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Gun control: what makes Australian and US laws so different? (In April 1996, 35 people were shot dead by gunman Martin Bryant in Tasmania. This event, referred to as the...

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To answer that gun control question you will also find some very fundamental points into the pros and cons of gun control laws. Australians would love Americans to have fewer guns and stricter gun control laws. Americans fight for their right to own a gun and claim the Australian government has removed Australian’s right to defend themselves. How did these similar countries come to have such vastly different views towards gun ownership? Answer this question and you resolve many of the issues that surround the gun control debate.

All sorts of gun law statistics are manipulated to prove both points of view, but the whole issue needs to be accessed from a different point of view; a countries geographic location and the risk of predators, the origins of the first settlers, and human nature.

Surprisingly, part of my opinion was inspired from watching the innate reaction of creatures that inhabit the Galapagos Islands. Run with me on this theory for just a brief moment.

The Galapagos Islands were formed by underwater volcanoes 500 miles from land. The creatures that inhabit the new and remote islands arrived by ocean or air to an environment with no existing threats so they had no predators, much like Australia. The creatures on the Galapagos Islands enjoy a spoilt innocence unlike most creatures around the world. Scientists concluded after researching these creatures that fear is a behavioral adaptation and when it is unnecessary, fear disappears. Perhaps that is why Australians are famous for that line “no worries, mate.”

When Australia was settled, the authorities (the British soldiers) had the guns and the settlers/convicts, for the most part, obeyed the rules. The Aboriginals in Australia were nomadic and so a fight over land ownership was nominal compared to the gruesome fights Americas first settlers had with the Native American. The majority of settlers to Australia were from the United Kingdom and most people viewed the world in pretty much the same way. Guns never became part of day-to-day life in Australia, which operated under an organized structure from the beginning.

British authorities took care of security; there was no threat on the island, no threat on the border, and the settlers spoke the same language and held similar ideals. Australians really became very similar to the creatures that enjoy the serenity of the Galapagos Islands and have lived without fear.

Australians have never felt the need to have to defend themselves. They don’t feel like the government is taking any rights away, but in fact, are giving them the right to continue to live without fear. So let’s review Americas origins and threats.

America shares borders and has not enjoyed the luxury of being an isolated island. The original settlers came from all over Europe with vastly different ideals. The original 13 states were inhabited with revolutionaries who fought the king, people fleeing from religious persecution, the Puritans, the Quakers all speaking many different languages and having different ideals. They had to fight for America from the day they arrived between the Minutemen who fought the British to people moving west fighting Native Americans. Heck, then they fought each other.

Americans had to have guns to protect their families because there was no central control to protect them as they established a new society. This gun-owning culture has been ingrained over the generations and if guns were confiscated from society now the only people who would still have them are the criminals leaving everyone else feeling like lame ducks.

Americans do not believe the government should protect them and in fact many feel the need, unlike Australians, that they should be allowed to bear arms to protect themselves from their government as the revolutionaries did when they left England. The second amendment is the right to bear arms and many Americans associate that right with the right to protect their families still.

So Americans had just cause to evolve with guns. They had predators and people settling the country with different ideals. Americans sought freedom from the British Empire. Australia became a colony under the British Empires protection. Justifiable fear has become ingrained in the American culture, which is why Americans feel as vigilantly that they have a right to own a gun as Australians fight to avoid the introduction of the gun. The most basic premise for the people of both countries is security and knowing their own culture. Both cultures know what the threats are and what offers their family the most security.



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