We promise we won't abuse the fact that the people are virtually helpless

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From GUNS Magazine latest issue:

"Just turn in your guns and trust us to take care of you. We promise we won't abuse the fact that the people of the country are helpless..." - At least that's what the government of Australia was telling folks back in 1997 when they were in the process of confiscating and destroying most of the firearms in that country. Now that the Aussie's guns have been run through the cruncher, however, things are a little less equitable. Surprised ? We didn't think so.

A new law being proposed in the Australian parliament outlaws all weapons "designed to kill or injure people." According to the government, that includes "kung fu sticks, flick knives, daggers, knuckle knives, star throwing knives, bowie knives and devices made to hide knives or blades."

Lest you think the Australian government is abusing its authority, keep this in mind: If this legislation is approved, the people will be given a "reasonable amnesty period" to turn in any knives, sticks, or other pointy household objects before the government hits them with a two-year jail term and a $10,000 fine. Knife and stick owners will not be compensated for their property. The Australian Attorney-General claims that only "very limited" exemptions will be granted to the proposed knife ban for those who can show a "genuine need for legitimate purpose." According to the AG, exemptions will be considered for "display in museums and art galleries, entertainment, sport, recreation, religious purposes and official ceremonies."

And where are all the cries of outrage and opposition ? Oh there's plenty of opposition in the halls of the Australian parliament, but it's not quite what you'd expect. Thte opposition to this law comes from those who don't think it's strict enough - but a total ban on the carry of all knives was viewed by the more moderate voices in the government as "unworkable".

The leading member of the opposition movement said, "I was hoping for a much more comprehensive ban on the carrying of knives or the wearing of knives."

As if all of that wasn't bad enough, the proposed law also forbids the carrying of "items which could be dangerous but are not made to kill or injure people." (No, we didn't make that up.) This includes machetes, blow guns, butterly knives, and slingshots. Anyone caught carrying one of these items will only face a $7,500 fine and 18 months in jail.

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), January 11, 1999


And I guess the next step will be to surgically cripple the limbs of martial artists....

And you know, this entire escalation was completely forseeable. "Registration is the first step to confiscation." "Banning handguns is the first step to banning long arms." "Banning long arms is the first step to banning all 'weapons'." Etc., etc.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), January 11, 1999.

They'll gitcha from both directions: from the high end, "assault" rifles are too high-profile, too powerful, too scary, too efficient, etc. Ban 'em. From the low-end, "saturday night specials" are too low- profile, too convenient, too unreliable, etc. Ban 'em. Pretty soon they'll meet in the middle, and we'll then be eating with cardboard knives and forks like high-security prisoners.

-- Vronsky (vronsky@anna.com), January 11, 1999.

Bow and arrow's looking good about now.

Diane, gunshy, but now planning some archery practice this spring

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), January 11, 1999.

I think a cross bow will be my next purchase. It's quiet and fast. As for my firearms, they will have to find them first.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), January 11, 1999.

When I was five years old the girl next door (age 7) ran over me with my own tricycle. (It was my mistake, and the only damage to me was a bad cut on the face.) Tricycles aren't designed to kill or injure, but there you are. Sydney and Canberra will be made safe from them now, though, it seems.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), January 12, 1999.

What about boomerangs?

-- Bill (bill@microsoft.com), January 12, 1999.

Son of a bitch. I thought Adolf was dead! Hand me a rope!

-- fly . (.@...), January 12, 1999.

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