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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 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?

Nic Posted at 12:46 PM December 18, 2010

‘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.

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  1. My God, its almost hard to believe that this place started as a prison colony. They have developed into such a morally superior, pro government, anti-crime nation.

    Imagine a country were children are taught that sticks are bad because they look like guns. That’s when you know a system it at its highest point in evolution. When you can remove even the image of guns from the next generation of minds.

    Well done Australia, glad you are on our side.

  2. I will put this article down to pure emotion backed opinion. Can Australian Gun Rights be Saved? absolutely, what you probably seen back in 2010 when you wrote this article was the anti gun crowd screaming louder then the pro gun crowd at that point in time. Australias biggest problem was division within its gun culture making them fight amongst themselves rather then come together to focus that power as one. the war is still raging and Australia has a very real chance at improving significantly from a “Firearms rights” point of view we just have to do something we never did before and thats keep the pressure high and strong & never back down or compromise for the anti gun lobby.


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