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Let’s move to Australia, where they confiscate weapons

It’s blasphemy in positive circles to state the most obvious, which is that America isn’t outstanding in each and every approach and that Americans don’t seem to be the peerless masters of the universe. Heck, I’ll even dare to mention that some international locations perform a little issues higher than we do.

Consider, as an example, Australia. If I didn’t have a role, circle of relatives, and pals, I’d be tempted to transport there. Because the individuals who reside there are some distance much less prone to be mowed down en masse in a meals retailer, or in a film theater, or at a live performance, or in a cafe, or in a faculty.

When the Australians suffered a terrible bloodbath in 1996 – a gunman killed 35 in a beach hotel – their elected leaders didn’t waste time with nugatory prayers. Instead they answered like rational civilized human beings. Twelve days after the shootings, Prime Minister John Howard and his center-right govt introduced a sweeping bipartisan gun reform deal. In Howard’s phrases, “We have an opportunity in this country not to go down the American path.”

True that. What civilized nation would wish to emulate us?

In the 1996 legislation, Australia created a buyback program that took 600,000 semi-automatic rifles and shotguns out of stream – kind of 20 p.c of all firearms national. They banned personal gun gross sales, instituted thorough nationwide background assessments, required that homeowners sign in all their final guns, and, most likely most significantly, they required that gun consumers supply “a justifiable reason” on the time of acquire. Self-defense was once now not thought to be a justifiable explanation why.

In the a long time because the legislation was once enacted, kind of a million semi-automatic guns had been offered again to the federal government and destroyed. And Australian hunters can nonetheless hunt. In 2016, one hunter informed Time mag: “When (the prime minister) proposed the gun law, I marched like everybody else did in opposition. But I now fully endorse what he did… At the end of the day, it’s a small price to pay not to have the nutjobs walking through shopping centers and massacring innocent people.”

Granted, such enlightenment can’t occur right here. We’re us and so they’re them. Australia doesn’t have a gun-fetish tradition that’s tethered to a misinterpreted modification a couple of “well-regulated militia” (an modification that the overdue Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointee, referred to as “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public”). Australia doesn’t have a dangerous cadre of elected leaders who robotically money in thousands and thousands from the gun producers’ foyer.

What’s indeniable is that the Australian reform legislation has been, within the phrases of a 2011 Harvard find out about, “incredibly successful in terms of lives saved.” A 2018 find out about printed within the Annals of Internal Medicine discovered that within the 18 years previous to the beach hotel shootings, Australia weathered 13 mass shootings (outlined as incidents wherein 5 or extra folks died). In all of the years since, the rustic has suffered a grand overall of… one. (We’ve had two within the remaining two weeks.) And a 2021 find out about by way of the RAND Corporation concluded that the Australian legislation’s advantages had been even broader: “The strongest evidence is consistent with the claim that the (law) caused reductions in firearm suicides, mass shootings, and female homicide victimization.”

I do know that we Americans hate to be lectured by way of different international locations, however from time to time, like particularly when sons and daughters get slaughtered, we obviously deserve it. So let’s give the Australians the final word. This is from a piece of writing within the Sydney Morning Herald:

“It is meaningless to us, as Australians, {that a} nation so proud and nice can permit itself to be savaged over and over by way of its personal electorate. We can not know how the lengthy years of mindless homicide…have now not proved to Americans that the gun isn’t a treasured image of freedom, however a dangerous most cancers on their society.

“We point over and over to our own success with gun control…and that we are still a free and open society. We have not bought our security at the price of liberty; we have instead consented to a social contract that states lives are precious, and not to be casually ended by lone madmen. But (our) message means nothing to those whose ideology is impervious to evidence…You can’t regulate evil. But you can disarm it. Once again we pray that the U.S. will come to its senses and do just that. And once again, we are dreadfully sure it won’t.”

That editorial was once written 5 years in the past.



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