Short answer: no. The reason that I say this is not because of how the Australian police reacted to a 12-year-old playing with a toy rifle in his own backyard. Reading the news.com.au report doesn’t provide enough info to make that call. Besides, here in the USA, there is a non-zero chance that you will be shot in your own backyard holding a hose nozzle. The reason I say that Australian gun rights are lost forever: the comments section under the article. As of this writing, the self-selecting electronic vox populi is running 2 to 1 in favor of insanity.
Homer of Changes daily. Posted at 9:12 AM December 18, 2010
The parents here need to take responsibility. My kids are not allowed to use sticks as pretend guns. They are a powerful tool, not a toy. Even play, should treat them as such. Come on parents it is our job to teach the kids. Part of that is to teach them guns are not toys.
chris from noosa Posted at 9:37 AM December 18, 2010
what are the poloce suposed to do , they get a report that a person is hiding behind a fence with a rifle , What do they do , turn up with teddy bears and ice creams they do what they are trained to do , , When they realised it was not a gun they dropped their guns Give the police a break . And really who ever reported it should make sure of the report before getting it all so wrong.
Ian of Adelaide Posted at 9:38 AM December 18, 2010
Sorry Tom but you sure look big for 12 and lets face we do have kids taking guns etc. to school. If the police hadn’t acted according to protocol and your mum had been shot what would the cry be now? Better a little fright than a death that could have been avoided?
‘A normal kid playing with a fake rifle’? Seriously, who lets their children play with guns in today’s society?
I don’t know enough about Australia’s demography to know if this take-down took place in whatever passes for “the ‘hood.” But I do know a little about probability and that there are very few firearms left in the country. According to a Time magazine article from 2008 only “5% of Australian adults owned or used guns last year.”
“Owned or used” is pretty broad. I used guns at rental ranges long before I owned any. Point being: the odds that this kid actually had a gun were vanishingly small, and the police who responded should have known that, and the commentariat should know that and be outraged at the police, not sympathetic. That he might have had a gun is within the realm of possibility, but so is me winning the lottery.
Whether you believe the NRA or the Brady Campaign, the fact of the matter is that there isn’t that much violent crime in Australia, and precious few guns. When poorly trained police respond with guns drawn, people can get hurt.
Also note: the Australian lad’s “weapon” wasn’t even a toy gun! It was a stick with electrical tape! Facism: ask for it by name.