The Aussie Lesson: Less Guns, More Crime

The Aussie Lesson: Less Guns, More Crime

Amid the push for more gun control in the wake of the Conn. shooting, it’s important to remember the lesson gun control laws have taught us in other countries — namely, that less guns lead to more crime. 

We saw this clearly in Australia when Aussies were disarmed by de jure measures in 1997. 

To accomplish this, the Australian government sponsored a $500 million buyback on all privately owned firearms that led to a ban. Australian politicians who supported the move “promised a lower crime rate once the ban was in place.”

Did lower crime result? No. Instead armed robberies rose significantly and home invasions rose as well.

Moreover, assaults involving guns rose more than a 25% and murders with a gun rose nearly 20%. 

Note — crime with guns increased after the gun ban was passed. How could this be possible? It’s possible because criminals don’t obey gun bans, just like the Conn. shooter didn’t obey myriad gun laws in the act of committing his crime. Thus, when law abiding citizens turned in their guns to comport with the ban, they left themselves in a state of defenselessness: in a position from which they were helpless when confronted by an armed individual, or gang of individuals. 

To be fair, proponents of gun control will point out that some (but not all) of the sharpest increases in crime fell back from their highest numbers over time. Yet this is a very strange argument, because it appears to be an admission that sacrificing an untold number of lives in the short-term is worth implementing an anti-gun ideology. 

We would be wise to see the timelessness of George Washington’s often quoted phrase, a “free people ought…to be armed.” In so doing we grasp the larger lesson that the ability to defend ourselves is part and parcel to our freedom.

The second we are unarmed we are likewise no longer free. 

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