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Old January 17, 2013, 05:52 PM   #1
Glenn E. Meyer
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The difference between the USA and Australia

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/op...a-can-too.html

Quote:
Australia, correctly in my view, does not have a Bill of Rights, so our legislatures have more say than America’s over many issues of individual rights, and our courts have less control.
The article discusses how Australia instituted a gun ban regime after the Port Arthur rampage. The ex - Prime Minister discusses how he did it and why.

I don't think, ya think, that he gets the broader implications of not having a bill of rights and how the legislature without such can go bonkers. Perhaps, the Australians are all good sort and never abuse each, so they don't need one.

Interesting read. Very alien to our view point. The take-away point is his quote on rights.
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Old January 17, 2013, 05:59 PM   #2
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How far gone do you have to be to think that the Bill of Rights is a bad thing?
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Old January 17, 2013, 06:09 PM   #3
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There were supposedly around 650,000 guns turned in, from an Australian population of 23 million.
Their confiscation program might not have been as successful as imagined.
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Old January 17, 2013, 06:15 PM   #4
Vanya
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Huh.

He does point out that Australia "was granted nationhood peacefully; the United States had to fight for it." He goes on to acknowledge that that might make a some sort of difference... Overall, it's an odd piece, given that he describes how the Australian gun ban worked, agrees that the situation in the U.S. is different (in part because we do have a Bill of Rights), but never says word one about how, exactly, the U.S. might do something similar...

Lots of patting-self-on-back, zero relevance to U.S. situation. I guess he's sort of saying, "You go, Mr. Prez!" -- but there are no actual suggestions there.

They have a parliamentary system, which works differently from ours -- has the possibility of coalition governments, votes of no confidence, etc. Not to mention that the head of state government (the prime minister) is always the leader of the majority party -- or coalition, although in that case it's no doubt stickier to agree on who gets to be the boss. Better system in some ways: easier to get things done, and more accountable to the will of the people if they don't like what is being done (general elections can happen whenever there's a vote of no confidence, not just every so-many years) -- worse in others... e.g. fewer checks and balances.

Last edited by Vanya; January 17, 2013 at 10:12 PM. Reason: fixed an oopsie.
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Old January 17, 2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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That quote is disturbing.
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Old January 17, 2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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Screw Austrailia!
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Old January 17, 2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
The Australian Institute of Criminology found that gun-related murders and suicides fell sharply after 1996.
I am asking so what?

http://www.gunsandcrime.org/auresult.html
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:25 PM   #8
Crankgrinder
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Did they also make note that the Uk and Australia both are surrounded by nothing but water, and that they also have secure borders. Here in the U.S we have Mexico immediately to our south and the world knows what the situation is there and to their south we have south america (columbia and panima) and we know the stuff that goes on there too. It is either impossible or too expensive to regulate our borders in the U.S, or there is something else going on because our gov. refuses to do anything about the stuff coming and going across the river. (Unless of course theyre the ones buying & selling down there then its OK).
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:40 PM   #9
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I find it amusing that every single article advocating for a ban on firearms state that GUN violence and GUN suicide drop, but never state if overall violence went up or if other crime rates changed.
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Old January 17, 2013, 09:53 PM   #10
KyJim
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Quote:
They have a parliamentary system, which works differently from ours -- has the possibility of coalition governments, votes of no confidence, etc. Not to mention that the head of state (the prime minister) is always the leader of the majority party -- or coalition, although in that case it's no doubt stickier to agree on who gets to be the boss. Better system in some ways: easier to get things done, and more accountable to the will of the people if they don't like what is being done (general elections can happen whenever there's a vote of no confidence, not just every so-many years) -- worse in others... e.g. fewer checks and balances.
A parliamentary system does not necessarily mean it is easier to "get things done" or that the government is more accountable to the people. For years it seemed like the Italian government collapsed about every other month.
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Old January 17, 2013, 10:11 PM   #11
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Eh, well... Italians.

Post WWII, they set up a system that favored small parties -- so was guaranteed to fragment, fall apart: by the '70's there were 17 political parties , and a constant squabble of coalition governments. So they "fixed" it sometime around 1993-94... by which time they had a "tradition" of very short-lived governments. And around 900 or so members of parliament for a population of about 60 million.... And they will go on electing Berlusconi.. Not a poster child, but not typical, either.
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:16 AM   #12
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Vanya - I don't know what to make of Italy. A gazillion lira to the dollar...political chaos...and yet life goes on there. Seems like it should have collapsed long ago, maybe it has and nobody cared?
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:22 AM   #13
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I like this careful choice of words:
Quote:
In the 18 years before the 1996 reforms, Australia suffered 13 gun massacres — each with more than four victims — causing a total of 102 deaths. There has not been a single massacre in that category since 1996.
Emphasis mine.

He had to add that, to avoid the need to acknowledge the knife, sword, and axe rampages they've had since the ban.

...Or the fact that "sword violence" was so bad, they must now be licensed and registered.
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