An issue nearer to my heart is Mr Abbott’s intention to criminalise gun ownership so forcefully that the ‘trafficking’ of an ‘illegal’ gun would bring a mandatory five year sentence of imprisonment. The Nazis too sought to demonise and outlaw gun ownership – in their case on penalty of death. Yet very few guns were ever relinquished: so deeply held in the German people was their belief in the sanctity of gun ownership that they were willing to risk death to defend it. Millions of Germans held onto their illegal firearms throughout the Nazi era – and some fought and died, as you might know.
The same has happened here since gun registration became compulsory (in Vic) in 1983. Abbott’s admission that there are hundreds of thousands of illegal guns (I would think more) shows that people would rather defy such onerous restrictions. This belief is well stated in the American Constitution where the right (nay duty) to bear arms is enshrined, a voluntary militia so armed being seen as a necessary Defence of free people against the tyranny of Government.
Mr Abbott (and his cronies) argue for this measure as a response to the risks that (particularly Islamist) terrorists represent. They would do much better to so correctly identify and eradicate this risk eg by deporting its supporters. I have no problem with criminals and terrorists being executed – indeed I passionately advocate it! What I object to is the criminalisation of ordinary law abiding citizens because they wish to make or own guns, or exchange them with each other.
I would much rather see gun ownership being made compulsory than that it be forbidden. Such a step would certainly improve public manners and public safety! It is an absurdity that there are people who believe that the only possessors of guns should be Governments, when it is clearly Governments who are the single biggest abusers of firearms (and especially against their own citizens) – as the 100 million plus citizens murdered by Governments in the C20th attests!
It seems reasonable to me that everyone should be armed so that they can defend themselves against wicked Governments – their own or someone else’s!