The Anti-gun control folks have been pushing for America to adopt a system of gun control similar to what’s been implemented in Australia. These reforms were made law in 1996 and many Liberals believe have worked out quite well for our friends down under.
Sorry, but they won’t work here. Overall, a massive scale project like this would create civil unrest, unlike anything we’ve seen in these modern times.
Implementing Australia’s gun control policies first and foremost requires imposing Australia’s euphemistically named “gun buyback” program, the cornerstone of the country’s gun laws. As positive as a “buyback” program sounds, what gun control advocates often conveniently fail to note is that it only works if it is obligatory.
The gun buyback is actually government-imposed gun confiscation. There is no opting out. You are handing over the gun that you own legally to the government, or else you will face the point of a gun. The only guns the Australian government allows their citizens to own must be registered and permitted for specific purposes, and self-defense is not one of those government-sanctioned purposes.
Australia’s gun confiscation was only successful because of its large scale. The government took at least 650,000 guns, or about one-fifth of all guns in the country; higher estimates put the numbers at 1 million and one-third.
So, would tens of millions of gun-owning Americans, many of whom specifically own those guns for self-defense — including, if not particularly, self-defense against a tyrannical state — voluntarily hand over those guns to a government they believed was violating their constitutionally enshrined rights? Not a chance. What would inevitably have to happen is a militarized police force knocking on doors, searching houses, and forcefully taking those guns from tens of millions of “bitter clingers.”
In a must-read piece for The Federalist, historian Varad Mehta outlined several reasons why Australia’s gun laws would not just fail in America but result in the criminalization of millions of Americans and ultimately revolt; he underscores the central difference between the United States and Australia when it comes to guns.