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article imageOp-Ed: NRA tells Australia ‘There will be blood’ Um, no.

By Paul Wallis     Jul 17, 2015 in World
Sydney - Not that anyone was asking for their opinion, but America’s favorite “You have the right to be massacred” group doesn’t like Australia’s gun laws. As if we give a damn, apart from exercising our right to be annoyed.
The NRA says Australia paid a “terrific price in freedom” for the laws which banned assault rifles. It also coincidentally says President Obama might try to introduce Australian-style gun laws, and that the laws limit self-defence choices for Australians.
Apparently gun violence is on the rise on Australia, according to the NRA. Can’t say we’d noticed. Seems only 25 percent of homicides here involve a firearm, and the murder rate is going down. Maybe we’re just more creative and we put a bit more effort in to our murders?
In the first six months of 2015, 6,682 people were killed by guns in the U.S. That's more people than were killed in Iraq. In Australia, it’s about 30-40 people per year. It would take us at least 44 years to match that number. We’re obviously not trying too hard. How embarrassing.
Fascinated as we are with the opinions of Yanks who apparently don’t feel any need to check facts; this is a very different culture. We have lots of guns, (around 3 million legally owned guns and 1.8 million illegally owned) and we do know how to use them. We just don’t have a lot of cowards and criminals running around murdering innocent people.
Sorry about that. Leaves a space for some other kind of embroidery on the Great Tea Cosy of Reasons to Shoot People, though, doesn’t it? How about “Mass murdering chainsaw-wielding koalas threaten Australian public safety,” or something equally useful?
It’s also a different mentality. In Australia, idiots with guns are considered unsanitary, mentally and physically. If you go outback and wave a gun around like in a movie, your friends will probably introduce you to the crocs as a safety measure, probably through a dating agency or throwing you in to a river. (Like there’s a difference.)
Americans who’ve served with Australian troops will also have noticed a certain tactful reserve about morons with automatic weapons on the job. Like our military, we have a culture of taking our guns a bit more seriously. It’s almost as if we’re worried someone might get hurt.
As for self-defence — we’re not all that prim and pretty. We’re just practical. I’ve seen a burglar being helped in to a storm drain by the thoughtful home residents. Passers-by took notes, and a healthy informed debate raged about the fine points of runoff in storm drains. (The guy reformed on the spot. It was a heart-warming moment for Sydney’s drainage infrastructure.) No guns involved; just community spirit, and lots of it.
We tend to take our self-defence a bit more seriously than “My Bang Bang Penis Echo go Boom Boom/ Might hit something if we blaze away enough,” too. We’re cheapskates like that. If you do use a weapon, you’re expected to hit what you aim at that very same day, not just unselfishly donate thousands of dollars’ worth of bullets to the environment and anyone within half a mile radius.
Another, critical fact is that high powered weapons and home décor don’t mix. You have to color coordinate the blood stains, brains and guts with the drapes, for example. You’d be considered a bit of a noob to open up with an Uzi and not check the IKEA catalog first.
There’s another issue, and it has to do with hormones. The choice of weapon does impact on your social status among your peers. If you pull out a gun in Australia, you may be thought a little Maiden Aunt-ish, as well as dumber than a house brick for asking for that extra several years in jail. “That’s not a guy punched through the side of a building; this is a guy punched through the side of a building.” You get the idea.
The trouble with “Guns don’t shoot people; people shoot people” is that people don’t have to shoot people, and we don’t. We also don’t think much of people who do. Clear?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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