Australian Gun Owner’s Proposed ‘Happy Medium’ Overlooks ‘Shall Not Be Infringed’

By David Codrea

“Common sense gun safety laws” down under = turn in what you hid for the emergencies the government is creating. (USNews/Facebook)
David Codrea in his natural habitat.

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “I was reading your column Rights Watch in the May 2017 issue regarding the Turkish Bloodbath and your comments about the ‘draconian regulatory schemes,’” an email from a reader, forwarded to me by the editor of GUNS Magazine, began. “I'm a sporting shooter living in Perth, Western Australia…”

The column in question is posted on the magazine’s website. Likewise, the email has been posted in its entirety, except the name of the correspondent has been withheld.

He begins by recounting all the hoops he must jump through in order to exercise what his government treats as a privilege. He claims “over 95% of gun crime in Australia involves illegally imported guns” and then proposes what he calls “a happy medium” we all should be able to live with.

Henry: “Give me disarmament or give me death”?

It’s a sincere attempt from someone who is not looking at the issue through the eyes of an American who views the right to keep and bear arms as unalienable, and who takes seriously Patrick Henry’s warning:

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.

Here’s the crux of what my correspondent sees as the problem and his proposed fix:

I'm in favor of the right to bear arms, even though they don't apply in Australia, but when making the argument against gun control being ineffective you must consider that the countries in this world aren't completely isolated entities and the freedom one allows for firearm ownership can impact the ability for another to enforce a stricter control.

In a perfect world, I believe we would all be best served with an international standard minimum level of registration, with ownership restriction that only applies to convicted criminals / radicals, with the relaxation of the more draconian laws like we endure here. Unfortunately, I fear this happy medium could never be realised with the vast political differences and social attitudes in today's societies and this fever dream of mine is nothing more than lament for what could have been. I hope that sensible argument endures with respect to gun laws but we should also focus on what impacts our own actions will have on others when it comes to regulation.

The first arguable point is that Australians have no right to keep and bear arms. All human beings do, and its preexisting to any legislatures. It’s just that some live under governments that don’t recognize that. And as the Supreme Court has noted:

“[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.

And why would freedom-loving people want to help more repressive regimes put the squeeze on those they rule? Besides, experience shows it’s not so much that “the freedom one allows for firearm ownership can impact the ability for another to enforce a stricter control,” as it is that places with more repressive “laws” do what they can to diminish freedom in areas beyond their control.

The “iron pipeline” seems kind of rusty and clogged.

We see that here all the time, with high gun owner control cities and states blaming freer (and safer) locales for violent crime issues overwhelmingly concentrated in places dominated by “progressive” regimes. We see fictions promulgated like “the iron pipeline,” supposedly the source for a “flow” of “crime guns,” which invariably ignore ATF “time to crime” statistics measured in many years.

The EU's Jean-Claude Juncker's admitted goal for gun laws is “More.”

As for setting up and adhering to “international standards,” unless they say “shall not be infringed” and recognize the Constitution as “the supreme Law of the Land,” that’s a no-can-do. We’ve seen that no amount of global citizen disarmament is enough for those who would direct the world, and we’ve seen the lessons of history from those imposing it anew.

Imposing restrictions on criminals (which I freely admit to qualifying for) disregards an inescapable truth:

Anyone who can't be trusted with a gun can't be trusted without a custodian.

If violent criminals are still truly dangerous, Robert J. Kukla made a brilliant observation in his classic “Gun Control,” equating their release from prison with opening the cage of a man-eating tiger and expecting a different result.

And as for registration, gun owners serious about their rights will never let that happen – and if it does they will not comply, as we’ve seen play out in California, Connecticut and New York. By imposing such an edict, gun owners can either surrender and obey, setting themselves up for the consequences of being “outed” or for later confiscation (not to mention being forbidden to pass their property on to their heirs), or take the terrible risks of having their lives destroyed if they’re caught out of compliance.

And let’s not forget who is immune from all registration requirements: Criminals. The very ones causing the problems. The Supreme Court said so. And, counter-intuitively at first glance,  it was actually a proper decision. Not that they'd register regardless.

Alfred Flatow: Portrait of a “Gun Criminal”

Expand that to an international standard and there are people alive today who were alive when Olympic medalist Alfred Flatow was arrested and deported to die in a concentration camp because his name was on a gun registration list (and anyone who says “it” can never happen again is ignoring the cultural terraforming of the West and whistling past the graveyard of history).

Some of us aren't “sporting shooters.” Some of us are fighting for nothing less than freedom and we know what’s at stake. We also know that the gun-grabbers will happily accept any incremental concessions they can swindle us out of and then complain about how “extremist gun nuts” are unwilling to “compromise.” Cede to them a beachhead without a fight and they’ll use it to launch their next incursion, because their long-stated goal, before they felt compelled to mask it, is to have it all. Any sop thrown their way in an attempt to appear “reasonable” makes about as much sense as throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to go away sated and to leave you unmolested.

I’ll open the floor up now to your responses in comments if you have anything to add. Please consider that this gentleman approached in good faith and courtesy, and from a foreign perspective that has not been shaped by a lifetime of influences bolstering the predominantly American view of the right to keep and bear arms. As such, if you do choose to weigh in, please do so with the intent of generating light rather than heat.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.

In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

  • 41 thoughts on “Australian Gun Owner’s Proposed ‘Happy Medium’ Overlooks ‘Shall Not Be Infringed’

    1. Make no mistake – these are the laws that all of the leftist gun control types in the media and politics would love to have here in america. Unfortunately for them, the vast majority of the country rejects those extremist views, so they have to lie and claim to just support bg checks. They were far more honest even as late as the 90s and the 2000 election, but losing too many political races caused the dems to cover up their true views.

    2. This is a good article and it makes some very realistic points. I have been a shooter, gun owner, soldier, competitive shooter and now a 73 year old fun shooter. This has been a lifetime sport for me along with fishing and I intend to do both until the time I die. I must fully agree with the author that no ground can be given to the anti-gun crowd. If we think, we must realize that the anti crowd has no logical or legal argument to take our guns. I think of Senator Feinstein who stated she wants to confiscate all the guns. Well, you may well imagine what I think of her and her ignorant statement and methods. I have no use for her or anyone like her. I can assure you, I am not alone in my thoughts. I also believe that many of the anti-gun crowd may well find themselves not being elected in the next few elections.
      I have always thought well of Australia and now I feel sorry for the good folks there who cannot live with a basic freedom. I was briefly with some Australian soldiers in Viet Nam (good soldiers all) and I’m sure they are not pleased.

    3. The Australian government has also cited the threat of terrorism, and in particular the December 2014 siege on the Lindt Café in Sydney, as justification for the new turn-in.

      What a farce! So what are they saying??? – either they are implying that the TERRORISTS will turn in their guns – or – they are working to insure that the TERRORISTS will be able to kill unopposed!

      How is it possible that a voluntary turn in of firearms will reduce TERRORISM??????

      1. Actually you could say that it is neither and it is both by default: The reality is their objective does not have anything to do with terrorism or the victims of terrorism. As devout Communist Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want to let a crisis go to waste.” They don’t give a damn about terrorism; they are concerned with their own skin because the Aussies are pretty well fed up with them. This is an excuse to pull everyone’s liberty teeth.

    4. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

      ” … [A]ll men are created equal,”. Samuel Colt – – along with other gifted arms developers – – has helped to ensure that all free men remain equal. The gun-grabbers will not rest until all peoples are equally subservient to and oppressed by tyrants.
      [W3]

    5. The mind boggles that seemingly intelligent Australians turned in their guns. Never. Under ANY circumstances. And that goes for registration, too.

      1. When I was there 1970-1974, Aussies were adamantly opposed to their government, and with good reason: Out of the entire Australian Parliament at the time, there was only one Australian member, and he was an aboriginal. All the rest were what the Aussie called “Pommies,” aka “Brits.” And Brits were nothing if not dominating. They HAVE to be in charge; it is in their DNA. That’s why Australia was famous, at least internally, for the “Donkey Vote.” Believe it or not there was a A$10 fine for refusing to vote. So Aussies avoided the fine by appearing at the polling place and scribbling all over their ballot with a pencil and dropping it in the ballot box. When I was there beginning in 1970, Aussies had not passed a government referendum since 1940. A big problem brought on by the communist-leaning government was the subsidizing of nearly every industry, the lack of high school graduates (which they called “matriculating,” because the only reason to complete high school was to enter college) meant government had to subsidize businesses to get them to hire 14-year-olds and teach them a trade. The average tradesman, seriously, had no clue about how anything worked outside his own trade. No understanding of politics, no understanding of technology, no understanding of economics — but let you issue harsh words to a union member and you would be blacklisted throughout Australia and unable to work, unable to rent property, unable to get anyone to do repairs for you, unable to attend school, unable to do much of anything. It happened to Frank Sinatra when he arrived to do a tour: A female paparazzi-style reporter kept badgering Sinatra with questions and he ignored her until she demanded to know “Why won’t you talk to us, Frank?” And he replied, “Because you’re all whores for the government.” After spending a week in his rented penthouse hotel suite with no food, no services, no communications, no elevator service, nothing, the RAAF finally flew his entourage out of the country before they starved to death. And the newspapers crowed about it, but never showed the pictures of the thousands of supporters surrounding the hotel with signs saying “‘Way to go, Frank!” and similar supportive messages.

    6. Several years ago, I was puzzled by the NRA standing against the banning of machine guns. I now understand why. If, as some say, these laws are to protect us, they are purporting to protect us from our self and that is absolutely impossible to do. The Court recently ruled that knives are arms protected under 2A and now there are debates as to what restrictions should be placed on them since they also ‘shall not be infringed’. If we gun owners ever relinquish any of our God given rights willingly, we are deserving of what will follow.

    7. I spent four years in the nation of Australia from 1970 to 1974. The communist Labor Government was in control and you could not own a handgun at all unless you were a member of an “armory” (shooting club) and even then you had to keep your handgun in the club safe. If you did not show up for a club meeting, the cops were on your doorstep the next morning wanting to know why. You could not on a military-caliber rifle without special permission, and it, too, had to be kept in the club safe. .22 rifles and shotguns and obsolete military calibers like the .303 could be owned only on outback stations large enough that the weapon could be fired without the projectile(s) leaving the property. Given all this, I was astonished at the number of firearms of all types turned in and destroyed by the government after a wacko shot up a resort in Tasmania with a military-grade firearm already prohibited. Home invasions and other crimes have shot through the roof since, but the media won’t (can’t) report it because unlike America, where speaking the truth about something the public has a right to know is an absolute bar to prosecution for defamation, Australia (and the rest of the world) has no such liberty. If the media told the truth about guns, that would defame the government: One or more corrupt and/or communist (but I repeat myself) politicians might lose their seats in Parliament, but they would sue the media mavens revealing the corruption and they would win — politicians are immune from the common folk, don’tcha know?

      1. Yea sounds so familiar; media not stepping on the toes of a corrupt government by reporting the truth. God bless the USA.

      2. It is important to remember that firearms have always been mainly regulated at a state level (the federal government regulates the movement of firearms across national borders but not internally either directly or indirectly) which means that there can be variability in what you can own depending on what state you live in (even though people claim that Australia has national gun laws this is not correct they are implemented at a state level and enforced by state governments).

        the prohibition on “military calibres” and the requirement to keep pistols at clubs was removed in the early 80s. Although the anti-gun people propose it from time to time we just point out that it would be ineffective and costly. I’m guessing that you spent your time in New South Wales?

        1. Thanks for the new information. That is the second surprise I have had about Australia since leaving there; the first was rescinding the mandatory trade union membership. I lived in Sydney while working for QANTAS and then while writing articles for the Herald. When my fiancé arrived we got married in Avalon Beach (north of Sydney) and then drove the Nullabor Plain to Perth, where our daughter was born 3 years later. At the time there was never any talk we heard about “State laws” on firearms; all indications were that all such laws were federal — with the communist Labor Party in power, there were no laws about anything not approved by the communists, at least, none enforced.

    8. I don’t know that I can add anything to your rebuttal but the article certainly opened my mind to the mentality of those who live under stricter gun laws in other countries. It really is about inalienable rights not privileges granted by govt.
      I don’t know what could turn this around other than a thorough educational campaign here and in other parts of the world. If we don’t realize what’s at stake here in America how are they going to get it overseas?

      1. I am one of the many Australians who live with the gun control laws and the consequences of them. I also run the Facebook page for the Australian hunting podcast which has been taking the fight to roll back the increasing restrictions on gun control that are being shoved down our throats by both sides of the political spectrum (yes it’s got by partisan support so that we don’t have much of an option in terms of candidates to vote for when it comes to Election Day) and unfortunately we’re repeatedly let down by our leaders in our major shooting organisations who are supposed to represent us on the big scene because they apparently have the back bones made of jelly which is very infuriating to gun owners across this country. It’s going to come down to work by grassroots activism to get some change and there is one silver lining to this is that public opinion is starting to Change in our favour. It’s going to be an uphill battle but it’s down to one point which is never giving up and never assuming that one place is a lost cause. Don’t assume that California, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, D.C. Hawaii, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are lost causes as Australia is far from a lost cause.

        1. Thank you, Mike. Having lived in Australia, I am very glad to hear your assessment of the situation. I am hopeful that Australia will eventually kick the Pommies out of their government and start making the government serve the people instead of the other ‘way around.

    9. Yea you can sure count on every ISIS operative rushing down to the local gun drop off point so they can get the amnesty. LMAO What is it about politicians that they think criminals will disobey laws about killing people, or the like but run down to turn their weapons in when the government banns having them? Gun violence wise Switzerland is the safest Country in the World and they REQUIRE gun ownership to its competent citizens; Honduras bans guns, same population as Swiss, highest homicide rate in the World. It doesn’t take a highschool graduate to understand what those statistics mean.

      Another gun violence trend; America has the third highest murder rate Country, but if you take the statistics from Chicago, Washington DC, Detroit, and New Orleans out, all log history of Democrat control with the toughest gun laws in the Country, America becomes the 4th safest Country in the World. Funny how all these facts have a common denominator government can’t see. Ahhh but when you recognize the push towards a One World Government that will be killing off people Globally, it makes sense that government’s aren’t stupid, they know they need to disarm us before taking total control of everybody and killing people off till they have a manageable and perfect Global Society. THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT; WAKE UP WORLD!!

      1. Funny how all these facts have a common denominator government can’t see.

        it is decidedly NOT a matter of “cannot see”. It is a matter of REFUSING to see.

        Read your history. The past century is replete with accounts of governments disarming their people and then murdering them in incredible numbers. What’s that total again, somewhere above a couple hundred millions? Nearly the populationi of the entire US.

      2. And after rushing down to drop off his firearms, the ISIS operative would drive away and happily mow down pedestrians with his vehicle on the way home!

      3. What do all those cities have in common besides being controlled by Democrats? I’ll give you one guess.

      4. Actually, America is 111th down the list of high homicide rate countries at 4.7 homicides per 100K population per year, but as you say, if the Major Metro centers run by Democrats (who are terrified of guns) are taken out of the statistics, the homicide rate drops to less than one for the same parameters. I commend you to Gunfacts.com, and I also recommend Bill Whittle’s video “Number One With a Bullet” at https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Bill+whittle%3a++Number+one+with+a+bullet&view=detail&mid=6E00CCF80026F138FB106E00CCF80026F138FB10&FORM=VIRE.

    10. “In a perfect world, I believe we would all be best served with an international standard minimum level of registration…” The author has no clue of what he asserts. In a perfect world, there would be no argument for registration. Or consider this, in a perfect world, firearms might have never come into existence. i will keep my guns thank you, just in case our imperfect world again walks into my bedroom at 1:30am. That wouldn’t happen in a perfect world either.

      1. best served with an international standard minimum level of registration…”

        the main difficulty I see is that, to my knowledge, there is not one nation on this planet that can be fully trusted to evenly and objectively apply any such standard. Why, even in the honourable and law-upholding United States, specifically California, one of the most vocal and effective proponents of draconian anti gun laws was found to have been rather busy in the shadows…. while he worked to impose more restrictions and limits on the People of the State of California as one of their lawmakers, seems he was also working to supply some foreign natioins with arms he was trading in clear violation of US Federal,, State, and international laws regarding transport and sale of arms. In government as presently constituted, the “standards” are anything but uniform. At least this creep, Mr. Leland Yee, is presently residing in the GreyBar Hotel, an abundance of egg on his face. May he long endure in his present circumstances.

        And none of this even approaches the issues of how such a registratioin can be misused… as we’ve seen done recenty in New York, COnnecticut, Virginia, California….. not to mention the outrageous disarming of so many of our loyal veterans…… registratioin lists have been used to facilitate this highly illegal abuse of power.

      2. Exactly Leon… that couldn’t have been said any better.. I was going to type almost the exact same thing.

        Im just glad that in our imperfect world (full of the lefts delusions, unicorns and fairies, and a world singing Kumbaya while on meds that distort reality) that there are still a lot of people who are rational and think like us out there…

      3. That should be 0 registration, the government does not need to know what we own. Just watch what is going in Canada and that’s right on our door step. Had clinton been elected I believe they would be trying it here. If you don’t believe it just remember Wounded Knee, Ruby Ridge, Waco Texas, and what was the name of the cattle rancher that they killed last year.

        1. Lavoy Finicum. His murder by the FBI was celebrated by leftist media. They were quick to characterize him and the other peaceful protesters who holed up in a vacant building in the forest as terrorists, but continue to defend blacks lives matter and Muslims.

    11. God gives us the right to defend ourselves and that includes a gun, sword, and so own, so what gives any government the right to take away something God as given us. Start putting those who us guns to commit any and all crime to death in two week after they are found guilty and see the crime rate go down by leaps and bounds!

    12. “When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised … to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.” – George Mason at Virginia’s Ratifying Convention, 1788 (3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

    13. “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” seems to apply here. You can’t compromise with gun grabbers.

      1. Indeed. And that is one of the most important factors to keep in mind when arguing with them. I like to wreak havoc on their websites and Facebook pages, pointing out facts and how every one of their incremental chipping away of the right to keep and bear arms also chips away at every other right we have — like converting the 2nd amendment to a revocable government-issued privilege by having to ask government permission to exercise our right to keep and bear arms by buying a firearm, and compelling us to waive our 4th Amendment right to be secure from search and seizure without probable cause of criminal conduct to get such permission, not to mention violating our right to Due Process in a Court of Law before our rights can be taken (and converted to a privilege), and violating our fundamental right to be secure from having to give up a right in order to exercise a right, and NOT TO MENTION our right to be secure from federal exercise of authority not delegated by the U.S. Constitution and from State exercise of authority PROHIBITED by said Constitution. And after I explain all that, I simply point out that even if they win to their prize of strict control WE WILL NOT COMPLY! And if they force the issue, we will arrest and prosecute them for Rebellion and Insurrection under 18USC2383 and associated statutes — and if death occurs in the process to anyone, the felony murder rule applies.

        Amazing how often that shuts down the debate without further ado. 🙂

    14. When reading the Second Amendment, I cannot find the words “except” or “depending” or anything like them. It doesn’t say “shall not infringe ‘except’ blah, blah.” Nor does it say “shall not infringe, ‘depending’ on the following circumstances: blah, blah.” So saying convicted criminals cannot own firearms and ammunition is clearly a “common sense” infringement – to which I say, BALDERDASH! Alternatively, I think gun control laws could all be scrapped without any harm and likely a lot of good. Assault, murder, etc. are already against the law. How many crimes are committed regardless of the law – with or without a gun? The law could be made more strict/punitive by increasing the penalties for crimes committed with a weapon and even more severe with a knife and even more severe with a firearm. So who then gets penalized when using a firearm for nefarious purposes? Seems to me it won’t be the law-abiding citizen as is the case with current gun control laws that simply don’t work.

      1. Herb T, we already do have laws that makes using weapons during crimes punished more severely. However, during the Messiah’s reign, those laws were vastly ignored and unused. He even went so far as to pardon criminals who committed crimes with firearms.

      2. Yes!! The real thing to keep in mind Herb is that the entire Bill of Rights and the 2nd doesn’t “grant” anybody any rights—its one of the biggest misteachings in our modern society—-all the document simply is, is a reminder to GOVERNMENT that they cannot step on our unalienable rights given by their creator…whoever or whatever that may be… simply because we exist as a Human beings. So much for them listening to the rules.

        A lot of people forget that our document grants nothing.

        Although we are talking about Australia here… ALL of us EVERYWHERE have these same unalienable rights- and in truth they can only be given away by someone–such as how the English and Australians that have decided by approving laws for their society that they dont need that unalienable right of self protection anymore (this is debatable IMO because not EVERYBODY AGREED TO THIS).. or as with your example, where a criminal who decides to commit a felony and is caught and convicted by due process of law, loses his right to have a firearm in the US. (this law should be rightfully changed to pertain only to to a violent felon IMO)…

    15. Although he has what might be an acceptable alternative to gun control, it is still gun control. He has grown up in a democracy that has an imperial mother, not one that was forged by freedom fighters against the crown. The perspective he puts forth still shows a reverence for the mentality of the crown having the last word, we do not. I understand him completely and feel saddened that he has really never known true freedom.

    16. “The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”

      “An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”
      ….. COL. JOHN DEAN “JEFF” COOPER

      1. @RM, Oh.. the rifle! At first I misread it. At first I thought it said the democrat itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own! Ha, silly me.

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