The president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for gun confiscation by the government and a national gun registry like the program implemented in Australia in the 1990s among other gun control measures.
In a Tuesday op-ed entitled, “Gun Safety is about Freedom,” NAACP head Derrick Johnson likened the current anxiety students feel in going to school to that faced by the African American “Little Rock Nine” when they had to be escorted to class by federal troops in the 1950s as part of the Brown v. Board of Education desegregation ruling.
“(F)ear and terror still exist in our children’s classrooms” because of the “National Rifle Association (NRA) and the politicians that support them,” wrote Johnson.
He went on to contend that passing gun control legislation is a civil rights issue.
“Given the disproportionate damage gun violence is having on our communities, the NAACP has advocated for sane, sensible laws, to help eliminate or at least to decrease the damage and death caused by gun violence,” Johnson stated.
He pushed for many of the measures that former President Barack Obama and Democrat lawmakers have been seeking for years.
“Requiring universal background checks on all gun sales and transfers, banning military-style, semi-automatic assault guns, enacting tough, new criminal penalties for straw purchasers and gun traffickers, and allowing the Center for Disease Control to research gun violence as a major public health issue are just a few of the reasonable steps lawmakers could take to stem the tide of gun related deaths in neighborhoods across the nation,” Johnson argued.
The NAACP head pointed to Australia as a nation whose example the United States should follow.
Following a mass shooting in 1996, the Australian parliament passed legislation banning semiautomatic weapons, requiring a 28-day waiting period for buying firearms, and creating a national firearms registry.
Additionally, Johnson recounted the government bought and destroyed over a half million firearms.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Australia actually bought 650,000 “assault weapons.”
A 2008 study by the University of Melbourne conducted by researchers Wang-Sheng Lee and Sandy Suadi found “There is little evidence to suggest that (the gun-buyback program) had any significant effects on firearm homicides.”
Gun expert Dr. John Lott with the Crime Prevention Research Center noted in a op-ed for Fox News that — as was true in the United States in the 1990s — homicide rates in Australia had been declining both before and after the country’s gun control measures were adopted. Interestingly, the rate of decline in the murder rate actually slowed post implementation of the legislation.
Further, gun ownership increased steadily. “In fact, since 1997 gun ownership in Australia grew over three times faster than the population (from 2.5 million to 5.8 million guns),” he wrote.
“Gun control advocates should have predicted a sudden drop in firearm homicides and suicides after the buyback, and then an increase as the gun ownership rate increased again. But that clearly didn’t happen,” Lott added. “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.”
Washington Times columnist and gun rights advocate Madison Gesiotto — who was a law student at Ohio State University in Nov. 2016 when a terrorist used his car and a knife to attack students — told The Western Journal, “The 1996 gun confiscation in Australia did not work then and will not work now in the United States.”
“Confiscating the firearms of law-abiding citizens is simply not the way to end the problem we are facing in this nation and is a direct attack on our Second Amendment right,” she added.
Democrat lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, have called for greater gun control measures to be implemented nationally in response to last month’s Florida high school shooting.
Feinstein tweeted that she has introduced legislation to impose a new assault weapons ban, pointing out that the shooter used an AR-15, which is a semi-automatic rifle that would be covered by the bill.
Dudley Brown, president of the National Association of Gun Rights, in a statement to The Western Journal, said, “The 10-year Feinstein ban (passed in the mid-1990s) on so-called ‘Assault Weapons’ and normal capacity magazines did nothing to reduce mass shootings or crimes, and was roundly dismissed as a failure, even by gun control fanatics.”
The Columbine High School shooting in Colorado — one of the most high profile shooting, resulting in the deaths of 13 people and injured 21 — occurred in 1999 while the assault weapons ban was in effect.
The shooters used a combination of shotguns, handguns and semi-automatic weapons. They also had knives and improvised explosive devices in their possession, but the IED’s were not detonated.
As to the prevalence of privately owned weapons in the U.S., Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro tweeted a chart following the Las Vegas shooting last October showing that the murder rate has been trending down for decades in the U.S., despite gun ownership increasing significantly.
Notably, the rate remained low and then decreased further after the assault weapons ban, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, expired in 2004.
Following Obama’s call to follow the Australian model in 2015, National Review’s Mark Antonio Wright wrote, “an American mandatory gun-confiscation program — in addition to being unconstitutional — would be extraordinarily coercive, and perhaps even violent.”
He continued: “There is no other way around it: The mandatory confiscation of the American citizenry’s guns would involve tens of thousands of heavily armed federal agents going door-to-door to demand of millions of Americans that they surrender their guns…That. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.”
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