Gun rights advocates oppose seemingly sensible new gun control regulation by deploying the slippery slope argument. For example: if we “close the gun show loophole” and force all private gun sellers to pay for an FBI background check by a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) it will lead to increasing government intervention—that will end with bans and outright confiscation. Gun control advocates scoff. They paint gun rights advocates as paranoid extremists. Not true. To see the truth of the matter, open-minded fence straddlers need only cast their eyes Down Under. In New South Wales they’ll find “common sense” gun control gone wild. Here’s the latest development, in response to a spate of drive-by shootings [via abc.net.au] . . .
The new proposals would mean you can only buy ammunition for the gun you own. They’d also create the first drive-by shooting offence in Australia. And they would modernise existing laws, to allow people to be charged for associating with criminals over the internet.
Setting aside the inanity of restricting lawful ammo sales to combat drive-by shootings, ignoring for a moment the frightening idea of monitoring the ‘net for communication with people who may or may not be criminals, let’s keep an unremarked fact in mind:
New South Wales residents are not allowed to own guns for self-defense. Click here for the state’s definition of “Genuine Reasons” for obtaining a firearms. The State government restricts legally obtained, licensed and stored rifles to ten rounds. Shotguns can hold no more than five rounds. They restrict handguns to . . . none.
Handguns are banned. Well kinda sorta. You can only own a handgun for use in a shooting club. By a gun club member. After a lengthy probation. And only ever used to shoot at targets at a club. Not even on private property.
Surprise! Armed criminals are terrorizing each other and defenseless citizens. Drive-by shootings and armed robberies are rife. The cops, politicians and media are aghast. Something must be done! More cops! Less legal rights! Shock horror!
TOM NIGHTINGALE: The New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell has been under pressure over the shootings. The crime wave began about the time his Government took office last year.
The proposed law changes come at the request of police. But the state opposition leader, John Robertson is blaming officer numbers.
JON ROBERTSON: In south-western Sydney 12 of the 15 local area commands are under-resourced, they don’t have sufficient staff to do the job they need to do on a day-to-day basis.
TOM NIGHTINGALE: The state’s police union backs up the claim too few officers are on the ground. But the union also wants harsher law changes, to put the onus on suspects to prove assets were bought without criminal money.
SCOTT WEBER: We want to focus where it hurts for them, and that’s in the hip pocket.
TOM NIGHTINGALE: Scott Weber is the president of the Police Association, and he also wants suspects to have to give an alibi at the first possible chance.
SCOTT WEBER: When we do charge them and they come to court and utilise incorrect alibis and try to manipulate the justice system, that that cannot occur, that we put legislation in place where alibis have to be raised straight away and they can’t make up one 10, 15 months down the track.
You may remember an earlier TTAG post about NSW headlined Gun Control. Police State. Connect the Dots. We weren’t kidding.
Regardless of how they’re obtained, and for all the new and modernised laws, many cases depend on witness testimonies to get a prosecution.
The New South Wales police commissioner, Andrew Scipione:
ANDREW SCIPIONE: The culture of silence is a major problem. And I’ll let communities, for themselves, think about why people, why they may remain silent. Certainly from my perspective, it says a lot. And I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that.
My conclusion: it won’t be long before the right to remain silent comes a cropper in The Land Down Under. [Note to Aussies: you better run, you better take cover.]
Needless to say, the 500-pound gorilla in the room—Australian citizens’ God-given right to effective self-defense—doesn’t get a look in. And New South Wales continues it descent into a lawless police state [sic]. Meanwhile, don’t think it couldn’t happen here. Not for a second.