Australia looking at nationwide gun registration

Australia looking at nationwide gun registration
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Australia isn’t a gun-friendly nation. They have mountains of gun control in place, laws meant to prevent all sorts of violent crime.

Which clearly didn’t work.

Unsurprisingly, as noted on Monday, officials there want new gun control. That, however, was just this vague desire. Now, we know precisely what they’re after. Gun registration.

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has requested a national cabinet briefing on the challenges of implementing a national firearms register after last week’s fatal shooting of two Queensland police officers and a neighbour in Wieambilla.

The Queensland and New South Wales premiers this week backed a renewed push by the Queensland Police Union to implement a national gun registerfirst recommended in the wake of the Hoddle and Queen street massacres 35 years ago.

Similar recommendations were made after the 1996 Port Arthur shootings and Lindt cafe siege in 2014 but the reform has been undermined by inconsistent and often incomplete or inaccurate data held by states and territories.

Albanese on Tuesday said national cabinet would next year discuss reforming how information on gun ownership is collected and collated across state and territory borders.

“I am certainly up for dialogue with the states and territories about how there can be better national consistency and national information that can serve the interests of police going about their duty,” he said.

And I fail to see what good that would have actually done to prevent this.

It seems one of the individuals involved in this had a license to own a gun in New South Wales. Licensing, in and of itself, is touted as necessary to prevent these kinds of horrible tragedies, but it didn’t.

So now, despite the government knowing this guy probably owned one or more guns, they’re saying they need a gun registry so they would have known this guy owned a gun. Sure, that makes perfect sense…if your head is up your posterior.

The truth is that the shooting that rocked Australia wouldn’t have been prevented by any gun control measure you care to name. This is someone who wanted to gun down police officers and did what they could to make that happen.

Knowing who has guns won’t change that.

But it will make it easier down the road to take those guns from law-abiding Australians. People who did nothing wrong would suddenly find themselves having to give up their firearms because government officials decided they could no longer have them.

It’s not like that’s a shocking revelation, either. We’ve seen how that can work here in the US, too. This is the endgame of gun control and always has been. Australia is just taking the next step, but we know where it will end.

They can push this all they want, but they shouldn’t.

Unfortunately, there is no Second Amendment equivalent there to protect gun owners. There’s nothing to stop this from happening, and since it seems lawmakers there are tripping over themselves to restrict gun ownership, it’s just a matter of time.

I expect better from a nation founded by prisoners.