By Brandon R.
I know Australian comic Jim Jefferies’s anti-gun gasser has been highlighted before on TTAG, but this video just will not go away. I keep seeing it on Facebook, and I have even had it emailed to be by family and friends with an implied, “See? You’re wrong!” I will admit that this is best summary of the gun control lobby’s arguments that I have ever heard. Jefferies’s delivery is flawless, his timing is perfect, and some of the material is good for some positive introspection. But in light of the bit’s growing prominence, I believe that it deserves a thorough fisking . . .
Ultimately, this video does nothing more than confirm the presuppositions of a firm believer in a gun-free utopia. However, comedy has a pronounced impact on the fence-sitters. So once you see just how ridiculous and disingenuous Jefferies’s arguments are, I hope the bit can be seen for what it is: a well-polished, but hyperbolic comedy routine.
Here are each of his main points form his routine and the rough time at which they begin:
- “[Anti gunners] don’t get excited, because the other people have guns.” 15 Sec.
Funny, but you’re implying that the people with guns are a danger to you and your audience. I can take a joke, but let’s all remember that everyone walked out of there alive that night.
- “In Australia, we had guns… right up until 1996 Australia had the biggest massacre on Earth. Still hasn’t been beaten.” – 40 sec
A morbid point of fact is that Australia’s Port Arthur massacre had been topped. I don’t know how Jim defines massacre, but he doesn’t count Anders Breivik’s Norwegian rampage, or the dozens of bombings and arsons around the world that have matched or beaten the thirty-five killed in Port Arthur. Let’s always remember that guns kill people more dead than other things (sarc).
- “After [Port Arthur] they banned the guns.” -49 sec
That is a broad statement, but the guns that were banned are essentially the same guns that the anti-gun crowd wants banned here: AR-15s, AK pattern rifles, or, to use the anti’s invented term, “assault weapons.” In Australia, they didn’t just end the sale and manufacture, they confiscated them. They gathered them up, paid the owners some consolation money, and melted them all down for scrap. So if Jefferies or anyone else wants to promote an Aussie model of gun control, then I suppose the President’s incessant lie that “no one is coming for your guns” rings pretty hollow. And you wonder why gun owners are so “paranoid.”
- “Since the gun ban in 1996 there hasn’t been a single massacre since.” – 53 sec
Actually, trusty old Wikipedia lists quite a few. I doubt Jefferies or anyone else will concede that the arsons, stabbings, and yes, shootings listed constitute massacres, but people have killed other people in Australia, with and without AR-15s.
- “I think you should be able to have guns. It’s in your constitution. What I am not for is bull**** arguments and lies.” – 1:59
In total agreement there, but we probably define the last two items differently.
- “There is one argument and one argument alone for being able to have a gun…, “F*** off! I like guns!” – 2:09
I would present other possible arguments here, but Jim is about to attempt to destroy them all. I’ll let him try. However, the libertarian in me agrees with him whole heartedly.
- “Don’t give me that other bull****. The main argument is, “I need it for protection… Really? Is that why they’re called ‘assault rifles? I’ve never heard of these f****** protection rifles you speak of.”– 2:20.
That popping sound you’re hearing are gun owners who came of gun-owning age in the 80s. Thanks to the Violence Policy Center’s founder Josh Sugarman, the public is in total confusion about the terms “assault rifles,” “assault weapons” and the like.
Why? This was/is the low-hanging fruit. Sugarman wrote, “The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.”
You see, gun owners who lived through that time saw the power of semantic invention play out in real time. Gun control activists love to push their agenda at the points of greatest public ignorance and do everything they can to bamboozle voters with hyperbole and creative turns of phrase.
I won’t fault Jefferies here. He was a kid then and we are so far down the “assault weapons” road that it’s a bit like trying to reassert the original definition of the word “gay.” It’s here. Let’s deal with it. Still, it isn’t a fair argument at all when an anti-gunner invented the term assault weapon. I know he said assault rifle, but… I could explain myself till I am blue in the face here, and I don’t think it would matter to most people.
- “You have a gun in your house, you are 80% more likely to use that gun on yourself than to shoot someone else.” – 2:49
I think Jefferies may be referencing one of many “studies” churned out by anti-gun “researchers” on the Bloomberg dole. He is probably right though. There are something like 18,000 gun related suicides in the U.S. each year. I don’t think that the number of people killed in self-defense approaches anything close to that number. However, I wasn’t aware that the only way one could defend one’s self with a gun was by killing their assailant. Even the most anti-gun of anti-gun “research groups,” Johns Hopkins, says that there are 70,000 gun related self-defense events a year. Comparing those two numbers gives you a different statistic than our intrepid comedian, but I digress.
And yes, suicide is a problem, but there are plenty of developed countries where guns are practically non-existent, that have much higher suicide rates than the U.S. (see Japan/South Korea). Yes, suicide is a risk, but I think it is a calculated risk. For the vast majority of Americans, it is a risk worth taking. With Jefferies’s logic, we should probably ban belts, rope, painkillers, gravity, trains…
- Jim describes a traumatic assault that he and his girlfriend experienced in merry old gun-free England. Spoiler alert: he concludes that a gun would not have helped him because he “didn’t have his holstah.” – 3:20
I guess a gun couldn’t have helped in this situation either. I’m sorry Jefferies doesn’t like the idea of being prepared for an attack. I think most gun owners in America have a firearm that they could access and fire in ten seconds or less.
- “None of you give a s*** about home security. None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read padlock monthly… [or] have a picture of you behind a secure door going ‘f****** yeah!’” – 3:50
This guy doesn’t know gun owners. But hey, affordability, portability, and practicality matter. I think most of us would rather have a $500 gun that we can take anywhere, than sign up for expensive subscription security system that allows someone in India to listen to your murder live over the internet. Still… Jim has clearly not been in some of the homes that I have.
- “ ‘ I’m a responsible gun owner. I keep my guns locked in a safe.’ Then they’re no f******* protection!”– 4:30
Jim, first makes fun of us for being prepared with a readily accessible gun. Then he makes fun of us for safely securing that firearm in a safe. I wonder if Jim realizes that there are quite a few options out there other than a vintage turning combination safe? Ironically, we use the exact same argument when making fun of mandatory safe storage laws in Australia, which render gun ownership for self-defense pointless. But hey, that was the law’s intent, and Jim probably love that law, so…
- Jim thinks the NRA’s proposal to allow teachers to be armed in schools is bad because an angry substitute will shoot some middle school bullies in righteous indignation. – 5:50
I don’ think anyone is proposing that we arm unstable people against their will. Likewise, there’s nothing stopping an unstable teacher from getting a gun and killing someone right now. The law makes precious little difference. Being a teacher myself, I have known dozens of public and private school teachers who wished desperately to be able to carry guns in school to protect the lives of their students. I was teaching in an inner city school when Sandy Hook happened. I have to say that almost every teacher in that school had quiet conversations about changing the school district’s gun ban. And we were union.
- “That average security guard in America earns $16 an hour. Not a lot of wiggle room to be a f******* hero!” – 6:50
A private in the American Army earns $1600.000 a month at E-2, most of our firemen are volunteer, and the last time I checked, malls employ unarmed security guards. So if we are going to ask a guy with a radio to be our first line of defense, why don’t we give “Kevin” a fighting chance?
- “The last ten percent [of you]… are f******* furious… Ten percent of you are f******* seething for a couple of reasons. First, I am making good points.” – 8:00
Yes we are seething, but only because a significant percentage of Americas believe him.
- “Number two. I’m foreign.” 8:40
I’ll give him the xenophobia joke. We don’t like foreigners telling us why our country sucks. We’d rather tell them what’s wrong with theirs.
- “Please understand that every country has a [Constitution], it’s no more special than any other Constitution… I’ve had people… come up to me going ‘You cannot change the Second Amendment. Yes you can. It’s called an ‘amendment.’” 9:40
Perhaps Jim doesn’t understand what these people who allegedly approached you were saying about the Second Amendment. You see, Americans have repeated witness dramatic reinterpretations of the Second Amendment which began during the Progressive Era. Liberal justices and politicians have worked very hard to make the Second Amendment say something other than what is written on the paper. So when Jefferies argues for asinine gun laws that violate the “shall not be infringed” language, he is asking us to ignore plain English.
In reality, there’s two ways to change the Constitution. We can actually amend it a through the process that Article V spells out, or we can just reinterpret everything to the point of meaninglessness. You know, like Plessy vs. Ferguson’s gutting of the 14th Amendment, the FISA Court’s post-911 mockery of the 4th Amendment, or the dozens of recent lower court decisions banning the carry of weapons, mocking both the 2nd Amendment and the Heller decision. Amendments in America are rare. What is far more common and politically expedient is to just redefine the Constitution to suit the fancies of the time. That is basically what he is proposing. Here in America, we like to think that the Constitution means what it says, and that we try to hold pretty firmly to the letter. It is that loose double standard stuff that paves the way for despoots and tyrants. I guess that is why we left the Commonwealth and Australia didn’t. We had to use guns to do it.
- “You know what else was in your Constitution? Slavery!” – 10:40
Slavery and gun ownership are not really analogous, but I will chuckle along.
- “We have to play to the one percent of society that are such f*** wits that they ruin it for the rest of us. We have to walk as slow as our slowest person to keep society f****** moving. I take drugs like a f******* champion, but I can’t take drugs because Sarah took drugs and stabbed the f******* kids! Ah thanks Sarah!” 11:10
And this is why so many of us want Jim to go back to Australia. You see, a large number of Americans have yet to buy this collectivist mentality. We do not, in fact, accept that our sovereign rights must always be sacrificed on the altar of the “common good.”
Now, the irony of what Jim is saying here is not lost on us. He mentions drugs. Does he realize that drugs aren’t enumerated natural rights like the right to keep and bear arms? But Jefferies doesn’t really care about Constitutions, so I guess that fact is lost on him.
- “Who’s to know you’re not crazy…? – 12:50
Concealed carriers commit crime at a lower rate than the police. I am fine with the risk that a few nut jobs will “slip through the cracks,” because if I am disarmed, they’ll still be crazy, and I will be screwed.
- Paraphrase “In America, Bushmaster rifles cost $1000, in Australia, they cost $34,000. That prevents crazy people from getting guns” – 15:45
So? There’s a lot of other way to kill people. However, I don’t think depriving me of my chance to defend myself against crazy with a knife is worth the cost. Sorry. Like I said before, that crazy person will still exist after the guns are gone… if their gone. I want the best tool available for the job.
- “The real reason [the Second Amendment] was written was so you could form a militia against a tyrannical government. In case the government became a bunch of c**** you could all get your guns and fight back. And that made a hell of a lot of sense when it was just muskets, but you do know the government has drones right?”
For a second I thought we were getting somewhere. I HATE this argument more than anything else the antis throw out. First, the “enemy’s” ability to wage war is not the measure of the justice of a cause. If it is, then you’re just measuring your cowardice. We just watched the most advanced military in the world fail to subdue peasants with Ak-47s in two Middle Eastern countries. The Taliban averaged about 30,000 active fighters at any given time, which is a figure orders of magnitude smaller than the manpower of the coalition arrayed against them. Why do the antis even trot that argument out? They must live in an alternate reality or something.
Knowing what I know about the gun world, if things ever got to the point of Revolution in this country, I would venture a guess that a sizable proportion of the military would be sympathetic. Our army is loyal, but they also swore an oath to protect and defend our Constitution. The rumblings continue to build that the politicians that swear the same oath are not holding up their end of the bargain.
- Ah yes, the “ye olde musket” argument. – 15:45
Way to bring it full circle and remind us once again that gun owners are hot heads, who use their guns to settle petty scores.
Look Mr. Jefferies, you’re funny. I’ll give you that. You have an exceptional talent. However, your entire routine is really just a rehashing of almost every worn out anti-gun talking point we have heard for decades. You just make it look better than most. I hope you’re not out there somewhere seething. If you are, it’s probably because I am making some good points.