by Paul Gallant & Sherry Gallant
New York –-(Ammoland.com)- Every time there has been a mass public shooting, governments lose no time in enacting massive new restrictions which seek to disarm all civilians, especially the peaceable gun-owners of its society —the ones who are not the cause of these rare high-profile tragedies.
The stated rationale is always that less guns in the hands of civilians equates to a “safer society.” The available evidence would indicate otherwise.
According to CNN.com on August 11, 1998, “A madman who shot to death 16 children and their teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland, on March 13, 1996, left their families bereft and changed a nation forever.” A nation-wide ban on handguns quickly followed.
Sound familiar? It should.
Fourteen women died [and 13 others were wounded] when shooter Marc Lépine staged his attack at Montreal's École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989. The shooting, which came to be known as the Montreal Massacre, sparked a national debate about gun control…. The Montreal Massacre prompted a toughening of Canada's gun control laws [and the Canadian long-gun registry eventually resulted].
The Canadian long-gun registry was scrapped in early 2012 because it was an experiment gone awry. It turned out to be wasteful of taxpayer resources, and ineffective in reducing crime.
The tightening of Australia's gun laws was prompted by the worst mass murder in Australian history. On April 28, 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in Port Arthur, Tasmania, killing 35 people and wounding 23 more. Just twelve days later, Australia's government responded by announcing a bipartisan deal along with state and local governments to enact gun control measures….” Massive new restrictions were imposed on the civilian possession and use of firearms—restrictions specifically designed to reduce the number of lawfully owned guns in the hands of Australians. The law banned semi-automatic and automatic rifles and shotguns. It also instituted a mandatory buy-back program for newly banned weapons. [It wasn’t really a “buy-back” program because the Australian government never really owned the weapons in the first place.]
Finland’s established culture of gun ownership (1.5 million firearms in a country of 5 million people) was called into question after two horrific shooting incidents at schools that took place within a year of each other.
On Nov. 7, 2007, a teenager in Tuusula killed eight people before killing himself at Jokela High School. Just a year later, on Sept. 23 2007, a gunman shot 10 people on the campus of Kauhajoki city’s School of Hospitality before turning the gun on himself…. [As a result, Finland also tightened its firearm laws.]
An article published on August 30, 2013 in BostonMagazine.com, entitled “Harvard Publication On Gun Laws Resurfaces As Talks About Firearms Continue,” cited a study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Authored by criminologists Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser, and entitled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?,” the online magazine suggested that the Harvard “study comparing international gun laws shows that getting rid of firearms might not be the solution to reducing overall violence.” It cites the authors’ conclusion, from their study which used international evidence and comparisons:
If more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death, areas within nations with higher gun ownership should in general have more murders than those with less gun ownership in a similar area. But, in fact, the reverse pattern prevails.
Now, the ATT is on the verge of coming into force. Most knowledgeable US gun-owners recognize the eventual effect of this Treaty on civilian firearm-ownership, and the anger is at a palpable level. Our own government —led by Obama and his cohorts who have been on a continuing and vehement rampage to steal our liberties and trash our Constitution— has made no pretense at this point of his ultimate goals about private firearm ownership for Americans. As a lame duck President, what has he to lose, unless he can again violate our Constitution to the extent of securing a third term, and get re-elected.
The UK has been at the forefront of international efforts to secure an Arms Trade Treaty in the United Nations. It co-authored the original UN Resolution in 2006. The goal has been to export the English model of firearm-prohibition to the rest of the world. But we can see the practical extent of an Arms Trade Treaty imposed on the US by examining the history of the UK government, in its long history of removing self-defense from that nation’s vocabulary.
We have long known that the Brits have been fudging their crime statistics, to make it appear that the 1997 handgun ban has served to reduce violent crime, and especially firearm-related crime. The reason is not hard to understand. If one visits a UK web site called “The Poverty Site,” and navigates to the area “United Kingdom Victims of Crime,” one can read the following under Perceptions of Crime:
Throughout the last decade, many more adults think that their local crime rate has been increasing than think that it has been decreasing. For example, in 2010, 30% thought it had been increasing compared to 15% who thought it had been decreasing. So, what people generally perceive the trends in crime as being (i.e. rising) is very different than the actual trends in crime (i.e. falling) as well as their worries about being a victim of crime (also falling).
In an online briefing published in 2010 by a UK organization called CIVITAS, the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, entitled “Fighting Crime: Are Public Policies Working?,” the first item one reads is the report’s summary. Bullet number one in that summary states outright: “England and Wales have the second highest rate of recorded crime out of 37 European countries – twice the European average.”
The UK Guardian’s Datablog for February 7, 2013 contains a plethora of links to crime data in the UK. (The Datablog ironically has as its motto, listed underneath: “Facts are sacred”). Its headline is: “Crime Statistics for England & Wales: Violent Crime and Sexual Offences.” Without the need to go to one of the hyperlinks provided, the DataBlog noted: “8.9 million crimes were reported in the survey in the year ending September 2012, while the police recorded 3.8 million crimes in this period.” Just a “slight” disparity between what the public reported, and what the official police figures report!
No wonder news headlines have been vocal about the results of a recent poll. One blog published in the US entitled The Real Revo, posted on May 29, 2013, noted the obvious:
It seems that the British people are reacting to the violence in their country, and the inability of the authorities to either prevent it or to punish the perpetrators. They are realizing that their personal safety is in their own hands.
This blog was referring to the fact that, on May 24, 2013, The UK Telegraph conducted a reader poll concerning which bills Brits would like to see introduced into the House of Commons. The June 28 issue of The Telegraph reported on the results of its poll. Of 25,913 votes cast in the poll, 88% of readers (or 22,897 respondents) supported a repeal of the 1997 handgun ban. In its reporting of the poll’s results, The Examiner.com declared that: “For anti-gunners on both sides of the Atlantic, it is a devastating rejection of the gun ban philosophy.”
American philosopher George Santayana once said (although there are many slightly different versions of this floating around): “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Will we heed Santayana’s prophetic words and let the U.S., which has already signed onto the ATT, let it go at that? Or will we disavow our nation’s signature already on the ATT, placed there by the Obama regime?
Apparently the Brits ignored history and human nature, and they’re paying for it, in spades! Will we Americans follow suit?
About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant practices Optometry on Long Island, NY, and has written about firearm politics for the past 20 years. He is a Senior Fellow at the Independence Institute in Denver, CO. Sherry Gallant has collaborated in her husband’s writing for the past few years, and has participated in the writing activities of her husband since he began writing.
Respective E-Mail addresses are: