from the Sydney Morning Herald —
The man charged with selling Australia’s tough gun laws to regional Australia, former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, says US President Donald Trump needs to “get real” about the country’s gun problem.
“The White House will produce slick statements saying now is not the time to enter any conversation on gun control,” Mr Fischer said on Tuesday.
Mr Fischer said he could not rule out any future Australian massacre after the death of at least 59 people in a shooting massacre in Las Vegas on Monday.
“But we have had 21 years since Port Arthur without a mass shooting,” he told Sky News.
“We must be doing something right and the US must be doing something massively wrong.”
Stock prices of the gun manufacturers shot up on Monday; no doubt people think there will be a buying frenzy before new Federal controls are enacted.
But they needn’t worry, there’s as much chance of the latter as of KCDC rates being reduced.
Gun controls in the US for the most part are enacted at the state and city levels and their toughness varies substantially. Gun toting in states such as Arizona, Nevada and Texas is pretty much as it was in Wild West days. California has tough laws, but the opposite situation in neighboring states undermines that to a large extent.
Would tougher laws make a difference, though? Probably not. We had a chat four years years ago with a retired policeman in Toronto who said that it’s much harder to get a gun legally in Canada than in the US — “but if you’re a criminal it’s easy to get one.”
You could say the same about Australia and NZ, too.
The other problem in America is that it’s like trying to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted, the country is simply awash with guns of all types.
Most of those who buy them in America indulge in target shooting. There are also those who collect them as objects in the same way that people collect anything. There are rural dwellers who need to shoot pests. Then there are those who think that it enables them to resist a totalitarian despotic government should one arise. They give the examples of weapons confiscations by dictators like Stalin.
And there are those who think that it will enable them to deal with armed home invaders, despite statistics showing that guns in homes are far more likely to injure the occupants.
Ultimately the problem of crime, whether involving guns or not, is a social issue as well as one of general law enforcement.