Originally Posted by blue eyed pony
it's illegal to sell a knife to any person under the age of 18 in Australia - even a butter knife - if it's made of metal).
Oddly enough, we have less gun crime here in Aus than in the US. Perhaps because fewer people have guns. Perhaps because we're taught from the very beginning to be scared of them and not use them.
Assuming this is true (per captial? Total gun crime? What counts as a gun crime, etc.) I would say that having less gun crimes is probably linked to having less guns. That's a logical argument.
However, your laws also seem to imply there is a much higher incidence of butter knife violence in Aus than in the US. :)
The point is that people will commit violent acts with or without access to guns. You can outlaw butter knives, and they will resort to rocks, or a chair, or a car.
A big difference, and one that applies to the original topic, is that firearms represent an equalizing force when used in self defense.
A typical 250lb violent adult male vs a 100lb young girl (or out of shape middle aged guy): both have rocks, both have sticks, both have knives... the outcome will typically favor the 250lb violent attacker.
Give both a gun and they are essentially equals in the confrontation. A typical attacker will only attack when the odds favor him. You don't usually read about professional football players getting mugged - it is usually some old lady. Attackers look for weakness. A young girl riding her horse alone in the woods is an attractive target. Put a gun on her hip and she is no longer a target. That's simple fact.
As they do many people. As the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, that fear has been taught to you and drilled in by the government and media.
A gun in the hand of an unbalanced and unsafe person terrifies me. I was in a sporting good store last week buying a rifle and the halfwit down the counter kept sweeping me with a shotgun. Sure it was unloaded, but that is unsafe practice and makes the hair on my neck stand up.
On the other hand, I am at the range often and attend many firearm events. There are many VERY responsible people I am around who constantly carry loaded firearms. Knowing these people as I do, I feel more safe than ever knowing there is a loaded firearm nearby being handled by a person who "has my back."
Not getting political here, but Pres. Obama made an interesting quip a while back. He is considered an anti-gun person, but he told the press that he has no worries about his daughters dating because they are accompanied by armed agents. It was a joke, but it highlights the hypocrisy. Many "anti-gun" celebrities in the US either have armed guards with them or have full carry permits themselves. They encourage the fear of guns in you (us) but make sure they have ready access to these same guns.
It is all about power and a belief that these politicians and celebrities are above everyone else and don't have to follow the same rules. They want the ability to stop you from defending yourself without allowing you the same.
It's not the gun you should be scared of. It is the person. If they want to harm you, they don't need a gun. Heck, it's easier to run you down with a car (and get away with it).
One more minor point:
Originally Posted by celeste
In the USA we have a constitutional right to arm ourselves.
Minor semantic quibble. The Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The Constitution has ten rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. These rights are not "constitutional rights" as they are not granted by the constitution. The bill of rights simply recognizes these rights as so fundamental it specifically prohibits the government from restricting them.