The Corner

Obama Praises Australia’s Gun Confiscation

Speaking to users of the blogging platform Tumblr, President Obama today praised Australia’s confiscation of firearms. Obama said:

Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.

Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country that would put up with this.

In other words, the president of the United States just praised a government for forcefully removing all semi-automatic firearms (i.e. a remarkable number of the guns in America and the majority of those sold today) from its citizenry. 

Let me be clear, as Obama likes to say: You simply cannot praise Australia’s gun-laws without praising the country’s mass confiscation program. That is Australia’s law. When the Left says that we should respond to shootings as Australia did, they don’t mean that we should institute background checks on private sales; they mean that they we should ban and confiscate guns. No amount of wooly words can change this. Again, one doesn’t bring up countries that have confiscated firearms as a shining example unless one wishes to push the conversation toward confiscation.

Worryingly, Obama appears not to understand how the American background check system works. He would like to see an arrangement, he said, in which anybody who wishes to buy a weapon has to “go through a fairly rigorous process so we know who you are, so that you can’t just walk up to a store and buy a semi-automatic weapon.” This is already the case. Under federal law, nobody in the United States can buy a gun from a store without a background check. The question at hand is whether one should have to undergo a background check when one sells a gun privately. Some states require residents to do so; others don’t. It is beyond astonishing that a president who considers his failure to reform the background-check system to be the defining low-point of his presidency has not yet bothered to acquaint himself with how that system actually operates.

Obama gave the impression that gun-violence is on the increase. This is false. As both Pew and the Department of Justice recorded last year, the majority of Americans believe that gun violence is proliferating when it is in fact dropping. This year marked a 20-year low. More than anything, America has a copycat problem in its schools

Most Popular

U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
U.S.

Some Good News Going into the Weekend

It’s Friday -- although I know it’s getting harder and harder to tell these days. You deserve a respite from yesterday’s gloom. (If you’re hungry for more gloom, there’s always the most recent edition of The Editors podcast -- and thank you, dear readers, for checking on me.) Today’s newsletter ... Read More
Science & Tech

The 41 Worst People You Meet on Twitter

Twitter, even more so than blogs, offered us the revolutionary promise of a virtual town square: You could hear from and engage with people from many walks of life, the prominent and the ordinary, in real time. You could read news as it breaks, debate the great issues of the day, and have fun. That promise ... Read More
Science & Tech

The 41 Worst People You Meet on Twitter

Twitter, even more so than blogs, offered us the revolutionary promise of a virtual town square: You could hear from and engage with people from many walks of life, the prominent and the ordinary, in real time. You could read news as it breaks, debate the great issues of the day, and have fun. That promise ... Read More