|Crime increases after stict gun laws in Australia|
It all began with the Port Arthur (a Tasmanian resort) tragedy on April 28, 1996, when a crazed assailant opened fire and shot 35 people. Australians were shocked, and the government reacted quickly.
Draconian gun legislation was passed in the heat of the moment because the fate of the nation was determined by a handful of statist socialists who find individual freedom abhorrent. As a result of stringent gun laws (really a ban on certain firearms) in Australia, all semiautomatic firearms (rifles and handguns) are proscribed, including .22-caliber rabbit guns and duck-hunting Remington shotguns.
At a cost of $500 million, out of an estimated 7 million firearms (of which 2.8 million were prohibited), only 640,000 guns were surrendered to police. What has been the result? Same as in England. Like in Great Britain, crime Down Under has escalated.
Twelve months after the law was implemented in 1997, there was been a 44 percent increase in armed robberies, an 8.6 percent increase in aggravated assaults, and a 3.2 percent increase in homicides. That same year in the state of Victoria, there was a 300 percent increase in homicides committed with firearms. The following year, robberies increased almost 60 percent in South Australia. By 1999, assaults had increased in New South Wales by almost 20 percent.
Two years after the ban, there have been further increases in crime: armed robberies by 73 percent; unarmed robberies by 28 percent; kidnappings by 38 percent; assaults by 17 percent; manslaughter by 29 percent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
And consider the fact that over the previous 25-year period, Australia had shown a steady decrease both in homicide with firearms and armed robbery until the ban.
Australia, a semi-arid, isolated continent and a vast nation-state, in many ways parallels the history of the United States. In the 1850s and 1860s, it had gold rushes and pioneering settlers, reminiscent of our own western migration.
In World War I and World War II, it fought with the allies. Australia remained a subject of Great British until 1986, when the last ties with the British crown were dissolved.
With only 19 million people, Australia has an impressive fauna that includes plenty of varmints, marsupials, dingoes (that wreak havoc on livestock), as well as large rats and other rodents. Yet, hunting has become prohibitively difficult for all but a handful of Australians with private lands and the usual connections. Now, the ban on firearms and the disarmament of ordinary Australians has left criminals free to roam the countryside as they please.
Bandits, of course, kept their guns. Like in America, only the law-abiding, by definition, obey the law. Yet, the leftist Australian government has responded by passing more laws; in 1998 Bowie knives and other knives and items including handcuffs were banned.
Licensing is now somewhat difficult. Self and family protection is not considered a valid reason to own a firearm. The right to self-defense, like in Great Britain and Canada, is not recognized in Australia. Like Americans, Australians loved and possessed firearms that is, until the ban. Lets hope that in future moments some sanity prevails around the sport of shooting.