“Obama isn’t coming for your guns” is the constant cry on the left… and it’s also clearly a lie.
In an interview with comedian Marc Maron that aired Monday, President Obama cited Australia’s gun laws as an example the United States should follow. Australia established strict gun control in response to a massacre in Tasmania that left 35 people dead in 1996. Since then, Australia hasn’t witnessed any mass shootings.
“It was just so shocking the entire country said, ‘Well, we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since,” Obama said, discussing the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston last week.
Predictably, the media immediately saw the elephant in the room that came with Obama’s support of Aussie gun control, and promptly shoved it out the door, hoping that no one would notice what the Great Divider was suggesting.
What these outlets pointedly refuse to mention about Australian gun laws in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre is that the comprehensive gun buy-back scheme happened in a nation without a Bill of Rights, and that the buyback was mandatory.
Yes, Australian citizens faced the threat of coercive government force being used against them if they did not surrender their firearms.
In a meticulously thorough post at The Federlist entitled The Australia Gun Control Fallacy, Varad Mehta notes that while Australian gun control was a comparatively simple matter of confiscating less than a million firearms from a willing population. This is radically different environment that what we have in the United States, where gun ownership was viewed as a pre-existing natural right before the Constitution and Bill of Rights were even written.
He then went on to notice the utter failure of “assault weapon” registration in the blue states of New York and Connecticut, where the citizenry flatly refused to register their firearms with the government.
As Bearing Arms readers know, Connecticut’s gun owners groups went so far as to openly challenge the Connecticut State Police to attempt to arrest those gun owners who refused to register their weapons… and the government, sensing that they would end up on the wrong side of an insurrection in which they were heavily outgunned, wisely backed away.
Mehta notes that Obama’s desire for mandatory buybacks would end poorly if the federal government was foolish enough to attempt confiscation.
New York and Connecticut authorities so far have shown no inclination to enforce their laws by going door to door to round up unregistered guns and arrest their owners. But that’s what would be necessary to enforce the law. A federal law, therefore, would require sweeping, national police action involving thousands of lawmen and affecting tens of millions of people. If proponents of gun control are serious about getting guns out of Americans’ hands, someone will have to take those guns out of Americans’ hands.
Australian-style gun control, in other words, would require government force and coercion on a massive scale. Now, progressives don’t understand the nature of coercion, so maybe they would not see police action to enforce gun confiscation as coercion. Or, perhaps, they actually do understand that their ideal form of gun control requires it, which is why they keep speaking in code and talk about “Australia” and not “wholesale confiscation.”
Let there be no doubt. Gun confiscation would have to be administered by force of arms. I do not expect that those who dismissed their fellow citizens for clinging bitterly to their guns are so naive that they imagine these people will suddenly cease their bitter clinging when some nice young man knocks on their door and says, “Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to take your guns.” As though somehow those who daily espouse their belief that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to allow citizens to resist government oppression and tyranny will not use the Second Amendment to resist what they see as government oppression and tyranny. Or maybe they are so naive.
Many on the Left—and for this they are to be commended—have voiced their opposition to the increasing militarization of America’s police. Yet only a militarized police could enforce an Australian gun-control scheme in the United States. To take arms from men requires men with arms. There’s no other way to do it.
Yet because of the numbers of guns and men with guns in this country, any policy to remove those guns will inevitably depend on some measure of coercion, quite possibly a heavy measure. Does anyone honestly believe this country has the will or resources to seize 60 to 105 million firearms from 105 to 160 million Americans? “Progressives believe it,” I hear you answer. Yes, but the ones who do, believe this dishonestly.
Modeling Australia Means Civil War
When someone says the United States ought to adopt Australia’s gun laws as its own, he is really saying the cause of gun control is so important that he is willing to impose these laws even at the cost of violent insurrection. Make no mistake, armed rebellion would be the consequence. Armed men would be dispatched to confiscate guns, they would be met by armed men, and blood would be shed. Australia is a valid example for America only if you are willing for that blood to be spilled in torrents and rivers. To choose Australia is to choose civil war.
My one quibble with Mehta’s column is that I think the resulting conflict wouldn’t be as much a civil war as it would be a revolutionary war.
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Shortly after the massacre of schoolchildren, teachers, and administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when emotions were at their most raw and logic was at a low ebb, I penned a post on my (now largely abandoned) personal blog called What You’ll See In The Rebellion. The post was a warning that outlined the deadly folly of attempting to impose gun confiscation on a nation where the number of gun owners—millions of them recent military veterans—outnumber law enforcement by more than 100 to 1. The fourth-generation conflict resulting from such a confiscation scheme would likely be brutal, costly, and short.
Obama would love to ban your guns, and by advocating the Australian model, is clearly comfortable with the idea of forced confiscation.
He’s just smart enough to know that if he attempted to implement it, the federal government itself would likely fall.