By Dave Workman
Gun prohibitionists frequently point to the “Australia model” as a possible solution to firearms-related violent crime in the U.S., but now Reuters has popped that bubble, perhaps unintentionally, by reporting that the government in Oz has announced a “gun amnesty” for next year.
And just why is that necessary if the original gun ban and gun law “reforms” have worked so well that American gun control proponents want to try them here on American soil? According to Reuters, “a criminal intelligence report estimated there were 260,000 illegal firearms in the country.”
Ever since the mandatory “buyback” of firearms (translation: Turn in your guns for money or else), which happened nearly two decades ago in reaction to a 1996 mass shooting in Tasmania, Australian gun ownership was thought to be tightly regulated. It is, for honest citizens. Ironically, Tasmania was a former prison colony.
Surprise of surprises; criminals Down Under evidently haven’t paid attention to that nation’s restrictive gun laws. Where hasn’t that happened before?
Reuters quoted Justice Minister Michael Keenan in Melbourne delivering what has to rank among the most naïve political remarks of modern history.
“The amnesty will provide an opportunity for those individuals who, for whatever reason are in possession of an unregistered firearm, to hand it in without fear of being prosecuted,” he said. “While Australia has some of the strongest firearm controls in the world, illicit firearms remain the weapon of choice for criminals.”
There is a popular Yank expression that seems tailor-made for Keenan: “Well, DUH!”
Want To Ban ‘Assault Weapons?’ You’re In The Minority, Says Gallup
Bad news recently for the anti-gun lobby, and for politicians who have jumped on board: A new Gallup survey says support for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” has dropped to its lowest level since pollsters started asking the question.
Only 36 percent of Americans now favor such a ban, which means everybody else doesn’t. Gallup found that 61 percent of American adults oppose a ban. It’s an interesting breakdown politically, which may explain a few things about reality versus fantasy.
Gallup found that “barely 50 percent of Democrats currently support the ban today.” That’s down from 63 percent who favored the idea in 1996. On the Republican side, however, only 25 percent supports a ban. Less than one-third of independents think a ban would be a good idea.
Least surprising of all, only 26 percent of households with guns would go along with a ban, and only 45 percent of households without guns favor the suggestion.
Gallup also reported that only 23 percent of Americans favor a ban on possession of handguns except by police or “other authorized people.” Last time we checked, the Second Amendment “authorizes” average law-abiding citizens to possess handguns, and a careful read of the 2008 Heller opinion, authored by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia explains that.
But the survey also reported this puzzling (in relation to the other findings) conclusion: 55 percent of Americans think laws “covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict.” Ten percent of the poll respondents think laws should be less strict, and 34 percent want the laws left as they are.
So, where does that leave the gun prohibition lobby, which routinely tosses around claims that 80 or 90 percent of Americans support this or that gun control issue?
Perhaps Sean Davis, writing at The Federalist, summed it up best: “Americans also understand that while gun control laws don’t necessarily deter violent criminals or terrorists, they do make it harder for innocent Americans to protect themselves from those same criminals and terrorists. And when you take into account the U.S. government’s continued failure to protect its people from terrorist attacks, increasing opposition to laws that make it harder for people to defend themselves and their families makes perfect sense. If the government is not willing or able to perform its duty to protect the homeland, then people will feel compelled take matters into their own hands, and they will bristle at any attempt to neuter their right to self-defense.”
You Like guns? So Do Lots Of Other People
An interim report on U.S. firearms manufacturing in 2015 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is the stuff from which ulcers are made among the gun control set.
During 2015, according to the ATF report, there were 3,458,881 pistols manufactured in all calibers. Another 792,834 revolvers were built. Of those, 137,081 pistols and 22,652 revolvers were exported. That’s better than a 4-to-1 margin of semi-autos over revolvers.
The report also said 3,582,163 rifles and 755,714 shotguns were manufactured. Of those, 159,333 rifles and 18,111 shotguns were exported.
The rest of those firearms have found homes right here in the U.S.A.
St. Louis County Suspect Misses Court Date
There probably was no bench warrant issued for 19-year-old Aaron Ballard who suddenly was not going to make a Nov. 4 court appearance on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to a June 30 arrest in which a stolen gun, drugs, two counterfeit $100 bills and a pair of debit cards in someone else’s name were reportedly found.
That’s because Mr. Ballard was fatally shot by a St. Louis County, Mo., police officer on Oct. 24 in a confrontation stemming from a reported auto theft earlier the same day. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ballard “ran despite being mortally wounded. He fell a short distance away, with a loaded pistol lying at his side, police said.”
The newspaper reported that “several robbers wearing gloves and masks had taken a gold 2003 Mercedes Benz at gunpoint” at about 2 a.m. The car owner was not hurt, the story noted.
As bad luck would have it, an officer on patrol spotted that car at about 10:20 p.m. and the chase was on, right into St. Louis. There was a crash, and four people jumped out of the Benz. Ballard was one of them, reportedly wearing a mask and rubber gloves, and he aimed a gun at the 28-year-old cop, according to police.
Back in June, when Missouri Highway Patrol troopers reportedly arrested Ballard after police were called about shots being fired out the window of an SUV cruising down Interstate 70, they found a stolen .45 ACP, a .38-caliber revolver, “a small amount of marijuana, several capsules that appeared to be heroin,” and the counterfeit money, the newspaper said. He also reportedly had a bottle containing Xanax in his pocket, the story added.
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