: : *I don't think I'm well versed enough with the relevant statistics to really weigh into this debate at present.
: I doint think one can be, given the plethora of stats, date ranges, theories etc surrounding crime - but one can find data suggesting a rose in the last year.
: : *The new gun restrictions, far from "banning guns", were only concerned with eliminating 'military style' assault weapons. It is still possible for Mr. Goodcitizen to own and, I assume, use a hand-gun or a shot-gun or any number of the other more friendly varieties of fire arms - never-the-less, effective at stopping an armed intruder.
: Can you link to that? Got the impression that so called 'assualt weapons' (makes em sound bad see) included allsorts of guns which were just automatics and so on. Also that owning one is subject to various checks, red tape and general obstructions.
: : *Statistics are pointless when debating this issue. I'm sure that with a little effort on my part I could find some very convincing statistics proving that gus are in fact evil. I would be interested in looking at the percentage of fire arms offences committed with the newly illegal weapons for example.
: That would be a good statistic. The point however is this ; now that people in general are more restricted in their ability to own the means to self defence and criminals are not (by definition they dont follow the rules) do they act more 'confidently' in attacking poeple because they believe people wont own guns. I've read anecdotal statements by cons who spoke of preferring unarmed people (unsurprisingly) and of acknowledging that a disarmed populace would make it easier from them - but thats just opinion from a crim. Scary, but just opinion.
@If we're going to talk anecdotes, I've read anecdotal evidence from crims who say that they would prefer not to use guns during burglaries, home invasions because it increases the risk of someone getting killed (an extra 20 years on a sentence) but feel they have to because the home owner might have one.
: : Also, percentages are a little dodgy if you're talking about Australia. The population is quite small and we have a fairly low crime rate to begin with.
: I know what you mean - small change in volume = big change in percentage, fair enough.
: : *The episode which sparked off the new round of gun laws - when 35 people were killed at Port Arthur one day (you may have heard of it in spite of living in the US;) )
: It must have been between all our killings :( but yeah I heard, pretty horrific.
: - was actually using a legally purchased weapon. I find this unacceptable.
: I find this a slightly mute point. fact is people with intent to do crime can get a gun quite easily even in countries like Britain.
@Possibly slightly mute but not entirely. Call me crazy, but I feel a little uneasy with the idea of somebody with a history of mental illness buying a machine gun over the counter. I like to think that he'd have to make some kind of concerted effort to get hold of it.
: I think you may be getting at the idea that it should stop these 'crazies' form going loopy one day without warning - usre, good point, but it doesnt say much about the overall murder rate does it. 100 single murders with guns doesnt make the news like the horror of th above.
: : For any member of the community to have the power of life and death over so many others, on what was really a whim, is disgusting.
: I hope you would say *precisely* the same about a policeman, military mand and so forth. you see disarming one segment of population (law abiding citizens) is just very unbalanced - it doesnt address criminals nor state officials.
@I would say precisely the same thing about a state official (which is one of the more practical reasons why I am against the death penalty...but that's another debate). However, contrary to what seems to be popular belief, the police have very rarely been the first section of the community to arm themselves. They have usually only become armed in response to a rise in the availability of fire arms in the wider community.
: : Nobody needs a machine gun to defend themselves from a burglar. If somebody is really intent on breaking into you're house and killing you in you're sleep then you are simply never going to wake up.
: Most of these crimes are not murder-filled cat burglars though - theyre stick up men, who are less likely to try/succeed if there is even a small chance of them getting killed in the proces. Its not that they could do it 95% of the time by having initiative, its that the other 5% worries them.
: : *I tend to be a little cynical when anyone talks about increased break ins and assaults on the elderly - especially when they have an agenda to push. Politicians do it every election.
: Yes true, "for the children" is my favourite 'political' agneda pushing phrase - you should hear the Clintons use it.
: : And what the hell were you thinking, getting gun info from the NRA? That's like getting info on smoking related deaths from Camel.
: Source is irrelavent, judge the actual content.
@I have to disagree with you there. I think that when talking about statistics the source is even more important than the content.
: : *Just a note, we don't have the same fear of government which seems to exist in the US. Our army is fully stretched doing peacekeeping stuff in East Timor. Asking them to repress every person in a country the size of Australia (7 million square kilometers) would be simply ridiculous.
: Guess you have that advantage - still I hear Australia is one of the most taxed and regulated of the 'first' world countries.
@I don't think so. Australia has the second lowest rate of taxation of the OECD countries (I'll have to find the reference for this - I got it from a real book so I have to make a trip to the library). The first is of course the US. Having lived in Europe, I can say that our government has nothing on them regulation wise.
: : *Partly. I would say, however, that we have to look far beyond the simple availability of weapons to find the answers to the problem. Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world but has nothing like the related deaths you see in the US.
: Such a good point, one that people intent on banning guns ignores because it undermines their "guns=murder" nonsense. Finland is another.
@And the gun lobby ignore the fact that while gun ownership is high in these countries, state regulation of this ownership is also extremely high.The NRA would scream blue murder if the government in the US tried to introduce similar guidelines.
: : I am not scared of the government.
: : I don't think that my private property is worth killing for.
: : If somebody wants to kill me, I think they would be able to find a way to do it whether I have a gun or not.
: : Guns in the community will eventually fall into the hands of the psychotic or the very angry.
: : I believe that it is better that the guns not be there in the first place.
: What if the government, or another overwhelmingly powerful body wanted, not to attack your property, but to direct the actions of your own life?
@I'll vote against them or boycott their products :) And I'd probably write a stern letter to my local representatve.
That'll teach 'em.