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Tags: australia | john howard | no fear gang | port arthur

Need for Self Defense Doesn't End With Gun Removal

Need for Self Defense Doesn't End With Gun Removal
A photo shows the date and place "Sunday, 28th April 1996 Port Arthur" engraved on a memorial in Port Arthur, Tasmania state, Australia, to honor 35 people killed by a lone gunman. Australia allowed gun owners to hand in illegal firearms without penalty in 2017. The three-month nationwide amnesty on surrendered firearms was Australia's first since 1996. (Rod McGuirk/AP)

Michael Dorstewitz By Tuesday, 06 February 2018 04:02 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive


Australia’s much-heralded gun buyback program two decades ago didn’t reduce law-abiding citizens’ need for self defense — they merely turned to more to primitive measures. History In response to a series of tragic shooting incidents, in 1996 Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), which banned the private ownership of certain types of firearms and resulted in a government buyback of more than 650,000 weapons.

Then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard said in a 1996 interview that "We have an opportunity in, this country not to go down the American path." What Howard could not have known at the time was that statistics would show years later that gun ownership and gun violence don’t go hand in hand. A Harvard study concluded that the Australian law resulted in an "immediate, and continuing, reduction" in firearm suicide and firearm homicide rates.

But that’s not to say that violence overall was reduced because of the NFA — just violence involving firearms. Criminals unable to obtain wguns on the black market have to resort to alternate weapons. That especially holds true for self-defense measures, and ordinary Australian citizens are becoming more creative.

"People are Petrified"

Australia’s 9News' "A Current Affair" reported Monday that after a former rural Melbourne neighborhood went suburban, the transformation brought with it a spike in crime.

In order to protect themselves, "weapons have become a way of life" for its residents, according to the report. But being law-abiding citizens, they can’t use firearms — only criminals have that option. They have to bring out their inner MacGyver. "Residents ‘round here are arming up," a local named Joe told "A Current Affair," "Baseball bats, nail guns, compressed air homemade machine guns that shoot paintball pallets," Joe added. "On this stretch of road, people are petrified."

Crime such as robberies and home invasions have become so commonplace that residents formed a neighborhood militia called the No Fear Gang, which patrols the streets each night looking for anything suspicious.

And some members employ weapons more deadly than paint guns. "Yeah, I patrol with my bow and arrows," Joe told the station. "I’ve got a 70 pound compound bow with more than a dozen arrows with various types of tips, and blades that pop out of them to make as much damage and fatal wounding as they can." Watch this short clip (below) from the 9News report:

"How far would you go to protect your family and your home? These people are so afraid of crime in their suburb they say they have no choice but to arm themselves with deadly weapons. Are they going too far?"

Wrong-Headed Thinking

The report concluded with an odd warning, that by protecting their life and property, the homeowners were "disturbingly comfortable with taking the law into their own hands, even if it means putting innocent lives at risk." That statement ignores a fundamental human right in any civilized society — the right to life, and with it, the right to defend one’s self and loved ones from harm. Wrong-headed thinking like that isn’t confined to the land down under — it was exhibited in late 2016 by the mother of would-be robber Michael Grace Jr.

When her son and two other men entered and attempted to rob a North Carolina Pizza Hut franchise, they were met by an armed employee who displayed his own weapon and shot Harrison dead. The robber’s mother questioned why her son was shot. "Why in the hell did this guy have a gun?" Temia Hairston, the robber’s mother asked local CBS affiliate WBTV Channel 3 News. "If there was to be a death, it was not the place of the employee at Pizza Hut. That is the place of law enforcement."

Stated differently, it was the employee’s fault that he wanted to defend himself. Carried further, it was the Pizza Hut franchise’s fault for not being a gun-free zone, so that only the robbers could be armed.

Former Australian Prime Minister Howard added in his 1996 interview that "I don't think anybody ever suggested that the passage of laws would guarantee that further crimes would not be committed." And when they’re committed, ordinary citizens should not be disarmed and thus denied the right to self-defense.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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What then-Australian Prime Minister John Howard could not have known at the time was that statistics would show years later that gun ownership and gun violence don’t go hand in hand.
australia, john howard, no fear gang, port arthur
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 04:02 PM
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