Talk:Gun control

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Archive 1 (30th December 2008)

Riddle me this...

I read the above discussion ("Reversion of Ed Poor's edit") with interest. I then looked at the section in the article headed "Gun control outside the USA" which regrettably makes no reference to Australia. I then went and looked at the murder rates and rates of gun related death in the US and Australia.

What struck me was that there is a huge difference between the two countries which does not appear to be explained by anything contained within the article.

The homicide rates are: US: 5.7 per 100,000; Australia: 1.28 per 100,000.

The firearm-related homicide rates are: US: 3.72 per 100,000; Australia: 0.44 per 100,000.

It appears from those figures that firearms have a huge input into the high murder rate in the US. About 2/3rds of homicides in the US are by gun. Only about 1/3rd of homicides in Australia are by gun. And why are the homicide rates so different?

I suggest that gun control in Australia does have the effect of lowering the homicide rate. However, I suggest that the figures indicate that it is not the only factor. But what else is at work?

More importantly, the article as it stands is a piece of advocacy against gun control. Any chance of an encyclopedic article? --TCochrane 18:12, 11 December 2008 (EST)

I got the above figures from WP. I note that they are not all for the same years. The gun-related death rates are older figures. --TCochrane 18:37, 11 December 2008 (EST)


The recent edits of Aschlafly contain a number of errors, misconceptions and misleading statements.

Australia is not "far more rural" than the US. Australia may have fewer drug problems but I am not sure how exactly you measure the number of "drug problems". It may have always had a lower homicide rate but it has probably also always had a stricter gun control regime. It was not "leftists" that demanded strict gun control after the Port Arthur killings. Indeed it was the very conservative Howard government that introduced the changes. The country did not then move to the left politically but kept Howard in office for 11 years. It is also untrue to link increases in assualts to gun control. Any rises in the assualt rates appear unrelated to gun control. See here. Accordingly I have reverted the changes. I would be happy to discuss. --TCochrane 18:54, 26 December 2008 (EST)

We've discussed this before. Don't reinsert your liberal bias.
Gun control was pushed in Australia by the media, which (surprise, surprise) is leftist. A decade later, the entire country at virtually every level is (surprise, surprise) controlled by leftists, now that the people rely more on the government for protection. And it is true (surprise, surprise) that assaults increased as a result of stricter gun control.--aschlafly 19:00, 26 December 2008 (EST)
You've never been to Australila have you? No-one who has *any* knowledge at all of Australian politics links *any* of the elections since 1996 to gun control. And as I said, Howard remained in office for 11 years. Gun control was one of his first major issues as Prime Minister. He is Australia's second longest serving Prime Minister.
You clearly didn't look at the page that I referred to from the Australian Bureau of Statistics did you? There is no indication that gun control had any relationship to rates of assault. Take a look. If I am wrong I would be delighted for you to point it out.
Now, you've told me not to reinsert my "liberal bias". I do not wish to insert any bias into any article. If I am wrong I would certainly not want to place incorrect information in the article. On the other hand, I am sure that if you are wrong you would want me to fix it up.
Why don't you have a look at the statistics and get back to me. If I don't hear from you I will assume that you want me to correct the article. --TCochrane 19:14, 26 December 2008 (EST)
TCochrane, address my points. Yes, newspapers are leftist, yes, they did cause the stricter gun control to pass, and, yes, Australia has moved further left than ever in history as a result. Obviously the shift did not happen immediately, as incumbents enjoy inherent advantages. But the shift did inevitably come, which is why leftists push so hard for irrational gun control.
Insist on reinserting your liberal bias and your account will be blocked.--aschlafly 19:19, 26 December 2008 (EST)
How about you address my points?
So far as your points go: newspapers are leftist? Some Australian newspapers are. Which ones are you talking about? Did they "cause" the stricter gun control? I would have thought it is hard to substantiate that statement. How do show that newspapers caused a particular political decision? Was it the papers or was it public opinion? Chicken or egg? Tell me how and why you say it was the papers. And which papers.
As to your other point, I have already addressed it. No-one who has any knowledge of Australia at all links the current political landscape, 12 years later, to the gun control measures. You're right out there on your own with that one.
Now, do you want an accurate article or just a piece of blogging? --TCochrane 19:26, 26 December 2008 (EST)
I support what TCochrane has said above. He's described the Australian situation more accurately than has Aschlafly. Including the reference to Australia being "far more rural" than the U.S. Australia is actually known as being one of the most urbanised countries in the world. Andy needs to support his claims, because they are either wrong or very selective. Philip J. Rayment 18:39, 29 December 2008 (EST)
I've changed the paragraph about Australia to make it more accurate, per above discussion. I've retained a reference to Australia being different insofar as its drug culture is concerned, as it's true that the drug situation is different, and could well be a factor. I didn't retain the reference to Australia always having a lower homicide rate, as there was no reference supporting it, and because this is possibly because Australia has long had a lower gun-ownership rate anyway. Philip J. Rayment 18:50, 29 December 2008 (EST)
PhilipJ, you're back censoring truthful information to push a liberal point-of-view about gun control. This isn't Wikipedia, and liberal censorship is not allowed here. Vandalism isn't allowed here either, and please don't encourage it by restoring vandal-obsessive talk.
Tell us how Australia's largest cities compare with those in the United States, and how the drug cultures compare.--aschlafly 18:54, 29 December 2008 (EST)
No, Andy, it is you who is censoring truthful information to push a point of view about gun control. The only restoration I made was to a valid talk post. I did not reinstate an abusive addendum. But as for comparisons with Wikipedia, this incident provides an example of one way in which Conservapedia is, unfortunately, like Wikipedia. I observed on Wikipedia good editors having their views suppressed and rejected so arrogantly that they got angry and lashed out, giving the administrators the excuse they needed to block the user. Of course they justified it by calling the editors trolls, vandals, or whatever. That is exactly what has happened here on this talk page. You don't want Conservapedia to be like Wikipedia? Then don't follow that approach.
Why should I answer your questions when you have not answered questions put to you above?
Now, are you going to simply repeat your claims about censorship, or actually provide supporting evidence for your claims?
Philip J. Rayment 19:23, 29 December 2008 (EST)
PhilipJ, I know how liberals love to talk, but my time is better spent making substantive contributions. Don't censor them.--aschlafly 19:30, 29 December 2008 (EST)
As I expected, repeat the unsupported claims and accusations, but don't actually provide substantive evidence to back them up. What's the point of Commandment 1 then? Philip J. Rayment 19:35, 29 December 2008 (EST)

Speaking of the drug problem in the U.S. and Australia, it would seem that from numbers alone, there's not a huge difference: Australia drug use statistics (relevant info on page 19) and U.S. drug use

This shows that 41.7% of Americans older than 12 in 2001 reported ever using illicit drugs, and 12.6% reported use within the last year. In Australia, the figures are 38.1 and 15.3 percent, respectively (though this counts 14 year olds and up rather than 12 year olds and up). Not a huge difference. Granted, different drugs represent different cultures. A community with marijuana use is probably not going to be as violent as one with methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, etc. use.

But, there's the numbers for those interested. --KevinS 19:07, 29 December 2008 (EST)

Data on lifetime drug use is almost meaningless. How about crimes related to drug use, especially in big cities?--aschlafly 19:17, 29 December 2008 (EST)
That's why I also included data about "recent" drug use (i.e. in the last year). It's actually a tad higher in Australia. Regarding crimes related to drug use, here's a source for U.S. statistics. I had a bit more trouble finding the relevant Australian statistics, but [1] appears to have some relevant information. There really doesn't seem to be much of a difference in drug use/crime in the U.S. versus that of Australia, but I wouldn't say that definitively until I can find some more statistics. --KevinS 19:59, 29 December 2008 (EST)
When I've looked into this before, I think I found that there's a big difference in cocaine use between Australia and the U.S. Philip J. Rayment 19:35, 29 December 2008 (EST)
Well, let's see. Per the source in my first comment, 4.7% in Australia reported ever using cocaine, and 1.0% reported recent use. The problem with the U.S. statistics is that so far I've only managed to find numbers regarding use in the last month, which is 0.7% according to this source. I've got no idea how much past-year use would vary from past-month use. --KevinS 19:59, 29 December 2008 (EST)

It strikes me that in this case 'closer' does not neccesarily mean 'better'. TCochrane and Philip are too close to the problem they are attempting to explain, and (consciously or unconsciously) are probably influenced by the prevailing Liberal ideology of Australian polity. Although Andy is examining this problem from the United States, this detatchment enables a far more objective judgement to be made than that by our Australian editors. Accusations of 'not having visited Australia' are totally irrelevant in this case. Bugler 06:04, 30 December 2008 (EST)

Loss of the frontier spirit to urban "values"

Gun control is part of the urbanity of the Christian left's Social gospel program. Often the more urban and older the city, the more left the newspaper's bias. In the U.S. the development of the Social gospel into what is now almost a strict form of militant atheism and Liberation theology can be seen in the editorial practices of the New York Times. Such a loss of frontier spirit hit the pages of the urban media like the New York Times first. Gun control comes from Australia's desire for modernism, which is at the heart of the Social gospel agenda. --RickD 22:34, 28 December 2008 (EST)

Interesting. Thanks. I'm glad you used a small "g" for Social gospel.--aschlafly 22:36, 28 December 2008 (EST)