The Myth of Australian Gun Control
Tags: Politics Australia Gun Control
The Myth of Australian Gun Control published by Tusk
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Posted on 2019-06-13
Writer Description: Politics and Philosophy
This writer has written 3 articles.
There is a nefarious and untrue rumour globally that Australia in its infinite wisdom banned firearms and crime quite literally stopped. If you didn’t know, Australia is a utopia, how a continent full of convicts managed to turn into a utopia within 200+ years I’m not quite sure, but of course it is true. Well, except for the part where banning guns had an effect.
In 1996 a young man, Martin Bryant, is reported to have gone on a killing spree in Port Arthur, Tasmania [A]. This event known as the ‘Port Arthur Massacre’ left 35 people dead and 23 people wounded. The Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, spent little time organising a gun buyback scheme which amassed and soon destroyed roughly one third of the firearms in Australia. Along with the removal of firearms in Australia a joint measure was taken by the Federal Government and the State Governments in the form of the National Firearms Agreement which banned semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic and pump action shotguns and rules on firearms licensing and ownership.[B]
Within Australia today contrary to the unenlightened opinions of worldwide media firearm ownership is accessible with a few small hoops to jump through, in general you are required to: have a sufficient reason, to have adequate storage in the form of a gun safe, have completed a firearm safety course, and to be a ‘fit and proper person’ i.e. not a criminal. [C] Even with this firearm inspectors may randomly audit you, there are limits on what calibre bullets you can buy and there are permits and long waiting tines for firearms purchases. To some people this may seem normal or to others insane, such as to Americans, but simply put firearms are something any normal person can obtain within Australia though self-defence is not a sufficient reason for ownership, so count yourself out if you want a firearm to protect yourself from being murdered or your partner raped.
Now that you have a very basic idea of what the essential ‘gun control’ implemented in Australia was we can look at the actual impact that Port Arthur and firearms have in Australia. This will be done through an analysis of the Port Arthur hoax, firearm related violence and mass violence scenarios.
Port Arthur False Flag
The Port Arthur Massacre (PAM) represents to Australians and to others around the world the breaking point where a civilised, democratic nation managed to ‘rise up’ against the tide of evil and ban devil-incarnate-guns. If you want to think of how this was interpreted just look at New Zealand’s response to the Christchurch shooting and imagine the PAM response as a less fanatical response though in the same vein. The issue with the PAM is that most of the evidence points to it most likely being a false flag. Bryant, the supposed shooter, is reported to have an IQ of 65 which places him in the mentally retarded category. Along with such a ridiculously low IQ Bryant was reported to have, or possibly have, several other cognitive disabilities such as: potential schizophrenia, Attention Deficient Disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and could not read or write. Bryant is therefore extremely intellectually disabled and it is hard to imagine that he had any capacity to orchestrate a deliberately intelligent massacre, which is supposedly the case.
On the day of the PAM and before the shooting the police in the region received an anonymous phone call tipping them off to a potential drug bust in the opposite direction of the shooting, meaning that when the PAM was occurring they were too far away to be of use. The drug bust that they were tipped off on was just soap powder. Was Bryant, who as mentioned was severely intellectually impaired, think up and orchestrate this tip off? Highly unlikely. Now another odd circumstance of the PAM is the number of ‘headshots’ that Bryant was able to achieve, and the general accuracy that he had. Bryant while firing at his hip killed two people ‘instantly’ with his first two shots (whether these were in the head I’m unsure, likely from the instant death), his third shot grazed someone in the head, his fourth killed someone by getting them in the head. Bryant’s fifth shot went through someone’s neck and spine, sixth was a headshot, seventh was a body shot, eighth in the head, ninth in the head. These were the first shots fired before confusion broke out in the café but a very decent record with 6 headshots, 1 neck shot, 1 grazing a head, and 1 body shot. Bryant followed up with another headshot through the jaw, another headshot, body shot, headshot, headshot, headshot, body shot. Get the picture yet? Within 17 bullets he had killed 12 with headshots, or close enough, and wounded 10 with fragments, all in the space of 15 seconds according to the prosecutor .
How does someone with that level of intellectual dysfunction manage to obtain such accuracy within a short time frame while firing from the hip? Woodley of Menie in a paper titled “Were the Victorians cleverer than us?” discussed the link between reaction time and intelligence noting that “even the most simple measures of RT (reaction time)…appears to be robustly associated with IQ.” If, as Woodley measured, decreasing reaction time was indicative if lower IQ, how did such a low IQ individual such as Bryant achieve such a feat that would have required intense hand eye coordination along with fast reaction time. Parenthetically what would motivate someone like Bryant to act in such a way? Thinking emotionally and empathetically, his actions were more like a CIA agent or a cartel member with the cold blooded style of murder, a systematic execution of strangers, compared to the typical familial violence displayed by low IQ individuals with low impulse control. His actions seem totally at odds with the actuality of his person. If you want to understand Bryant’s speech style, mannerisms and behaviour further to understand what he is like I’ve linked a copy of the WikiLeaks published interview transcript below at .
While there are lots of inaccuracies and unexplained ‘coincidences’ within the traditional narrative that is not the point of this article, just an explanation, that the beginning of the Australian gun control is based firmly within a hoax. It has been 23 years since the PAM and yet the police files are still sealed – until 2071  – a ridiculous 75 years from the event. If the Government had nothing to hide this would be open, but like the myths surrounding Australian gun control, this is deliberately obscured. For anyone interested in more details about the PAM check the link at  for a pretty decent summary.
Gun Violence Rates in Australia
Despite the restrictions of firearms as discussed earlier gun crime in Australia didn’t disappear altogether. Here I’m going to discuss to parts of gun crime in Australia, random day to day gun violence and its effects. Starting with a list of recent news stories here are some of the incidents that happen in Australia with firearms:
-Balaclava wearing gunman caught on camera shooting Melbourne home 
-Melbourne Fatal Shooting 
-Man rushed to hospital after broad daylight shooting in suburban street 
-Two guns found in South Yarra park after eight recent shooting deaths in Melbourne 
- Man killed in drive-by shooting outside Australian nightclub 
I could go on, but this is just a taste of the common gun violence in Australia. Most of these incidents are in the state of Victoria, not even the highest gun ownership rate state, and are all largely recent. Zack Beauchamp, writing for Vox, wrote in 2018 in an article titled “Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted.” that ‘what they [Australians] found is a decline in both suicide and homicide rates after the NFA [National Firearms Agreement]’ and while this is true in rough numbers it is largely arbitrary. Beauchamp continues with ‘one study concluded that buying back 3,5000 guns per 100,000 people correlated with up to a 50% drop in firearm homicides’ and once again while this seems relevant, it isn’t. In a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology exploring firearm related deaths between 1991 (before regulation) to 2001 (after regulation) found that there only 15% of firearm deaths were related to homicide, with the vast majority (77%) being suicide orientated. So the backlash against a public massacre only really affected a total of 15% of gun related deaths and considering that suicide was not the main aim of the NFA it is safe to disregard it for now.
Following the AIC report it is reported that in 1991 there were 84 firearm related homicides, while in 2001 there were 47. Though there is a decrease when paying attention to the trend you can see that it was already on its way down. Despite rising to 96 in 1992, 1993 only had 64 firearms related homicides, again a spike in 1994 to 76 but by 1995 back to 67. The rate was slowly trending down whether in relation to a more modernised world or other factors it is impossible to ignore this, and further when examining the suicide rates this trend becomes explicit. In 1991 there were 505 firearm related suicides, 1992- 488, 1993- 431, 1994- 420, 1995- 388, steadily decreasing every year until settling to 261 in 2001. The vast number of firearm related suicides were dropping so it is dishonest to say that firearm reform really had any effect at all. On the other hand while these rates have been decreasing the rate of general assault for females has increased  and the rate of sexual assaults has increased to new highs.  Australia doesn’t have a history of having things like open or concealed carry for citizens, so even if the restrictions didn’t exist this wouldn’t be the norm, but all things considered with looser gun control the possibility for rights to evolve may have included this right. For women the world is a dangerous place as evidenced by increasing assaults, but even non-lethal alternatives that are legal elsewhere such as mace or tasers, are not legal within Australia.
What should you do to protect yourself then? Well there certainly isn’t many options at all. When force is restricted to citizens it creates a monopoly on power, in which people are denied the right to exercise force and are fundamentally restricted. Any institution, be it Government or elsewise, should not have the ability to take a person’s right to exercise their free agency and sovereignty to protect themselves as needed. The Australian Government does not trust its citizens enough to allow them control of their own safety, while expecting people to allow the police to take care of them. Police expect that they’ll be in attendance between 8 to 12 minutes depending on the state  but such idealistic estimates are not going to represent the actual time it takes someone to come and help you. When gangs kick down your door and threaten you, or your kids, with knives and other weapons is 8 to 12 minutes going to be fast enough to stop them from murdering you or sexually assaulting your family? You are rolling the dice if you leave it to other people to protect you instead of exercising your agency and free will to protect your life and limb as is your duty to yourself or your loved ones. The Government allows Police the right to carry firearms to protect public order, security guards are allowed firearms to protect Government property, but at the end of the day citizens have to wait to receive an Officer on loan from the Government to protect themselves. A truly upside down way of thinking and living.
Incidents of Mass Violence
In comparison to the idea that gun violence in Australia stopped completely it’s been shown that violence was already trending downwards and that gun violence in general, through random shootings, is still quite common. Another myth is that mass violence doesn’t happen in Australia and while mass shootings do not happen on the same scale as America that does not mean that incidents of mass violence are not common. A misconception, largely deliberate I would wager, is that guns are the cause of violence, which is incorrect. What causes someone to commit mass acts of violence? Often it is caused by those lashing out due to personal circumstances. What caused Stephen Paddock to go ham in Las Vegas? No idea, probably a spook by all accounts. DeWayne Craddock of the Virginia Beach shooting? Disgruntled employee lashing out at his workplace. What about Columbine? Parkland? Sandy Hook? They’re all the same, a simple analysis of who and what happened explains it. These are people lashing out, often using illegal guns, to enact their violence. Some people may argue that without these guns (obtained often illegally) that they couldn’t have killed as many people. Maybe, maybe not, that’s a lot of hypotheticals but let’s look at knife attacks in the UK. As the Guardian reluctantly reports:
“Most homicides are stabbings. Those killed under the age of 30 were predominately stabbed to death…The high number of stabbings is reflected nationally with 2018 the fourth worse year on record for knife deaths” 
So while in Australia firearm related deaths were already trending downward regardless of bans, you have knife related violence trending upwards year on year in the UK along with acid attacks increasing sixfold over a short period of time . Apples and oranges you may say, you can’t compare one state to another! And yes you are right and that is exactly the point, while Australia banned guns and had one result the UK has a similar policy and different results. Violence is dependent on varying factors so while it is easy to praise Australia and denounce America it is important to remember that these social, cultural or demographic factors differing could be causal to the issue at hand. America has one of the largest prison populations in the world especially when compared to other developed countries  while also having the largest African population within the developed world. Similarly London has a minority white population  to which a majority of the acid and knife crime can be contributed to. These differing factors are so numerous that the comparison of states on a simple statistical level is arbitrary, and the smooth brains on CNN or 16 year old goblina survivors that exist at this level should be totally ignored.
Examining the ‘massacres’ that have taken place in Australia since the PAM in 1996 Wikipedia lists 26 separate incidents . I believe that a mass shooting is defined as four or more casualties including the perpetrator in America, so narrowing the list of incidents post 1996 with four or more deaths provides 14 incidents. These incidents can be broken down into roughly: 9 familicide/family violence incidents (64%), 3 cases of arson (21%), 1 of terrorism (7%) and 1 random massacre (7%). Of these fourteen only four are firearm related (28%) and only 1 is a public incident, with the other three being a family member murdering the family and themselves. It is easy to say that shootings are down in Australia since the ban, but there are still plenty of mass violence incidents, with firearm incidents reflecting only a small portion of familial violence, but one can draw a comparison between the causes of both school shootings and these cases in Australia. Often the perpetrators of familial murders in Australia are estranged male family members, often fathers, which have nothing to live for and take their family with them. School shooters are similar in that there is often a social dysfunction that alienates them from their peers. Funnily enough in the three large arson attacks since the PAM 36 people have died, one more than was shot, and yet matches and cigarette lighters are still readily accessible. So contrary to those that opine Australia is safe and incident free because of no guns just remember that you can burn to death, be stabbed to death, acid attacked, strangled, beaten, raped etc etc and violence is all the same regardless of the delivery system. The only difference here is that you have no power because your protections have been taken away from you.
While I started this piece just to give an overview of firearms in Australia I’ve deviated on some tangents but overall I believe it is important to frame this in context with other states and other incidents. If you are too immature to understand the point of a gun, or too childish to exist around one without fearing for your life , or scream whenever you fire one at the range  then just give up now, but do your duty and get out of the way for those that have a modicum of sensibility and understand that guns are just tools to protect oneself. Hopefully going forward people will realise the fundamental nature of these issues and at least adapt gun control for the future. We think we can stop people doing drugs or contracting aids through education, but don’t think we can ever reach a level where people are trusted in firearm safety. I cynically look forward to that day, if it is indeed ever possible.
Ibid, Section 1.5.
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