As a follow up to this post from yesterday, “What Kind of Gun Control Do Progressives Want to see?” I want to address the widely circulated stand up bit from comedian, Jim Jefferies on his home country’s implementation of gun control and the wackiness of the United States. Here is the video for those that haven’t seen it:
It’s somewhat misleading, though, because they didn’t technically “ban guns.” They banned certain types of guns (semi-automatic and automatic rifles and shotguns) and confiscated a certain number of guns (anywhere between a third or a fifth of all guns in Australia). And gun crime in Australia was trending down a decade before this happened. However, it does appear to be true that they haven’t seen a mass shooting since that ban/confiscation with the exception of once incident I found: In 2011, a man killed 3 people and wounded a child and two police officers (although it depends on how you measure a mass shooting, some think the incident needs five victims, so maybe this incident doesn’t qualify). It also seems true that not surprisingly, suicides went down after this ban/confiscation. Homicides after the ban/confiscation seems to have mixed studies on effectiveness.
Also, the NRA is terrible and I don’t think they actually believe in gun rights (they do, but just for white people). Likewise, I think it’s inane for many gun owners to act like a gun in the hands of someone in these tragic situations could necessarily prevent these massacres. Well, at least in the case of this Virginia shooting, there’s absolutely no way even the most trained professional in that situation is preventing that. It was an ambush.
It is a funny bit, though.
Likewise, a friend also posted this Tumblr image on my gun control Facebook post:
Politically speaking, I just can’t see it happening. The advantageous aspect of the UK and Australia and these other places is that they already lean left as a baseline from our political spectrum. And even if the political will manifested, I’m still not sure how the implementation would go down.
Also, something not often factored into considerations of gun control is the other side of it: what about the government, i.e., the police and these federal agencies that buy crazy amounts of weaponry and ammunition? Some of these federal agencies have no business even having armed agents (like the Department of Agriculture). And now that we’re starting to finally calculate how often the police kill Americans, the numbers are pretty staggering, I think. So, any formulation of gun control has to simultaneously take into account reforming the police and those federal agencies, if you ask me.