Assault Weapons Bans Didn't Work in Australia and Won't Work in America
Whenever the U.S. suffers from criminal, lunatic mass killings there are those that point to other countries for inspiration. There are those who believe that the U.S. is "uncivilized" because we have not disarmed our populace yet (it seems armed criminals don't bother this type). And then there are those who point to country X to demonstrate that gun bans work.
Of late, the most popular are Australia's ban and the UK's. Commentators seem to forget that both these nations are in fact islands that are much easier to police for arms shipments than a country with two massive rural borders like we have in the U.S.
Let's examine the Australian ban and see if it did anything useful other than taking guns away from law-abiding citizens ... There is evidence that the late '90s gun ban had little or no effect on overall crime whatsoever.
The trends continued according to this report, which states, "The homicide rates [in Australia] provide no support for a proposition that the ban/buyback has helped. However, they also do not indicate that the ban/buyback caused anything, good or bad."
Even TIME Magazine was not able to spin the facts to make a case for the ban:
"The conclusions of these studies were 'all over the place,' says [Samara McPhedran, a University of Sydney academic]. But by pulling back and looking purely at the statistics, the answer 'is there in black and white,' she says. 'The hypothesis that the removal of a large number of firearms owned by civilians [would lead to fewer gun-related deaths] is not borne out by the evidence.'"
Ultimately Joyce Lee Malcolm in the Wall Street Journal stated the blindingly obvious when it comes to gun "control" in her recent piece:
"What to conclude? Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don't provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems."
As always, this is a clear case where one should be wary of politicians feeling the need to "do something," of whatever party. (John Howard, prime minister of Australia at the time of their gun ban, was a "conservative" but fell for the hype.)
We should not throwaway our constitutional right to bear arms based on shaky evidence from abroad and irrational emotions. Gun grabbers have to admit they hate guns and need to stop trying to claim there are facts to back up their prejudice.