Vox’s Zach Beauchamp is suggesting that the United States should follow the lead of Australia’s mandatory gun buyback.
Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted.
The on-camera shooting of two Virginia reporters Wednesday morning seems bound to evoke, like so many shootings before it, some sort of national conversation about gun control. Which means there will likely be some of debate about whether it would even be possible for the US to limit its millions of privately held guns — by far a higher per capita gun ownership rate than any other country.
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.
Let me explain in precise terms how that “experience” would work if anti-gun Democrats attempted to force through ex post facto gun confiscation in what most Americans would view as a clear violation of the Second Amendment.
There are an estimated 100 million gun owners in the United States, and more than 300 million firearms (some estimates are as high as 350 million). Somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of these firearms—between 100 million and 200 million firearms—are of the kind of rifles, shotguns, and pistols that would be be those targeted in an “Australian” mandatory buyback scheme.
We know from recent attempts to force the registration of certain semi-automatic firearms in New York and Connecticut that somewhere between 85% and 95% of citizens would simply refuse to comply with the buyback order. They would not turn in their guns. If anything, they would stockpile them, amassing more standard capacity magazines of 20-30 rounds for their modern sporting rifles, and thousands of rounds of ammunition each. They’d acquire (more) body armor, and tactical training.
They’d then dare the puny federal government of the United States to do something about it.
If the government is actually dumb enough to try to start confiscation, they will trigger a new kind of war on the North American continent, a fourth generation war most Americans have only seen on television.
Most of the nation’s 800,000 law enforcement officers and 2 million-man military will side with the people, and they will either simply refuse to enforce the buyback/confiscation scheme, or will actively switch sides to join the rebellion.
The tiny federal force than remains will get a taste of what fourth generation warfare looks like when it is applied domestically in an urban and suburban environment where bombers, tanks, and long-range missiles are practically inept and politically impossible.
Ambushes, infrastructure sabotage of government installations, and assassination would be the order of the day on a grand scale. Expect dozens of attacks a week by so-called “lone wolves” and small units.
Lawmakers would be in hiding or would flee the country. Federal agencies would shut down, as employees feared being targeted and refused t come to work. A President presiding over such fiasco might be temporarily safe inside the White House, but only until the 1,100 Green Berets who warned Obama in January of 2013 decided to act.
People who have lived their lives in the sheltered world of coastal liberalism, and who have only been exposed to other people like themselves, simply don’t understand how seriously Americans take their natural right to armed self defense.
I hope that they can learn to put away their silly fantasies of gun confiscation. The right to bear arms is the right of rebellion and revolution, and the Founders meant us to have to overthrow tyrants just like them.