April 21, 2008 | Graham

Guns don’t kill people, and people don’t do it as much.

John Howard told a joke against himself at a Liberal Party function in Brisbane (as reported by the SMH).

“The other was that his diplomacy needed work. Asked at a function at the George H. W. Bush presidential library in Texas to name his top three achievements, he started with gun control. No-one in the Texas audience clapped.”

But what if gun control didn’t achieve anything? Then the joke would be on us.
This press release from the University of Sydney suggests the ban may have achieved nothing.

“In a new peer-reviewed study, Dr Samara McPhedran from the School of Psychology, and her colleague Dr Jeanine Baker, show that the accumulated studies on Australia’s 1996 gun bans and half billion dollar ‘buyback’ do not point to an impact….
The study evaluated whether past published studies on the impact of the 1996 laws on firearm related homicide and suicide are consistent with one another.
“Using different analysis methods and time periods, none of the four studies found evidence for an impact of the laws on the pre-existing decline in firearm homicides,” said Dr McPhedran.
“The statistical outcomes were in complete agreement, even though the conclusions varied.”…

These findings could create quite a storm at Sydney Uni. How will Professor Simon Chapman (the same anti-smoking campaigner who drove Nick Greiner from the University Senate because he was the Australian chairman of British American Tobacco) react, given he also has virulent views on gun control.
I wonder if Kevin Rudd will also add gun control to the list of John Howard’s failures, along with taxation policy?

Posted by Graham at 9:53 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. You can still kill a greater number of people with a gun than you can with a lump of wood.
    Guns only kill in the hands of a murderer. A gun gives them the ability to slaughter all around them.

    Comment by fehowarth — April 22, 2008 @ 2:49 pm

  2. There are always positives and negatives with any control.I’ve heard it said that the US will never be successfully invaded because the general pop are so well armed but they also have a very high homicide rate since a gun is far easier than a knife.A knife is far more personal and difficult to execute.
    John Howard has successfully disarmed the harmless in our pop while the crims take no heed.
    If Australia was invaded in a surprise attack with jumbo loads of Chinese or Indians, would the US send in troops or begin a nuclear war to save a mere pop of 21 million?Not likely.
    At least a well armed pop would put up some resistance so the pollies would have time for negotiations on some sort of level footing.With an over night faite accompli,there would be nothing to bargain with.
    A Japanese invasion of Aust would have seen many here murdered and inturned.We would still be second class citizens today and have more empathy with Tibet.
    I think at the very least we should have a well trained pop of reserves who know how to shoot a weapon and the Govt have these weapons available at strategic sites,if there is such an emergency.
    With such an enormous continent,minute pop,rich with resources and energy,we are a prime target for invasion.The power of the US is on the wane,and China has yet to hit it’s straps.We are virtually alone in the Southern Hemisphere.For every one of us there are 65 Chinese,50 Indians and 20 Indonesians.
    We in our apathy assume too much,and no,it is not paranoia,just calculated common sense.A bit of military discipline for everyone,would not go astray either.

    Comment by Arjay — April 22, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  3. Arjay:
    Having a well-armed population is a fairly good idea – but without the discipline and training to go with it, it is fairly useless.
    My own preference is to hell with what employers want and reintroduce UNIVERSAL compulsory National Service [this time, 6 months maximum full time followed by 6 years of fortnightly parades in a local ADF Reserve unit] together with weapons held in local secure armories and ammunition held in local secure magazines. This in addition to regular ADF units directly involved in national defence.
    The counter-trade of overproduced wool for unwanted low-grade but very dangerous semiautomatic assault rifles was the second stupidest thing ever done in this field. Every ratbag and gun-nut in the country used them to deforestate Australia every weekend.
    The stupidest was Howard’s reaction to the Port Arthur Massacre. They took family heirlooms off old granddaddies but declined to control ultra-violent videos and computer games – the very things that had been implicated in setting off so many previous gun massacres by madmen. There was no sense whatsoever in harrassing people on the land who had a legitimate use for firearms – and yes, a FAL/SLR [7.62mm NATO] will definitely sort out a mob of pigs destroying a grain crop – whilst allowing criminals and political loonies plenty of time to stash away all the illegal weapons they wanted.

    Comment by Graham Bell — April 24, 2008 @ 1:00 am

  4. Danny,I really think it is beaucse far left liberals are typically agnostic or atheists and their progressive causes serve as a kind of religion for them; hence Obama is kind of like the Messiah–futhering their pet causes, like gun control or healthcare. My problem is that many people who are not liberals buy into the Obama worship. I think beaucse he represents some kind of change over the Bush administration and this is good enough–for the moment anyway. I think people are also tired of the negativity thrown at the Bush administration and are gravitating towards a candidate who they feel will “lighten the mood.” Just think, everytime we turn on the tv or MSM of any kind, with Obama as president, the world will be a fluffy wonderful place full of possiblities instead of the hellhole it is portrayed to be now.

    Comment by Yukina — May 22, 2012 @ 10:28 am

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