With the upcoming 2016 election, hot button topics are on display by each of the potential candidates. You may have noticed the subject of “gun buybacks” creeping up on a number of occasions. It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton is passionate about stricter firearm regulations… but it would seem that she is also interested in potential and buyback options.
Recently, in a New Hampshire town hall meeting, she may have insinuated that national, mandatory buybacks “would be worth considering”, following in the footsteps of Australia… which banned firearms in 1996. Their government bought back more than 600,000 semi-autos, rifles, and shotguns. Clinton believes that, “the evidence supports [buybacks]”. But does it really?
Have these places had a reduction in homicides and suicides? In Australia at least, the evidence suggests: yes, but it’s not as cut and dry as you might think.
In Australia, statistics have shown that there are clear declines in both suicide and homicide rates. But, it is important to note that those rates were declining before the buyback occurred. In terms of armed robbery, those rates peaked right after the buyback, and then slowly declined. It is unclear whether or not the ban caused the decrease, or if homicides were simply on the decline already. Still, there are those in the U.S. who would be willing to test the waters anyways.
Australia’s citizens must apply for firearms, and must have a legitimate reason for needing any firearm that they purchase—self defense is not a valid reason. There, self-defense is not a human right. But in America, it is.
Still, if such bans are put in place here, who then is responsible for keeping the public safe? One cannot separate gun bans from increased security. If gun bans are enforced, highly increased security measures would need to be implemented… everywhere. Since citizens would be forced to surrender their means of self-protection, protection would need to come from outside sources. How could this be possible? Who would be funding this? And would we even have enough qualified individuals to fill this incredible surge in security? On this issue alone, (Ignoring the infringement on human rights) firearm bans seem impractical.
And, research suggests that simply stating that an area is a “gun free zone” simply won’t cut it, as every mass public shooting in the US since 1950 have occurred in places where firearms are banned, except for two.
Bottom line: who would be responsible for protecting the public, if the public is no longer able to protect itself? And who would be exempt from such a ban?
Let’s hear your thoughts!