Tag Archives: Australia

Agenda-driven reporting: Vox claims Australia has solved its gun problem. They haven’t read “How Melbourne Became A Gun City”

There’s some interesting statistics that liberals push in their quest for gun control and some interesting facts that prove they haven’t done their homework in order to push a desired narrative.

Warning: This is a long read. Take your time to read through the whole blog post or bookmark it to read later. The actual data/stories out of Melbourne are an eye-opener yet not surprising.


In response to the Vegas shooting, liberals love to trot out the gun-control example of Australia and its mandatory gun buyback which resulted after the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. During that mass shooting, 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded.

A brief history of Australia’s mandatory gun buyback, from to Wikipedia:

Australians reacted to the event with widespread shock and horror, and the political effects were significant and long-lasting. The federal government led state governments, some of which (notably Tasmania itself and Queensland) were opposed to new gun laws, to severely restrict the availability of firearms. While surveys showed up to 85% of Australians ‘supported gun control’,] many people opposed the new laws. Concern was raised within the Coalition Government that fringe groups such as the ‘Ausi Freedom Scouts’, the Australian League of Rights and the Citizen Initiated Referendum Party, were exploiting voter anger to gain support. After discovering that the Christian Coalition and US National Rifle Association were supporting the gun lobby, the government and media cited their support, along with the moral outrage of the community to discredit the gun lobby as extremists.

Under federal government co-ordination, all states and territories of Australia restricted the legal ownership and use of self-loading rifles, self-loading shotguns, and tightened controls on their legal use by recreational shooters. The government initiated a mandatory “buy-back” scheme with the owners paid according to a table of valuations. Some 643,000 firearms were handed in at a cost of $350 million which was funded by a temporary increase in the Medicare levy which raised $500 million. Media, activists, politicians and some family members of victims, notably Walter Mikac (who lost his wife and two children), spoke out in favour of the changes.”

On October 3, two days after the Vegas shooting, Vox author Ella Nilsen published an article entitled, “The Weeds: Australia solved its gun problem. Could America?”

Excerpt from Ella’s article:

“Through that program, the government was able to get rid of about 650,000 guns. But as Sarah notes, the program went further still, introducing a ban on automatic and semiautomatic weapons, putting in new licensing requirements, and making people wait 28 days before they purchased a gun.

The proposal worked, with suicide rates in Australia dropping about 57 percent after the reforms were implemented, and homicide rates dropping 47 percent, according to studies by Harvard researchers.”

I decided to click on the “proposal worked” link to verify Ella’s statement that “suicide rates in Australia dropping about 57 percent” and “homicide rates dropping 47 percent.”

When I clicked on that link, it took me to a Vox article dated one day before the Vegas shooting on October 2: “Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted.”

The author of that Vox article is Zack Beauchamp, whose Twitter bio says “Senior Reporter. Vox. (((Globalist))). From Zack’s article:

It is worth considering, as one data point in the pool of evidence about what sorts of gun control policies do and do not work, the experience of Australia. Between October 1996 and September 1997, Australia responded to its own gun violence problem with a solution that was both straightforward and severe: It collected roughly 650,000 privately held guns. It was one of the largest mandatory gun buyback programs in recent history.

And it worked. That does not mean that something even remotely similar would work in the US — they are, needless to say, different countries — but it is worth at least looking at their experience.

According to one academic estimate, the buyback took in and destroyed 20 percent of all privately owned guns in Australia. Analysis of import data suggests that Australians haven’t purchased nearly enough guns in the past 18 years to make up for the initial decline.

I decided to click on the “import data” link to verify Zack’s statement that “Australians haven’t purchase nearly enough guns in the past 18 years to make up for the initial decline.”

When I clicked on that link, it took me to a PDF discussion paper entitled, “Do Gun Buyback Save Lives? Evidence from Panel Data.” The paper is authored by Andrew Leigh from Australian National University and IZA*, and Christine Neill from Wilfrid Laurier University. The discussion paper is dated June 2010.

*From Wikipedia: The IZA – Institute of Labor Economics (German: Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit), until 2016 referred to as the Institute of the Study of Labor (IZA), is a private, independent economic research institute and academic network focused on the analysis of global labor markets and headquartered in Bonn, Germany.

IZA is supported by the Deutsche Post Foundation. From my web research, I found that the Deutsche Post Foundation is a non-profit think tank from Germany’s largest employer, Deutsche Post, which is a postal service and international courier service company (the world’s largest).

According to Handelsblatt Global, the think tank is headed by Klaus Zumwinkel, a former Post chief executive who was convicted of tax evasion in 2009. Despite his conviction for tax evasion, the former executive is still in charge (as of 2015) of the multi-million-euro, not-for-profit foundation and an influential non-profit economic research institute, both of which have links to Deutsche Post.

Mr. Zumwinkel, who is in self-imposed exile in Italy and London, founded the Deutsche Post Foundation in 1998 during his tenure as chief executive and chairman of the postal service. (I could not read the rest of the article due to subscription requirement.)

So back to the discussion paper dated June 2010. From the abstract:

In 1997, Australia implemented a gun buyback program that reduced the stock of firearms by around one-fifth. Using differences across states in the number of firearms withdrawn, we test whether the reduction in firearms availability affected firearm homicide and suicide rates. We find that the buyback led to a drop in the firearm suicide rates of almost 80 per cent [sic], with no statistically significant effect on non-firearm death rates. The estimated effect on firearm homicides is of similar magnitude, but is less precise. The results are robust to a variety of specification checks, and to instrumenting the state-level buyback rate.”

I’m not surprised that the first Vox link took me to another Vox article. And I’m not surprised that the “import data” link Vox provided took me to a discussion paper from over seven years ago. Why didn’t Vox provide some more current statistical information? That is a rhetorical question, of course.

So what has been happening with gun violence in Australia since their mandatory gun buyback program? Here’s some current information that you will find interesting and liberals will not promote.

I found a 2016 three-part series published by the Melbourne newspaper called The Age. There is no date stamp on the articles yet their statistical data charts go through 2016. The series is entitled, “How Melbourne Became a Gun City.” Here’s the title of the three articles:

Statistical data in the series is courtesy of the Coroners Court of Victoria, Crimes Statistics Agency, and Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit.

Below are highlights from each of the articles. Feel free to read them on your own time as they provide a lot of information regarding gun violence that still exists, and is growing, in the liberals’ favorite “gun-control model” of Australia.

Part One: Young, Dumb and Armed

A brazen new breed of criminals is taking up arms at unprecedented rates and they aren’t afraid to use them.

Despite Australia’s strict gun control regime, criminals are now better armed than at any time since then-Prime Minister John Howard introduced a nationwide firearm buyback scheme in response to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

Shootings have become almost a weekly occurrence, with more than 125 people, mostly young men, wounded in the past five years.

While the body count was higher during Melbourne’s ‘Underbelly War’ (1999-2005), more people have been seriously maimed in the recent spate of shootings and reprisals.

Crimes associated with firearm possession have also more than doubled, driven by the easy availability of handguns, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and, increasingly, machine guns, that are smuggled into the country or stolen from licensed owners.

In this series, Fairfax Media looks at Melbourne’s gun problem and the new breed of criminals behind the escalating violence. The investigation has found:

  • There have been at least 99 shootings in the past 20 months – more than one incident a week since January 2015
  • Known criminals were caught with firearms 755 times last year, compared to 143 times in 2011
  • The epicentre of the problem is a triangle between Coolaroo, Campbellfield and Glenroy in the north-west, with Cranbourne, Narre Warren and Dandenong in the south-east close behind
  • Criminals are using gunshot wounds to the arms and legs as warnings to pay debts
  • Assault rifles and handguns are being smuggled into Australia via shipments of electronics and metal parts

In response to the violence, it can be revealed the state government is planning to introduce new criminal offences for drive-by shootings, manufacturing of firearms with new technologies such as 3D printers, and more police powers to keep weapons out of the hands of known criminals.

Part Two: Gunslingers of the Northwest

It is the triangle of Melbourne suburbs where those with guns rule the streets and sleeping children are no longer safe from the bullets.

As a wave of gun crime washes through Melbourne’s streets – with at least 100 shootings in the past 20 months – the number of bullets being fired has inevitably led to unintended victims.

These neighbourhoods are littered with reminders of violence: there is the business owned by a man who lost one brother at the end of a firearm, another to a drug overdose; the street in Dallas where a 19-year-old was found dying from a gunshot wound in July; the Broadmeadows house, with the carcasses of three cars in the front yard, which was struck in a recent drive-by shooting.

Typically, guns fall into the hands of criminals in three ways: stolen from registered owners, mostly from farms or other regional properties; illegally imported; or from the “grey market” of illicit firearms created after a wider range of guns were made illegal as part of sweeping reforms introduced in 1996.

Part Three: Chasing the Silver Bullet

Gun violence is gripping the city and as Victoria’s justice system and politicians come under fire for failing to tackle the crime wave, cops on the frontline have become the targets of real bullets.

Meanwhile, the number of guns on the street swells. Firearms offences have doubled in the past five years. There is now a shooting once a week. It is only a matter of time before more innocent people get caught in the crossfire.

Last year alone, there were 755 incidents in which “prohibited persons” – those with serious criminal convictions – were caught with firearms. It’s a five-fold increase since 2011, according to the Crime Statistics Agency.

Part of the problem is no one can really pin down where all the illegal guns are coming from.  Authorities point to the “grey market” the term given to rifles and shotguns that were not handed back in the 1996 amnesty that followed the Port Arthur massacre and have circulated for the past two decades.

A new national gun amnesty, which many have advocated for, would lead to the voluntary surrender of illicit weapons. Gun control advocates say a new amnesty would particularly target those grey market firearms.

But that argument doesn’t account for the many handguns that have been used in recent shootings. Handguns were not part of the original amnesty, and hence are not part of the grey market.

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission chief executive officer Chris Dawson admits the “serious national problem” of illegal guns circulating through the country is far from well-defined. Guns, points out Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Stephen Fontana, are surprisingly easy to hide, and traffick.


The next time a liberal tells you how wonderful Australia’s gun buyback program has worked, point them to the “How Melbourne Became a Gun City” series.  Remind them that criminals never follow the laws.

Thanks for reading!

DCG

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12-year-old “transgender” boy changes his mind two years after “transitioning”

Yes, it was a mistake. Hope this young man gets the real medical/mental treatment he obviously needs.

From news.com.au: Patrick Mitchell just wanted to change everything about himself. Uncomfortable in his own skin, the young schoolboy felt like he didn’t quite fit. He was just seven years old when he felt like he first heard the phrase “trans”.

It was the start of an emotional journey which, five years later, would see him diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and beg his mother to let him transition into a girl.

“You wish you could just change everything about you, you just see any girl and you say ‘I’d kill to be like that’,” Patrick tells reporter Ross Coulthart in an interview to air on 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

But two years after taking estrogen hormones and growing his hair long in an effort to address the condition which put him at odds between his biological gender and his own identity, Patrick has changed his mind.

He’s stopped taking the oestrogen hormones which transformed his body and is preparing for surgery to remove the excess breast tissue to transition back into a boy, Woman’s Day reports.

Patrick was just 12 when he first voiced his mental torture to his family. It had been five years since he’d first heard the word ‘trans’, he says “and because I’d always identified with girls thought, well, this makes sense, I probably am a girl”.

As his conflict grew — both internally, and externally thanks to hitting puberty and being bullied at school — he’d stay up late at night researching trans people and what could be done to look more like a female.

“It was so hard to wake up every morning and see something new on my body, or that I’d grown. It was so depressing — I hated looking in the mirror. I didn’t know who the person staring back at me was.”

His mother, Alison, tells 60 Minutes she could see her son struggling. Finally, having seen a television story about transgender people, she gently broached the subject with her son. “I hadn’t even finished the sentence and he had the biggest smile on his face. I hadn’t seen him smile for months,” she said.

With a doctor’s diagnosis, she gave the go-ahead for Patrick to begin his transformation. “When he was young he would dress up in girls’ clothes and at one stage he did say to me could he be taken to the doctor to be made into a girl,” she said.

But at the start of this year, when teachers started referring to him as a girl, Patrick started feeling different. “I began to realise I was actually comfortable in my body. Every day I just felt better,” he says.

He again turned to his supportive mum. “He looked me in the eye and said ‘I’m just not sure that I am a girl’,” Alison says.

It was a massive twist in an emotional journey, and Alison has only admiration for her son.

“That moment … when you know it’s taken every drop of courage for that child to speak up … I didn’t know what the coming days would bring, but I knew his thoughts had caught up with his body,” she says.

h/t Weasel Zippers

DCG

“Hug a terrorist” program aims to stop extremism in Denmark

islam-religion-of-peace

Who knew all it took was a hug from us infidels?

From Fox News: Police in Denmark have set up a controversial new program to stop the spread of radicalization and terror attacks.

In Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, authorities are using a method referred to by some as the “hug a terrorist” or “hug a jihadi” model of de-radicalization.

They are trying to change the minds of potential Islamic extremists by supporting them and offering them kindness rather than treating them as outcasts and criminals.

From SBS (Australian public broadcasting network):

“The program has been referred by some in the media as the ‘hug a terrorist’ model of deradicalisation. So far, it’s been remarkably effective.

In this week’s Dateline, reporter Evan Williams meets Jamal*, who several years ago says he was so angry with society he almost became a terrorist.

Jamal’s extremist views started developing after a high school debate on Islam. Jamal vehemently defended his religion against his classmates.  But the teacher interpreted something he said as a threat and the school referred Jamal to the police.

The ordeal resulted in Jamal getting suspended from school, and his home raided by police.  He told Dateline that he was made to feel like a criminal, when he hadn’t broken the law. As a result he surrounded himself with other young Muslims who shared his feelings of isolation. They watched radical sermons online and talked of jihad. Before long, they were planning to leave Denmark for Pakistan.

“In my mind I was like, ‘they treated me as a terrorist. If they want a terrorist, they will get a terrorist’,” he says.

But a phone call from one police officer changed everything for Jamal.

The officer apologised, telling Jamal his case was handled poorly, and asked if he would meet with a Muslim mentor.  At first Jamal was suspicious of the offer, but agreed to meet the mentor.

After several meetings and long conversations about the unique difficulties of being Muslim in Denmark, Jamal began reconsider his views. All it took was someone to reach out and offer empathy and understanding. In Jamal’s case, a punitive, disciplinary response from authorities to suspicions he was becoming radicalised, only further radicalised him. What turned him away from extremism was the offer of an open hand.

Read the rest of this “remarkably effective” program here.

DCG

Australian café charges a “man tax”

man tax @paigecardona twitter

Twitter photo/@paigecardona

It’s not mandatory. You could just ask if a man wanted to donate to the charity cause yet guess that wouldn’t make much of a feminist statement.

From Fox News: A vegan cafe in Brunswick, Australia, charges its male customers an 18 percent surcharge to represent the gender pay gap, Broadsheet reports.

The campaign at Handsome Her — which has been accused of being “sexist” by some in its reviews on Google — reportedly occurs one week each month. 

“There’s been nothing but positivity from everyone, males and females,” the cafe’s owner, Alex O’Brien, told Broadsheet.

Handsome Her describes itself on Facebook as being focused “on female empowerment, social responsibility and environmental justice.”

Its “House Rules” say the surcharge “is donated to a women’s service” and that women also get priority seating at the business.

“We are not imposing the surcharge, it’s voluntary,” O’Brien said. “Men are asked if they want to pay the charge before being charged.”

“If someone doesn’t want to pay the tax, we will just wipe it,” she said.

DCG

Actor Chris Hemsworth is an environmental warrior hypocrite

chris hemsworth

Chris (center) and his buddies flying a private jet…

Chris Hemsworth is an Australian actor who is probably best known for his role in Thor. He also claims to be an environmental warrior, especially for the oceans. From One Green Planet:

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth recently posted a photo on Instagram while collecting plastic waste from a beach. The image was also captioned with an important message about the problem. Hemsworth is now the Ambassador of the #100Islandsprotected project by Corona X Parlay and is “thrilled to be a part of this program.”

The actor stressed that he’s spent a great part of his life around the ocean. In the presence of this enormous natural body, he always felt calm, happy, and present. This proximity to the ocean and the big part it has played in Hemsworth’s life made him realize all the more our need to protect it. “My experience in the Maldives made it obvious how our short-term use of plastic has a long-term damaging effect on our oceans,” he wrote.

As the Ambassador of the project, he will focus on educating people about the negative effects plastic waste has on the oceans.

This is not, however, the first time the actor spoke up about the environmental issues. Earlier this year, he posted a picture with a member of the Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii who runs large-scale beach clean-ups. Before that, Hemsworth posted about vaquitas, a marine species that is now severely endangered due to illegal fishing and on the verge of total extinction. He also spoke against whaling back in 2015.

Guess what the ambassador of the oceans did on Saturday to get to the Comic Con festival in San Diego? He flew via private jet to the event. The picture above is from his Instagram account.

From the web site of the private jet company Chris was on, Zetta Jet:

We at Zetta Jet are dedicated to putting the luxury back into private travel, to personalizing private flight again.

I know that plastic in the oceans is a big problem and commend him for supporting that issue.

Chris wants us to believe he understands the solution to protect the world’s oceans yet he flies a private gas-guzzling and –emitter jet which contributes to climate change (and he frequently flies via this mode). If you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk (or fly commercial).

Course I’m sure Leo is proud of him.

DCG

ManBearPig claims climate battle just like fight against slavery, apartheid

gore

Yeah, no.

From Fox News: Global warming activist profiteer and former veep Al Gore likened the battle over climate change to humanity’s greatest struggles — like the fights against slavery, apartheid and nuclear proliferation — during a speech Thursday in Australia, according to a newly reported transcript.

In a July 13 speech to the EcoCity World Summit in Melbourne, the former vice president argued combating global warming was “in the tradition of all the great moral causes that have improved the circumstances of humanity throughout our history,” according to the website Climate Depot.

“The abolition of slavery, woman’s suffrage and women’s rights, the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the movement to stop the toxic phase of nuclear arms race and more recently the gay rights movement,” Gore said.

Marc Morano, executive editor for ClimateDepot.com, told Fox News he made an audio recording of Gore’s remarks because summit organizers prevented media from videotaping the event.

Morano, a former communications aide to climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., also confirmed reports that security staff physically prevented people from taking photos with their cell phones.

It is not the first time Gore has drawn the parallel between global warming and civil rights. “The climate movement should be seen in the context of the great moral causes that have transformed and improved the outlook for humanity,” Gore said at an green energy awards ceremony in June.

“It was wrong to allow slavery to continue, it was wrong to deny women the right to vote, it was wrong to discriminate on the basis of skin color or who you fell in love with,” he continued.

In a 2013 interview with The Washington Post, Gore likened climate change “deniers” to alcoholic fathers who fly off the handle when the issue is mentioned.

The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned. It’s like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned and so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace,” he explained.

Gore has been in Australia as part of a tour promoting the upcoming release of “An Inconvenient Sequel,” the follow-up to the 2006 documentary on global warming.

DCG

The Guardian: Want to fight climate change? Have fewer babies!

white babies picture from the guardian stop images

The Guardian’s photo of choice/Stop Images

Notice the picture that The Guardian chose to use: it’s only white babies. What are they trying to tell us?

From The Guardian: The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child, according to a new study that identifies the most effective ways people can cut their carbon emissions.

The next best actions are selling your car, avoiding long flights (paging Leo), and eating a vegetarian diet. These reduce emissions many times more than common green activities, such as recycling, using low energy light bulbs or drying washing on a line. However, the high impact actions are rarely mentioned in government advice and school textbooks, researchers found.

Carbon emissions must fall to two tonnes of CO2 per person by 2050 to avoid severe global warming, but in the US and Australia emissions are currently 16 tonnes per person and in the UK seven tonnes. “That’s obviously a really big change and we wanted to show that individuals have an opportunity to be a part of that,” said Kimberly Nicholas, at Lund University in Sweden and one of the research team.

The new study, published in Environmental Research Letters, sets out the impact of different actions on a comparable basis. By far the biggest ultimate impact is having one fewer child, which the researchers calculated equated to a reduction of 58 tonnes of CO2 for each year of a parent’s life.

The figure was calculated by totting up the emissions of the child and all their descendants, then dividing this total by the parent’s lifespan. Each parent was ascribed 50% of the child’s emissions, 25% of their grandchildren’s emissions and so on.

“We recognise these are deeply personal choices. But we can’t ignore the climate effect our lifestyle actually has,” said Nicholas. “It is our job as scientists to honestly report the data. Like a doctor who sees the patient is in poor health and might not like the message ‘smoking is bad for you’, we are forced to confront the fact that current emission levels are really bad for the planet and human society.”

“In life, there are many values on which people make decisions and carbon is only one of them,” she added. “I don’t have children, but it is a choice I am considering and discussing with my fiance. Because we care so much about climate change that will certainly be one factor we consider in the decision, but it won’t be the only one.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG