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View Full Version : Fascinating response to an aussie, that thinks he's pro gun


aileron
04-08-2008, 6:24 AM
This is a fascinating response by Dan Denning, though I think he missed the self defense argument entirely I do like his response to this Aussie that in my opinion is mis-informed and hateful. Sad.

http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/americas-gun-culture/2008/04/08/


America’s Gun Culture
By Dan Denning • April 8th, 2008 • Related Articles • Filed Under
About the Author

Dan DenningDan Denning is the author of 2005's best-selling The Bull Hunter (John Wiley & Sons). A specialist in small-cap stocks, Dan draws on his network of global contacts from his base in Melbourne, Australia and pens the small cap newsletter, The Australian Small Cap Investigator. He is also a contributing editor to the Australian resource investing publication Diggers & Drillers.


Dear DR Team,

I am an Agora Reserve member and really take a great interest in your views. I love Addison's and Bills books and am looking forward to IOUSA. However your description of Charlton Heston as great is way over the top. He was never a great actor regardless of his academy award. He was just lucky enough to star in a couple of Hollywood epics that made a lot of money. In recent years his main claim to fame was as President of the NRA. At a meeting of that despicable and powerful lobby group he stood up holding a gun and proclaimed "You can take my gun from my cold dead hands". Overly dramatic and terrible overacting. This made many Americans sick as it did me. Americans shoot more of one another than any other comparable country on earth. Gun control is essential.

I could spend a long time compiling a list of great Americans but Heston is not one of them - not even close.

Stick to your knitting fellas, you're really good at that.

Just for the record I'm a licensed shooter that believes in very strict gun control.

Yours faithfully

Tony

We will take your note in the spirit which it is offered Tony. But surely you know, as a long-time Daily Reckoning reader, that we rarely stick to our knitting. After all, the Daily Reckoning is free. We give ourselves permission every once in a while to write about things that are not strictly financial.

In this case, we have to respectfully disagree with you on Heston and gun rights. As a migrant to Australia, we realise this position is the one that most Australians find baffling if not irrational, offensive, and morally reprehensible. Gun rights?

We can't really explain it. But as a libertarian from the American West, the best explanation we have to offer is that Americans have always had a deep distrust of authority. Perhaps this comes from the origins of some of the country's first settlers, escaping religious persecution in the Old World.

What's more, for its first 100 years, America was a frontier society. You couldn't call the police if you were having trouble with a neighbour or wild animals attacking your livestock. You had to fend-and defend-for yourself. Guns were practical tools of personal self defense. In many places they still are.

Now we know that many of the weapons on sale at low prices in America are not "practical" in the sense that farmers and ranchers are using them as tools. You would not shoot a wolf with an armor-piercing bullet.

In fact, as America's workforce moved off the farm and into the cities in the early half of the 19th century, having a well armed populace took on a whole new dimension. People in large cities seem to be more uncivil toward one another and more distrustful. Gun crime (much of it related to drugs) has increased.

We chalk this up to the utter stupidity of America's drug laws, which perpetuate high drug prices and incentivize drug crime. It pays more to deal drugs in America's inner cities than it does to work for an honest living. Decriminalise drugs and the prices fall, meaning drug lords wouldn't be going to war to fight over falling profits.

But really, the core of America's gun culture is both violent and fiercely independent. As Australians know, the frontier is a violent place. America was a vast frontier and its gun culture matured as that frontier was explored.

Today, the right to own a gun is a man's only real defence against the arbitrary abuse of government power. That doesn't mean you can go shoot your neighbour if you feel like it. But it does means-and we are merely trying to explain in to our fine Australian readers-that some Americans still have a fundamental distrust of the supposed benign nature of the coercive power of government. They see guns as their last defense against that coercive power.

In our experience, Australians are not nearly so suspicious of government power. This is a generalisation, but Australians-from our observations so far-seem to basically believe that the government is there to help you, can usually be trusted, and is more or less on your side.

Those are all alien thoughts to us. But then again, we're a legal alien, so they would be alien wouldn't they?

Please don't write in telling us to see any Michael Moore movies or telling us about school shootings. We know the issue up and down and inside out. We're just trying to give you an insight about why Americans hold on to their guns. Maybe it's actually worth thinking about, instead of just criticising in a knee-jerk fashion.

Dan Denning
The Daily Reckoning Australia

AngelDecoys
04-08-2008, 6:44 AM
Heston was a maverick. Actor who left acting to serve his country in WWII. Returned a staff sargent, and back to acting. (He was a gunner in a bomber) Not the best actor, but took jobs that portrayed strong male role models. Aside from being married to the same woman his whole life he walked the walk, talked the talk. A man of unwavering principal.

He saw the Constitution as sacred and unique. All 'men created equal' was his belief so much he marched, and stood next to Martin Luther King when he gave his historical speech. Who else from Hollywood put thier carrer at risk to do that, at that time? No one.

My brother-in-law is from Australia. A country the size of the continental US, but with the population of CA's Bay Area. He's now a shooter and doesn't understand the land of his birth. He is glad to be a citizen here.

If the Australians understood natural law, self-defense, and equated gun ownership with civil rights, they might get a clue. Instead they make a great example of policies the US will never adopt.

odesskiy
04-08-2008, 8:08 AM
Heston was a maverick. Actor who left acting to serve his country in WWII. Returned a staff sargent, and back to acting. (He was a gunner in a bomber) Not the best actor, but took jobs that portrayed strong male role models. Aside from being married to the same woman his whole life he walked the walk, talked the talk. A man of unwavering principal.

He saw the Constitution as sacred and unique. All 'men created equal' was his belief so much he marched, and stood next to Martin Luther King when he gave his historical speech. Who else from Hollywood put thier carrer at risk to do that, at that time? No one.

My brother-in-law is from Australia. A country the size of the continental US, but with the population of CA's Bay Area. He's now a shooter and doesn't understand the land of his birth. He is glad to be a citizen here.

If the Australians understood natural law, self-defense, and equated gun ownership with civil rights, they might get a clue. Instead they make a great example of policies the US will never adopt (except for California).

There...fixed it for ya...

AngelDecoys
04-08-2008, 8:16 AM
Ouch. Probably right about that.

movie zombie
04-08-2008, 10:33 AM
"In our experience, Australians are not nearly so suspicious of government power. This is a generalisation, but Australians-from our observations so far-seem to basically believe that the government is there to help you, can usually be trusted, and is more or less on your side."

this is sooooooooo true. my hubby is an aussie.......and it is so obvious the difference.

movie zombie

Patriot
04-08-2008, 10:37 AM
"In our experience, Australians are not nearly so suspicious of government power. This is a generalisation, but Australians-from our observations so far-seem to basically believe that the government is there to help you, can usually be trusted, and is more or less on your side."

this is sooooooooo true. my hubby is an aussie.......and it is so obvious the difference.

movie zombie

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help." :eek:

Harrison_Bergeron
04-08-2008, 1:34 PM
I don't see how one could try and explain the American citizens attachment to guns without mentioning the Second. For me all it boils down to is that the 2A is part of the BoR, which is part of the Constitution, the only set of rules that govern the government. For the government to take any action to limit gun ownership implies that they no longer feel they must serve the people which is contradictory to the founding principles of our government.

At least that is how I would attempt to explain it to a foreigner.

Preaching about standing up for the founding fundamentals of ones country to an Aussie might be a lost cause though.

movie zombie
04-08-2008, 2:22 PM
"I'm from the government and I'm here to help." :eek:

yep, i'm here to take your guns and any other rights you think you have....

movie zombie

movie zombie
04-08-2008, 2:29 PM
ok, so i have a strange take on it all:

GB/England was the great mother/father to us all, whether AU or US. the AU and US are siblings. we, the US, were the first born and fought for what we wanted......and got out from under parental authority via our Revolutionary War. the AU being younger never really got out from under but set back and accepted being included in the family venture [british empire] and waited to eventually receive full fledged statehood on their own, but of course, still giving a nod to the queen. we're the rowdy kid that went out and did it on our own while the AU was the obedient kid that played the game by the family rules.

very very different experience gives very very different results.

movie zombie

MudCamper
04-08-2008, 2:38 PM
Let me demonstrate how pathetically the Ausie's view goverment vs self-reliance. I have visited Australia, and when I was at a beach somewhere I saw a postcard, warning about the dangers of rip-currents.

Now I'm a coastal NorCal resident so I am all too familiar with rip-currents. I have been taught, since childhood, what to do if I ever found myself caught in one: Swim parralell to shore, not towards shore, until you are free of the current, then swim back to shore. Simple enough.

But get this. Here's what the Ausie's are taught: "Remember the 3 R's: Relax. Raise your arms. Wait to be Rescued." I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that. Absolutely no self-reliance what-so-ever.

Paratus et Vigilans
04-08-2008, 3:11 PM
Remember that non-aboriginal Aussies are the descendants of people who were exiled from Great Britain as criminals and prisoners. It was a kind of penal colony, and though not nearly as brutal as France's "Devil's Island," it was very much a one-way ticket. If you came "home" and were caught, you were hung. It's been a long, long time since then, but it's been about as long since we Americans flipped George III the bird and gave him the boot, as well. So, when you scratch your head and wonder what it is Aussies are thinking about when they state such opinions about gun rights, remember - - they were rejected by their mother country, whereas WE rejected IT. They were exiles, whereas we were mavericks. It matters. Even now.

yellowfin
04-08-2008, 3:18 PM
You know, that's an interesting point. If you violate gun laws in Australia, do they bother to send you to prison since you're already in Australia? Or do they send you to England?

Patriot
04-08-2008, 4:25 PM
yep, i'm here to take your guns and any other rights you think you have....

The new and improved 15 most terrifying words in the English language. :D

"In our experience, Australians are not nearly so suspicious of government power. This is a generalisation, but Australians-from our observations so far-seem to basically believe that the government is there to help you, can usually be trusted, and is more or less on your side."

this is sooooooooo true. my hubby is an aussie.......and it is so obvious the difference.

movie zombie

[Random analogy mode] Government is like fire. It can help you it in a bad situation. It can be a comfort. It can also burn down your house while you're still inside. :eek: Now an anarchist might be tempted to say that proves you cannot play with fire without getting burnt. It might be more reasonable to say government, like fire, requires constant vigilance and safeguards to ensure it helps more than harms.

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." -- Unsubstantiated [/random analogy mode]