Category: Guns

Australian Gun Laws – Did they Work? (spolier: yes they did)

University of Sydney academic Professor Simon Chapman is the lead author of a study that has examined the impact of the late 1990’s tightening of Australian gun laws. The Liberal government of the time (for ‘liberal’ read ‘conservative’) enacted tougher gun laws in response to the Port Arthur mass shooting in Tasmania. Australia’s gun laws did not become as strict as the UK’s and the emphasis was on  guns that could be used in mass shootings and a general reduction in gun availability.

So what happened? The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2530362 [abstract is directly avaialble but I think it is possible to get the full article by a free sign-up]

There is also an editorial in the same edition of the journal here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2530361

What is most clear from the current study is that Australia’s NFA coincided with an elimination of mass killings with firearms. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely which aspect of the policy contributed to this success, but the substantial reduction in the population’s exposure to semiautomatic long guns capable of accepting large-capacity magazines (LCMs) for ammunition is likely to have been key. Examinations of fatal mass shootings in the United States have found that when assault weapons or pistols with LCMs are used in these shootings, the number of victims shot is about 2.5 times higher than in mass shootings with other firearms.7,8

The study is particularly interesting because it aims to disentangle the effect of the gun law changes from other brother shifts – for example  the trend in many developing nations of declines in homicide that occurred anyway. It also shows that the laws had an impact on suicide and importantly, shows that banning some kinds of weapons does not just lead to shift to still-legal weapons with no resulting decline in mass-killings or suicides. Instead a selective ban and gun buy-back schemes does seem to have resulted in a net reduction in deaths.

From a Guardian news article on the study:

The lead author of the study, Professor Simon Chapman, said a similar study had been conducted 10 years ago, and that the researchers had repeated it to see if gun-related deaths were continuing to decline, finding that they had.

“I’ve calculated that for every person in Australia shot in a massacre, 139 [people] are shot through firearm-related suicide or homicides, so they are much more common,” Chapman said.

“We found that homicide and suicide firearms deaths had been falling before the reforms, but the rate of the fall accelerated for both of them after the reforms. We’ve shown that a major policy intervention designed to stop mass shootings has had an effect on other gun-related deaths as well.”

He said the researchers had chosen to publish the results in an American medical journal not just because the title was a prestigious one, but also because the findings would have a greater impact.

However, he does not believe the findings will have an impact on gun ownership laws in the US.

“The US is a good example of where evidence is going to take longer to prevail over fear and ideology,” he said.

“When people like [Republican candidate] Donald Trump talk about gun violence, he’s essentially not talking about the facts or the evidence, he’s talking about ideology and saying people want the right to protect themselves and their homes.

“The irony is the person you have to protect yourself most from in a home is the person who owns the gun.”

Chapman said more than half of those who had conducted mass shootings in Australia and New Zealand had been licensed gun holders.

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Timothy retells Dune

[From the pen of Timothy the Talking Cat]
So one of those filers who Camestros let’s comment here seems to think that Dune is too lefty for a cat like me. Pish tosh and piffle. Dune is the best, better than sjwalwayslieaboutstuff by Vax Poopli but about the same stuff plus spaceships and sandsnakes.

Let me tell you about Dune…😸
Dune or The Tragedy of the Fall of the House Harkonen caused by Evil Leftyfeministspacemuslims.

Once upon a time there was a great family called Harkonen (or something like that ). They were great at business and created lots of wealth which made everybody in the galaxy richer. They would always help out the emepror even though he was a whiny RINO Mitt Romney sort of guy. The big dad Harkonen was the Donald Trump of the Galaxy. He was huuggge. He had a super handsome son who looked like Sting when he was still cool and not banging on about saving the rainforest.

Now there was this posh elitist liberal progressive family called the Artyfarties. They like super sucked at making money. The dad was a real wimp and the mum was in some sort of feminist cult. The son looked like the crazy guy in Agents of Shield but younger and more wimpy. The kid Artyfarties thought he was so much smarter than everybody but was a big wimp.

Now Boss Harkonen took pity on the Artyfarties. Big mistake! But he had a kind heart and he hated to see the Artyfarties suck so badly at businessing. So Boss Harkonen says to Dad Artyfarties: “You can run this planet for me. It is the only place you get Old Spice Magic which makes people young and makes spaceships run. It’s a classic monopoly, you can’t go wrong. Just don’t screw it up!”

So the Artyfarties go to Tatooine and start running the Old Spice. Magic racket but they immediately start messing things up with stupid liberal ideas. They start filling everybody’s head with “equality” and “social justice”. They also make friends with an ” ecologist” I.e. some sort of greeny agitator who is probably all “rights for sandsnakes” and stuff. You know the type.

Soon the whole Old Spice trade is all skew-wiff messed up like Democrats running City Hall. The Emperor is like “WTF Boss Harkonen?” And Boss Harkonen says ” Sorry Emperor, it’s that waste of space sh!tstain Dad Artyfarties. He couldn’t run a eyetinting clinic in a melange factory” which was the space way of saying “a piss up in a brewery”.

So the Emperor tells the Harkonens to boot the Artyfarties off Tatooine tootsweet.

Meanwhile Kid Artyfarties was being indoctrinated into his mum’s feminist cult. They have been waiting for a chosen one called the KitKat Paddywhack. Just then the Harkonens send in the baliffs to evict the Artyfarties but the Artyfarties go all psycho and start shooting (because, I guess gun control is for the little people). The Harkonens shoot back in self defence and sadly all the Artyfarties die.

Except.. Kid Artyfarties escapes arrest and goes and hides out in the desert with spacemuslims. Kid Artyfarties then takes lots of drugs and gets demonic powers. ” I’m the KitKat Paddywhack! ” he says and starts his evil plan.

He gangs up with the spacemuslims and the spacefeminists and the SJWs and the PEETA sandsnakes and the liberal elites and probably the lamestream media and Racheal Maddow and Space George Soros and launches a terrorist attack on the Harkonens because he is an ungrateful brat and a big loser. Then he stabs Sting Harkonen in the back by distracting him with a bad cover version of *Walking on the Moon”. Then he takes over the universe as KitKat Paddywhack.

The moral of the story is: if you give a liberal an inch then they double down and ruin your Old Spice franchise. Dune is a dystyopian vision of leftism run amuck.

Weird Internet Ideas: The NRA and Terrorism Follow Up

A follow up to this post. There is an article here at the New Republic website on an act in the US Congress called H.R.1076 – Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015.

 

Amends the federal criminal code to grant the Attorney General the authority to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of a federal firearms and explosives license to any individual if the Attorney General: (1) determines that such individual has been engaged in or has provided material support or resources for terrorist activities, and (2) has a reasonable belief that such individual may use a firearm or explosive in connection with terrorism. Allows any individual whose firearm or explosives license application has been denied to bring legal action challenging the denial.

Prohibits the sale or distribution of firearms or explosives to any individual whom the Attorney General has determined to be engaged in terrorist activities.

Permits the Attorney General to withhold information in firearms and explosives license denial revocation suits if the Attorney General determines that the disclosure of such information would likely compromise national security.

Authorizes the Attorney General to revoke firearms and explosives licenses and permits held by individuals determined to be engaged in terrorism.

Guess who is opposing it?
Did you guess terrorists and those who support terrorists? Ok, you are probably right. Did you guess the NRA? Well done – you’ve got the right level of cynicism about their motives.

Wierd Internet Ideas: The NRA and terrorism

In the wake of the tragedy in Paris comes the analysis. Of course people will see any major event through the lens of their own understanding of the world but unfortunately the murders in France also coincide with the height of campaigning for the US Republican Party primaries. Consequently as well comments that are wrong but at least relevant, we also have to put up with comments that are attempts to shoe-horn US political obsessions into world politics.

No clearer example of this is Donald Trump who said:

“You can say what you want, but if they had guns — if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry — it would have been a much, much different situation,”

There are layers of wrong there, both in his previous characterization of France having particularly strong gun control laws (much less strong than the UK), whether people carrying guns would have helped any (probably not) and whether more lax gun laws would not have contributed a greater number of deaths overall from other causes (probably so). [As an aside: There is an odd tendency I’ve noted from various parts of the right (not just in the US) to see France as a stand-in for Europe and European attitudes and hence any sort of vague difference between Europe and the US is assumed to be greatest in France. In reality France can be more nationalistic than the US, less committed to multiculturalism than the US, less permissive in some aspects of social policy than other parts of Europe, less strict on guns than the UK, less social-democratic than Scandinavian countries etc etc.]

I’m tempted to say that of all the many issues that have a bearing on the tragedy in France US gun control politics (typically a less partisan and less volatile issue in other nations) has zero to do with international terrorism. However, that isn’t entirely true. The connection though isn’t the Die Hard fantasies of open-carry advocates who imagine that they will leap to the rescue and single-handedly save the day from suicide bombers, but with the organizations that underpins much of the vehemence of US guns politics: the NRA.

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