We’ve debunked the Australian model of gun control many, many times. Suffice it to say, America’s Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is subject to neither arguments of social utility nor the democratic process. If proponents of civilian disarmament wish to remove Second Amendment protections against ANY government infringement on Americans’ gun rights, there’s a process for doing so. Not that it would disarm Americans, but until and unless gun control proponents seek this remedy, the letters STFU (in a pro-First Amendment sort of way) apply.

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57 Responses to Thom Hartman: Australia Proves Gun Confiscation Works

  1. Among the multitude of FUDD guns, which still pains me, what truly kills me is the presence of one (apparently) M16A1-ish rifle and to the left, an M1 Garand. This is not only proof that confiscation works, this is incivility.

    • Damn it, I correct my self in that line ‘This is not only proof that confiscation DOESN’T work, this is incivility’. That is what I meant.

    • Looks like an m1 carbine acroos the Garand and a Browning auto five under the sks.

      Talk about crimes against humanity.

  2. Seeing that the United States is the last bastion of gun rights in the modern world, seems it would be beneficial to everyone if Thom could pack his crap and go to Australia. There are millions of freedom loving firearms owning people and Thom is looking to vote them away. So much for that liberal “tolerance” thing.

    • Don’t send him here!!!! We have enough anti gun nut jobs in the media and government. We’re trying to claw back ground from the antis and criminals as it is!!!!

    • We don’t want him!! We’re trying to claw back some ground from the antis at GCA criminals and the media. All the while they’re trying to take away more firearms in 96 they came after LAFOs semi autos after a “massacre” that was never investigated and has so many holes in the public story it just feeds conspiracy theories. Now they’re coming after lever action shotguns. Do Not fall for Gun Control!!! And don’t send your fudds or antis here!!

  3. “Australia is proof” that gun control activists will continually move the goal posts and never be satisfied with the laws they push through.

    • F down-under, closer to home, change Australia to California and you have a true observation.

    • First they’ll ban “Assault Weapons” (whatever that means).
      Then they’ll eliminate Concealed Carry, Stand Your Ground and the Castle Doctrine.
      Then they’ll ban Handguns.
      Then Hunting Rifles
      Then all Shotguns
      Then BB Guns
      Then “Assault Knives” (I’m sure they’ll come up with a scarier term)
      Then Pepper Spray, Tasers and Batons.
      Then kitchen knives and baseball bats.

      They’ll prosecute rape victims for using their fists to defend them self.

      ..and you know what? It won’t do a damn thing to the crime rate, but then it was never really meant to – like the man said, Australia is Proof.

      • Yes mate they have already done all of that downunder to the point of charging people with assault for defending themselves. Keep up the good fight !

      • Of course it’s meant to affect crime rates- by making them go UP.
        First cause a problem, then tell the voters they can help solve the problem they created.

        Problem: Civilians are disarmed and have little recourse against their assailant/burglar/mugger/rapist. They might allow for “equal force” in that someone with a gun tries to rob you, it’s ok to hit them with a ball bat, but if they use a knife, you have to use hand to hand, or some ridiculous idea.

        Solution: More laws that make civilians more and more dependent on the government for help. “Just let the bad guy take what he wants, he’ll leave you alone. Your insurance will cover the cost of replacing your stuff.”

        This is pretty much how I’ve heard UK/AU people respond when Americanns say they want to defend themselves and their property with a gun.

  4. This fool is not telling you the truth, Australia banned ALL semiauto long guns, any and all owners of said semiauto long guns were declared felons and was given a period of time to surrender said long gun(s) or face up to 14 years in prison. The Australian government raised taxes 3.9% with the promise that after the “buy back” that tax would go away (it’s still there, being collected). This was forced confiscation and if they try and pull that s$&t here it needs to be met with lethal force.

    • Hartman doesn’t understand the difference between the US and Australia. Once we declare possession of a particular gun a felony it removes the requirement to register and turn in the weapon. Under the 1968 Haynes v US SCOTUS decision that requirement violates a citizens 5th Amendment rights. It is a catch 22 situation. Registrtion must preceed confiscation for legal as well as practical reasons.

  5. Anytime anyone says that something “works”, I say to myself “question begging”.

    Define “works”. Whether a plan “works” or not depends on the values underpinning that plan.

  6. Confiscation works in Aussieland… Sorry it won’t work here. To take a quote from the movie Hot Fuzz and apply it to the USA, “everybody and they’re mums is packin round here”.

  7. If they think Oz is gun free they are mistaken. Queensland told them to stick it, turn in rates were very low.

  8. Wow, opening line: “Twenty years today, since there was a mass shooting in Tanzania”. He then wonders aloud whether it is a state or “like Puerto Rico” (it’s a state). Yeah, definitely trusting the facts from a guy who clearly knows NOTHING about Australia other than gun-control soundbites.

    Also, according to him the murder rate dropped because of the gun confiscation (despite it having been dropping at a slightly greater rate every year prior to the confiscation), yet he claims that there’s “no…no…no demonstration” that the rapid increase in reported rapes in the years after the confiscation have anything to do with it. It likely doesn’t – concealed carry was rare before the confiscation anyway, but the point is that you can’t just decide what is the causation for statistics.

    • Tasmania isn’t Tanzania. Don’t know whose error it was.

      EDITED to add: Apparently his, not yours.

    • One correction, Puerto Rico isn’t a state.

      It is a US territory that has sort of a special relationship with the US that lets it have more self governing power than other territories.

      • That was the point I was making – Tasmania is a state. I also thought it was amusing that he could not think of a word to describe something other than a state (as you noted, the word he was looking for was “territory”), so instead he resorted to wondering if it was “like Puerto Rico”. It’s kind of like wondering if Sydney is a rural area or if it’s one of those places like Seattle.

        I just think it’s hilarious that someone as ignorant as that is apparently a famous, well-respected (well, according to himself) radio host/political commentator. Even moreso that he lacks basic geographical knowledge, knows even less about guns and still thinks people should listen to him regarding guns.

  9. I like the pic, with someone in authority (apparently) picking through confiscated (stolen) guns to pick out the ones he will personally take home. Looks like semi/full auto is high on his list. If that is NOT what this picture shows, then what is?

  10. What a dumb ass. Tanzania is a country on the east coast of Africa. Tazmania is an island south of Australia. His “facts” are as far off as his geography, but at least he’s consistent.

  11. Why is it that they can only use island nations as supposed “proof” that gun confiscation works? How about gun control in Brazil? Belize? Honduras? Venezuela? El Salvador? Swaziland? Colombia? And I could go on and on with this list. How about the European countries where the police and politicians cook the books to make them look less violent. (I spent 7 years in Europe in military law enforcement working closely with host country police forces. Trust me, they skew the numbers.)

    • “Making robberies into larcenies. Making rapes disappear. You juke the stats, and majors become colonels.” -Prezbo

    • NYPD and Chicago PD have been doing the same for years. Typically they downgrade serious felonies to lesser felonies or even misdemeanors in their reports, irrespective of the charges actually filed by the DA.

      • The police can use any of myriad violations of law to make an arrest if they simply want to take a person into custody. The D.A./prosecutor can then pile on every possible charge he/she can think of from misdemeanor through felonies so that they can have something to plea bargain with.

        Arrest reports don’t report the serious crimes as finally charged and the serious crimes charged don’t show the charge actually convicted or plea-bargained. And in the long run nobody but the victims really cares about what really happened.

  12. It seems to me that you have a good opportunity to play the anti-gunners. Tell them, “You know, you’ve been looking at the laws in New Zealand, Norway, and Canada, and maybe we can come to a compromise. Let’s implement some of those laws.”

    And then you go and implement the following- suppressors unregulated (Norway, New Zealand), guns and ammo delivered straight to your door (Canada), and short barreled shotguns and rifles without a stamp (Canada).

    They didn’t ask you what laws.

  13. Compare Austraila to New Zealand. While Australia went gun grabbing, New Zealand didn’t. New Zealand hasn’t had a mass shooting since. Austraila has.

    Two nations with the same heritage and laws. By Thom Hartman’s reasoning, New Zealand “should have” had multiple mass shootings. He’s wrong.

  14. Compliance in Australia was actually low, with less than a million guns being turned in. Now, they didn’t have the hundreds of millions of firearms we do, but still, the Aussie gun confiscation netted them less than 30 percent of the inventory. But in the politics of the extreme left, less than 30 percent is a “success”.

    Also, in places where confiscation has happened, people just tend not to report and register their firearms. http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian/print

    Our Euro brethren aren’t as compliant as they seem. Their guns just don’t come out to play as much.

    US attempts at registration and confiscation have also been met with similar disdain. New York’s SAFE Act compliance is below 10 percent. No one outside of those guys in the photo ops really lined up in CT, either.

    Enforcement is downright pallid, since the cops aren’t going door-to-door. They really only enforce their “AWB” laws as an add-on.

    As for Thom, I sincerely don’t get why people like him don’t move. He’s proposing to take weapons away from their owners. Whether it’s a sword or a gun, the guy holding it has the immediate advantage. Thom decries guns so he’s not gonna be the one to come and get them. So I guess he’ll have to pay guys with guns to go get the guns.

    • Even the Soviet era draconian police states in Eastern Europe could not enforce confiscation. When the Cold War ended all sorts of weapons emerged from hiding. Not just some old Mausers either. Machine guns, grenades and even bazooka’s turned up. So if Communist regimes couldn’t eliminate privately held weapons how could a Republic do it?

      • Why did the Soviet peasant water his garden with machine oil?

        To keep his guns from rusting.

  15. Hartman’s suffering from the mental illness called Aussie Antigun Arousal. Gun grabbers get all turgid when thinking about a gun-grab. For them, it’s a form of masturbation.

        • Sure it would. /sarc

          70% of Australians are non compliant. Does that sound like a rollover to you?

          If we go down that road I will appreciates guys like you and Bolan standing up to the Feds. It will keep them distacted.

        • Because I like cold weather. Wisconsin is as good as Virginia for gun owners.

          There are a lot of amateur readers on TTAG.

  16. Australia is proof that the government should respond to the will of the people. Gun confiscation was favored by over 90% of Australians; if 90% of the citizens of a country want to disarm themselves than it should happen. This type of gun restriction is the result of a culture that is hundreds of years in the making, and Australian history is entirely different than the US. One obvious difference is the Bill of Rights, an attachment to the US Constitution meant to delineate that power comes from the people and that government will be extremely limited to infringe on individual rights. The Australian Constitution does not have a Bill of Rights, hence the government can, and has regulated free speech. In other words the Australian citizenry disarmed itself; it was not governmental over reach, it was the will of the people. This is typical liberal misdirection, they point to policies in other countries, without acknowledging the policies are the result of a history and culture completely different than the US, and usually occurred incrementally over a long period of the time. So when the day comes when 90% of the American people want to disarm themselves, it will be the will of the people that it should be done, but until then keep your oppression loving collective hands away from my guns..

    • Umm what a load of crap, if Australia was a functional democracy, then you might have some semblance of truth. One man mad a decision, and a poorly thought out one at that. In a real democracy, thone that break the law are punished, those that are law abiding, should be able to go about their lives and sport (Olympic sport even) without let or hindrance. Sporting Shooters make up 5% of the voting population of Australia, enough to alter the outcomes of elections.

    • Sorry mate, but 90% a load of BS, the hole thing was a set up by the PM who absolutely hates guns. He was just waiting for a good excuse to push his age der through. Because we did not have a thing like social media back then there was no time to mount a defence.
      He(the PM) got all the state leaders into a room and said you will inact these laws or you will get no federal funding.
      And as we all know polyliticions can not be trusted, and so we were thrown under the bus.
      As a result only the law abiding firearm owners were punished. And the Crims still had there guns. Just as aside note, only semi auto rim / centre fire and pump action shotguns were restricted (read not a hope in hell of getting a permit for one).
      So now all of the guns handed in (only about10% of what is in the country), most of us when out and bought twice as many guns ( of the types now ok to have) as we had before.
      Twenty yeas down the track and all the study’s show that none of it has had any reduction in the crim rate and the black market for unlicensed guns is thriving.
      The media / politicians and the anti-gun fools think that if they shout and crow about how good the buyback and the gun laws are that somehow it will come true. They also think if they can convince the apathetic general public (who have become so politicly correct and happy to drink the kool-aid fed to them by the anti gun media) that the gun laws are outstanding success that again it is all true.

  17. Gun control doesn’t work, we all know that.

    What gets me though is the comment in this article that generally states that gun rights aren’t arguable. So what, curtail the first amendment in favor of the second? You need both.

    In the same vein, if you can’t argue against, you can’t argue for so sites like this would not exist. Point is, it isn’t the argument that is wrong, it is using false information/logic to erode a protected right that is wrong. We likewise need the ability to argue against such things. (And let’s face is, saying “I don’t want to talk about it” has never been a useful answer. The other side starts making decisions for you while you refuse to talk about it.)

    As to any amendment not being subject to the democratic process, umm there are ways to amend the constitution. That system was put in quite deliberately by the founders. Sure, ideally nothing in the bill of rights should go anywhere, but I wouldn’t say it could never happen. (21st repealed the 18th as an example of an amendment getting rid of an earlier amendment.) Hell a big argument in all of this is the fact that they are infringing on the second amendment instead of going through the legal process of creating another amendment. Sure such an action would fail miserably but it would at least be in adhering to proper constitutional and governmental processes.

    Look what happened with the patriot act and that wasn’t even an amendment…

    This is one reason why we must maintain our stance in protecting our rights, all of them. It is our duty as citizens, and our responsibility to future generations. As we have seen in the past, if we give the government an inch, they will take a mile. We must not hand our rights away so freely or a day will come when the rights we enjoy will be nothing more than an “antiquated idea” taught in history class, if at all.

    • I doubt many of the career politicians in DC WANT to try for an amendment to remove the 2nd. They’ll likely be voted out before they can begin the process of starting the amendment.

  18. Australia facts

    1. Officially there are now more firearms here in Australia than before the bans. The antis panic every so often about this. I own more now than 20 years ago.

    2. Compliance rate estimates vary but 30% is the top more likely 10%

    3. You can still own semi autos etc if you want to do the paperwork. A bit like full auto in USA but not as difficult. Varies by state

    Full auto still legal with more paperwork. People I know in armoury business still have M60 etc they hire out to movies

    4. A lot of the firearms handed in were bolt action and legal but if you were from a state like mine with no previous licensing laws and asked the police they mostly told you it was not legal and kept it. Not here is a licence application

    Some police etc caught selling them or keeping for themselves.
    So don’t trust government officials and statistics. Should not be a surprise

  19. I believe this Hartmann tool was one of the driving forces behind the “The Second Amendment exists to protect slavery” myth. How they ever came up with that? I’m still not sure.

  20. Australia did rollover!! I was only 6 at the time. But I’m a farmer one of the most priveleged gun owners. And the ONLY semi I’ve ever used is a 10/22 do not give them an inch.. We have a very low gun crime rate period. It was declining before the buyback and has continued on the same trend since some say there was a sharp drop afterwards but that was a result of just 96-97 as there was not a mass shooting of 35 people the following year. If you look at it as a whole the gun crime rate as steadied recently not kept dropping we have also had 8 or more mass killings since 96.

    Next time the antis toss out that we have had no mass killings since 1996 gun law changes toss these few at them, I am sure there are others but these are a good start. Law will never stop a person with intent from finding a means, you just have to look at crime in general to understand that…

    Cairns Child killings 2014 – 8 dead
    Hunt family murders 2014 – 5 dead
    Quakers Hill Nursing Home 2011 – 11 dead
    Lin Family Murders 2009 – 5 dead
    Churchill Black Saturday 2009 – 10 dead
    Childers Palace Backpackers 2000 – 15 dead

    Thank god we haven’t had any mass murders in Aus since1996.

  21. Lets clarify a few points.
    1/ We never banned anything, only categorised firearms into different categories with different license conditions.
    2/ We not only still can own guns, there are several gun manufacturers making guns in Australia. Plus we make some of the best reloading powder, projectiles, cases and ammunition available worldwide.
    3/ Semi-auto rifles/shotguns can still be owned if suitably licensed. various legal reasons to own.
    4/ WE never had general access to concealed carry handguns, so any comment about them is a moot point.
    5/ Handguns can be owned for target shooting and for farmers (just not for self-defence). Most farmers on large farms where I live have one for when using ATV’s to check on their stock/fences.
    6/ We own lots of guns and need them for shooting the MILLIONS of feral animals overrunning our country.
    7/ Actually easier to buy guns here than in some parts of USA. But all legal purchased guns MUST be registered. And all purchasers must be licensed.
    8/ UNLIKE USA we don’t have a contitutional right to bear arms, so any gun ownership is a privilege.
    9/ Despite all the restrictions and controls, CRIMINALS still obtain non-legal, non-compliant guns to commit firearm related violent crimes. So using Aussie Gun-Control as an example of how to eliminate gun violence is BS! Gun-control to eliminate violence never works, can’t work and will never WORK!

    8/

  22. As soon as he said ‘tanzannia’ I knew he was a fuckwit. It’s Tasmania, and yes it is a state.

    Our government fucked us in regard to gunlaws, and we let them. Stay strong and united in the USA, I might come and join you one day.

  23. The only way gun control works in Australia is that they have taken away our right and ability for self-defense and the criminals are now in control.
    The “buy back” scheme as it was called was actually a forced confiscation without options to retain certain firearms. Howard Government already had firearms reforms in their sights and used the PA massacre to force through unrealistic unreasonable firearms legislation. All this BS did was make it hard for LAFO’s, it did not take the firearm’s out of the hands of criminals.
    As with Canada, NZ and most of the western world there has been a downward trend in firearms violence, showing Australia’s firearms laws made no deference.
    Suicide by firearm rate did drop but suicide rate remained much the same.

    Robert Farago should check his facts and not just cherry pick the bits and pieces that suite his agenda…
    I other words watching this anti-firearms BS was a waste of 5min if you were looking for the truth.

  24. How many times are you guys gonna fall for this clown’s act? You might as well go ahead and get “interviewed” by him, at this point.

  25. Ironic, that at around the Port Arthur anniversary and the media and former PM John Howard talking about how well the buy back worked that Australia has had in a span of 2-3 days…
    A triple shooting in Sydney (illegal firearm)
    A triple shooting in Perth (illegal firearm)
    A double shooting in Melbourne’s (illegal firearm most likely)
    Numerous armed home invasions
    Another triple shooting in Sydney about a month ago.
    Melbourne experiencing shootings on regular basis.
    Numerous banned firearms sized in police raids.
    Add to this some following information…
    Hectorville seige multiple shooting
    Monash University multiple shooting
    Lindt Cafe seige (illegal gun used)
    Paramatta Police Headquarters murder (illegal gun used)
    Perth Police issue media statement voicing concern over number of fully automatic backyard manufactured machine pistols they are finding in gangs hands.
    Constant reports of illegal firearms being used Australia wide. (homicides, shootings, robberies, home invasions…etc…etc)
    Now add to the above, peer reviewed research done by people like Dr. Samara McPhedran which has shown that the 1996 buy-back made no significant impact into the downward trend in homicides that was occurring for decades prior to it. It did reduce suicides by firearm, but the overall suicide rate didn’t change in any statistically relevant way. In fact the suicide rate in Australia hasn’t changed in that way for 50 or more years.
    Good add even more to the above, but suffice to say anyone who says the gun buy-back was some huge success is either operating under an “anti” agenda, or is just towing the mainsyream Australian media lie trying to sell that rilubbish as true.

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