How Effective are Gun Bans Overseas? Part 7 in the Right to Protect Yourself

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How Effective are Gun Bans Overseas? Part 7 in the Right to Protect Yourself

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The USA is not alone in facing this problem of mentally deranged individuals and criminals. Both Britain and Australia suffered mass shootings in the 1980s and 1990s, despite their already stringent gun laws. Both countries nevertheless decided that even stricter gun control was the most effective answer. Their experiences are enlightening.

British Experiences with Banning Gun Ownership
After the 1987 Hungerford shooting spree, the British government banned semiautomatic rifles and controlled shotguns the same as pistols and rifles. Magazines were drastically limited, just two shells with a third in the chamber.

The 1998 Firearms Act instituted a nearly complete ban on handguns after the Dunblane mass shooting by a mentally disturbed man. Owners of pistols were required to surrender them and the penalty for illegally having a pistol is up to 10 years in prison.

The law of unintended consequences has ensured the results are the complete opposite of what the gun control advocates expected. According to the Wall Street Journal*. Within a decade of the handgun ban and their confiscation from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have resulted in some British police carrying guns for the first time.”

Despite the virtually complete ban on firearms, another shooting spree occurred in 2010. A taxi driver in Cumbria shot his brother then drove off through rural villages killing 12 people and injuring 11 more before killing himself.

Making Criminals out of Heroes
Yet absurdly strict gun control laws make criminals out of Britain’s heroes. In 2009 a former soldier, Paul Clarke, found a bag in his garden containing a shotgun. He took it to the police station and was immediately handcuffed and charged with gun possession. His trial judge noted: “The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant,” and gave Mr. Clarke an extended prison sentence. Fortunately, a public outcry eventually resulted in his release.

In 2012, Danny Nightingale, a British war hero, was sentenced to 18 months in military prison for possession of a firearm. Sgt. Nightingale was gifted the Glock pistol by Iraqi forces he had been training. It was packed up with his possessions and returned to him after he had left to organize a funeral for close friends killed in action. Mr. Nightingale pleaded guilty to avoid a five-year sentence and was in prison until a public outcry set him free.

So, in Britain, war heroes are jailed yet a Muslim extremist advocating violence walks free. Whenever the government passes prescriptive laws insisting there’s only one way – their way – to do something, government failure surely follows.

The Australian Ban on Guns
Six weeks after the 1996 Dunblane massacre, an Australian with a lifelong history of violence, Martin Bryant, attacked tourists at a Port Arthur prison site in Tasmania with semiautomatic rifles. He killed 35 people and wounded 21 others.

At that time, Australia’s guns laws were even stricter than those in the UK. In lieu of the British requirement that an applicant looking to purchase a gun have a “good reason,” Australia required a “genuine reason.” Hunting and protecting crops were genuine reasons – but personal protection was not.

So Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement, banning all semiautomatic rifles and shotguns and imposing an even more restrictive system on other firearms. The government also launched a forced buyback scheme to remove thousands of firearms from private hands. In 1997, the government purchased and destroyed more than 60,000 banned guns at a cost of $500 million.

Australian Results
Such decisive government action on banning guns must have been highly effective, right? No. Not at all!

While the law and buyback generated much controversy, in 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.

A 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution found that homicides just “continued a modest decline.” They concluded that the impact of Australia’s National Firearms Agreement was “relatively small.” Yet during the same period in America, deaths attributed to firearms dropped by nearly ten times the decline seen in Australia.**

The use of handguns went up sharply, but only one out of 117 gun homicides used a registered gun in the two years following the new ban. Suicides with firearms went down but suicides by other means went up. They reported “a modest reduction in the severity” of massacres in the five years since the government weapons buyback. These involved knives, gas and arson rather than firearms.

Lessons from Abroad
What to conclude? Far stricter gun laws in Britain and Australia have been ineffective, they have neither made their citizens safer, nor have they prevented massacres. But they have increased crime. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. to copy provide evidence that making gun laws even more strict will NOT solve the highly obscure (to dimwits and politicians) problem: criminals and deranged individuals do not obey the law.

Across the world, government bans on people’s right to protect themselves with guns seem to be rather widely ignored. Thoughtful citizens recognize the endemic problem of government failure – the government incompetence at that most fundamental of tasks: protecting their citizens.

It’s all enough to make you wonder. Do politicians really have the same goal as their citizens – the important task of ensuring everybody’s safety? Or are they unscrupulous sophists who want the population disarmed by any means. If so, why? Are they determined to stay in power and fear resistance? Aren’t the policies they implement entirely just?

So what does work? Switzerland is very prosperous, despite a more or less complete lack of natural resources. It’s also among the most secure, Switzerland’s automatic guns above every fireplace in the land make it one of the safest countries in the world. Are Swiss policies the demonstrably effective ones which America should copy?

© Copyright worldwide Cris Baker, www.LifeStrategies.net All rights reserved. Republishing welcomed under Creative Commons noncommercial no derivatives license preserving all links intact, so please +1 and share this widely!

Food for Thought
“Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.”

– Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845, 7th USA President, advocate of a small and limited federal government

* The Wall Street Journal report on the unintended consequences of Britain’s gun ban is at:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732377720457819547044685546…

* The lack of significant impact from Australia’s gun ban on both homicides and suicides is at:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/will-banning-guns-stop-homicides-stats-f…

Author’s Bio: 

Cris Baker has much practice in overcoming adversity, he’s been screwing things up for years! Why suffer the consequences of your own mistakes? Now you can benefit from real knowledge, crucial know-how gained from his vast experience with extensive pain and suffering!

Explore your right to protect yourself, avoid being manipulated by others, discover how to overcome your self sabotage, and improve your enjoyment of life!

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