In an unprecedented and gigantic step for public safety, there was a report of a gun amnesty (turn-in) event in Tasmania, Australia. It’s nice to see that our friends in the southern hemisphere are able to get such a stronghold on combating crime with these sweeping programs. From a Facebook post from the Tasmania Police:
Dozens of items were surrendered to police at a Firearms Amnesty in Bridgewater today.
Items surrendered included:
• 8 firearms (including one pistol).
• Approximately 30kg of ammunition
Seeing other nations step up to the plate and swing on the subject of gun related violence is encouraging. Pictured you can see the residents of Tasmania are lucky to have these menacing and dangerous weapons taken off their streets. Their post continues:
A steady flow of people attended who were making enquiries about firearm licensing and firearm registration.
“A mobile firearms amnesty held at Bridgewater today resulted in 8 illegal and unwanted firearms, including 1x pistol, that were surrendered to police and taken off the streets,” said Senior Sergeant Jason Klug.
“Any illicit firearm is a concern to Tasmania Police, and it’s pleasing that people took the opportunity today to surrender items to police, ensuring the items can’t end up in the wrong hands.”
Police encourage anyone who has an unwanted or illegal firearm, ammunition, or gel blaster in their possession, to contact police to hand it in.
“Tasmania has a permanent firearms amnesty where people can hand in their firearms at any time -unregistered or otherwise- without fear of being prosecuted for the possession,” said Senior Sergeant Klug.
“Police will be holding further mobile firearms amnesties in Southern Tasmania over the coming months, but mobile amnesties are not the only way someone can surrender items to police.
“Firearms and ammunition can be surrendered to police at any time by phoning police on 131 444, and arranging to attend a police station, or for an officer to attend your residence for collection.”
The sad reality is that the forces behind programs like that one really do think they are successful. Australia is at a point in their history where this pathetic amount of firearms handed in is cause for popping open the bubbly and celebrating. The thing that drew my attention most from the post is the number of people “making enquiries about firearm licensing and firearm registration.” Perhaps that’s a sign that the population wants more guns, not less.
In 1996 there were sweeping measures put into place that removed approximately a third of the firearms from the hands of civilians. Unlike the United States, when Australia gained their “independence” from the United Kingdom, they did not put into effect a bill of rights explicitly. Certainly they do not have protections to keep and bear arms. The history of the nation is about 125 years after the United States in terms of organization, with full “sovereignty” arguably not being obtained until the 80’s. Important to note, Australia did not battle a bloody revolution like the United States did and their “independence” came slowly over time, essentially handed to them. To this day, Australia is still loyal to the crown, like our friends to the north Canada, as they are members of the Commonwealth realm. Seeing anti-freedom policies removing arms from the populations in both Canada and Australia should not be shocking, they are still under the thumb of the queen.
Exploring the efficacy of “buy backs” or in this case “amnesty” programs has been done time and time again. A recent study even noted an acute rise in crime in the months proceeding a confiscation event. It’s doubtful there will be an appreciable amount of crime rise in Tasmania from the eight firearms turned in, including that one lonely and scary pistol. It’s also doubtful that the dozens of items turned in will add to the public safety of the citizenry. The picture of that trashcan is the picture of “public safety” gone off the rails.
As for the push for more firearm freedoms? Australia does have a healthy portion of the population that heavily mocks the laws that limit freedoms, similar in vein to the way free Americans would speak about states like California, New York, or New Jersey. The difference is the cards are not completely stacked against the oppressed people that live in draconian states. There is still a judicial system that is not completely compromised in the US. Australians, well, they have to fight the government as a whole, and by extension the crown. A fairly appropriate subject to ponder as we celebrate our own independence on this side of the globe. I wish my boomerang wielding friends luck.