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  • “You Got a License For That Toy?”

    Posted by James R. Rummel on November 21st, 2009 (All posts by )

    Some criminals in Australia are using toy guns to rob people.

    Well, why not? Gun control laws in Australia are, to my American eyes, rather severe and draconian. Only about one-in-twenty people own guns for hunting or sport shooting. No one is allowed to carry concealed for self defense.

    This means that there is pretty much no risk, either to the criminal or victim, if someone paints a toy gun black and uses it to hold someone up. The victim might get scared, but they are certainly in no danger from the gun. The criminal, on the other hand, is also operating without risk of getting shot by any law abiding citizen who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm. Which means this particular crime should prove to be extremely popular.

    But that isn’t good enough for government in Australia. It seems that they are now planning on banning toy guns! There will be exceptions if those who want toy guns first get a license.

    This paragraph blew my mind…

    NSW Police Minister Michael Daley said new national minimum standards affecting the possession, penalties and safe storage of imitation firearms were at a meeting in Perth yesterday.”

    WTF? “…safe storage of imitation firearms…” Does that mean they are planning on locking people up if they don’t lock up their toys?

    So what do you think the safe storage criteria would be for the slick, dangerous piece of hardware below?

    Clown Gun

    I know what you are thinking. The cops are worried about imitation or replica arms, stuff that can easily be mistaken for the real thing. The gun above looks like something a circus clown might use, and is not a serious example.

    The only thing I can say in my defense is that the Australian government is beclowning themselves without any help from me.

    (Cross posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)

     

    6 Responses to ““You Got a License For That Toy?””

    1. Robin Goodfellow Says:

      This is beyond silly and an indication of the sincere wish of these folks to deny reality and live in fantasy land. It’s simply not possible to get rid of guns, there are literally millions of individuals in the world who personally own the equipment necessary to make workable, albeit crude, firearms. Not to mention, of course, the vast supply of existing firearms, of which the “bad guys” even in countries such as the UK or Japan never seem to have all that much trouble obtaining. Beyond all that though, it’s simply not possible to impact the ability of a criminal to use a fake gun by banning their production or licensing their use.

      Next up, banning the use of a pointed finger within a coat pocket to mime a hidden firearm.

      However, note carefully how this action fits within the larger trend of infantilizing and disempowering the individual while shifting responsibility and culpability to inanimate objects (guns, gun replicas, liquids, drugs, etc.) or to groups, corporations, or the government. There is a worldwide ideology that is at war with the idea of personal responsibility and accountability, it wants to rest the entirety of responsibility and accountability in the collective.

    2. James R. Rummel Says:

      “It’s simply not possible to get rid of guns, there are literally millions of individuals in the world who personally own the equipment necessary to make workable, albeit crude, firearms.”

      My other blog mainly concerns itself with self defense and physical security issues. I posted an essay there a few days ago which discuss this very thing.

      http://hellinahandbasket.net/?p=1366

      The bottom line is that just about any reasonably adept hobbyist can make a sophisticated revolver from scratch, something at least as good as was used during the US Civil War.

    3. david foster Says:

      RobinG…indeed, there seems to be a trend of reassigning moral agency from *people* to *objects*. This was very much on display during the debate about arming airline pilots, immediately after 9/11…see my post here.

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      People talk about objects to avoid revealing that what they really hate and fear is people. Theses types don’t hate guns, they hate their fellow citizens having guns. They hold everyone else in disdain and it follows from there that no one whats a weapon in the hands of people they do not trust.

      This episode makes a lie the often stated argument that disarmament advocates only want “reasonable restrictions” on weapons. Their need to dominate and control never ends. Give them a little control and they want more and more.

      This is because their real target is human beings not things.

    5. Tom Holsinger Says:

      Criminals will next use their fingers as imitation guns, resulting in the Australian government banning fingers. Gun banners engage in magical thinking, as explained by a poster named Fub on the Volokh Conspiracy when Yale tried to ban the use of imitation guns by its theater arts department.

      http://volokh.com/posts/1177279409.shtml

      “Fub:

      Tom Holsinger wrote at 4.22.2007 7:04pm:
      Safety has nothing to do with it. Dean Trachtenberg’s only objective is to make a political statement.

      While I agree with your point, I think something more underlies these silly rituals. What makes these ritual bannings of depictions or imitations of real weapons politically effective (among those for whom they are effective) is a very primitive human thought process: belief in sympathetic magic.

      The actual object, the weapon, is imbued with magical power. Its very presence magically causes harm. It causes people to behave in evil ways. The rationale commonly offered is that the mere presence of a weapon makes people more prone to violence.

      Sympathetic magic is the belief that what one does with an imitation of the thing with magical power will affect the actual thing. For example, in a magical religious context we see the image of a deity addressed, or given gifts or sacrifices. The magical deity is affected through the treatment of its image, and so performs its magic for the one who gives the image a gift.

      In the imitation weapon banning context we have first the belief that the object, the actual weapon, is magic and causes those in its presence to behave in an evil manner. The sympathetic magical belief is that by banning the image or the imitation weapon, the magical power of real weapons to cause people to be violent will be lessened, or the real weapons will stay away from the presence of the faithful.”

    6. Nicholas Says:

      Yeah, we’re a global laughing stock really. Internet censorship, stupid gun laws, all kinds of dumb stuff going on here.

      Just a couple of weeks ago two people were murdered in their own home a few hundred meters from my house by a schizophrenic relative. The weapon? A kitchen knife.

      It’s a real pity because this would be a great place to live – one of the best in the world – with just a few of our more draconian laws revoked. However both major parties are invested in “gun control” at this point.