Look Out! She’s Got a Gun!

Oh, it’s okay, she’s a policewoman. And those guys in her gang, they’re police too, so that’s all right then.

Or is it?

Obviously this blog is about life in Australia. I try to cover everything from the good the bad and the ugly. So today I am going to talk about guns in Australia, gun law and police with guns. Ooh…. and murder.

I hadn’t really thought about it much before, until I went to the Ipswich 150th Anniversary Fun Day event the other Sunday. There were slides, bouncy castles, roundabouts and a live show and lots of children just running around having fun. Strolling in the sunshine were three local policemen……

Australian PoliceAs I got closer, I thought “isn’t that a gun?”

Australian PoliceSo I took a closer look….

Australian Police and GunsYes, it sure was. And it seemed strange given the surroundings, but here in Australia the police do routinely carry guns. That didn’t happen back in England and has been the source of many a debate in that country for as long as I can remember. They still carry truncheons or extendable batons and in addition to that, they might have CS spray. The UK police can also call upon Armed Response Vehicles and Firearms Units when needed.

So, is it safer here in Australia?

It would appear that the use of guns by police worldwide is more common than a police force without guns. So in that respect you could say that Australia is “normal”. But is it safer?

I suppose what troubles most people about police and guns is the prospect of excessive use, people getting shot who really should not have been. I think every police force in the world has been accused of that and Australia is no different. In particular, Victoria police shot a 15-year-old boy in a Kmart store whose only weapon was a knife, when many people believe it would have been just as easy to contain him. The police on the other hand, maintain that one of their officers lives were in danger and they had no choice.

But then I remember back in England when, in 1983, police (from one of those special armed units) ambushed and shot Stephen Waldorf five times as he sat in traffic in his mini. It was a case of mistaken identity and luckily Waldorf survived.

There will always be mistakes. The hope of course, is that there aren’t too many of them.

So the police have guns, but do the people? After the Port Arthur massacre of 1996 in Tasmania, when Martin Bryant killed 35 people and injured 21, which still remains some kind of record for lone gunmen killings worldwide, Australian gun ownership laws were tightened up significantly.

As a result, all privately owned guns require a permit and it is currently estimated that around 5.2% of the population own licensed guns. Over in America where I believe it is every citizen’s right to own a gun if they so choose, it is estimated that there could be anything between 25% and 50% of the population who own guns.

But in England I believe there are only around 2 million registered guns which would suggest less than 3% of the population are armed. So how does that translate into murder/homicide rates in each of those countries?

Turns out, from my research, that it appears if somebody is going to kill you, they’re going to kill you, whether they’ve got a gun or not. Take a look at these figures…

Murders per 100,000 population by gun.

  • England & Wales 0.12
  • Australia 0.31
  • USA 2.97

So you are almost 3 times more likely to be shot in Australia than you are in England & Wales. But you are nearly 10 times more likely to be shot in the USA than you are in Australia.

Murders per 100,000 population NOT by gun.

  • England & Wales 1.33
  • Australia 1.26
  • USA 1.58

Take guns out from the equation and there’s really not that much in it between all three countries.

Overall murders (by any means) per 100,000 population.

  • England & Wales 1.45
  • Australia 1.57
  • USA 4.55

These, I would suggest, are the figures that count. It would appear you are three times more likely to get murdered in America than you are in Australia or England and Wales where there is not a huge amount of difference between the two countries.

So do police carrying guns make for a safer country? No, not according to these figures. Do restrictions on private gun ownership make for a safer country? Yes, it looks pretty conclusive to me.

One final word. If you find these figures scary, don’t go to Columbia for your holidays. Overall murders there (by any means) per 100,000 population run at 62.7, 51.8 with guns.

But if you want to go somewhere that does have fewer murders than Australia then choose from Chile, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland which all have lower rates.

Update: March 2016

This was my original source for this article:

As you can see though, and I can see now, it would seem that they got their information from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2000. You may need to click on the image to enlarge it…

Aus 2000 statsThat means it was about eight or nine years out of date. So, my apologies for that, although it does still compare the three countries using the same date for the information, so it does have some relevance.

About three years later, the Gun Violence page on Wikipedia updated to the 2010 information from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime which showed:

Murders per 100,000 population by gun.

  • England & Wales 0.07
  • Australia 0.13
  • USA 3.21

Murders per 100,000 population NOT by gun.

  • England & Wales 0.99
  • Australia 1.07
  • USA 1.54

Overall murders (by any means) per 100,000 population.

  • England & Wales 1.06
  • Australia 1.20
  • USA 4.75

Interesting to note that the murder rate has fallen in both England and Wales as well as Australia, but has actually risen over the 10 year period in the USA.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/archive2

My apologies for the slightly misleading information at the time of the original posting.

I realised this problem as I prepared an update to this post which you can read here:

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{ 122 comments… add one }
  • Mariel February 13, 2017, 8:18 am | Link

    So you are saying that it is safer that the police didn’t have guns?
    Don’t you rely on the police to protect you?
    What if you or someone you love is being held hostage by a mentally ill person with a gun, who intends to cause harm to you, or your loved one, and is minutes away from doing just that. Would you rather that the police officer nearby had a gun to stop that person or would you rather that he wasted precious minutes and went to go get a gun?

    • Mark February 13, 2017, 9:07 am | Link

      Its not whether the officer is carrying a gun or not. Its the way s/he uses it just because in your scenario they have a gun and shoot your relative by accident. Look at Sydney, then look at the recent Bourke street idiot. Police with guns? did they take a tyre out in Federation square. No…Did they ever draw arms, I dont think so…They seemed from footage scared themselves …Maybe with good reason, who knows what he was doing but that car was just as dangerous weapon as a gun…In the USA they would have taken a tire or two out. and probably shot the offender. In the UK firearms units would have responded and done the same given the timings. My point being if your going to carry a gun be trained to use it. You have to make sure those training are up to it as well. .

      • Mariel February 13, 2017, 11:29 am | Link

        Mark,
        I would prefer a attempt be made to stop the assailant and to trust that the police officer has had sufficient training to be able to handle the situation.

        I personally felt that the post did concern the situation of the police and them carrying guns.

        I live in the USA and have not heard anything about the “Bourke street idiot” could you please give me some info on it and/or a source. Then I’ll reply as soon as I can.

        PS. Please note that I didn’t mean to offend anyone with my comment.

        Thanks

        • Mark February 13, 2017, 12:00 pm | Link

          Im not offended for sure, have a look at this http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-20/live-car-hits-pedestrians-in-melbourne-cbd/8197998 as for Sydney a hostage was shot supposedly by police. I’m from San Clemente, SoCal and have lived in the UK and Holland. Guns No Guns, Guns receptively. They can aid and create problems…I think going from no arms to arms (UK) means the criminals then carry. USA cannot outlaw guns as it would make diddly difference nowadays to long in the tradition …Its status quo here but I feel AU could do with some USA training as long as they dont send any idiot from Miami-Dade..

          • Mariel February 13, 2017, 1:20 pm | Link

            Mark,
            Thank you for the info.
            I agree that people do need training if they’re going to use a gun. My father wouldn’t let me use a gun unsupervised until I had went to hunter’s safety. I think that people who don’t understand how to use a gun should not have one until they have gone through sufficient training, that includes police.

            I also agree that simply shooting out a tire before the man could do any more harm would have made more sense then waiting before he did. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t do just that.

            Guns can aid crime but I believe that guns can help prevent crimes if they are used the right way. And are being held in the hands of decent, law abiding citizens. My opinion is that guns can help prevent crime, because the lawless are less likely to walk in to a school, theater, etc, to commit a crime if they know that there is a good chance that they might get shot in the process, they want to cause harm NOT get harmed themselves.

            Please let me know your thoughts on the topic. I enjoy a good discussion, with an intelligent person.

            Thanks

            • BobinOz February 13, 2017, 9:39 pm | Link

              Just to clear up your initial question Mariel, I am more than happy that our police carry guns. I wrote this article because I had just moved from the UK where the majority of the police did not carry guns at the time, to Australia where it appears every policeman and policewoman carry a gun.

              So I was just pointing out the difference between our two countries.

              I am more than happy that Australian police do carry guns and I do not believe it would be a safer country here if they didn’t. On the other hand, I do not believe that making it easy for private individuals to own guns is a good idea. On that basis I am a supporter of Australia’s strict gun laws and believe that the relaxed gun laws of the US are not a good idea.

              • Mariel February 14, 2017, 3:34 am | Link

                BobinOz,
                Thank you for answering my question. Obviously I misunderstood your post, and I apologize for that.

  • martin newell July 13, 2016, 11:09 am | Link

    I totally agree with the author.
    As a former Australian policeman I can assure the comment followers that guns were not issued to the average police officer and were kept in the Station and sometimes in the car glove box or if we were looking for a violent offender we were issued with a hand gun.
    In Australia we have Police force recruited from the lines of
    affirmative action recruits.Small undersized boys and girls from exotic ethnic groups .
    Last week I saw a chinese policeBOY in Melbourne with a bike.He had guns, taser and cuffs on his little hips and the bike came up to his shoulder.Is the Government serious about stopping crime or employing the unemployable ethnic Australians.

    • BobinOz July 13, 2016, 9:42 pm | Link

      Which author would that be? It’s certainly not me.

      I find your comments both insulting and racist, I think we can all be very grateful that you are no longer an Australian policeman.

  • Mark May 30, 2016, 3:02 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I am currently in London and planning to migrate to Brisbane/Sydney.

    I read somewhere that “any street in Australia is safer than the safest street of UK”. I know it is just a quote but looking at murder rate between Australia and UK, it looks like there are equal number of crime in Australia too. What is your view on that? Thanks.

    • BobinOz May 30, 2016, 4:48 pm | Link

      Well, I wouldn’t agree with that quote, whoever said that clearly didn’t put much thought into it.

      By and large though, although the statistics aren’t too different for crime rates between the two countries, I have no doubt that I feel Australia is a much safer environment, our streets just do not feel as threatening as some areas in the UK.

      Australia is a very safe country, as is the UK generally speaking, but in my opinion Australia wins on safety.

      • Mark May 30, 2016, 7:39 pm | Link

        Thanks for sharing your view on it. I read a lot of blogs from your websites so to me it is very useful.

        What makes Australia feel safe? Personally I dont find walking at night safe in London.

        • BobinOz May 31, 2016, 7:48 pm | Link

          Well, it’s exactly that, I’ve never felt unsafe walking the streets at night here. That’s not saying Australia doesn’t have some areas where it would not be wise to walk alone at night, but they have far fewer of those kinds of areas than the UK in my view.

  • BobinOz March 23, 2016, 11:32 pm | Link

    Just thought I would let you know that I have just added an update to the gun related death statistics for the USA, Australia, England and Wales. I know a few of you questioned where these statistics came from, it is now all clarified and updated.

    I’ve also added another post, a Part 2, with even more up-to-date stats. You can read all the details at the foot of this post.

    Many thanks, Bob

  • Jadeicles December 11, 2015, 2:37 pm | Link

    Great article! Am actually just curious as to where you found the ratios of homicides compared between the countries. Thanks!

    • BobinOz December 11, 2015, 9:30 pm | Link

      Thanks. I got my ratios from a couple of sources, you can see there is a link at the foot of the article to Wikipedia which I realise was broken, but I’ve now fixed it. Anyway, they have lots of information on this and also quote their sources and there are further links on that page to more updated ratios.

      I also doublechecked the information through a website called nationmaster.com, a fascinating source of all kinds of information comparing countries with each other.

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Mark hanneman January 19, 2016, 5:39 pm | Link

        I see you have NZ As a safer place than Australia and they unlike us still can own semi auto rifles if you are unaware they are the ones that were taken of us after port Author so please explain your findings.

        • BobinOz January 19, 2016, 10:28 pm | Link

          They are not my findings, please read my reply above to Jadeicles.

  • KEITH ALLAN NOBLE October 4, 2015, 7:39 pm | Link

    But how was the Australian public deceived into accepting gun-control legislation in 1996? Well one way was to have innocent people murdered and wounded, then blame it on a boy-man with a 66 IQ (retarded). This is exactly what happened. And to ensure the whole evil plan was a national success, the State made sure there was NO public enquiry, NO royal commission, NO post-mortems, NO coronial enquiry, NO real defence lawyer, NO credible identification, NO proper firearm ownership, NO dna evidence, NO fingerprints, NO free admission of guilt, NO forensic evidence, NO crime re-enactment (there were 7 crime scenes), NO complete list of evidence, NO witnesses testified in court, NO legal integrity, NO credible motive, NO jury, and NO TRIAL – repeat, NO TRIAL. And not one mainstream media outlet ever broadcast to the Australian public an investigative documentary about this massacre – justice has still not been served to all the families, relatives, and friends of the victims. You can read all about this in the referenced book MASS MURDER: Official Killing in Tasmania, Australia (2014; 2nd edition, 694 pp.) free pdfs from [email protected] and paperbacks from bookfinder.com Read about the 22-body refrigerated mortuary vehicle manufactured in Tasmania before the killing. (see the image) Read about the special embalming equipment manufactured in Victoria before the slaughter. Read about the two people (ASIO/CIA/MOSSAD handlers?) who actually got inside (sic) the vehicle with the professional hit-man. Read the words of over 100 witnesses who gave their written statements to the cops. (These statements have been leaked and extracts are reproduced in said book.) Read the letter of intimidation sent to the gunshop owner trying to coerce him into saying he sold arms to the patsy Martin Bryant. Read how officials have abused, demonized, and tortured this innocent boy-man now dying slowly in Risdon Prison in Tasmania. All of this has happened and is happening still today in beautiful sunny Australia. Keith Allan Noble OCT 2015

  • Sigurda June 23, 2015, 6:36 pm | Link

    “…and all he was armed with was a knife..” – are you insane? You obviously don’t realise that a person armed with a knife can reach you from 21 feet away in under 2.5 seconds, and you are dead. Absolutely a knife-wielding bad guy will be shot, regardless of age. At the end of the day, we want to go home to our families. I am a single mother, and my kids rely on me to come home, so the vapid ramblings of people like you don’t mean dick.
    Do some proper research before you post tripe.

    • BobinOz June 24, 2015, 11:25 pm | Link

      You have misquoted me, what I actually said about the young boy was that his ‘only weapon was a knife’ as in merely pointing out the facts. I think it’s you that need to do your research. Google the ‘shooting of Tyler Cassidy in Victoria’ and you will see that it has provoked much debate. Many people feel that four big strong policeman with truncheons should have been able to do better in this situation with a 15 old boy, especially as nobody in the public were being threatened at the time.

      Whilst you’re on Google, check out ‘arrogance’ and ‘pull your head in’.

      • Sigurda October 4, 2015, 8:10 pm | Link

        I quoted you exactly – unless you have edited your post to make a point – which is the kind of thing you people do. One can only hope that you are faced with a lunatic armed with a knife, and that you have a stopwatch handy so you know just how quickly he can cover the distance to get to you, and then you will see that size doesn’t matter and numbers don’t matter. Knives are merciless, fast and you can’t defend yourself with just your “big strong”-ness. Knives will cut your wrists, forearms and thighs – these are called ‘defence wounds’ and are sustained by people who do not carry guns. Grow up.

        • BobinOz October 5, 2015, 8:57 pm | Link

          Thanks, but I didn’t change any quote and I am already fully grown up.

        • DC January 27, 2017, 12:25 pm | Link

          It’s safer when the public has guns, and the police don’t carry guns. Statistics and common sense prove that statement. We should not allow cops to carry guns just because they are weak or women (some women are strong), and if those types are concerned about not having a gun, then they shouldn’t become cops. I would prefer we call them “peace enforcement and public safety officers”. When cops don’t have guns, then bad people have no reason to shoot them in most cases, and when the public is allowed to be armed bad people don’t know who might have a gun so they are afraid to commit their cowardly acts. Puppycide is epidemic, which is why I want the police here to patrol without guns. They should have body cameras on that can NOT be erased, and if they face a dangerous situation they can call SWAT and/or drones to the rescue. There are net-guns that are used by some law enforcement already, and should be issued top all police. Cops are well paid, and the possible risk to their lives is hazard pay: if the job is too scary for them, they don’t have to join! The way it is now here in the USA, cops are shooting far too many innocent people and dogs, and they themselves are getting shot – something that happens much less in countries where police patrol without guns…!

          • BobinOz January 27, 2017, 7:14 pm | Link

            The only evidence I could find of this happening, where police do not carry guns and the citizens are allowed to own them, is Iceland.

            The US is not Iceland, I can’t see it working in your country or many others. I can understand why you are so concerned though, it seems to me from where I am that the US police very often seem to shoot first and ask questions later.

            In fact they shoot people way too often and it seems dogs as well by what you are saying. If I lived in the US, I would want to avoid the police wherever possible, I wouldn’t even be asking for directions in case it was misunderstood.

  • Ian May 7, 2015, 7:55 pm | Link

    If guns equaled more murder as simply as some rabid anti-gunners say, then shooting ranges would be the most dangerous places to be, with the highest rate of gun murders. Instead, they are among the lowest.
    Gun control zealots are mostly just people who do not like guns and do not own them (fine, I do not love guns either, nor do I own one currently), but think their feelings of comfort are so important that they can rely on that feeling of discomfort to dictate how other people live their lives.
    Notice, I did not say I believe in right to carry every- and anywhere. But that limit is not enough for guys like Bob; they want to take them out of the hands of home owners, because, well, a gun in self defense against a armed intruder is just uncivilized. The truly refined allow themselves to be victimized so they can share the icident with friends over tea later on.

    • Kamma May 8, 2015, 7:56 pm | Link

      Ian, how many statistics regarding this have you looked at? Not many, I think.

      After introducing stricter gun control laws both the UK and Australia saw a huge drop in gun violence and murder, not to mention police violence. If there are fewer guns police is less likely to assume that people are going to pull a gun on them when they’re not and thus shoot them before making sure.

      You’re just being deliberately obtuse when you say that shooting ranges should be the most dangerous place to be, right? Because it would take a special kind of stupidity to think that, even from someone who hate guns. Shooting ranges have surveillance cameras, are owned by experienced marksmen, are frequented mostly by people who like guns as a mechanical creation and perhaps the act of shooting them but feel no need for them as weapons, and lastly aren’t the sort of social setting that give rise to aggression.

      Pro-gun zealots are usually hyper-liberals who think it’s their god given right to shoot the mail man for bringing bills who can’t be arsed to look at the statistics, and wouldn’t care even if they did, and who thinks THEIR feelings of comfort are more important than the safety of the NATION AS A WHOLE. Extremes are ugly images.

      If you don’t keep the gun on or near you at all times, if you’re not willing to actually use the gun when you need to, it’s just a weapon waiting to be stolen (and used on you). Frankly, you’re better off taking self-defence classes, they get you in shape as well. I recommend Wing Chun kung fu or one of its relations.
      I’ll give, though, that USA has a complicated situation.

      Bob, sorry about starting this argument here. It isn’t the place, but guns are dangerous, no grey zones, and they should be kept out where they aren’t already.

      • BobinOz May 8, 2015, 9:52 pm | Link

        Kamma, no need to apologise, this is precisely the place to argue about guns, and I agree completely with your argument and also, as you have noted, that the USA does have a complicated situation. It is for that reason that I can’t see how they can ever reverse out of it.

        Anyway, I’m glad you got to Ian before I did, because you dealt with his ridiculous statement about shooting ranges much better than I would have done.

        Ian, I’ll just correct you on your other ridiculous statement; nobody wants to be the victim of a gun crime so they can talk about it with their friends later over tea. I mean come on, pull yourself together will you?

        Finally, I’ll just add this. If I lived in the USA, I would want to own a gun, because it seems to me that the US still hasn’t shaken off its ‘wild west’ approach to life. I wouldn’t want to be pulling up into town unless I was packin’.

        But I don’t live in the US, I live here in Australia, and I am very very happy about that and here, I don’t need a gun.

        • Mariel February 13, 2017, 6:49 am | Link

          I don’t mean to cause offense or rub anyone the wrong way, but I thought I would just add a little history about the Wild West.

          I live in the USA and what you regard the wild west. The west [around the 1800’s early 1900’s] was considered very uncivilized because of the way justice was served, if you found somebody stealing your cattle you were usually hung or shot on site. Now in the USA you get a fair trail. The USA is very different compared to 100+ years ago.

          In the 1800’s there were lunatics how ran around wanting to cause harm, but there were few mass murders, [besides the ones carried out by Indian war parties] because almost all of the men and women had a gun they could grab and put a stop to any foul deed the lunatic might attempt. The lunatic, knowing this, would usually not try anything huge like a mass murder because he did not want to get shot or hung.

          “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined or determined to commit crimes …… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage then to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
          –Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

          I believe that guns help prevent crimes because the lawless are less likely to walk in to a school, theater, ect, to commit a crime if they know that there is a good chance that they might get shot in the process, they want to cause harm NOT get harmed themselves.

          • BobinOz February 13, 2017, 9:12 pm | Link

            Thanks for the history lesson about the Wild West Mariel, although I am aware of the progress made in the US when it comes to the law over the years.

            I made the reference though because I believe that people in your country do shoot each other quite a lot and often for very little reason. For example, there was a case quite recently where a successful businessman shot a successful sportsperson, a mountain of a man. I can’t specifically remember the sport but you’ll remember the case. Initially the police didn’t charge the businessman because they said it was self defence.

            It was a road rage incident!

            I believe the businessman has since been charged, but the point I’m making is people do get rather trigger-happy in the US.

            Far be it from me to disagree with one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, but I do most strongly disagree. I think time has proved to us all that his statement is incorrect and we all know that in the US people regularly walk into schools, theatres and even nightclubs and indiscriminately open fire killing masses of innocent people.

            Like I have said so many times to so many others like yourself who want to defend their right to carry arms, we will have to agree to disagree. I like living here in Australia with its strict gun laws, I certainly do not want or need the right to bear arms.

            I feel safer here than I ever have felt in the US.

            • Mariel February 14, 2017, 3:27 am | Link

              BobinOz,
              In your second paragraph are you referring to the man who killed ex-NFL running back Joe McKnight? If so then, I believe that the man who killed Joe McKnight, must have had something wrong mentally. [To me if someone can kill someone else over something like a road rage argument then there is something wrong with the person mentally.] I also believe that our [the USA] needs a better sense of justice.The man shouldn’t have been called with self defense. [But maybe there are some details neither of us have heard.]

              I also agree that people do get “trigger-happy” and use their rights very VERY foolishly. Those people make things worse for the law abiding citizens, like you and I.

              But I strongly disagree with you when it concerns the founding fathers. [I’m not just saying that because I love my country.] I believe that George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson [and many more] knew what they were talking about. They had just fought the Revolutionary War, were we would have most definitely lost if it hadn’t been that nearly every man in the country had a rifle or a musket they could grab to defend their home.
              Sadly people do walk into schools, homes, theaters, etc. to kill and cause harm. But almost all of the shootings I can think of occurred in places were guns were NOT allowed. The people committing the crimes knew when they walked in that all of the people in the building were unarmed and that they could do nothing to protect themselves. I honestly doubt that they would have proceeded with there plan if they knew that there was one person with a firearm and the ability and knowledge to use it.

              Mr BobinOz, please take some time to look on youtube for this video Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre. It’s only 5:25 long and it will be the first video that comes up.

              Dr. Susan Gratia-Hupp makes a very important point, Guns do help prevent crime!

              Please note that I don’t mean to cause offense. I am just very passionate about what I believe.

              PS. I have always wanted to visit Australia. Not because of its gun laws, but I’ve always thought it was a beautiful country.

              • BobinOz February 14, 2017, 8:24 pm | Link

                Mariel, you are not causing offence, but you can say what you want to say until the cow jumps over the moon, I’m still not going to agree with you 🙂

                The people who walk the streets of Australia and live in this country are without doubt safer when it comes to gun crime, the statistics prove it unquestionably. That’s all I need to know.

                I know you are passionate about your right to carry arms in the US, I know many people in America are as well. Look at the comments here, so many people defending that right. I’ve lived in two countries where the citizens don’t have that right, and I prefer that.

                As I’ve said before here somewhere, if I lived in America, I would want to carry a gun, I would want that right, because I know everyone else is carrying guns. Here and back in the UK I just didn’t need it and that’s how I like it.

                As I’ve said before, many times here, we will just have to agree to disagree.

                • Mariel February 15, 2017, 2:39 am | Link

                  BobinOz,
                  I’ll agree to disagree.
                  Did you watch the video?

                  • BobinOz February 15, 2017, 9:00 pm | Link

                    Yes, thank you, we will agree to disagree and no, I didn’t watch the video. The title gave me all the information I needed. She survived a gun shooting massacre in the US.

                    You have too many of those in your country, and that’s my point.

                    • Mariel February 16, 2017, 3:57 am | Link

                      BobinOz,
                      It wasn’t that she survived a massacre it was the way she reacted to it afterwords.

      • Dan May 10, 2015, 3:33 pm | Link

        “pro-gun zealots are usually hyper- liberals” maybe in Australia they are, but in America it is the liberals that want to ban & take away guns from law abiding citizens. While they themselves are protected by an army of gun toting ppl. Politians that want to ban guns should not be allowed to arm their guards with guns. They should lead by example.
        So in America, liberals=anti gun
        conservatives= pro gun.
        that is all. oh & g’day mate.
        Love the site Bob.

        • Kamma May 16, 2015, 5:55 pm | Link

          Sorry, sorry, I can never keep the US parties straight. They’re all liberals from where I’m sitting. Not in Australia, sadly, but in Denmark.

          I was talking of the citizens political leanings rather than politicians. It’s hardly news that politicians are hypocrites.

  • Mike Cabay December 14, 2014, 5:17 pm | Link

    Hi just wanted to say that this was very enjoyable to read. Although heated at times. I am an American. I lived in Texas for most of my life. So I am no stranger to guns. Around here the laws are very lax. You are not obligated to even register your firearms in Texas. Although this is convenient and I would prefer not to have my guns registered. I have to agree mainly with Bob.

    This makes guns so accessible that almost any angry person with a vendetta could obtaining one. I wouldn’t go as far to say you shouldn’t have the right to own firearms. But it is necessary that have regulations in place in order to make it more difficult for just anyone to go on some wild rampage.

    To many lives have been lost already. Although the guns are not the root problem. Like Bob said it allows more lives to be taken. Even one innocent life taken is one to many. I think we can all agree on that.

    It’s getting really bad over here. Everyday I come across another story about another life taken. More recently by the officers sworn to protect us . I stumbled across this post while researching a safer country to move to. Australia was said to be the number 1 country to live not that only for safety, but other reasons such as job placement and other economical reasons.

    Anyways thanks for the read. It was eye opening

    God bless and happy holidays

    • BobinOz December 15, 2014, 5:03 pm | Link

      Thanks for sharing your views Mike, it sure sounds to me as though the laws in Texas are way too relaxed and I can see that you are not too happy about that either.

      If I’m not mistaken I believe your president recently opened the debate about tightening the gun laws, but I don’t think anything came of it. It’s hard to see how the US can undo all this now, guns are part of the country’s culture.

      As you can see from the above post, you would be much safer here, gun crime is quite rare still in this country compared, but still not as rare as we were probably all want.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Mike Cabay December 15, 2014, 7:25 pm | Link

        Thanks for the reply I was looking forward to your thoughts. And yes the laws are very relaxed. It’s required for you to go through a background check to purchase a gun through a dealer. And to get a CHL (concealed handgun license)requires another background check and a brief class. However it is legal for citizens to buy and sell to one another. Which wouldn’t be a problem if you were required to register your firearms.

        Originally I started researching ways I may be able to reform some aspects of our laws to get us back on track. And looking into y’all’s government to see if there was anything we could implement. but with so many groups that have been trying to same thing for years it seems any effort would be without action. Of course I could start a petition or contact a local representative. But there’s no guarantee this would ever make it to congress. I can’t help but feel useless. I am curious if you feel the same about laws you wish to change.

        I have to admit I had a good laugh reading that you were so surprised to even see a gun. And have to get closer to confirm that’s what it was. Even furthermore that more most people don’t see guns other than in movies. That just goes to show how guns are a part of our culture.

        If you ever have questions I would be happy to share my opinion

        God bless, Mike

        • BobinOz December 16, 2014, 9:04 pm | Link

          Sadly Mike you are confirming what I feared, and that’s just how difficult it is now for the US to reverse out of this policy somehow. Guns are such a big part of US culture and with so many people owning guns, it’s impossible to see how the situation can now be brought under control and those guns taken off the streets.

          As you say, many groups have tried before and failed, and I’m sure these are big and powerful groups as well. But those who are pro-guns also have big and powerful groups campaigning as well, I’m not surprised you feel useless.

          And yes, there are a few laws here I’d like to see changed, particularly the ones that come under nanny state laws, like the ridiculously tough pool fence laws we have here. We are also not legally allowed to change a plug on an electrical appliance, only qualified electricians are allowed to do that. Thanks nanny.

          But none of these laws are irritating enough for me to feel the urge to campaign against them, so I haven’t actually tried to change them myself.

          As for surprised to see police with guns here, I came from the UK and for many many years none of our police carried guns. It’s only in recent years that some do now carry them, but not all policeman. We survived for centuries with the trusty truncheon, or stick as others would call it 🙂

          So guns can be sold privately in Texas? No background checks? That’s scary!

          Cheers, Bob

  • A November 22, 2014, 10:48 am | Link

    I’m not sure if anyone still reads this but I am an American police officer. Not sure how I ended up on this site. I have never been to Australia before but always wanted to go there.

    Anyway I was raised around guns and I’m very pro gun as long as they are in the hands of responsible people. The gun debate has always been a hot topic in the U.S. and always will be. The U.S. might have a higher murder rate but to say that murders would go way down if guns were outlawed is ridiculous. If someone wants to kill someone else they will do it with or without a gun.

    Some of you have talked about “no go” places. You have to realize the media loves to blow things out of proportion. I have been to “no go” places and have never had anything happen to me. Sure random acts of violence may occur more frequently at these places but that can happen anywhere. Some of the most horrific crime scenes I have been at were in VERY wealthy people’s homes and were not created by guns.

    In my opinion gun possession is not only our right but is necessary. I pray my country never attempts to take away our right to carry. You guys talk about these mass school shootings. They are tragic but could easily be dealt with very fast if the schools had a school resource officer on scene.

    If anyone has any questions about gun issues in the U.S. please feel free to ask. By the way I love watching footy haha.

    • Trav November 23, 2014, 11:26 am | Link

      In reply to “I’m not sure if anyone still reads this but I am an American police officer…Anyway I was raised around guns and I’m very pro gun as long as they are in the hands of responsible people.”

      Hey I’m glad you are pro gun. In Australia all of the cops are very anti-gun and and anti self defense. There have been cases of intruders successfully suing land owners if they get injured while breaking in.

      The people have been brainwashed into thinking that self defense is a bad thing and gun ownership is inherently violent and offensive, when it can be peaceful and defensive!

      Australia needs help, America needs to be the best example of gun ownership.

      • BobinOz November 24, 2014, 4:55 pm | Link

        “Australia needs help, America needs to be the best example of gun ownership.” – That’s really funny, I just don’t think you meant it as a joke, which is a shame.

        A – You say you are pro-guns as long as they are in the hands of responsible people, but that’s the problem in itself, it’s impossible to ensure they only get in the hands of responsible people. And the idea that people will kill people with or without guns may be true in some cases, but these murderers wouldn’t be able to kill as fast or as easily and those mass murders at schools which seem so popular in your country would be a lot harder to pull off.

        • A November 28, 2014, 12:42 pm | Link

          “Australia needs help, America needs to be the best example of gun ownership.” – That’s really funny, I just don’t think you meant it as a joke, which is a shame.

          Come on Bob we aren’t THAT bad!!

          I understand a huge problem is that bad people are able to obtain guns. I wish I had an answer for that but I don’t. What I do know is that a criminal is a criminal and if we were to outlaw guns tomorrow the criminals definitely would not be turning theirs in so you’d have a bunch of armed criminals running around with all of the law abiding citizens unable to defend themselves which is unacceptable in my opinion.

          As far as the mass shootings go well it is a tragedy for sure and if there would be a way to stop it I would be all for it but that’s not reality here. I absolutely agree with the argument that if someone wants to end many lives they will whether they have a gun or not. It’s happened before and it will happen again.

          I can’t think of a single school shooting where the shooter wasn’t a complete coward. I don’t say that because of the crime I say it because they will continue the carnage as long as they are allowed. As soon as they are met with resistance whether it’s by police or civilians the shooter almost always seems to kill themselves. So my point is that I feel if there were either more police at schools or if there were school employees that are PROPERLY trained to handle guns, the threat would be eliminated almost as soon as it started.

          • BobinOz November 28, 2014, 11:06 pm | Link

            Well I don’t wish to pick a fight with you A, especially as I know you’ve got a gun 🙂 but yes, I do think you are that bad in the US. You are certainly not in a position to show the rest of the world how to responsibly deal with gun ownership.

            I get quite bewildered in this debate, I’m really not sure how you can think that having police patrol schools or maybe, as I think you’re suggesting, arming the teachers with guns in order to combat potential mass killings from irate students is really the way to go.

            I don’t think there’s another westernised country in the world that suffers anywhere near as many mass shootings as your country does, whether that be at school, the cinema or anywhere else. I think the problem is it’s just too easy for people to get their hands on guns in the US, and that includes these kids who are cheesed off with school, they just go to their parents cupboards and help themselves.

            It’s just too easy.

            I think we will just have to do agree to disagree, I think from these comments and everything I’ve said it’s clear what my point of view is and I am more than aware of the point of view of the ‘it’s our right to defend ourselves’ brigade in America.

            Peace man 🙂

      • A November 28, 2014, 12:20 pm | Link

        Hey trav I’m sorry to hear that the police are against guns. That’s really not the case here in my opinion. I realize that I may end up being shot when I go to work but I would never want our citizens to be disarmed. I don’t push my beliefs on people but when people ask about guns I always encourage them to familiarize themselves with guns and if they feel comfortable with it go buy one for protection.

        As far as being sued after being the victim of a crime I wish I could say that doesn’t happen in the U.S. but I have heard of it occurring (never actually researched it tho). Luckily the state I live in is very pro gun and I don’t recall that happening here. I guess it depends on what takes place. If someone breaks into your home you are covered for the most part with defending yourself. If someone is just on your property illegally it will take more to justify lethal force.

        I wish America could be a perfect example for others to follow but unfortunately there a lot of bad people out there making gun owners look bad. Like I said before I am VERY pro gun BUT when the other side has a valid argument and the pro gun crowd argues it with no real justification other than it “infringes on our rights” I think we kind of lose some people that may be otherwise open minded about things.

    • Mariel February 13, 2017, 6:55 am | Link

      I completely agree!

  • chris June 25, 2014, 8:13 pm | Link

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/12/14/china-school-stabbings/1770395/

    I know this conversation is about gun laws and the 3 respective countries. A true study needs a broader baseline though. Why not do one on all countries and their level of control, then you can make a better more informed conclusion. Also the same week that the school shooting happened in Connecticut, a man in China stabbed many school kids, as there has been almost no reporting on that most people are unaware of it.

    You may also want to see a comparison of crimes committed by the registered owners versus illegally obtained guns.

  • Travis May 16, 2014, 6:25 pm | Link

    All of these statistics are essentially useless. Drug laws, gun laws and laws against other non-violent actions massively increase violence and gang violence (and that includes initiated by the police)

    When you have laws against drugs you drive production and distribution underground. When you drive it underground there is no quality regulation and no way of peacefully resolving disputes.

    When you make drugs illegal, anyone who is using something and genuinely needs help will naturally fear reaching out for help out of fear of being snitched on. This mechanism divides communities which gives further “need” for government.

    Drug laws justify the initiation of force against non-violent people. Initiating force against non-violent people is objectively a wrong action.

    Since the whole rationale of drug laws was to “protect the children” or some garbage I hope we can put 2 and 2 together and realize that we are all somebodies child, and that we should stop hurting each other.

    I mean, it’s literally “That substance MAY harm you therefore we will send armed thugs to your door to rob you and kidnap you for your benefit.”

    Either everyone can get a gun or no one (including police) can have a gun. Since no one having a gun will work because some people will just get them, everyone should be able to get a gun.

    These laws are ridiculous! Ever since the (highly suspect) Port Aurthur massacre they have demonized self defense!

    Seriously the Australian government (along with essentially all other governments)has gone WAY to far, they are highly criminal and are in fact terrorist by definition at this point.

    The definition of terrorism: The use of violence or the threat of violence to coerce people into going along with a political agenda.

    Humanity has been held back for far too long, voluntary association is the way not violent coercion.

    We simply need to look at situations and get over costume, badges, fictional titles and fictional legislation and look at who is initiating force and we see the enemy, it is as simple as that.

    Peace.

    P.S. If you are logically consistent tax is theft with the threat of kidnap (arrest) and assault and murder if you resist arrest.

    • BobinOz May 19, 2014, 1:46 pm | Link

      I agree with some of your points, disagree with others though.

      On the surface it doesn’t make sense to make drugs illegal, people taking them only do harm to themselves so who are we to tell them they can’t or even decide which ‘drugs’ are illegal and which aren’t.

      A good deal of serious violent crime is drug dealer/gang related so it does seem to make sense that the government becomes the dealer, controls it a bit better and at the same time raises millions and millions of dollars in tax.

      On the other hand, I suspect the politicians will argue that those who are hooked on drugs commit crimes to pay for their habit and because they are addicted they just can’t stop themselves. So nothing is clear cut.

      Apart from those statistics, I think it’s clear that gun restrictions in both Australia and the UK make these countries far safer than the USA and for that reason I am much happier with gun control than without it irrespective of whether Port Arthur was a setup or not.

      Yes, peace.

      Cheers, Bob

  • dino March 22, 2013, 6:10 pm | Link

    “fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/was-sandy-hook-a-false-flag-operation-by-the-obama-regime/” and
    “fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/sandy-hook-dad-goes-from-laughing-to-grieving-in-blink-of-an-eye/”

  • kylie March 7, 2013, 9:15 am | Link

    Hi

  • dino March 6, 2013, 5:58 pm | Link

    Look at some Derren Brown experiments about pleeing guilty/admitting/eventually feeling guilt to a murder they didn’t even do (the murder was a whole act/test). Or one where he hypnotises this guy, mind control to kill, the guy did not remember anything (gun was blank had great aim, yet never used a gun before either). But then, Martin Bryant (alleged Port Arthur massacre) who a couple of surviving witness knew of, said it wasn’t him. The newspaper who published a photo of Martin Bryant photoshopped him with crazy eyes and who broke into his home to retrieve a photo -crime/s?

  • dino March 6, 2013, 1:17 pm | Link

    I don’t think Martin Bryant was/were the shooter/s of the “Port Arthur Massacre” in Aus. all those who knew him well, said he didn’t have it in him, was sweet & generous etc, there’s recordings of his voice on internet sweet, gentle, would never harm any animals etc.
    There is no evidence to convict him, other than negative opinions of others (too many opinionated views, repeating over & over on tv/radio (mainstream) benefiting for their own benefit/agendas or promote hate/fear/control or so masses then run to to problem they created for the solution = gun control, yet police (our servants have deadly weapons)? -abuse of power, very likely, I have been a target a few times force (bullies are rewarded it seems) -never hurt anyone, committed no crime, it’s in their (police corporation) job description apparently: yet we are not ‘person’ (legalese) we are real flesh & blood human (we speak english), “everything is illegal”, so know your rights stand up to these thugs, don’t be scared sign everything under duress or other ways if they don’t let you. Consent to none of the fiction (their book of rules “laws” do not apply to you if you are human, only agents of commerce). – This is for all our freedom, love spreads faster than hate and fear.
    Research: “Jamie” recording: sounds to me, he (Martin playing a part as Jamie -quite strange) was only relaying a message from the shooter/trained gunman as the “main man” talking on phone to police. They broken their own laws and continue as they please, because we do nothing remain silent/ignorant – spread truth & love always “shine a light on the darkness.” – “be the change” 🙂
    LUV & GRATITUDE TO ALL!!
    The “PTB” they are nothing without us, we forget & they know that (divide & conquer is the name of their game)! Who going to drive them around/fly their jets, fix their cars, clean / build their cities/houses, mow their lawns, fix anything, cook their meals -they have no clue, roads are ours, who has the talents, creativity, who creates -we all do!

  • dino March 6, 2013, 11:47 am | Link

    Why you say it not working in America?

    In US: What could have been additional school massacres – were stopped by law-abiding citizens using their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves and others. Scores of individual uses that never get reported…? Some most recent are: Pearl High School, Mississippi; Appalachia Law School, Virginia; Muskegon, Michigan; Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Take a close look at the prescription of psychotropic drugs for children and young people. There is a very high correlation between mass shootings and use of the drugs.

    “Independently, a sortable database of 4,800 cases in which SSRI drugs have been associated with violent behavior in the U.S. and worldwide has been posted on the Internet, compiled from incidents that have appeared in the media, scientific journals and Federal Drug Administration testimony.
    SSRI drugs covered in the sortable database include Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Luvox (fluvoxamine).”

    “U.S. government statistics: you are 6200% more likely to be killed by your doctor than by a homicidal shooter.”

    “Prominent rifle manufacturer killed in mysterious car crash days after posting psych drug link to school shooters” – (Natural News)

    “FDA-approved prescription drugs kill 290 Americans every single day”

    • dino March 6, 2013, 12:30 pm | Link

      “Beyond coincidence:
      Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.” – Same thing with Martin Bryant of Tasmania, Australia with his medical records..
      His Mum said he had “Aspergers” who were his Docs? Was judged and made guilty by Media to Australian public (& photos/headlines published before any of the witnesses identified “the killer”)- some even admitted that it clouded their judgment. Oh where did his trial go? no trial – was in isolation? Sick people we are dealing with, all walking around free in this “society”, still carrying their guns & new found money & toys. We people as a majority collectively govern these big (as in past 21yrs age/mature/with “real” life experience/ unable and unwilling to accept the responsibilities that are a prerequisite for being part of the adult world/not even fit to govern themselves let alone others), naughty children’ bullies (serial maybe?), &/ heavy handed, this is completely delusional/incompetent, no bad behaviour (harm) be rewarded. Afterall, we are the boss, they are our “Public Servants” – & not our God.

      “Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

      Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

      Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

      Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

      Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

      Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

      Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

      A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

      Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

      A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

      Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

      TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

      Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

      James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

      Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

      Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

      Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

      Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

      Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

      Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

      Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

      Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

      Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

      Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

      Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

      Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
      (Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

      Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

      Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

      Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

      Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

      A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

      Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

      Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

      Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

      Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
      Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

      Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
      New York high school.

      Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

      What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az

      What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado

      What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or

      What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct”

  • Tom February 2, 2013, 1:27 pm | Link

    Traps and poisoned baits more often than not lead to slow, painful deaths and indiscriminate killing.
    I propose a new category of licence available only to primary producers, a “P Category,” that allows the possession of semi-automatic and pump-action firearms.
    Also, the laws in the USA are supported by the majority of the populace, as civilians in America consider ownership of firearms equal to the armament of the state a constitutional right which allows them to protect themselves from a tyrannical government, domestic or invading.
    What are your thoughts on sound moderators for hunters and target shooters, as a hunting aid, OH&S issue in regards to hearing loss, or a noise pollution consideration?

    • EUGENE TANO February 2, 2013, 8:38 pm | Link

      I LIVE IN AUSTRALIA AND I OWN PUMP ACTION RIFLES AND MULTI ACTION SHOT GUNS WITH 6 SHOTS QUICK LEVER ACTION. PLUS PISOL RIFLE WITH A45 CAL AND 410 CAL SHOT GUN IN ONE REVOLVER ACTION——-SO WHERE IS ALL THESE RESTRICTIONS,——YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW WHICH GUN TO BUY—-AN AMERICAN WHO KNOWS.

      • Tom February 2, 2013, 9:26 pm | Link

        Good for you mate. I also own a 6-shot lever-action shotgun, I believe you are referring to the IAC 1887? As well as a combination gun, if I read that right (The caps-lock and lack of full stops make it difficult to read.) I’d love to own a pump-action rifle like the 7600 or 7615, as well. I think that a semi-automatic rifle would be a much better option, though, especially as rimfire pump-action rifles are rare these days and based on pre WW1 designs. Don’t you think that I should have the right to choose what I think suits me and my needs as a farmer, recreational hunter, and target-shooter best? I know which guns I am ALLOWED to buy, but I want to be allowed to buy different guns, with more advanced technology and increased capabilities. Quite honestly, maybe the red tape SHOULD be cut away for everyone.

        • BobinOz February 4, 2013, 2:50 pm | Link

          I can see why you would find it useful to have more powerful automatic weapons, but removing the red tape for everyone is not the solution that I would like to see. It’s not working in America, why would it work here?

  • Tom January 26, 2013, 5:06 pm | Link

    Hey everyone, I’m Australian and I live on a farm in rural Vic. We use guns to destroy vermin and put down injured or sick livestock, as well as in a recreational sense (target, quail, duck shooting.) I believe that people who have a need for these guns should be able to access them more easily.

    Currently, although it is possible for a farmer to gain permission to own one of these firearms, the legal loopholes are time-consuming and prohibitively expensive. To possess one of these (Category C) firearms (A semi-automatic rimfire rifle with maximum capacity of ten rounds, semi-automatic or pump-action shotgun of maximum five rounds) a Victorian person must demonstrate a need for this category of firearm, and purchase adequate storage facilities, which can be extremely expensive. A firearm poses little danger to the public when in the hands of farmers and stored correctly.

    I believe that all shooters, whether they are at ranges or hunting, should have access to sound moderaters (also known as silencers or suppressors) to avoid noise pollution and allow follow-up shots on vermin species. An example of a necessary situation is one I experienced only last night. A vixen and her cubs were feeding on a hare I had shot earlier. I used a centre-fire rifle of low calibre (.223) and shot the vixen, however her cubs had the opportunity to escape, and will know now to avoid the scent of humans and the spotlight at all costs, and will very difficult to hunt.

    For me to gain access to a semi-automatic centre-fire rifle (Category D firearm) is impossible, as I am not a professional shooter, which is the only profession allowed possession of these firearms. I will never have the capability to destroy these pests in any number at once, as even a Category C licence is too expensive for me to afford and maintain.

    The red tape needs to be cut away for farmers, and for target shooters as well. Many people in the firearm community feel that they are hard done by. They no longer can gain access to the firearms they could once own pre-1996. The fact is, I believe people should be able to make their own choices, and pursue their hobbies, target shooting included if they so desire. It may be that there is extra safety requirements necessary to own semi-automatic firearms, such as mandatory mental health testing, but I think that anyone, and especially farmers, should be able to own these firearms, if they can present a reason to acquire, and I believe recreational hunting, target shooting, and vermin control are all acceptable reasons, and the red-tape and bureaucracy should be cut away from the licencing division.

    • BobinOz January 30, 2013, 8:32 pm | Link

      I can see your problem, but once you cut away the red tape for farmers, you have to do it for everyone. Then we have the same kind of gun laws in place in the USA, the very laws they are now seemingly trying to tighten up.

      Must be another way of killing vermin, traps?

      • Mariel February 13, 2017, 7:17 am | Link

        Bobinoz, I live on a farm and have so my whole life.
        It is very very difficult to trap a coyote or mountain lion or any vermin that is in the process of killing your animals. It is much quicker to simply shot the animal in question then to attempt to stop it. Traps sometimes work but not as consistently as a 12 gage shotgun.

        • BobinOz February 13, 2017, 9:28 pm | Link

          As I said to Tom, I can see the problem, but I don’t think the solution is a relaxing of our gun laws.

          Tom gave us quite a bit of detail about those laws and how hard it is to own these powerful guns, but if I understood it all fully, it was possible to own them under the right circumstances.

          Safe and secure storage of the firearm, which Tom said was quite expensive, is in my view quite necessary, never mind the cost. If these guns are not secure, they can be stolen by people who should not be walking around with powerful guns and that’s when the problems start.

          The other thing Tom said was the only professional shooters could own the really powerful guns. I don’t know what it takes to become a professional shooter, but maybe that is an option for some farmers. I don’t know.

          If trapping doesn’t work, then yes, farmers should own guns and if I’m not mistaken, they are allowed to do that here. It is just that they are not allowed to own the guns that are as powerful as they would want, I think there’s been some debate about that recently amongst our politicians. I know many farmers are trying to change the law, but personally I hope the law doesn’t change in a way that allows these powerful weapons to get into the wrong hands.

          • Mariel February 14, 2017, 2:05 am | Link

            BobinOz,
            I believe that guns should be kept safe, unloaded and locked in a safe when not being used. But I also believe that no matter how strict of gun laws, or how safe of storage, you have, criminals will be able to find them and still cause harm. Smuggling and black market are perfect means for a criminal to obtain arms. During WWII in Germany, as well as in many other countries, when the people didn’t have enough butter, sugar, etc. they turned to the black market, I believe that they will do the same when it comes to firearms.

            What exactly do you refer to as “Safe and secure storage”. Are you referring simply that they should be kept in a safe?

            PS. Please note that I don’t mean to cause offense with any of my comments. I’m simply curious about peoples opinions on the subject.
            Thanks,
            Mariel

            • BobinOz February 14, 2017, 8:15 pm | Link

              My idea of safe and secure storage is exactly the same as yours. And yes, of course there will always be a black market, but there are some hoops to jump through and it’s only for the determined.

              Unfortunately, in the US, so many mass killings were made easy because the perpetrator could simply take their parents gun or guns, which were just lying around in drawers in the house, and go on the rampage.

              Guns are simply too easy to come by in the US, and as I’ve said before, I prefer the strict gun control that we have here in Australia, in spite of the black market and knowing that criminals can get hold of guns.

              • Mariel February 15, 2017, 2:46 am | Link

                Mr. BobinOz,
                I can see that we are never going to agree on this subject and it’s unnecessary to continue.
                Thank you for the discussion. Have a great 2017.
                Mariel

                • BobinOz February 15, 2017, 9:02 pm | Link

                  You too Mariel, let’s hope 2017 is a good one.

      • Mariel February 13, 2017, 8:15 am | Link

        Sorry, my comment about the police went to the wrong spot. (:

  • EUGENE TANO January 17, 2013, 5:19 am | Link

    WHEN YOU SAY ASK JOHN HOWARD ABOUT THE GUN LAW FIRST ASK WHO REALLY SET UP PORT AUTHUR AND HAD 35 PLUS MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD,,——-AND ANY OF YOU OUT THERE THAT STILL THINK IT WAS ORGANIZED AND CARRIED OUT BY MARTIN BRYANT ALL I CAN SAY IS YOUR IQ,S ON SHOOTING SKILLS HAS TO BE NEAR ==ZERO==,IT WAS ORGANIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT—AND CARRIED OUT BY====PROFESSIONALS–OF THE HIGHEST SKILLS.——AND MARTIN BRYANT—COULD NOT HIT THE SIDE OF A BARN AT 25 FEET,,

  • Guy January 17, 2013, 12:31 am | Link

    Do you not use logic or reason, or have ethics, can’t you decide your own safety based on these things? do you really need someone else to restrict potentially unsafe things from you?

    You limit the way i can defend myself, even though me shooting someone to defend myself is still deemed a necessary use of force in certain circumstances. This is taking away my best chance at defending myself, whether you like it or not that is a restriction of rights and freedom Bob and i don’t agree with it. MY POINT
    (Hey ask John Howard about this he will agree also and he’s the one who brought the laws in.)

    You have no reason to suspect that I’m going to hurt or restrict you in anyway, i haven’t done it before and i don’t plan on doing it in the future. It is a shame to be punished without being found guilty of any crime, and when someone rubs that punishment in your face, it is upsetting.

    “I’m not surprised you are demanding the right to own a handgun, this piece of equipment would make it much easier for you to tell other people what to do. I feel quite free to stand up for what I believe in, and I believe you have no right to tell me to stay the hell out of anything. On the other hand, if you had a gun pointed to my head, I might be inclined to come around to your way of thinking more readily.”

    This was uncalled for and not what i implied at all, surely you can see that. That is a very paranoid thing to say Bob. I didn’t threaten you, i didn’t demand of you and i certainly didn’t say you couldn’t do anything you wished to do. Oh and nukes in the backyard, really Bob?

    Best wishes to you Bob, i don’t hate you or think you’re an indecent human, i just don’t want to see where this restriction for your safety business ends up, you can bet that it’s not going to be pretty. If you’re for that (you seem to be) then i will disagree with you until the end of time.

    Goodbye.

  • Guy January 15, 2013, 9:05 pm | Link

    I think you must have skimmed my post Bob, you have the choice to drink and drive and go shopping naked also Play music and dress up however you like at any time of the day or night, no legislation prevents these things Bob it only deals with the consequences for doing these things. Banning firearms definitely does not fall into this category.

    When they ban your CD player for fear of you playing your music all night or bring in a curfew for fear of you dressing strangely after 10 etc then maybe you will understand the reason it is about freedom. Until then i would really appreciate if people who don’t care about freedom stay the hell out deciding who should and shouldn’t have it.

    • BobinOz January 16, 2013, 9:48 pm | Link

      What kind of person would think that just because somebody doesn’t agree with them they haven’t read what they have said properly? It’s a rhetorical question.

      Guy, I’ve already told you I no longer have anything more to say on this subject, but now you are accusing me of not understanding what freedom is about and basically telling me to “stay the hell out”.

      I’m not surprised you are demanding the right to own a handgun, this piece of equipment would make it much easier for you to tell other people what to do. I feel quite free to stand up for what I believe in, and I believe you have no right to tell me to stay the hell out of anything. On the other hand, if you had a gun pointed to my head, I might be inclined to come around to your way of thinking more readily.

      That’s why I’m against wider gun ownership. Gun ownership is not about freedom. If it is, then maybe we should all be free to have and own our very own long-range nuclear missiles in our back gardens.

      That’s not a world I would want to live in, but under your definition of freedom, that’s what freedom means.

  • BobinOz January 9, 2013, 1:40 am | Link

    Guy

    You’re Australian! Wow! So you are actively trying to get the gun laws here to change so that it’s easier to own a gun? You want us to be more like the USA? Each to their own, I suppose.

    As for it being an issue connected with our freedom, I can’t go along with that one.

    I can’t dress up as a vampire and walk the streets at night and I can’t go shopping during the day without any clothes on at all. I can’t drive my car home after having a skinful at a party and neither can I play my music as loud as I like, for as long as I like, if it is going to disturb my neighbours.

    Is this an infringement of my freedom? I don’t think so, they are just laws that have been put in place for very good reasons, they are not designed to limit our freedom of choice. I feel the gun laws are the same, they are in place for very good reasons.

    As for reports, yes, there are always vested interests, that’s why I don’t take too much notice of them.

    Ross

    Some great facts there, I think they show that Australia really does not have a problem with guns, we appear to have things under control. I think that’s what you think too. So we are actually in agreement.

    All I can apologise to you for is thinking that Guy was from the USA 🙂

    To both of you and everyone else who has contributed in this thread, can I just say that I wrote this post purely as a comparison between Australia, the UK and the USA on the use of guns. I published some factual information about gun related deaths and it seemed to me that the more people who were allowed to own guns, well, the more people were killed by guns.

    The converse, in my view, is any country that restricts gun ownership can expect fewer people to be killed by guns. I’m glad I live in Australia with our gun laws, I hope they don’t change. Instead, I hope the forces who are in place to protect us work harder to remove more illegal guns from our society.

    I, of course, would still have the right to protect myself, I’d just be less likely to have to protect myself from somebody with a gun. If I am unlucky enough to be attacked by somebody with a gun, unless I have my own gun within arms reach (preferably inside a holster, just like those old wild West days), then I would still be likely to lose out. So unless we are all going to be walking round with guns in holsters, (can I be Clint Eastwood) I see gun restriction is a good thing.

    As for the USA, I hope they find a way to solve the problems they have with gun related deaths, in particular those mass shootings that claimed so many innocent lives.

    If it’s all the same to everyone else, I’ll duck out of answering any future comments, I really don’t think I have anything more to say. But by all means, you are all welcome to continue the discussion and I hope that you do.

    Cheers

    Bob

  • Ross January 8, 2013, 9:56 am | Link

    Hey Guys

    Just some facts about the real dangers of guns in Australian society.

    In 2008-2009 there were 1570 firearms stolen in Australia. These thefts occurred in 620 incidents, from 2 to 19 guns stolen per robbery. In 6% of these thefts hand guns were stolen.

    In 2008-2009 there were 280 murders (Australia wide), 39% were committed with knives and in 13% of cases fire arms were used.( http://www.aic.gov.au )

    On average over the past 20 years 19 people are killed yearly with firearms. This figure includes the 1995-1996 were 35 people were killed at Port Arthur.

    In 2011 there were 1291 people killed in road accidents in Australia.

    Why is it we are so fixated on guns when clearly more people are killed in motor vehicle accidents. In 2011 22,000 people were involved in road accidents where they required urgent medical attention.

    In 2009 three times the people were killed by knives than guns in Australia.

    I agree that guns are dangerous but for the average person you are more likely to be electrocuted in your kitchen than be killed by a gun, unless you are involved in drug related crime of course

    Regards

    Ross

  • Guy January 7, 2013, 7:44 pm | Link

    Thanks for the reply guys and guess what I’m Australian

    Ross,

    In regards to the training, i would suggest a Government standardized training and assessment program, more in line with the Defence and Police force. Your right, storage requirements are very strict here in Australia, however, 6 to 8 thousand guns are stolen every year. What would you suggest? I would think that training would produce a better outcome rather then all of the current red tape.

    Its always been a mystery to me, that you can join the the army reserve and after 4 weeks be trusted will all manner of firearms, yet as you mentioned not be trusted after 6 months with a handgun here in the civilian world.

    I’ve nearly given up, it’s made so difficult to enjoy my sport and hobby, and that’s the way they want it. With all the gun control organizations trying to restrict firearms owners and biased media influencing the majority who have had no personal experience with firearms. It seems we have the majority against us, and when you have the majority against you, whether your right or wrong is irrelevant.

    Through my personal experience its easier to obtain a firearm illegally then try and jump though all the hoops here in Australia. What does that say about our current system? just because the requirements should be stricter doesn’t mean that they can’t be simpler.

    In reply to Bob,

    “Surely that tells us that its access to guns that increases the number of innocent lives lost to the bullet?”

    There are a number of reports that say the reduction in gun homicide here in Australia is of a direct result to the current laws and there are a number of reports that show otherwise, along with a long list of vested interests on both sides and on all levels. One that might be of interest to you “http://www.ssaa.org.au/capital-news/2008/2008-09-04_melbourne-uni-paper-Aust-gun-buyback.pdf” Believe what you like. I’m not trying to start an argument here.

    I feel that when choice is taken from the people you also take a persons accountability away, if people aren’t accountable then they aren’t responsible.

    Whether you choose the right answer or not the choice should be yours, however when people talk about firearms and banning them they are also talking about taking your choice away, if you have no choice you are not free. Haven’t millions of people died in the name of freedom, yet we happily surrender it.

    On the topic of police, i would agree with you i am more then happy to have a police force here, but they aren’t here to protect you or I, they protect our society as a whole. Our personal protection can only be accomplished personally, unless you happen to have a police tail 24/7.

    Something people have to remember in relation to firearms is, that they are under the direct control of the operator, no different then a car or any other object.

  • Ross January 7, 2013, 8:04 am | Link

    Hey Bob

    Thanks for the response.

    I was interested in Guys comments. Re storage of fire arms, I thought we had strict storage requirements at present, would be interested in knowing how more strict we could be in practicality.

    Re- better training. For what, are there a lot of gun related accidents happening here in Australia? What would we train the gun owners in?

    Re- obtaining a fire arm be harder to get. Have you tried to get a licence to purchase a handgun lately? From what I understand it takes about six months, how could we make it harder?

    I do agree that we should be at least be able to defend ourselves and our homes if threatened with equal force

    Oh I almost forgot to wish you a happy new year Bob

    Regards
    Ross

    • BobinOz January 7, 2013, 1:42 pm | Link

      Ross, I think those four points mentioned by Guy are in relation to the setup in the USA, not here in Australia.

  • Guy January 5, 2013, 12:09 am | Link

    Hi,

    Why has the talk in the US and world jumped straight to the banning of firearms and not actually looked at the cause of the tragedy. It wasn’t caused by the guns the man had it was caused by him having a mental illness firstly, and secondly his access to said firearms, to say that he would kill less people without any particular firearm is fine but wouldn’t he kill less people without a firearm at all? (the ban only limits some firearms)

    Does this mean that you should ban firearms all together? if yes, then may i ask why the police in Australia carry them, where by law every law abiding citizen has no right to acquire one for the purpose of defending themselves. After all that is why the police carry them isn’t it. Shouldn’t i have the same right to defend myself as the police. If that is to much of an outrageous thing to consider then maybe we should look at disarming the police.

    Now you ask any policeman/women whether they would feel safer with or without a firearm, as they are the ones going into these high crime areas that we can’t discount from the statistics.

    My bottom line is, firearms are the best form of defence we have against criminals (the force continuum). As has been pointed out previously it is near impossible to control the illegal import of firearms (Main reason our police carry firearms?). Therefore criminals have more power then i do as a law abiding citizen.

    Should we have stricter storage requirements? YES
    Should we have better training? YES
    Should the requirements to obtain a firearm be more thorough? YES
    Should i be denied the best chance at survival should the situation occur?

    • BobinOz January 7, 2013, 1:38 pm | Link

      Hi Guy

      I know there are millions and millions of Americans who are determined to hang on to their “right to defend themselves” with guns. The rest of the world, looking in on America, and maybe quite a few Americans, are now beginning to think this maybe isn’t such a good idea.

      Many of these guns intended to defend people are actually being used to attack and kill innocent people and are being quite easily accessed by those from all walks of life including the mentally ill who, in many other countries, wouldn’t have had access to anything more dangerous than a crayon.

      I looked into the history of mass deaths in Australia and found this on Wikipedia. If it is correct, it appears mass shootings were quite popular here in Australia prior to the gun reform laws of 1996 as a result of the Port Arthur massacre already mentioned in earlier comments. Since then, it appears just one shooting has occurred when a student killed two and injured five.

      Surely that tells us that its access to guns that increases the number of innocent lives lost to the bullet?

      By the way, I’d be quite happy to live in a society where the police are allowed to carry guns and civilians are not allowed to have them, because criminals will always be able to get hold of guns and we need the police to be able to defend us against them. I’m not saying that’s an ideal solution, there is no ideal solution, but the solution you have in the USA doesn’t appear to be working very well.

      That said, I think these are matters we will have to agree to disagree on, I obviously don’t even live in the USA, I live here in Australia and I prefer the gun laws here. I don’t really want to be spending my time than defending that viewpoint to every American who wants to maintain his right to defend himself.

      I do hope the USA does find the solution, whatever it is, it’s just to sad when innocent people die simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, and too many have died that way to date.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Ross January 1, 2013, 11:40 am | Link

    Bob

    I find your comments and amazement relating to the armed police officers in the first series of photos interesting. Those officers were probably only doing a walk through of that gathering and then would be back to other allocated jobs around the local community. I’m guessing that if you lived nearby and called them at that time for help with someone attacking you, a loved one or a neighbour that would would be keen that they arrived quickly and with the appropriate means at their disposal to make that situation safe.

    I know that in the UK they have armed response units waiting to help local constables but you may have noticed that we are more spread out and the population is far less. So I suppose it comes down to management of the available police resources.

    I was at the Brisbane airport yesterday and while I did see some AFP officers with side arms they weren’t armed with machine pistols across their chest, so unlike the last time I was at a UK airport. While I’m used to seeing armed police here in Oz that did shock me. I remember thinking what if they have to use those guns, not much cover for me and the family in the departure area and this must be a dangerous place if they have to carry those types of weapons.

    Anyhow if your frightened by the armed police here in Queensland you know what to do.

    Regards
    Ross

    • BobinOz January 3, 2013, 1:46 pm | Link

      This blog is about life in Australia and this post is just another of my observations about that life. If you don’t like it Ross, you know what you can do.

      Oh, by the way, happy New Year to you too.

      Bob

  • Judi December 17, 2012, 12:07 pm | Link

    Does anyone look past the guns to the population? If you have a high concentration of gangs/drugs/fanatics etc you are more likely to have murders. And if these so called guns are easily accessible then thats what is used. People dont see a gun and say wow I have a gun lets shoot someone. Do you really think if there are no guns the murders will stop? Wake up people. Guns dont murder people, people do. And if they want to kill someone they dont need a gun to do it. Look at Australia, its getting worse and worse. And our gun laws and knife laws are strict. But our population is changing and rising, so the stats keep rising at a very fast rate. There is our problem. The population again. I am Australian and I am getting tired of seeing the silly comments about Americans and guns. Having been there a few times, I felt much safer than I do here in Melbourne after 6pm at night

    • John December 17, 2012, 2:55 pm | Link

      I agree with you Judi and yes i to have been to America and have felt safer there then i have here in Australia and yes gun crime and gun violence here has gotten worse, although there hasn’t been another shooting spree massacre in Australia since Port Arthur which is good overall not much has changed in Australia with regards to gun crime and gun violence, since Port Arthur gun crime and gun violence in Australia has gone up and it’s mostly a result of the drug and gang problem in Australia getting worse and it’s also due to the domestic violence and mental health problem in Australia getting worse aswell.

      • BobinOz December 18, 2012, 12:15 am | Link

        Judy and John, I should be left speechless, I can’t even begin to think how you can make these comments.

        America and the whole world are currently reeling in shock by the senseless shooting just a couple of days ago in Connecticut of 27 innocent people, many of whom were young children with their whole lives ahead of them. Killed with guns that were freely available to an insignificant young man who, hopefully, will now rot in hell. None of these victims were living in ghettos, dealing in drugs or part of a gang.

        They were simply going to school.

        In the last 30 years in America there have been at least 61 mass gun shooting murders with countless innocent victims. You can read details of some of these senseless shootings over at the telegraph.co.uk. The rate of people killed by guns in the US is 19.5 times higher than similar high income countries in the world.

        Aren’t you ashamed to come on here at this specific time and make the ridiculous statements you have made?

        Bob

        • Judi December 18, 2012, 7:26 am | Link

          Bob, I think you are so hooked up on the gun issue you missed my point entirely. I have nothing to be ashamed about, but maybe you do since you made this a personal attack. What happened in America was shocking and terrible. I in no way condone it. I feel for every single one of those kids and their families. The shooter was mentally ill and not supported (which played a big part in it), and he accessed someone elses guns which werent properly locked up. He wasnt given his own. So….My point was gun laws really make no difference.

          Bryant here in Tasmania, we already had gun laws. But he still managed to get a gun and go out and kill a large number of people. Kids included. So they tightened the laws up even more. Last week. I drive a bus for a living. Someone was taking pot shots at the buses/drivers/passengers and actually damaging the buses. So the laws dont stop the idiots with guns. And look at the shootings in Melbourne. Most are gun and drug related. The laws arent stopping those either. We do get the odd idiot with a gun just shooting at anyone (ie the buses). But most are gang related.

          We really need to start looking at the people. If a driver gets into a car and speeds or is drunk and kills someone, is it the cars fault? Do we ban cars because a family of five was killed by an idiot? Yes we take it away for a short time, but that still doesnt solve the problem. The problem is people. Thats my only point. I actually looked at the stats overall (not gun deaths) for the three countries and we are all pretty much even per capita. So gun laws may or may not help slightly, but they are not the be all and end all either.

          • BobinOz December 19, 2012, 5:54 pm | Link

            Judi

            I have not made this personal, I have simply made it clear I think your statements are ridiculous and the timing of your remarks hugely insensitive. To make it personal, I’d need to insult you, and I haven’t done that.

            If you want clarification of those ridiculous statements, I’m specifically talking about ” And if they want to kill someone they dont need a gun to do it.” Do you really think that 20-year-old boy would have been able to claim so many lives without the three guns he had easy access to? These weren’t any old guns either, they were a Glock, a Sig Sauer and a semi-automatic Bushmaster.

            And what about those other 60 mass murderers with guns, how do you think they would have got on without them?

            And in your most recent comment you claim “gun laws really make no difference.” How many mentally ill people here in Australia could easily lay their hands on a Glock, a Sig Sauer and a semi-automatic Bushmaster? And that, I think, sums up the problem in the USA.

            Because of their gun laws lots of people own guns. So they have millions of guns floating around in the USA. How many do you think are safely locked up? There is surely a problem in any society in which mentally ill youngster can so easily access such powerful weapons.

            Here’s another one of your statements “We do get the odd idiot with a gun just shooting at anyone (ie the buses).” Really? Would you like to point me to a news article where any of these incidents are reported? I’ve searched the web and I can find no reference to idiots shooting randomly at passengers or buses in Melbourne. I remember a couple of years ago a major news item here in Brisbane revolved around somebody having stones thrown at their house. It was on the main 6 PM news. So surely if somebody is randomly shooting at passengers and buses in Melbourne it has been reported in the news?

            Please show me where it is. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but I’m really keen to know the extent of it.

            Just to finish off on ridiculous statements, you really can’t compare the car with the gun, not in my book.

            I’m afraid the problem isn’t just people, the problem in the USA is some people and the ease of access to lethal weapons.

        • John December 21, 2012, 7:05 pm | Link

          Bob what happened was terrible and i feel for the victims and the victims families, there wasn’t anything that i said in my response to Judi that was inappropriate i was simply just stating an oppinion of how when i was in the US i felt safer there then i have here in Australia and i was also simply stating a fact that gun crime and gun violence in Australia has gotten worse, there was nothing inappropriate in that, youv’e obviously misunderstood me and your also obviously over sensitive aswell.

          • BobinOz December 24, 2012, 2:53 pm | Link

            John, I can assure you I am not oversensitive, my problem with both of your comments was the timing. It was within 48 hours of an absolutely horrific mass shooting in the USA that claimed so many young lives. I thought THAT was insensitive and that’s why I replied as I did.

            You say there was nothing offensive in your comment, I had a bit of a problem with your first five opening words.

  • Liyana December 17, 2012, 11:44 am | Link

    At the end of they day the people arguing on this blog will never understand until they have lived in Australia.

    Most Australians like myself have never even seen a gun except on television and this is not an exaggeration but the pure truth.

    • BobinOz December 18, 2012, 12:17 am | Link

      Some people apparently do live in Australia and still don’t understand, see below.

  • John December 13, 2012, 12:39 am | Link

    Also sorry for the late reply i haven’t bothered to come back on this site until now, just so you know, LOL!

    • BobinOz December 13, 2012, 12:55 pm | Link

      3 per 100,000 may be low when compared with Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Jamaica (nice choice of countries John) but it’s certainly not low when compared to the UK (.12) and Australia (.31). And that’s what this article is about, comparing US, UK and Aus.

      • John December 21, 2012, 6:58 pm | Link

        My reply was in response to Tyler when he said that it was ridiculous of me to say that your chances of getting shot in the US are low even by world standards which is true, i simply replied to him to tell him that what i said was true, yes of course your chances of getting shot in the US are much higher then all other developed countries but your chances of getting shot in the US are still low even by world standards, the gun murder rate in the US is only 3 per 100,000 which is low by world standards and is much lower then alot of other countries gun murder rates, some of the countries with higher gun murder rates i have already given and example of.

  • John December 13, 2012, 12:37 am | Link

    To Tyler the US gun murder rate is only 3 per 100,000 which is low by world standards especially when compared to other countries such as Colombia South Africa Jamaica Brazil Venezuela and Mexico which have very high gun murder rates so your chances of getting shot in the US are overall low especially compared to the countries i have listed and especially compared to most other countries in the world.

  • AndrewP September 23, 2012, 8:33 pm | Link

    If you are going to play with statistics then Australia have much higher rates of assault, crime, and rape victims.
    (http://www.nationmaster.com/compare/Australia/United-States/Crime)

    I don’t see the your point in your statistic though. In my opinion, all it means is that killers in America preferred to use guns instead of other weapons. Who would want to bring a knife to a gun fight right?? Like Nik and Jay pointed out, most gun violences and deaths are gang on gang anyway. And the way I see it, the more death the better. Less thugs and drug dealers. Oh, and don’t forget less tax dollars wasted too.

    Honestly, if you don’t like guns then don’t buy them. No need to ban them and screw the rest of us. People like me need them to protect ourselves and our families. How the heck are we going to fend off attackers in our house with only pots and pans.

    In truth, even if guns get banned, bad guys will always have them, just like drugs. Make no sense to make yourself vulnerable for nothing. Remember.. guns don’t kill people, people do. If they have the intention to kill you.. they will kill you.

    • BobinOz September 24, 2012, 6:02 pm | Link

      Hi AndrewP

      As interesting as your statistic link is, this post is about murder rates, it’s not about other crimes like assault, rape or even car theft. The point I am trying to make is quite clear as well, I would’ve thought. And it’s not the case that American killers prefer to use guns, American killers prefer to kill more people. Three times more irrespective of the weapon, that’s what the statistics say.

      What I don’t understand though, is most of you keep trying to tell me that gun violence in the USA is mostly gang on gang, so we shouldn’t worry about it, so why do you need to buy a gun to protect yourself and your family?

  • John August 21, 2012, 11:39 pm | Link

    The UK Australia and most other developed countries also have bad areas which are plagued by crime especially violent crime and gun crime and knife crime, there are areas in the UK Australia and other developed countries which have become no go areas now and you can’t go into those areas without the risk of something bad happening to you such as being beaten up robbed stabbed shot and even killed.

    • BobinOz August 22, 2012, 1:39 pm | Link

      Jay and Andrew above also thought it was okay to “disallow” crimes that take place in certain gang areas as if they don’t exist. You just can’t do that.

      It’s true to say that the UK has similar bad areas or no go areas and they are certainly on the increase. They can’t be discounted from the statistics either. In Australia, certainly in Brisbane, I really haven’t come across anything quite like the no go areas of the USA and UK. If there is one here in Brisbane, I haven’t found it and I have been to what I have been told are the worst areas.

      There may be some bad areas elsewhere across Australia, but I really don’t think they compare with some of the areas in the US or the UK. If anyone living here in Australia knows differently, please let us know.

      The timing of your statement John is also quite poor as Tyler has pointed out; the whole world heard about the tragic shootings at the Batman film premiere. That’s cinema wasn’t in a no go area, was it?

      Also, as I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, there is a possibility that Australias apparent high crime statistics are actually as a result of the high levels of ‘reported’ crime, yes, people do still bother to report crime here in the hope that the criminals will be caught. In some other countries or areas of other countries, some people don’t bother reporting that they had been mugged or beaten up anymore, they know it’s pointless.

  • John August 21, 2012, 11:35 pm | Link

    Japan also has a lower murder rate then Australia and is also much safer then Australia, also although the US murder rate and gun murder rate are much higher then Australias murder rate and gun murder rate Australias overall crime rate is higher then the US crime rate and Australia has a higher assault rate and a higher rape rate then the US, Australias assault rate is 7 times higher and Australias rape rate is 3 times higher also most of the murders and gun violence in the US occur in the major cities and mostly occur in the inner city ghettos which are populated by blacks and hispanics, blacks make up half the murder victims in the US and hispanics also make up a large percentage of the murder victims in the US to, outside the inner city ghettos in the US it’s as safe if not safer then the typical areas of every other western country and the chances of you getting shot in the US are overall low especially by world standards.

    • Tyler August 22, 2012, 12:16 am | Link

      Give me a break. It’s absolutely ridiculous to say ‘chances of you getting shot in the US are overall low especially by world standards’. That is an insane thing to say. The US in absolutely notorious for gun crime. You can’t just say as long as you don’t go into the ghettos – they’re still a part of the country. And what about all the school shootings and the one at the cinema at Colorado? Wow that sounds safe (and they aren’t in the ghetto as far as I know). I’m not saying the US is a bad place, there are many good things about the US (like every country) and I’m sure there are many good areas as well but it is simply insane to play down the level of gun violence because it is obviously a real problem, even if it is mostly in the ghettos. I’d also like to see the statistics that show that Australia has a higher assault and rape rate. And, yes, Japan is probably much safer than Australia but it is also much safer than pretty much every country.

  • jansen July 2, 2012, 8:24 pm | Link

    bob, im an aussie boy, or man i am 21, i live in a country area far from the cities, im not sure whether you have a problem with firearms or police with fire arms or what not.. but i just wanna voice my opinion it may help some of the people commenting or might annoy them, at any rate i beleive in fighting for what is right, so here we go, there is a lot of talk of stats and comparisons with other countrys and what not, i personally dont feel that the stats apply, and the reason for this is that over the past 2 years there have been drive by shootings frequently in sydney all drug related i beleive, none of whom have a registered firearm, now to stop this the police commissioner says ok we will restrict the firearms laws to stop this, so law abiding citizens who shoot for sport have a hard time getting firearms, now while good people are being rejected their HUMAN rights, the crooks are still shooting each other with guns they get smuggled in to aus.. i really beleive that pistols may be the problem not rifles, as they are vey hard for a would be robber to conceal.. just wondaring do you have any thoughts on this? thanks

    • BobinOz July 3, 2012, 6:41 pm | Link

      You have a fair point, honest law-abiding citizens who want registered guns for sport should not be penalised just because illegal guns get into this country.

      On the other hand, strict licensing laws surrounding gun ownership, which I don’t believe are in place in, for example, the USA, do reduce gun deaths.

      Guns will always be illegally smuggled into this country just as I suspect they are in other countries, like the UK, where gun laws are quite strict. And you are right, there are plenty of illegal guns around, we have the same drive-by shootings problem on the Gold Coast.

      But I think it would be a sad day when we all have the right to own a gun to defend ourselves from this sort of thing, I quite like the gun laws as they are.

      • jansen July 8, 2012, 8:04 pm | Link

        i some what disagree, but thanks for the discussion, have a good one 🙂 love the site

        • BobinOz July 9, 2012, 4:58 pm | Link

          Thanks jansen and let’s face it, if everyone agreed about everything, the world would be a boring place:-) Cheers!

  • BobinOz December 29, 2011, 8:27 pm | Link

    Jay and Andrew, I’ve got to say that Tyler (thanks Tyler) has answered in exactly the same way as I would have done if I’d got here first. As Tyler has suggested, you can’t really mess with statistics like that. You can’t rule out gang or drug-related killings, you can’t dismiss certain areas, because when you start doing that, you are twisting statistics.

    What I have tried to do above is compare three countries, like for like.

    Jay, you have provided us with some fascinating information and assuming it’s all correct, I think we would all have to conclude that homicide rates are not directly related to gun ownership laws. I’m sure it has an influence somewhere along the line, but other factors must also be coming into play.

    I’m sure there are huge areas of America that are safe, but I do also know there are many areas that are regarded as “no-go” areas there. There are an increasing number of “no-go” areas in the UK too.

    Here in Australia, I don’t think we have too many of those, if any at all. I have not been everywhere though, does anyone in Australia know of an area that it really is too unsafe to go to?

    Thanks to all of you for your contributions, it’s an interesting debate.

    Cheers

    Bob

  • Tyler December 27, 2011, 12:39 am | Link

    I don’t think you can just rule out a few ‘bad areas’ in the major cities – surely then every country could rule out their bad areas and still be significantly lower on gun violence than the US. As an Australian I find it quite scary that there are places in the US that you can’t go unless you’re prepared to be shot. There are some rough neighborhoods here but I don’t think any of them are ‘no go’ areas where you have to worry about being killed.

  • Andrew December 24, 2011, 3:31 am | Link

    I would have to agree with Nik and Jay.
    If you rule out the few bad areas of America’s biggest cities, I’d be willing to bet that most of America is one of the safest countries in the world. The numbers are not truly accurate ways to judge how common violent crimes are here. Like mentioned above, there are certain areas (usually very small parts of only the largest cities, or cities along the Mexican border) where gang and drug related violence in unfortunately very common. Just remember that most of those victims put themselves in harms way, and should not be confused with average citizens.

  • Jay December 23, 2011, 10:45 pm | Link

    I’m not sure what you mean by safer country. Gang on gang violence is not a problem for most Americans. American cities are very different from those in the UK, with the middle class and the poor being greatly geographically divided. Most Americans don’t regularly go into very troubled areas. The USA’s huge drug problem and proximity to nations such as Mexico and Columbia are also causes of the high homicide rates.

    Also you should also look at state by state homicide rates and gun laws. Vermont has the most relaxed gun laws in the country, but the second to lowest homicide rate out of all the states and territories in the USA. It also happens to have a slightly lower homicide rate than the UK (as a whole, not just England & Wales). The state with the lowest is New Hampshire, which also has favorable gun laws. New Hampshire’s homicide rate is a lot lower than that of the UK. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have some of the strictest gun laws in the USA, yet are number 1 and 2 respectively when it comes to homicide rate. As well as this, gun laws have been steadily improving in a number of states in recent years, with the legalization of open carry in multiple states where it was previously prohibited. The homicide rate in those states has continued to decrease.

    You should also look at countries other than the 3 you brought up. I noticed you said “But if you want to go somewhere that does have fewer murders than Australia then choose from Chile, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, Spain and Switzerland which all have lower rates.” Switzerland is very interesting, as (for Europe) it has very relaxed gun laws and a very high gun ownership rate, 4th in the world. As well as this, a number of nations in South America, like Jamaica, Venezuela and Mexico, which have restrictive gun laws have remarkably high homicide rates.

    I think the study you have conducted seems to have some bias and does not take into account a number of variables.

    Afghanistan has good gun laws but a very high homicide rate, can you really blame the guns for this?

    • John Rhody July 4, 2016, 8:29 am | Link

      So Oklahoma has lax gun laws and the murder rate there is high, same for SC, Texas, TN, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida. Care to explain THAT? I’ll take OZ any day!!

  • BobinOz December 29, 2010, 10:29 pm | Link

    Hi Eugene

    Maybe I was too subtle last time. Eugene, on your keyboard there is a key on the left-hand side, third from the bottom. It’s called “Caps Lock” please press it once before adding any more comments on this blog. Thank you.

    Anyway, I think we all have got your views now on this thing. What I really want to know is about your alien encounter! And are you really 78?

    Don’t forget, “Caps Lock”!

  • EUGENE TANO December 29, 2010, 4:08 pm | Link

    YES MARTIN BRYANT IS STILL ALIVE IF YOU CALL IT LIFE ??.-I FORGOT TO MENTION IN MY LAST COMMENT-THAT MARTIN BRYANT HAD A HOME AND ASSETS OF NEAR -1 MILLION AU.-THE GREAT HONEST-JUSTICE LOVING-?–GOVERNMENT OF AUS.–STRIPPED HIM OF IT ALL SO HE COULD NOT AFFORD A LAWYER TO DEFEND HIM.–SO THIS BIGGEST CRIME ==EVER==IN AUSTRALIA-WENT–INTO HISTORY–SO–FAR–WITH NO–TRIAL..-THERE ARE AUSTRALIANS FEW BUT SOME THAT HAVE AN IQ–BIG ENOUGH TO KNOW–MARTIN BRYANT WAS FRAMED–BY THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PM OF THIS GREAT ??==COUNTRY OF AUSTRALIA.—-AFTER 15 YEARS HE IS STILL ROTTING IN PRISON AND NO AUSTRALIAN WITH ANY POWER AND MONEY IS TRYING TO HAVE HIM RELEASED- IF I HAD A TON OF MONEY I WOULD GET THE BIGGEST AND BEST LAWYERS BOTH HERE AND THE US TO GET HIM A TRIAL.—HE WOULD BE FREE IN A SHORT TIME==AS THERE–IS==NO–EVIDENCE–AGAINST-HIM–THAT WOULD HOLD UP IN ANY COURT-NONE,—THERE IS VERY LITTLE TRUTH TODAY IN THE MEDIA–MOST OF WHAT YOU READ IS WHAT THEY YOUR MASTERS WANT YOU TO READ–AND ITS ALL==PROPAGANDA- JUST THINK IF MARTIN BRYANT–WAS YOUR SON-WHAT WOULD YOU DO-?? LET–HIM DIE IN PRISON FOR A–CRIME===HE==DID==NOT==COMMIT,, —I AM AN AMERICAN–SO I AM LIMITED AS WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP HIM,–WHEN THIS FIRST HAPPENED IN 1996- I TRIED TO GET THE PEOPLE TO GET HIM A TRIAL.——I WAS INFORMED TO BACK OFF OR ELSE.==YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT ELSE MEANS.–IF I PUSH TOO HARD–I MAY LEAVE THIS COUNTRY–IN A WOOD BOX OR BODY BAG,-THAT,S THE KIND OF PEOPLE WE ARE DEALING WITH,—-911—WAS–DONE BY SAME GROUP—3000 DEAD AT GROUND ZERO—14,000 MORE DEAD FROM RADIATION FROM BOMBS USED IN THE DEMOLITION—38,000 MORE IN VERY SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITIONS,,—-1200 ENGINEERS SIGNED A PETITION TO HAVE A REAL INVESTIGATION—–9 YEARS GONE—NO—INVESTIGATION–YET ???——HOW POWER FULL ARE THESE PEOPLE??—-ANSWER THEY ARE THE MASTERS OF THE ==NEW==WORLD==ORDER====YOU ARE EITHER WITH–US–OR===YOU==ARE==DEAD==IS THEIR MOTTO.———————–GENE….—POLITICAL MAJOR—ARMY GUN MASTER…TIME ON PLANET—78 YEARS———DID I EVER CONNECT WITH THE ALIENS——NO======COMMENTS————–

  • BobinOz December 22, 2010, 6:30 pm | Link

    Alright, alright! No need to shout!

    Hello Eugene and welcome. You obviously think Martin Bryant is innocent then? I’m kind of the newish to this country, and I have to admit at the time of writing this article I was blissfully unaware of the many conspiracy theories floating around involving this case.

    Now I love of good conspiracy theory just as much, if not more, than the next man. But four specially imported troops? All arranged by the Australian government? Just to get guns banned? If it all sounds a bit fanciful to me.

    I, like many people, would love to know the truth. But I reckon I could spend the rest of my life looking into this and still not get to the bottom of it. The case for Bryant’s innocence is not helped by some of the stuff out there, I found one site proclaiming his innocence which stated “We were deceived when “Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963), was accused and arrested for the killing of John F. Kennedy. We now know up to five CIA agents murdered their own president in 1963, Dallas, Texas”

    We now know? Well, I must have missed that meeting.

    Anyway, I have no idea whether Bryant is innocent or not, but I do thank you for bringing your theories to our attention.

    By the way, just to make it clear to anyone who doesn’t know, Bryant wasn’t “hung”, other than metaphorically if you believe he was framed. I think he’s still alive and well and banged up to 35 life terms, isn’t he?

  • EUGENE TANO December 22, 2010, 7:04 am | Link

    ANY ONE WHO EVEN THINKS MARTIN BRYANT WAS CAPABLE OF SHOOTING 22 PEOPLE IN THE HEAD —DEAD–IN 20 SECONDS–NEEDS A BRAIN- A GROUP OF 4–IMPORTED SPECIAL TROOPS WERE BROUGHT IN TO AUS. BY AUS. GOV.–TO PANIC THE SHEEP HERD INTO PASSING AN ADOLF HITLER STYLE GUN LAW.- MARTIN BRYANT WAS ===FRAMED===..HE GOT NO TRIAL–NONE–HE WAS FORCED TO CONFESS—GEORGE BUSH STYLE.. JOHN HOWARD BULL DOZED ALL THE EVIDENCE THE NEXT DAY AFTER THE CRIME…—–IT IS ILLEGAL TO DESTROY EVIDENCE IN ANY CRIME BUT THIS WAS THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY AND HE GOT –AWAY WITH IT.—JUSTICE IN AUSTRALIA—WHERE DID IT GO—TO THE NEW WORLD ORDER==??THE 98 % CONTROLLED MEDIA—PRINTED LIE AFTER LIE TO MAKE SURE MARTIN GOT HUNG,—-WAKE UP PEOPLE—-YOUR WORLD IS BEING TAKEN AWAY BY A PACT OF INSANE POWER CRAZY NUTS. AND IF YOU DONT OPEN UP YOUR BRAINS—THEY WILL MAKE YOU ALL THEIR –SLAVES—GT.

  • BobinOz December 18, 2010, 1:57 pm | Link

    I’m not sure you can just take “gang violence…….out of the equation”. If we do that, I think we lose the point somewhat. But hey, I’m not going to argue with you! I never take issue with somebody who has a gun.

  • Nik December 17, 2010, 8:34 am | Link

    I don’t think you can just look at the stats and make conclusive arguments. Most gun violence in the USA comes from gang violence (sorry to say African American gangs often involved with drugs). If you took them out of the equation I think you would find the USA on par with Aus & UK.
    Also, many lives are saved by law abiding armed civilians. If it wasn’t for good people with guns, violent crimes would be much higher in America. In areas of high (lawful) gun ownership incidents of violent crime are extremely low.
    Personally I’ve never felt safer than when I was at a shooting range in America. No one will touch me there for fear of other civilians defending me.

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