Importing Australia's Model of Gun Control?
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, once wrote that it is not only the right but also the duty of the American people to be “at all times armed.” Yet, just this week, Barack Obama, community organizer turned president, bemoaned as his “biggest frustration” his inability to disarm the American people.
Speaking during a question and answer session this week, Obama said his greatest frustration thus far in his presidency “is the fact that this society has not been willing to take some basic steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who can do just unbelievable damage.” This is the presidency that has seen the lowest workforce participation rate in decades, the skyrocketing of our national debt from $10.7 trillion in 2009 to more than $17.5 trillion today, and the demise of the United States as a respected world power. And Obama’s “biggest frustration” is that the American people still cherish their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms? He ran for president of the wrong country.
He went on to say, “We’re the only developed country on earth where this happens,” referring to recent incidences of school violence. He then scolded the American people for not following the example of Australia. In reaction to a 1996 killing spree that left nearly three dozen people dead, the Land Down Under banned ownership of virtually all semi-automatic weapons as well as all self-loading rifles and shotguns. In addition, the government launched a mandatory buy-back program in which it confiscated 640,000 guns. To make his point, Obama said Australia “imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.” Meanwhile, he said, the level of gun violence in America is “off the charts” with school shootings happening “now once a week.” And he lamented his invented fact that today, Americans can “just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon” without a background check.
This highlights Obama’s ignorance because there’s just one problem. Well, actually, there is a multitude of problems.
First, Obama’s claim that events such as the Santa Barbara killings (three of which were not even committed with a gun) are weekly occurrences is simply a phony statistic. Sure, we’ve seen the map of the 74 “school shootings” since Newtown, but as journalist Charles Johnson has documented, fewer than seven of these were actually “mass shootings,” and several were either suicides or gang-related shootings.
Second, Obama’s suggestion that semi-automatic weapons are available background-check-free is also deceptive. Federal law requires that all stores run background checks on anyone buying any type of gun. It is individual sales and transfers that are, in some states, exempt.
Third, the president’s claim that America’s level of gun violence is “off the charts” fully ignores the fact that violence perpetrated with guns has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to Obama’s own Department of Justice, gun-related homicides fell 39% between 1993 and 2011, while non-fatal gun crimes fell even more (69%) during the same time period. Those pesky facts strike again! Yet, the president makes it sound as if gun violence is skyrocketing and gun control is the only answer. And this despite the fact that in instances like this week’s Oregon school shooting, everything the 15-year-old killer did to obtain guns – and then what he did with them – was already illegal.
At the end of the day, Obama’s biggest frustration is with more than the American people he so obviously disdains. Indeed, in lauding Australia’s gun restrictions, he grudgingly admitted, “We have a different tradition; we have a Second Amendment.” And this is what Obama truly can’t tolerate: the United States Constitution, birthed and preserved through the blood of Patriots who cherish Liberty. Rule of Law has been reining in would-be tyrants for more than 225 years, and that’s Obama’s biggest nemesis.