Thursday July 12, 2007
Be Glad You Don't Live in Australia
In late June an Australian man was arrested by Australian authorities and charged with "conduct endangering life and firearm offences". His arrest and confiscation of his rifle came after a reported group of three to five men cut the power to his southwest Victoria house, worked their way around it trying to find a way in, then threw rocks through the front window, and finally started forcing the locked front door open. The man reportedly fired a single shot through the door, to protect himself, a woman, and a young girl with him in the home. Since then, none of the reported house-breakers have been arrested. The only arrest has been the home-owner. And apparently, as far as Australia goes, he's in a fair amount of trouble.
This story has been posted on a lot of internet news sites. Some give more information, some less. Here's two for example...
Man Charged For Firing Shot to Scare Off Home Intruders
After having the power cut to your home, a group of men rounding your house testing the windows and doors, throwing rocks through the front window, and finally starting to work on breaking in your front door.. I'd say it's safe to assume those men were not there to make a FedEx™ delivery. Yet, in Australia, the home-owner gets arrested. Well, it's that way in England too, as I understand.
As sad as self-defense rights are in Australia, it is also interesting to read the commentaries on these articles.
A lot of mention is made of the United States and how people here have the right to defend themselves. A lot of mention is also made of how we in the USA can have firearms to defend ourselves as well. Then typically the anti-gun commentors kick in and point out how much lower the "violent death by guns" rate is in Australia compared to... in the USA.
The pro-self-defense and pro-gun commentors then point out how many more times a firearm is used to ~prevent~ crime... in the USA.
To this the anti's point out how "Americanizing" their gun laws would lead to rivers of blood and how they would have the horrendously high gun-deaths numbers like... in the USA.
Someone usually manages to insert a comment about how steeped in the violence of the gun our culture is and how American's will, "sadly", continue to be such a violent people. Often times an additional negative comment is made about the NRA (National Rifle Association)... in the USA.
Pro-gun voices then counter with numbers showing how violent crimes using alternate weapons have shot up in Australia.
Anti's return the counter with numbers on how gun suicides have dropped to almost nothing. (I still don't understand how this point is the counter to the previous one).
Pro-gun commentors next respond that the law-abiding citizens are the only ones being disarmed; the criminals still get guns.
Well, the anti's will reply, that's why more and stricter gun laws and more banning of firearms is needed.
A few more reasonable points are made by a rapidly dwindling group of commentors.
Someone at about this point mentions the cost and time of law enforcement arresting law-abiding citizens for defending themselves against the ever-growing tide of criminals. Meanwhile, real criminals don't get caught or get sentences smaller than the victims who defended themselves.
Before much longer the remaining comments degrade into personal digs at each other by the small handful of remaining comment posters.
But having read through a fair number of comment sections on various outside-the-USA web sites, I'm surprised to find how consistently the chain of comments follows this pattern.
Here's a fairly typical example...
TheWideAwakes.org - I'm ashamed to be an Australian Tonight
A couple of thoughts:
( Jul 12 2007, 05:07:47 AM CDT )
- I never realized we in the USA were "such a violent people".
- Australia is much further along in the process of disarming their citizens than is the United States.
- It seems it is a ~lot~ easier in Australia to get yourself arrested and put in jail for simply defending yourself from a criminal than it is in the USA.
- There's still a number of people in Australia who believe they should have the right to defend themselves, and be able to use a firearm for that purpose if need be. Unfortunately, they are fighting an already-lost battle.
- Anti-gun people in Australia use pretty much the same reasons and "evidence" for gun control/banning as do the anti-gun people in the USA. They seem to stick to a repertoire of statements and will only use certain selected statistics to support gun-bans. They ignore any other statistics presented and instead reply with "so you want blood to run in our streets, you violence promoting mad-man" type responses.
- The NRA is despised even in Australia.
- The debate seems so similar to the one going on here in the USA. The only difference is, they're way ahead of us in the banning of firearms and the controlling of who may, or rather who may not, have a firearm.
- Reading articles like this in TheAustralian.News.com, and more so the comments, makes me wonder if I'm looking through a window to our future.
- And lastly, it makes me realize I'm glad I live here... in the USA.
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