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Letter: Gun control Down Under

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  • horseman genola, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    I lived in Aussie soon after the govt took guns and was a personal witness to the effects of their gun buybacks and bans. One of my best friends there is a policeman in Sydney. Stats you read in the media are misleading and biased one way or the other depending on the objectives of the writers. Facts are: 1) When guns were reduced, accidents and deaths with guns were reduced & even some crime with guns decreased. 2) Overall crime drastically increased, but other tools were used by the "low level" criminals. 3) The percentage of citizens that were victims of violent crime with & without guns involved increased dramatically. Summary: The removal of the majority of guns helped prevent some accidents but overall it increased violent crime and more innocent people are hurt or killed than before. Professional criminals still have guns and commit even more crime with little resistance. In fact, my police friend showed up to work one day to find that as an officer of the law he wasn't allowed to carry a gun but was still expected to arrest armed criminals! With this mentality legislating in both nations is it any wonder gun laws don't work?

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 23, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    The real story on Australia's gun control:

    "Homicides by firearm plunged 59 percent between 1995 and 2006, with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides. The drop in suicides by gun was even steeper: 65 percent. Studies found a close correlation between the sharp declines and the gun buybacks. Robberies involving a firearm also dropped significantly. Meanwhile, home invasions did not increase, contrary to fears that firearm ownership is needed to deter such crimes. But here’s the most stunning statistic. In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single one in Australia since.

    Since there was no corresponding rise in homicides or suicides not involving firearms, individuals weren’t simply shifting to other methods to harm themselves or others. They were actually deciding against committing acts of violence in the absence of easy access to guns. Researchers found that a buyback of 3,500 guns per 100,000 people reduced the firearm suicide rate by as much as 74 percent."

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    9MM: Innocent deaths are not acceptable whether they are accidental or deliberate. However, the gun deaths that we are talking about often involve criminal intent. Most accidents often involve some level of driver negligence but usually not criminal intent. But what I object to is leaving deadly weapons not designed for legitimate shooting activites readily available where the potential for a criminal missuse is simply too high. Cars are designed for transportation. But,guns are designed to kill, and assault weapons are so good at mass slaughter that we morally justified in restricting access to them. After all, we permit cars in the hnads of qualified drivers, but I think you might get pulled over if you are not military and if you drove a tank down a highway. Because you see, tanks are mobile killing machines with the ability to accomplish mass slaughter.

  • MiddleRight Orem, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    This is all a red herring,

    Please include the increased rate of violent crime that has happened since this "Gun Ban".

    Just because it doesn't involve a gun doesn't mean it is benign.

    I have seen a lot of statistics on those new rates and this article is truly biased. Not all is well down under.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 22, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Here is a great response I found for letters like this.

    In 2002 — five years after enacting its gun ban — the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent).

    Here are some statistics from Australia:
    In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
    Sexual assault — increased 29.9 percent.
    Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

    During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
    Sexual assault — increased 29.9 percent.
    Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.

    Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women

    So, if you want to ban guns or make them harder to purchase, are you prepared for the consequences and the increased violent crimes that will follow?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 22, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    We tried an assult weapons ban and a magazine capacity limit of 10 in the 90's. It didn't work to reduce crime.

    And besides, the U.S. constitution lets us have guns, other countries constitutions apparently don't.

    I for one feel safer in my home because I have a means of defense in the event of a home invasion. I have a carry permit, so in the event I am out on the town and someone does something similar as what happened in Trolley Square, I will be able to do something to help the situation rather than nothing.

    I also feel good that in the event of a disaster that would affect my entire community, that we have guns and can protect ourselves and our community against invaders. If we as people band together, this would be known as a peoples militia. As Hurricane Katrina taught us, government's militias (Police or National Guard) can't always be counted on to arrive on time, it may take days or weeks before they arrive.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    Conservatives take note: You would have a lot better chance of defending your righr against bans if you yourselves were not calling for bans of everything from working on Sunday to the use of marijuana.

    I happen to agree that a ban on guns won't work. A ban on assault rifles is reasonable though and don't pretend they aren't especially lethal or you all wouldn't be paying 10 times as much for them.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:15 p.m.

    Re: "Reasonable gun control measures work."

    How would we know? Liberals have yet to propose or enact one.

    The moronic measures they have enacted, to date, have done nothing to make us safer.

    Best evidence? US states and cities with the most draconian gun-control measures have the highest gun violence.

    Attacking "assault" weapons is the silliest of an extremely silly universe of vacuous, useless, liberal feelgood measures. These arms operate in exactly the same fashion, use less powerful ammunition, and are statistically much less likely to kill an American than every style of hunting rifle. Less likely than a coke machine falling on you. Less likely than drowning. Less likely, even, than being struck by lightning.

    Yet, for all the liberal hype, you'd think we all have one pointed at us this instant.

    Or that somehow, by making them look different, or painting them some sprightly color, or limiting magazine size, liberals can somehow affect the already-tiny rate at which they're misused.

    Balmy.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:11 p.m.

    Mexico has similar gun laws as down under.

    We had an assalt weapon ban. It changed nothing. Putting a pistol grip on a rifle is not the problem.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:03 p.m.

    Conservative America --

    Somali of the New World.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 4:30 p.m.

    9mm: "Death by automobile and medical accident far surpass death by any other form, yet there is no outcry for bans, or restrictions, so those deaths must be acceptable."

    So you're saying we shouldn't be registering cars, or requiring drivers to be licensed and carry insurance, restricting how and where cars may be driven, or enacting regulations designed to make cars safer?

    We shouldn't take steps, both regulatory and through professional training, to reduce medical accidents?

    Your point about cars and medical accidents actually argues _in favor_ of gun control.

  • The Sensible Middle Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    If a person wants to murder but doesn't have a gun, what is to stop them? There are plenty of other means to do it. Our own murder rate has been going down for decades now and guns are as available as ever. Our murder rate going down is due to demographic reasons. Probably it is in Australia too.

  • Jory payson, utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    @Mountainman

    Or they should move into Detroit. Its a liberal paradise there. Just ignore the sign that says enter at your own risk.

  • Jack47 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    The murder rate in Australia following their gun ban initially INCREASED (peaking in 1999) before gradually declining over time. The murder rate in the USA has been steadily declining for decades; this trend has continued since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. Murder rates in Australia and most European countries have ALWAYS been much lower than in the USA -- even when their gun laws were more permissive than those in the USA. There is NO valid study which shows that restricting gun ownership reduces murder or crime.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 21, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    You have the right to bear arms in self defense.

    You don't have the right to declare yourself judge and jury and exact the death penalty for trespassing or "scaring" you. You also don't have the right to endanger my family with the endless, "I thought is was unloaded stupidity". Google gun accidents where people get killed in their sleep while Mr, Geniuses are cleaning their guns.

    With the widespread availability of less lethal defense measures, you already have the ability to defend yourself without lethality.

    You better hope that after killing someone I'm not on the jury that decides if YOU go to jail or not.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    No emotional ranting can change the fact that Australia seems to be succeeding with their approach. Clearly, the gun enthusiasts on this thread care about their macho guns more than they care about the children of Newtown...

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    And Australians have a well deserved reputation for hard drinking, hard living, and hard fighting.

    Maybe they are living proof that you don't need a really BIG gun to be a real man.

  • 9MM Murray, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    I don't understand why death by gun is so unacceptable and yet death by any other form is acceptable. Death by automobile and medical accident far surpass death by any other form, yet there is no outcry for bans, or restrictions, so those deaths must be acceptable. When a bus rolls off the road killing and wounding dozens, that must be acceptable, no one blames all bus drivers or restricts the manufacture of buses. All behavior in our society carries risk, and what we label as acceptable and unacceptable risk is greatly swayed by your political persuasion.
    As for Australia, apparently there is no death by any other form other than by gun in the great down under. So their homicide rates must have dropped to zero after they passed restrictive gun laws. Oh, I am sorry, it didn't, their murder rate has been following the same declining curve for the past 80 years, with no statistical change post the gun ban.

  • Copy Cat Murray, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    The Real Maverick
    Orem, UT

    "Who cares what the right wing thinks?"

    And the liberals think they are the ones with an open mind??

    Not!!!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    Who cares what the right wing thinks? When have they been right in the past decade?

    SS needs to be privatized! (The market later crashes and had SS been privatized many more Americans would be lost right now)
    We need to invade Iraq because they have WMDs! (No WMDs have been found)
    We need to give tax cuts to the rich because they'll create jobs! (The past decade has been horrible for job creation)

    I could list about 20 more examples, but ya kinda get the point already, don't you?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    Gun deaths are a consequence of profit for Rambo like high capacity killing machines for the patriots in camouflage.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Change the argument to the right to speak without restraint. How much government control are you willing to have on censoring speech BEFORE you speak? How much "thought policing" are you willing to abide by because having "dangerous thoughts" and "dangerous speech" impedes society? How much "book burning" would you tolerate before you realized that you had not authorized the government to censor your thoughts, your speech or your writing?

    How many governments have restricted speech and censored all writing so that the people would not be exposed to "far right" ideas about freedom, about liberty, about agency?

    How many of you would like to live in China where Internet access is limited, where speech is controlled, where writing is censored?

    Speech is a guaranteed liberty with prosecution reserved for violations after speech was used. Keeping and bearing arms is a guaranteed liberty that forbids governmental interference.

    Those who argue for governmental control argue for the dissolution of the Constitution. They encourage Obama to breech his oath of office. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution forbids him from interfering with our right to keep and bear arms.

    We can limit ourselves without the government's help.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    Mountanman
    Hayden, ID
    @ Noodlekaboodle. Here is what you don't get! Since some people will never obey laws, including all and any gun laws,

    ===========

    So, what you are saying is;
    since criminals don't obey laws anyway, why pass laws?

    Great.
    So prosecuters have nothing to prosecute.
    Law enforcement has no laws to enforce.
    No one can go to jail becuase criminals are just going to commit crime anyway?

    Pass the laws, and when these laws get broken, prosecute them.

    Do restrict assault guns, because criminals will just ignore them anyway?!

    Conservative logic is so illogical.

    Where there is no law given, there is no sin.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    @Mike Richards

    The number of gun deaths is certainly relevant to this discussion. You might believe the freedom to carry any kind of weapon you choose outweighs the toll of gun violence. But others might disagree, and the scope of violence is important when making that balance.

    I don't believe that keeping certain kinds of guns and ammunition out of the marketplace constitutes a meaningful erosion of freedom. I think that being a free American includes being more free from the risk of so many guns and so much ammunition circulating in this country.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    I think Mountainman makes a good point. We can't just ban guns in cities like Chicago, we need to restrict firearms nationally!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    First of all mountainman guns are not banned in chicago. They have strict ownership requirements, and don't allow concealed carry permits, but guns are not banned. Secondly gun deaths in chicago are mostly amongst the criminals themselves and the innocent who are caught in the violence (mostly children..270 last year). So for the most part gun deaths in chicago are perputrated by illegal guns on others who posess illegal guns or on those who wouldn't be permitted to own a gun anyway.

    The problem for chicago is it doesn't exsist in a vacuum. Chicago has an imense crime problem. Chicago has an imense poverty problem, and therefore chicago has an imense violence problem armed by a country awash in legal guns sold illegally to chicago criminals. Chicago stands as an island and your circular logic of..because criminals can get legal guns illegally we should just have more legal guns is just that, silly circular logic. NO, the question is how to stop the illegal sale of guns to chicago criminals?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Instead of telling us that another nation has lower "gun deaths", shouldn't we first ask what freedoms are guaranteed to that nation by their Constitution? Does Australia have the same guaranteed right to keep and bear arms that we have? Is that part of their Supreme Law of the Land?

    America is a land of liberty where the people are expected to conduct themselves properly. The freedoms that we enjoy are unalienable rights bestowed on us by our Creator, not by government. We cherish freedom because we know from whom it came. Agency is the supreme "gift" from God. Giving away our agency is returning to the plan that was submitted by Lucifer and rejected by every one of us. We chose to be free. We chose to be responsible. We chose to control ourselves with minimal interference from government.

    Too many people want someone else to be responsible for their actions. Its time that we thought seriously about what it means to be free Americans and contrast that with being baby-sat by Washington with its "parental control" of our lives.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    @ Noodlekaboodle. Here is what you don't get! Since some people will never obey laws, including all and any gun laws, a gun in my hand is better than a cop (with a gun) on the phone! The ONLY way to stop bad guys with guns is more good guys with guns! Get it? The alternative is victimhood, and I refuse to be a victim! If you choose not to protect yourself, that's your business. I challenge you to put up a sign in your yard, "Gun free family" and practice what you preach!

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    @Mountanman
    That's an absurd argument. Name me one law that prevents the illegal action 100% of the time. I mean, we can't guarantee someone won't drive drunk. So clearly there shouldn't be a law against it. We can't guarantee a woman won't be raped, so we don't need a law for that either. We can't guarantee any laws will be followed 100% of the time. So using your logic we should just eliminate all laws and be anarchists?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    @Emajor. For the one billionth time, if you can come up with any gun control law that guarantees bad people will not get their hands on guns, I will support it! After all, we both know that laws prevent criminal behavior don't we? That's why no one murders or steals or drives drunk because its against the law, right? Your naivety is exhausting!

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    While assault weapons bans and gun buyback programs may have worked well for Australia, I have to wonder if there are enough cultural and demographic differences between the US and Australia that would prevent a similar benefit here. Americans love to kill each other with guns. Hand guns, assault rifles, you name it, we worship it & we'll kill each other with it.

    Mountanman & higv,
    For the one billionth time, selective use of statistics does not a strong argument make.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    @higv:
    The letter writer did back up her position. She says that in Australia, they tightened gun controls, and gun deaths decreased. Now, you might not believe there are raasons Australia's experience has been different than ours has been. But she at least provided some evidence. You did not.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    You gun control advocates should move to Chicago, where guns are banned. You will be safe there, right?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    Can anyone back that up. Most guns used in crimes in the US are already obtained illegally and it is already illegal to kill. Gun laws who do they bring back murdered? Besides more gun laws don't curb gun deaths.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 21, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    So there Deseret News! The only real wseakness in the Presidents postion is the lack of a buy-back program. Want to rethink your not well thought out position on an Assault wseapons ban in view of some facts and not IRA Republican party conjecture?

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    Reasonable gun control measures work. The United States has 30,000 gun deaths every year. It is a national tragedy and a national disgrace. As the President said, "We can do better." No one's guns should be taken away - we need to support the 2nd Amendment, but we need to prevent gun deaths. The President's recommendations need support. The Deseret News has been completely silent on this issue. Supporting the President would show leadership. The cry for leadership during the presidential election was loud and the Deseret News reported regarding the need for leadership. What about leadership now? 30,000 people will die and the Deseret News is silent??? No position?? I question the leadership of the Deseret News at this time in America when we need leadership on the gun issue.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 21, 2013 3:01 a.m.

    Yes but everything is backwards there so we need even more guns here to make it safer. The NRA has lots of research to say it's so. Anyway, were going to buy the guns anyway.