Australia had buyback programs in 1996 and 2003. Both compulsory programs involved compensation being paid to the owners of firearms that had been made illegal by gun law changes.
This private property had to be surrendered to the government for destruction.
The 1996 “National Firearms Buyback Program” took 660,959 firearms out of private hands. Being mostly semi-automatic rimfire rifles and shotguns. Some pump-action shotguns and a smaller proportion of the invented class of ‘Military type semi-automatic rifles’.
The Australian Constitution requires that the Commonwealth pay ‘Just compensation’ when crushing the rights of its citizens. So they paid $500,000,000.00 to shooters for the weapons handed in.
That is half a billion dollars.
The Government increased the Medicare levy to finance the buyback program.
So what did snatching away shooters rights and wasting half a billion dollars achieve for the sun soaked nation? Well, nothing really.
It has terrorism with guns. It has significant offending with illegal guns and experts claiming that the tyrannical gun grab has had zero meaningful effect on reducing gun crime.
BUT… This is not a zero sum game.
If that health money had been spent on health – Crazy I know but come with me here – how many lives would that have saved?
We have called several major hospitals and others in the health care industry to see if anyone could answer the question “How many lives does an extra million dollars in the budget save?” None could answer.
So let’s just explore some numbers.
The cost of surgery in Australia differs greatly depending on where you live. NSW is very expensive. Let’s look at the cost of treating heart failure with complications. This is ranging from $7500 to $24,800. Let’s take the most expensive option of one of the most expensive treatments and round it up to twenty five thousand.
There was a damning report from that same state that hit the headlines only a few weeks ago. It showed that more than 2000 people had died before they could have the elective surgery that they needed. It also found that waiting times in their hospitals were among the worst in the country.
So let’s do some simple math.
Fifty million would have paid for all those people to get the healthcare that they needed, without delay. Saving two thousand lives.
That is the annual return that you would get if you simply invested half a billion dollars.
You could save over two thousand lives every year.
In the year of the gun buy back program, there were 500 gun killings in Australia. This number had been falling, consistently, for many years. The trend has continued to about half that number today.
Even so – if you pretend that the gun grab was responsible for this reduction – it wasn’t – then in the first twenty years after the law change the left still owe us 40,000 Australian lives.
Maybe it is less lives. Maybe it is more. If you aimed half a billion at a disease you may be able to wipe it out and save millions.
In America they never mention the lives SAVED by gun ownership each year. The good people saved from rape and murder and robbery. That is the nature of liberal math.
My point here is that stupid costs.
Not just rights and our sport. But lives.
So don’t compromise with stupid.
Here are two important facts:
- Australia now has MORE guns than before the gun buy back. Their firearm imports hit a record high in 2014-15.
- They are in the hands of LESS shooters. The proportion of Australian households with a gun fell by 75 per cent between 1988 and 2005.
The million guns destroyed have been replaced with 1,026,000 new ones. However the population growth over the past 20 years means the rate of private gun ownership remains about 23 per cent lower.
Despite those increases in gun numbers, Aussie has seen steady declines in firearm misuse. Gun deaths fell by about 32 per cent between 1981 and 1996 and 64 per cent between 1996 and 2014.
Homicide and suicide by firearm have been falling since the 1980s.
Armed robbery with a firearm, drive-by shootings and shoot with intent have also continued to fall.
So what do the gun grabber say to these numbers?
They say that single shot guns were always the biggest issue – even before the semi auto / pump action gun ban – so we really just need to ban them all.
They never stop.
A case study to prove the futility of punishing shooters for the crimes of others:
Not long ago the Australia Post office in Sylvania Waters became an international crime scene. Criminals were using it to smuggle Glock pistols into the country. In numbers. Putting hundreds of illegal firearms into the hands of Sydney’s underworld.
Police have claimed that 300 brand new Austrian-made Glock handguns were involved. But who knows the real numbers. They were just disassembled in Germany, labels such ‘Plastic’ and ‘Metal’ were put on some boxes and then they were shipped to Sydney.
Customs missed the imports completely. Apparently undone by the boxes not being labeled ‘Illegal guns to be used for crime’.
The system was only discovered when a drive-by shooting suspect exposed the operation.
This is what half a billion dollars of gun buy back gets you.
OR – you can simply target the criminal demand for illegal guns. From any source.