more strict gun laws than the United States. The country’s “solution” some 22 years ago was exactly what Second Amendment supporters fear: Mass gun confiscation.
“Between 1996 and September 1997, around 650,000 privately owned guns were confiscated in a mandatory buyback following a shooting in a café,” explained Metro UK. Other outlets estimate that the number was closer to one million firearms.
At the time, Australian Prime Minister John Howard “introduced major gun reform the National Firearms Agreement, which included complete bans on certain weapons, permits for new firearms, and registering owned guns,” the newspaper continued.
Did it work? The results are mixed.
Pundits pointed to a decline in murders and homicides after the ban went into effect, but failed to admit that these statistics had already been declining before the huge gun grab began.
“Firearm homicides and suicides were falling from the mid-1980s onwards, so you could pick out any subsequent year and the average firearm homicide and suicide rates after that year would be down compared to the average before it,” explained John R. Lott in an opinion piece published by Fox News.
“But the decline in firearm homicides and suicides actually slowed down after the buyback,” he continued. In other words, there just wasn’t a direct correlation.
“For other crimes, such as armed robbery, what happened is the exact opposite of what was predicted. The armed robbery rate soared right after the gun buyback, then gradually declined,” stated Lott, who is a gun policy expert and author of several books on the subject.
It is true that Australia has thankfully not had to deal with mass shootings on a scale that America does. However, other countries that have similarly strict gun control laws still have problems with shootings, making it unlikely that it’s a one-size-fits-all solution.
“European countries such as Belgium, France and the Netherlands have even stricter gun control laws than Australia does, but their mass public shooting rates are at least as high as those in the United States,” stated Lott’s Fox News piece.
“During the Obama administration, the per capita casualty rate from shootings in the European Union was actually 27 percent higher than the U.S. rate,” he summarized. This bombshell fact is conveniently swept under the rug by gun control advocates.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made a smart choice by not jumping on the sanctimonious bandwagon to lecture the American people about their gun laws.
He has apparently realized what so many in the mainstream media fail to admit: The two allied nations are not identical, and seizing the firearms of law-abiding citizens is not a magic solution to stopping crime.
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