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Old 9th April 2015, 06:10 PM   #1
arthwollipot
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Australia's Gun Problem

Some of us can occasionally be guilty of holding up Australia as a model for good gun policy. Unfortunately, it's usually not true.

Coalition accused of undermining senate inquiry into illegal firearms market

Quote:
Coalition senators have been accused of "kowtowing" to the gun lobby after dismissing the bulk of the recommendations from a Senate inquiry into the illegal firearms market in Australia.

The inquiry, initiated by Greens Senator Penny Wright, found there is very little accurate data about the number of illicit guns in Australia and how they get into the black market, making it nearly impossible to estimate the scale of the problem.

The committee has made several recommendations including more funding for law enforcement agencies to tackle gun crime, nationally consistent gun registration and storage requirements and a rolling gun amnesty.

However, Coalition senators on the committee including Ian MacDonald, Linda Reynolds, Bridget McKenzie and Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm issued a dissenting report accusing the Greens of trying to demonise licensed and responsible firearms owners.

Senator Wright said while she was disappointed, it was a "politicised inquiry" right from the start.
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Some of us can occasionally be guilty of holding up Australia as a model for good gun policy. Unfortunately, it's usually not true.

Coalition accused of undermining senate inquiry into illegal firearms market
Surely they can tell the scale of the problem by counting the number of black market firearms used in crimes?
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:33 PM   #3
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One of the biggest problems australia has with guns at the moment is because of the constant demonising of firearms, not enough people have them at a time when farmers could really use a hand. There's a massive fox/feral cat/feral dog/etc problem looming and nobody is doing anything because apparently guns can only be used to kill people.

Sure, the bad guys shouldnt have easy access to them, and crazy people shouldnt be issued licenses, but guns are a useful tool to solve *hard* problems that nobody seems to care about from the comfort of their Subiaco apartments.
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:35 PM   #4
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It would be a much bigger problem if guns were readily available legally and not highly restricted as they are now.
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Some of us can occasionally be guilty of holding up Australia as a model for good gun policy. Unfortunately, it's usually not true.

Coalition accused of undermining senate inquiry into illegal firearms market
Which side of this argument represents the bad policy? Is it the Greens demonising licensed and responsible gun owners? That seems like bad policy to me, but then I'm not Australian. Is that considered good policy Down Under?
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Which side of this argument represents the bad policy? Is it the Greens demonising licensed and responsible gun owners? That seems like bad policy to me, but then I'm not Australian. Is that considered good policy Down Under?
The odd thing about it is that the greens want no guns, but dont care about the environmental impact that would have
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Which side of this argument represents the bad policy? Is it the Greens demonising licensed and responsible gun owners? That seems like bad policy to me, but then I'm not Australian. Is that considered good policy Down Under?
The problem is that the Greens aren't demonising licensed and responsible gun owners. They are accurately reporting data (actually, accurately reporting that there is very little data available). The Coalition is accusing them of setting out with a partisan agenda. The Coalition is treating the report in the same way they treated the recent Climate Change report - by accusing those who are responsibly reporting facts as having a political agenda, just because those facts go contrary to Coalition policy.
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The problem is that the Greens aren't demonising licensed and responsible gun owners. They are accurately reporting data (actually, accurately reporting that there is very little data available). The Coalition is accusing them of setting out with a partisan agenda. The Coalition is treating the report in the same way they treated the recent Climate Change report - by accusing those who are responsibly reporting facts as having a political agenda, just because those facts go contrary to Coalition policy.
Just taking a step back for a second, what are these facts that theyre reporting? Specifically about illegal firearms trade?
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
It would be a much bigger problem if guns were readily available legally and not highly restricted as they are now.
A much bigger problem like it is in the state of Vermont, USA?
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The problem is that the Greens aren't demonising licensed and responsible gun owners. They are accurately reporting data (actually, accurately reporting that there is very little data available). The Coalition is accusing them of setting out with a partisan agenda. The Coalition is treating the report in the same way they treated the recent Climate Change report - by accusing those who are responsibly reporting facts as having a political agenda, just because those facts go contrary to Coalition policy.
Fair enough. Can you recommend some way for me to distinguish a true claim, presented as you have here, from a false claim presented in the same way?
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
One of the biggest problems australia has with guns at the moment is because of the constant demonising of firearms, not enough people have them at a time when farmers could really use a hand. There's a massive fox/feral cat/feral dog/etc problem looming and nobody is doing anything because apparently guns can only be used to kill people.

Sure, the bad guys shouldnt have easy access to them, and crazy people shouldnt be issued licenses, but guns are a useful tool to solve *hard* problems that nobody seems to care about from the comfort of their Subiaco apartments.
In my experience of living rurally for the last ten years, there isn't any problem finding people with guns to solve vermin problems. There is a shooter who comes to our property regularly to shoot foxes and rabbits. Even when I was besieged in a caravan by a feral pig, I was able to make a single phone call and get someone to come out and shoot it.

I don't think there's a problem with access to guns by licensed shooters for vermin control purposes, but my evidence is of course anecdotal.
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Fair enough. Can you recommend some way for me to distinguish a true claim, presented as you have here, from a false claim presented in the same way?
Skepticism 101: True claims are backed up by evidence rather than ideology.
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Old 9th April 2015, 06:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
There's a massive fox/feral cat/feral dog/etc problem looming and nobody is doing anything because apparently guns can only be used to kill people.
Are guns the best solution for the problem?
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Old 9th April 2015, 07:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
One of the biggest problems australia has with guns at the moment is because of the constant demonising of firearms, not enough people have them at a time when farmers could really use a hand. There's a massive fox/feral cat/feral dog/etc problem looming and nobody is doing anything because apparently guns can only be used to kill people.
Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
Are guns the best solution for the problem?
Yeah. What happened to boomerangs? Were those just a myth after all?
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Old 9th April 2015, 07:08 PM   #15
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More, from the Guardian:

Greens, Coalition both claim majority view on gun-related violence report

Quote:
A war of words has broken out over a Senate inquiry report into gun-related violence, with the Coalition and the Greens both claiming the majority view.

The inquiry found wide variations in the available information from state, territory and federal police and other agencies.

But that was the only point of agreement. The Greens accused most senators participating in the inquiry of kowtowing to the gun lobby after they found that most illegal guns did not originate from licensed firearm owners.

The Greens senator Penny Wright, who chaired the inquiry, claimed she and three Labor members signed off the committee’s majority report.

But the Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie also claimed majority status for a separate report, even though she and the Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm were technically non-voting members of the inquiry.
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Old 9th April 2015, 07:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
Are guns the best solution for the problem?
Depends on the problem really.

IMHO, yes, generally. Rabbits can be controlled by a variety of means, but once youve seen a blind rabbit hopping in circles while starving to death, because they have something of an immunity to 1080 or whatever, you realise that a quick shot to the head is much more humane. On the other hand, we'd need a lot of shooters to control rabbits to the same level that mixy/1080/whatever can. But if a farmer has an issue with a warren, it's quite effective to park up with a couple of .22s and pick them off as they exit the warren.

Larger animals are a different story. Generally it is more efficient to just shoot.

Cost is also a factor. Farmers have it hard enough without paying for poisons, and obviously you need to be extremely careful with them. Easier and cheaper just to ask guys to come shoot your property. The majority of sporting/recreational shooters will do it for free.

The bigger the animal, the larger the caliber needed to humanely destroy the animal. Obviously larger calibers are less common. Id hate to think there are people tackling camels with anything less than a 30 cal, but there probably are, simply through necessity.

Im not convinced though that all farmers are inundated with responsible shooters happy to help. They should be. What we find is that farmers are doing it themselves, after a full day of work. We have several farms we shoot, and at times when we are too busy to get out there we get calls asking when we can get out there again. Having a bunch of local 20 year olds half pissed and driving around in utes doesnt appeal for some reason.

In the end though, the most humane way to destroy an animal is with a headshot. No suffering, weeks of pain from poisons etc.
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Old 9th April 2015, 08:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Skepticism 101: True claims are backed up by evidence rather than ideology.
You know, I was just thinking that very thing. So when you say that the Greens are responsibly reporting data without any ideological agenda, you have evidence to back up what you say? I mean, you've obviously formed an opinion, and chosen a side, and taken to characterizing the actions and motives of others involved in the debate; rather than just reporting the facts.

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Old 9th April 2015, 08:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You know, I was just thinking that very thing. So when you say that the Greens are responsibly reporting data without any ideological agenda, you have evidence to back up what you say? I mean, you've obviously formed an opinion, and chosen a side, and taken to characterizing the actions and motives of others involved in the debate; rather than just reporting the facts.
Australia suffers from the same political problems that plague most western democracies. Basically you can massage any statistic to support any argument you care to present.

The core problem is created by the flawed way the data is collected. What is meant in one state, means something else in another state. The current members of the government have a bit of a reputation for dishonesty on a range of subjects over the last few years. So based on past behavior I am more likely to trust a little more the report produced by the Greens than I am the government.
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Old 9th April 2015, 09:51 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MG1962 View Post
Australia suffers from the same political problems that plague most western democracies. Basically you can massage any statistic to support any argument you care to present.

The core problem is created by the flawed way the data is collected. What is meant in one state, means something else in another state. The current members of the government have a bit of a reputation for dishonesty on a range of subjects over the last few years. So based on past behavior I am more likely to trust a little more the report produced by the Greens than I am the government.
This, basically. Also, the Greens are reporting the results of a Senate Inquiry while the Coalition is merely trash-talking the Greens.
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Old 9th April 2015, 09:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
You know, I was just thinking that very thing. So when you say that the Greens are responsibly reporting data without any ideological agenda, you have evidence to back up what you say? I mean, you've obviously formed an opinion, and chosen a side, and taken to characterizing the actions and motives of others involved in the debate; rather than just reporting the facts.
Have you read the two news articles I posted? Or are you just kneejerk reacting to what you think I'm saying?
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Old 10th April 2015, 07:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Even when I was besieged in a caravan by a feral pig, I was able to make a single phone call and get someone to come out and shoot it.
You have some hilarious friends.
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Old 10th April 2015, 08:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Fair enough. Can you recommend some way for me to distinguish a true claim, presented as you have here, from a false claim presented in the same way?
1. The Greens are complete moonbats, totally divorced from reality. Treat any claim they make with scepticism.
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Old 11th April 2015, 02:46 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
1. The Greens are complete moonbats, totally divorced from reality. Treat any claim they make with scepticism.
Really? You think so? Pre-judge much?

They seem to be making inroads in NSW and other places. So is it because the tens of thousands of voters who voted for them have all gone simultaneously raving moonbats as well? Or is it perhaps because they may be making more sense than the mainline parties, who have gone even more moonbats than the Greens?
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Old 11th April 2015, 05:06 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
Depends on the problem really.
Thanks for the rational answer. Nice to get at least one such.
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Old 12th April 2015, 03:43 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The problem is that the Greens aren't demonising licensed and responsible gun owners.
What about Bob Brown? Green party right? Was he misquoted?

http://www.watoday.com.au/world/no-g...0924-4n7j.html
Quote:
Greens leader Bob Brown said today there were 300,000 hand guns in Australia and it was time for a dramatic reduction.

"The people who require a (hand) machine gun be carried around available to them, in the glove box or whatever, is very, very limited in a peaceful society like our own," he said.
As far as I know handguns and machine guns are controlled differently in Australia. They're not really the same thing over there are they? Why would Brown equate handguns to machine guns if not to demonize them?

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Old 12th April 2015, 03:51 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
One of the biggest problems australia has with guns at the moment is because of the constant demonising of firearms, not enough people have them at a time when farmers could really use a hand. There's a massive fox/feral cat/feral dog/etc problem looming and nobody is doing anything because apparently guns can only be used to kill people.
That's simply not true. There are tonnes of licenced shooters. There are even shooters licenced to shoot pests in urban areas and around the city.
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Old 12th April 2015, 04:11 PM   #27
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When it comes to gun crime, Australia never really had high crime rates (Even in the 70s, there wasn't anything on the level of Harlem). Then again, they never had an ethnic minority which was enslaved for centuries and subject to economic and legal segregation for a century afterwards, then incarcerated at a high rate.
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Old 12th April 2015, 09:34 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
The Greens are complete moonbats, totally divorced from reality. Treat any claim they make with scepticism.

That's not prejudiced at all.
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Old 12th April 2015, 10:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
As far as I know handguns and machine guns are controlled differently in Australia. They're not really the same thing over there are they? Why would Brown equate handguns to machine guns if not to demonize them?
Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or simple error. Perhaps he misspoke. He was clearly talking about handguns, so the reference to machine guns is clearly a slip of the tongue, which was corrected by the editor.

For you to attribute a simple slip of the tongue to a deliberate attempt to demonise indicates a whole lot more about you than it does about the speaker.

Anyway, that article is from 2008 and Bob's retired from politics now.
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Old 13th April 2015, 07:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
What about Bob Brown? Green party right? Was he misquoted?

http://www.watoday.com.au/world/no-g...0924-4n7j.html

As far as I know handguns and machine guns are controlled differently in Australia. They're not really the same thing over there are they? Why would Brown equate handguns to machine guns if not to demonize them?

Ranb
The Greens are complete moonbats, totally divorced from reality. Treat any claim they make with scepticism.

I believe I mentioned that
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Old 13th April 2015, 11:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
The Greens are complete moonbats, totally divorced from reality. Treat any claim they make with scepticism.

I believe I mentioned that
Didn't the Greens recently disavow a local affiliated group for saying something moonbatish?

If you believe the Australian Greens are completely lunatic, I can only assume that you haven't been looking at anything they've said recently, on any subject. I don't necessarily agree with all of their policies - for example, I believe that they should rethink their policy on nuclear power - but I don't think it's fair to characterise the entire party as moonbats.
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Old 14th April 2015, 12:04 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by devnull View Post
One of the biggest problems australia has with guns at the moment is because of the constant demonising of firearms, not enough people have them at a time when farmers could really use a hand. There's a massive fox/feral cat/feral dog/etc problem looming and nobody is doing anything because apparently guns can only be used to kill people.

At the moment, these are accepted reasons for issuing of gun licenses in NSW:
  • Sport / Target Shooting
  • Recreational Hunting / Vermin Control
  • Primary Production
  • Vertebrate Pest Animal Control
  • Business or Employment
  • Rural Occupation
  • Animal Welfare
  • Firearms Collection
It seems to me that around half of the acceptable reasons are intended for exactly that kind of thing.
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Old 14th April 2015, 01:39 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Brian-M View Post
At the moment, these are accepted reasons for issuing of gun licenses in NSW:
  • Rural Occupation
It seems to me that around half of the acceptable reasons are intended for exactly that kind of thing.
Several years ago, my brother, who is retired but has a ten acre hobby farm got a shotgun license in two weeks to shoot feral animals. This is in Victoria. If you can demonstrate a need to own a gun, it is a remarkably easy process to get one.

With me, living in beautiful downtown Lara, with no feral animals around, and the worst risk being swooping magpies in the late spring, I cannot justify owning a gun. And I don't care.

Norm
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Old 14th April 2015, 02:50 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by NWO Sentryman View Post
When it comes to gun crime, Australia never really had high crime rates (Even in the 70s, there wasn't anything on the level of Harlem). Then again, they never had an ethnic minority which was enslaved for centuries and subject to economic and legal segregation for a century afterwards, then incarcerated at a high rate.
Nup, never happened.
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Old 14th April 2015, 02:56 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Didn't the Greens recently disavow a local affiliated group for saying something moonbatish?

If you believe the Australian Greens are completely lunatic, I can only assume that you haven't been looking at anything they've said recently, on any subject. I don't necessarily agree with all of their policies - for example, I believe that they should rethink their policy on nuclear power - but I don't think it's fair to characterise the entire party as moonbats.
+1

They actually have a policy on firearms which is not particularly insane and is readily accessible. Would anyone like the link or shall I leave it to you? FYI, it does not advocate taking every firearm in the country down to and including cap-pistols and melting them down to make crap street "art installations". People may not agree with the Green policy but they are up front with it and will discuss it with you in a sane fashion if you ask. Give it a try!
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Old 14th April 2015, 03:29 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
What about Bob Brown? Green party right? Was he misquoted?

http://www.watoday.com.au/world/no-g...0924-4n7j.html

As far as I know handguns and machine guns are controlled differently in Australia. They're not really the same thing over there are they? Why would Brown equate handguns to machine guns if not to demonize them?

Ranb
To point out that there aren't a lot of gun nutters in Oz?
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Old 14th April 2015, 04:02 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
To point out that there aren't a lot of gun nutters in Oz?
Oh there are definitely some! And they come out with the same "you can pry my gun from my cold dead hands" stuff as we hear from overseas. But they do get laughed at a lot.

Here's the thing: Australia has plenty of guns, there are laws about them and licensing, there is a criminal element who don't play by the rules (duh!), we agree there are legitimate reasons for owning them and many people do indeed use them for work and play.

The difference with the USA is not the guns per se. It's our attitude to them. Somehow we just don't have much of that quasi-religious personal possessiveness about them. Our guns are usually obtained for specific purposes, more or less, not as some God-given right.
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Old 14th April 2015, 04:11 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Oh there are definitely some! And they come out with the same "you can pry my gun from my cold dead hands" stuff as we hear from overseas. But they do get laughed at a lot.
I didn't say there weren't any. I "know" one, lives in an exhausted opal mine. Ex-Royal Marine.
Quote:
Here's the thing: Australia has plenty of guns, there are laws about them and licensing, there is a criminal element who don't play by the rules (duh!), we agree there are legitimate reasons for owning them and many people do indeed use them for work and play.
Like most of the planet. Well done.
Quote:
The difference with the USA is not the guns per se. It's our attitude to them. Somehow we just don't have much of that quasi-religious personal possessiveness about them. Our guns are usually obtained for specific purposes, more or less, not as some God-given right.
The problem is that we don't have guys with bandoleros full of hollow-point rounds and eleven hand guns strapped on every available spot walking the streets here. There is just a segment of the community, ammosexuals I call them, that are compulsive about guns in the same way some teen age girls think Justin Beiber can sing.
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Old 14th April 2015, 04:39 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Gawdzilla Sama View Post
I didn't say there weren't any. I "know" one, lives in an exhausted opal mine. Ex-Royal Marine.
As long as all he's doing is pinging rabbits and foxes with his ex-military licensed rifle, then he's welcome to hold onto it for as long as he wishes. Actually a Royal Marine would be well trained in proper weapons handling, so I would be even less worried about him.

Quote:
Like most of the planet. Well done.
Not quite most of the planet, no. Gun ownership and carry is just as much a part of the culture and "manhood" in many places around the world. The USA is not unique in that respect.

Quote:
The problem is that we don't have guys with bandoleros full of hollow-point rounds and eleven hand guns strapped on every available spot walking the streets here.
Sorry but you do. Not every guy nor every street in every town. I know that argument by Google is not very convincing, but seriously...this is a thing.

Quote:
There is just a segment of the community, ammosexuals I call them, that are compulsive about guns in the same way some teen age girls think Justin Beiber can sing.
We call it Arizona and Texas. I've seen it first hand.

Last edited by Norman Alexander; 14th April 2015 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 14th April 2015, 04:46 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
As long as all he's doing is pinging rabbits and foxes with his ex-military licensed rifle, then he's welcome to hold onto it for as long as he wishes.
No, he's a serious gun nutter. We argue about that for fun.
Quote:
Not quite most of the planet, no.
As you like it.
Quote:
Sorry but you do. Not every guy nor every street in every town. I know that argument by Google is not very convincing, but seriously...this is a thing.
You admit Argumentum ad Google is flawed.
Quote:
We call it Arizona and Texas. I've seen it first hand.
I once had two highway patrol cars see me safely out of Arizona, but for the most part you don't see a lot of guns even there. The rational people simply don't find it useful.

Good ISFers, don't put too much faith in the image of the US you get from the media. They don't report on people who aren't afraid and get home safely every night.
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