Thursday, January 17, 2013

Australia thinks gun control worked???

Yesterday, in an online NY Times article, titled "I Went After Guns. Obama Can, Too" Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, outlines why and how he disarmed his population.

As he writes, giving background to his reasons for gun control, and his lack of hurdles, compared to the United States, he tellingly claims the following (bold font added by myself for emphasis):
Australia, correctly in my view, does not have a Bill of Rights, so our legislatures have more say than America’s over many issues of individual rights, and our courts have less control. Also, we have no constitutional right to bear arms.
First, this "leader" believes it is CORRECT that his people are not protected by a Bill of Rights. Remember, the American Constitution has a Bill of Rights which is the people telling the government what our rights are, and not the other way around. It is a limitation on government, and protection against abuses that so many governments around the world have perpetrated on their subjects (emphasis, subject, not citizens).

Next, he is bragging, maybe not in tone, but in context, about his government having MORE POWER AND CONTROL over the INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS of Australian subjects. That is exactly like self-government, except not. Some governments rule, others represent. Guess which one this is... Anytime a people have their "rights" dictated and controlled by the government, they are not a free people, they are not a represented people.

As I've quoted numerous times on this blog (probably because it is SO appropriate and accurate, having endured for several hundred years):

…or it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of ensuring their rights are in the possession of those whom they entertain the least suspicion. - Alexander Hamilton
Lastly Mr. Howard again brags about his courts having LESS CONTROL. The American government system of checks and balances was established with an exectutive leader (President), a legislative branch (Congress), and a judicial branch. That judicial branch is the last say on the actions of laws passed and approved by the other branch. It has the power to throw out laws deemed unconstitutional, as a final protection, or check, against bad government for the American people.

I do like Mr. Howards choice of words throughout the article; it makes the task of revealing the fallacies in his logic so much easier...

To make this plan work, there had to be a federally financed gun buyback scheme.
Scheme... I know some would argue what the technical definitions of "scheme" is, however I submit the average person knows the context and usage most commonly associated with that word, or words like it, for good reason.
Ultimately, the cost of the buyback was met by a special one-off tax imposed on all Australians.
His scheme involved raising taxes on ALL Australians... talk about turning the knife after stabbing the people with it... Disarm his subjects and make them pay for it as well! Hey, at least he called it "special" and everyone likes special things, so that makes it ok.
This required new legislation and was widely accepted across the political spectrum. Almost 700,000 guns were bought back and destroyed — the equivalent of 40 million guns in the United States.
My rights are not "political spectrum material", and certainly are not subject to "widely accepted". Read between those lines and it becomes obvious that it was not unilaterally accepted, but "widely" only, by his claim.

How much resistance was there? By his own claim:
City dwellers supported our plan, but there was strong resistance by some in rural Australia.
So just the rural areas, obviously a small portion of the population...
Australia is an even more intensely urban society, with close to 60 percent of our people living in large cities.
So some simple math and FORTY PERCENT (40%) of his population is rural... and yes, I understand that he did not say "all" of them in that area, but rather, "some". I also understand that he did not say "all" when he described the 60% living in cities were onboard and supporting his ban.

Ultimately, that is why our Founding Fathers formed a representative republic and not a democracy, because as Thomas Jefferson said (reference here):
"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."
How dangerous is that? Think about 51% of the population being unemployed, living on welfare or other government support... and then when the government is running out of cash, the obvious solution is for that 51% to vote a tax increase or wealth confiscation, on the other 49% minority, because hey, democracy - majority rules.

The most revealing look into Mr. Howards new tyranical soul, is this statement in his article:
Many farmers resented being told to surrender weapons they had used safely all of their lives. Penalizing decent, law-abiding citizens because of the criminal behavior of others seemed unfair. Many of them had been lifelong supporters of my coalition and felt bewildered and betrayed by these new laws. I understood their misgivings. Yet I felt there was no alternative.
In other words, law abiding citizens, oops, subjects, with an exemplary record of safety, no criminal background, and existing as productive members of society, were PENALIZED for the CRIMINAL ACTIONS of others. Not only that, they had supported him, but Mr. Howard knew what was best for them and society, him being in charge of citizens rights and all, as demonstrated above, and REGARDLESS of his betrayal of their trust, he did what he wanted.

Ayn Rand, in an article published in a 1944 edition of Reader's Digest titled "The Only Path To Tomorrow" made the bold statement:
Throughout history, no tyrant ever rose to power except on the claim of representing ``the common good.´´ Napoleon ``served the common good´´ of France. Hitler is ``serving the common good´´ of Germany. Horrors which no man would dare consider for his own selfish sake are perpetrated with a clear conscience by ``altruists´´ who justify themselves by-the common good.
If Mr. Howard were the mark, this article is the sniper's crosshair trained on him. It shows "do-good" politicians for their true nature. They sleep with a clean conscience because they have convinced themselves they are doing the right thing for the greater good. They will never tire of their oppressive actions and until removed from power, will continue on relentlessly.

And now this man is being put on a pedestal by the NY Times, describing how the rights of the American people can be usurped. The NY Times has their freedom of the press giving this man his freedom of speech (although he's not a US Citizen and has no Constitutional right giving him such) describing how to take our right to keep and bear arms away from us.

So how successful was the disarming of the Australian population? From his article:
And today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate. The Australian Institute of Criminology found that gun-related murders and suicides fell sharply after 1996. The American Journal of Law and Economics found that our gun buyback scheme cut firearm suicides by 74 percent. In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996.
So he claims not that homicide and suicide rates fell, not supported with statistics, but rather, having chosen his words carefully to avoid criticism, states "there is a wide concensus". A wide concensus is not proof, it is opinion. It does not state wide concensus among whom? Australlian city dwellers who supported gun control? Or maybe the 40% of the rural Australians came around to his way of thinking and believe it now? Yeah, right...

But ok, the suicide and homocide rate MAY have fallen... but what about the other violent crimes? You know, rape, robbery, assault - all the horrible reasons many citizens choose to be armed? Here is a link to an article published by his cited Australian Institute of Criminology, a government run organization mind you...

**Link updated 6/25/16 due to AIC website revamp** 

At the very top of that article, the author says:
The public's perception is that violence is increasing
So who is right? The "wide concensus" that murders and suicides are down or the "public concensus" that violent crime is rising? It makes you wonder... also in Australia, from that article:
Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively.
Since 1990 homicide dropped 9%? But his article in the NY Times claim he was elected in 1996 and enacted the Australian gun confication/ban shortly after... so why not compare apples to apples? Where is the homicide rate since 1996, not 1990? Also, interesting choice of words, his article claims homocide RATE dropped, but the government website just says "homocide" decreased. Apples and oranges, yada yada...

So now, "armed robbery" dropped by one third since 2001??? Again, what happened to armed robbery between 1996 and 2001, after the gun ban? Also, as more guns are forcibly removed from society, you could imagine the "armed" part of robbery could be going down. So what about other robbery? Physical Assault? Rape? This government sanctioned article not only fails in showing that crime actually decreased (it asserts that violence is up actually) as a result of gun banning, but also picks and chooses statistics so carelessly, taking them out of context, leaving them stand alone when they clearly need support, that it paints yet again, the traditional gun-grabber picture, where statistics which support their cause are hard science, yet the overwhelming majority of statistics that contradict them, are merely meaningless numbers.

Screw it, I'm not going to line-by-line dissect this article, it's too easy and too painfully repetitive, as our misguided liberal friends resort to this sort of misdirection all too often. Here is the opening paragraph... try to keep your food down or at least not squirt soda out of your nose when you laugh.
The public's perception is that violence is increasing, but trends in violent crime reported to police since the early 1990s reveal a mixed story. Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively. The rate of aggravated assault appears to have contributed to the marked rise in recorded assault, and for both assault and sexual assault the rate of increase was greater for children aged under 15 years, with increases almost double that of the older age group. Neither population changes among young adult males nor rates of offending seem to explain the trends in recorded violent crime, and indicators of change in reporting to police provide only a partial explanation. Based on self-reported victimisation and reporting to police, it would seem increased reporting of assault is somewhat responsible for the rise in recorded assault rates against adult victims. However, victimisation survey data suggest there has been little change in rates of sexual assault, although reporting to police by women seems to have increased. Victimisation survey data also do not illuminate the most significant recorded increase in violent victimisation, against children, as they are collected less frequently and only apply to those aged at least over 15 years. The paper speculates that the rise could be due to better public understanding of child protection issues and increased reporting due to public awareness of what constitutes physical and sexual assault - especially within the family - but this requires further investigation to examine how many recorded violent crimes against children relate to current and/or past events and of the relationship to the offender.
Yes, people really are this stupid. Tread carefully in these times.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Power of the Second Amendment

First, the Second Amendment text:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I know, some legal eagles out there will point out that there are two versions, the first, as passed by Congress, and the other as ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson. The difference is punctuation and capitals, so I will list the other version as well.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Thanks to Wikipedia for this bit of assistance.

So what was the purpose of the Second Amendment (2A)? While our Founding Fathers had just defeated the world super power of the day, Britain, and were creating a document guaranteeing the rights of citizens and establishing a government, they decided that they forever wanted Musketts to be a protected class of weapon for hunting and sport shooting? Hardly...

Thomas Jefferson once said:

On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
A bunch of rag tag colonists just kicked Britain's behind, with some help from France of course. These colonists were businessmen, merchants, writers, farmers, hunters... In writing the Constitution, they were addressing the grievances that had been earlier addressed in the Declaration of Independence, and ensuring that a government would exist that would not replace the tyranny of King George.

In the following discussion, note the lack of terminology that implies our rights are granted by the government. The government, federal, state, or local, does not "grant" rights to the people, but rather the rights are natural, inherent to the people, claimed by the people, and the Constitution and Bill of Rights is the people declaring our rights to the government and what LIMITED powers the government would be granted by us, not the other way around.

These brilliant men declared that "We the People"
1. Retained Freedom of Speech so we could speak out against those who would oppress us.
2. They claimed Freedom of Religion (not "seperation between church and state" like the media and the governments of today would have you believe) so no government could adopt a national religion and oppress their citizens for not conforming to it.
3. They claimed Freedom of the Press so citizens could challenge the governments actions and spread the word, if the government became tyrannical.
4. They established Due Process to guarantee no government could imprison someone who objected to the actions of that government, without first meeting a burden of proof that a jury of that persons peers, not government agents, were satisfied with.
5. They forbid governments from forcing citizens to house soldiers except in time of war, and only then as prescribed by law. This prevented the government from intimidating citizens in time of peace.

Then they brilliantly claimed that this Bill of Rights, 10 articles in all, and by no means limited to the rights listed above, was not all inclusive, and that ANY right not itemized above was retained by the States and the People. This means they realized they could not envision every situation, could not codify every possible question that could arise in the future, and realizing their limitiations, restricted the powers of the Federal Government and granted those powers and rights to the States and more importantly, to WE THE PEOPLE.

So that begs the question... Why on earth, while limiting the powers of government, ensuring tyranny in government would be prevented or combatted, just as the Founding Fathers had fought it recently, would they then decide to ensure the right of the people to go hunt ducks and deer with Muskets?

The answer of course, is that this is not the intent of the 2A. As Jefferson said, if we recollect the "spirit manifest in the debates" and "conform" to the most probable intent of its passing, then having just fought a war with THE superpower of the world, the Founding Fathers were ensuring that an armed citizenry, the true power, and the true governing body of this country, could ONCE AGAIN fight a war against tyranny and oppression executed by the government of those people against them, AND WIN.

Our not-so-bright liberal friends and media will argue that the Founding Fathers could not have envisioned the weapons of today, and that the 2A is about hunting and sport shooting. Using that logic, they would ban "high capacity" magazines (arbitrarily decided by liberal politicians as containing more than 10 rounds). They would ban semi-auto "assault" weapons because by their logic, the Founding Fathers never envisioned these weapons. They argue that the federal government has nukes, tanks, missiles, drones, satellites and rockets and that assault weapons are useless against this technological terror anyways, so lets just ban them to prevent their use in crimes or against innocent civilians.

I will agree with them on the point that indeed, some of the technology our nation, the world, possesses today, could not possibly be imagined by the Founding Fathers. That is why they wrote in the 9th and 10th Amendments at the end of the Bill of Rights, as a "cover their ass" clause, to ensure citizens could STILL oppose tyranny in government.

If you turn liberal "lack of" logic back on the purveryors of such ignorance, nothing on the internet should be construed as freedom of speech, because our founding fathers could not have conceived such technology.

New media on television, cable, computers, internet, using satellite communication, is not protected by freedom of speech or freedom of the press, because no way could anyone 200+ years ago have forseen such wonders, and therefore it is not within the protection of rights granted under the First Amendment.

DNA evidence should not be admitted, because it was unknown to the Founding Fathers and therefore is not covered under due process.

You see how rapidly these smoke-and-mirror arguments by the liberal left collapse under scrutiny, yet day in and day out, these same arguments are quoted on facebook, spoken by celebrities, and regurgitated by politicians (democrat and republican alike) to justify a little bit more loss of freedom in the name of safety.

This blog was not about crime statistics, gun control statistics, arguments for or against based on civilian shootings... those arguments have been beat to death (with the gun control crowd usually losing). This is about the purpose of the Second Amendment, the purpose of the entire Bill of Rights, and that is for what Thomas Jefferson claimed:
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Or how about what George Washington said:
When firearms go, all goes - we need them every hour.
Gotta kill us some turkeys and deer or this nation is screwed?

Or Alexander Hamilton when he stated:
The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
The people AT LARGE? That they be PROPERLY ARMED? He meant armed with musketts right? Yes, he did, because the British were also armed with musketts. If the British had been armed with assault rifles, then so would he have claimed we the people should be armed with them as well.

What did James Madison think?
The Constitution preserves the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
Now our government refuses to trust us, We the People, with arms...

That is the spirit manifest in the debates of the 2A and the most probable one for which it was passed. This is why we are armed, why we possess assault rifles, high capacity magazines, and all caliber of firearms - because our government has them too, because governments around the world have them.